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Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

The Idaho Department of Lands is reminding outdoor enthusiasts who are planning to camp this Labor Day weekend to leave the firewood at home!

As millions of Americans head into the wilderness for a weekend of fun, many bring their own firewood, not realizing that they put the nation's forests at risk by potentially spreading tree-killing pests. While most of these pests can't travel far on their own, many can hitchhike undetected on firewood, later emerging and starting infestations in new locations hundreds of miles away.

The Don't Move Firewood campaign began in 2007 as a response to the rapid spread of the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle brought to the US in pre-packaged wood and responsible for killing 100 million ash trees since the early 1990's.

More than 450 other non-native forest insects and diseases are also established in the United States, many spread the same way.

Upcoming construction closing access to airport

Upcoming construction closing access to airport

The contractor working on the Highway 2/Spokane Airport interchange has adjusted their schedule and issued a revised plan for on and off-ramp closures while workers grind out old pavement and lay a new asphalt surface.

The full closures are limited to single-lane ramp sections where the roadway will be blocked during the work. The most intense work will be scheduled during hours when traffic counts are lowest.

During the following days and hours, single-lane segments of on and off ramps leading to and from Spokane International Airport on Highway 2 and Sunset Highway will be fully closed. Signed detours will direct drivers to and from Spokane International Airport. Drivers should expect slow traffic, congestion and delays on the detour routes. Travelers are urged to allow plenty of extra time to reach their destinations during these periods to avoid missing flight connections.

There will be no work from 5 am Friday, August 29 until 7 pm Tuesday, September 2.

 

WSU student planners feature rival school on cover

WSU student planners feature rival school on cover

Students at Washington State University did a double-take when they received their free student planners from The Bookie this week. The cover features a picture of a cougar, the iconic Bryan clock tower and a building that was a little harder to identify.

Down at the very bottom of the cover, with beautiful brick and elegant cherry trees is Savery Hall, a building located at the heart of the campus of WSU's sworn rival – the University of Washington.

Distraught manager Leslie Martin at WSU's bookstore The Bookie says they are aware of the problem and are working with the vendor to come to a solution. The planners are no longer being handed out, but the ones that have been released are not being collected.

There is no word on whether the school will receive a refund or whether a reprint with a corrected cover is in the works. Meanwhile, a photo of the planner is quickly making the rounds online drawing amusement and criticism.

Washington state parks free to visit Monday

Washington state parks free to visit Monday

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants the public to know that Monday, August 25 is a state parks “free day,” Visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

The free day is in honor of the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on August 25, 1916.

State free days are part of the legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual of $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife. The Discover Pass legislation provided that state parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required. The pass is still required to access lands managed by DNR and Fish and Wildlife.

The free days apply only to day use, and not to overnight stays or rental facilities.

The next free days coming up on September 27 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 for Veterans Day.

Red Cross receives $200k donation for mudslide, wildfire relief

Red Cross receives $200k donation for mudslide, wildfire relief

The Washington chapter of the American Red Cross is $200,000 richer thanks to the generosity of Pizza Hut franchisee Emerald City Pizza.

Emerald City Pizza donated a percentage of its sales from 108 local restaurants to come up with the money which was presented at the Darrington community center Tuesday afternoon.

The money is specifically earmarked for mudslide recovery and wildfire relief efforts.

Moses Lake plant building car charging station

The carbon fiber plant at Moses Lake has agreed to spend $125,000 on an electric car charging station to settle a fine from the state Ecology Department for air pollution.

The Tri-City Herald reports equipment failures in 2012 and 2013 at SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers released uncontrolled emissions. The plant makes a light-weight material for BMW's electric car.

Working 4 you: There's been another data breach, now what?

Working 4 you: There's been another data breach, now what?

Data breaches seem to be becoming the norm, and there's another consumers need to be aware of. Millions of people's personal information is at risk after hackers targeted a hospital network.

Community Health Systems announced the breach yesterday in a regulatory filing. The organization operates 206 hospitals in 29 states across the country.

It says hackers in China have stolen data on 4.5 million patients. The breach happened sometime in April and June this year.

The hackers accessed patients' names, social security numbers, addresses and phone numbers.

Anyone who received treatment from a network-owned hospital in the last five years is affected. People who were referred there by a doctor are also impacted.

The large data breach puts these people at a heightened risk of identity fraud.

But, experts say there are steps to take to make sure your identity stays safe.

First, if you think your SSN has been stolen, contact the three major credit-reporting agencies. They are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Tell them your social has been stolen and each will give you a free copy of your credit report.