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Thousands enrolled for insurance through Washington, Idaho health exchanges

Thousands enrolled for insurance through Washington, Idaho health exchanges

President Obama announced Thursday eight million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, while enrollment numbers in Washington and Idaho have been relatively high so far,

According to Washington's insurance commissioner, 146,000 people signed up for private insurance in the first six months. In Idaho, 44,000 people signed up, making the Gem State second in the nation per capita. So why has it been so successful in our two states? Washington and Idaho created their own state-run exchanges, while many states didn't and rely on the federal government.

Washington and Idaho have their own online marketplaces for families to shop for insurance and, despite some challenges like website issues, they've proven to be effective in enrolling people for health care.

Deanna Davis with Better Health Together said sign-up numbers in eastern Washington were higher than expected.

"We did triple enrollments than what we projected to do in our 14 country region," Davis said.

Online farmers market adds new smartphone app

Online farmers market adds new smartphone app

Purchasing produce straight from the farm just got easier. Northwest Farm Fresh is taking their online farmers market and putting it in the palm of your hand with a new smartphone app.


Northwest Farm Fresh said in a press release that the new app was a natural next step for the virtual farmers market with more and more people using their phones to shop online. The free app is available in both the Google Play store and iTunes, just search NW Farm Fresh.

911 service restored to Washington state

911 service restored to Washington state

911 services have been restored to Washington state after they went down Thursday morning.

CenturyLink spokeswoman, Kerry Zimmer, said the problem began about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at Sheridan, Ore., and Oregon was affected for a time. The problem then spread to Washington.

CenturyLink says the outage affected dispatch centers statewide because they are all connected.



16 E. Washington cities earn Tree City USA title

16 E. Washington cities earn Tree City USA title

In honor of Arbor Day, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is recognizing several Eastern Washington cities that have been chosen as a Tree City USA.


To be acknowledged as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, a city needs to have either a tree board or a city department that is responsible for tree care and management, establish a tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on tree care, and celebrate Arbor Day.

Inslee names April National Poetry Month in honor of Oso

Inslee names April National Poetry Month in honor of Oso

Governor Jay Inslee has declared April National Poetry Month in Washington and is hoping the state will use poetry as a way to send solace and well wishes to the communities affected by the mudslide in Oso.

49 Degrees North ends season with Ski Free week

49 Degrees North ends season with Ski Free week

There’s limited time left to hit the slopes this season, in fact there’s only a few days of skiing left! 49 Degrees North is offering free skiing all week so you get your final runs in without breaking the bank.


The 16th Annual Toyota Ski Free week is just in time for spring break in Spokane, and the good news is everyone skis free this week, even if you don’t drive a Toyota. There will be barbeques on deck as well as other food specials throughout the week.

Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.