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Creation kits give kids another reason to visit local libraries

Creation kits give kids another reason to visit local libraries

 

Parents in many Washington communities will soon have another reason to take their kids to the local library.

 

More than 30 local libraries throught Washington will receive educational invention kits for children to use for a limited time, courtesy of the Washington State Library.

 

The State Library will send the libraries 32-piece Cool Creations challenge kits by Lego and Makey Makey in late April.

 

Area libraries that will benefit from the program include Davenport, Palouse,  Ritzville,  Spokane County, Sprague, Stevens County, St. John, and Whitman County.

 

State Librarian Rand Simmons said the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and STREAM (science, technology, reading and writing, engineering, art, math) educational kits will benefit librarians that don't have the resources to buy and provide for their own youth patrons.

 

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Stevens County Fire District 1 prepares for wildland fire season

Stevens County Fire District 1 prepares for wildland fire season

Stevens County Fire District 1 is already preparing for a busy fire season in most of the area it serves. ]

 

As part of that preparation, the district is encouraging property owners in vulnerable areas to create a defensible space around buildings and to be prepared in case wildland fires should occur.

 

The fire district, which serves 22,000 people over 375 square miles, says it is struggling to provide adequate emergency response due to record high call volumes, a decline in volunteer firefighters, and aging facilities. 

 

"We have been communicating the challenges that we are facing at the moment," said Fire Chief Mike Bucy. "People can help by taking time to learn more about how to work with us to protect their properties in case of a wildland fire."

 

Community members can find more information on wildland fire prevention and creating a defensible space on the fire district's website at www.scfpd1.com. Click on the "Prevention" tab and then go to "Prevention and Safety Links."

 

Local partnership works to prevent drowning by offering discounts on life jackets

Local partnership works to prevent drowning by offering discounts on life jackets

 

As the weather continues to warm up, more and more boaters will be hitting the water.

 

To encourage safe boating, the Washinton State Drowning Prevention Network, Safe Kids Washington, and the Spokane Regional Health District have partnered with Big 5 Sporting Goods to previde 25% off coupons on life jackets.

 

These coupons can be used at any Big 5 Sporting Goods from April 1st through September 30th 2015 in Washington and North Idaho.

 

Coupins are available online on the Spokane Region Health District's website: CLICK HERE.

 

Washington State Parks to offer two free days in April

Washington State Parks to offer two free days in April

 

Looking to go explore some Washington State Parks, but don't yet have a Discover Pass? Well, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will offer two free days in April.

 

Visitors will not need to display a Discover Pass for day-use visits to any of Washington's State Parks on April 4th, a springtime free Saturday, and Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd.

 

Free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. 

 

A Discover Pass is still needed to access WDFW and DNR lands on State Park free days.

 

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Hoopfest 2015 registration is now open

Hoopfest 2015 registration is now open

 

Registration for the world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is now live!

 

Entry forms for Spokane Hoopfest 2015 are available online at register.spokanehoopfest.net. Hard-copy entry forms are also available at any Bruchi's Cheesesteaks and Subs or Yokes Fresh Market northwest locations. 

 

This year Hoopfest will celebrate its 26th year as a Spokane institution. Every year the tournament brings approximately 28,000 players and 225,000 spectators to the streets of downtown Spokane.

 

Registration to the tournament is guaranteed to teams that register prior to May 11th. Forms and entries to those who register late are only granted based on space availability with an additional $20 late fee through May 25th. Nonetheless, Hoopfest organizers recommend playing it safe by registering early.

 

Department of Health asks dog owners to help track ticks through online survey

Department of Health asks dog owners to help track ticks through online survey

 

Washington state health officials are asking dog owners to go online and fill out a short, anonymous survey, and to send the agency any ticks they find during tick season.

 

In Washington, taking the dog for a later winter or spring-time walk comes with the added task of checking four-legged friends for ticks. The tick season has already begun in Western Washington, and in the next few weeks, the Washington State Department of Health says ticks will emerge from their winter hideaways elsewhere in the state.

 

“Many dog owners have found a tick or two on their furry friend after coming home from a walk outside,” said Dr. Liz Dykstra, entomologist for the Department of Health. “We’d like to know more about when and where they’ve picked up ticks, and if their dog has ever been diagnosed with a tick-borne disease.”

 

Spring prescribed burning to start in the Colville National Forest

Spring prescribed burning to start in the Colville National Forest

 

Colville National Forest Fire Managers say they are keeping a close eye on the weather and moisture condition in the Colville National Forest. If moisture levels and smoke dispersion patters are within Washington State smoke management standards, crews could begin the spring prescribed burning season as early as the middle of March and continue into June.

 

Residents and motorists along Aladdin Road north of Colville can expect to see smoke on the east side of Rogers Mountain and in the Meadow Creed drainage. Motorists on Highway 395 and residents of Chewelah can expect to see smoke in the Cottonwood Creek drainage. Motorists and residents along 395 can expect to see smoke in the Renner Lake area north of Barstow, as well as in the Summit Mountain area northeast of Orient.

 

Residents in the Pend Orielle Valley and those traveling up Highway 20 can expect to see smoke of the west side of the valley from Cusick, north to lone. Crews will also be conducting burns in the Browns Lake area north of Barstow, as well as in the Summit Mountain area northeast of Orient.