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IRS phone scams continue to be a serious threat

Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.

"If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don't pay immediately, it's a scam artist calling,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business."

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Running Start enrollment doubles at BBCC

Running Start enrollment doubles at BBCC

Running Start enrollment has doubled in two years at Big Bend Community College and now accounts for more than 15 percent of BBCC’s student headcount, according to enrollment numbers posted by the college.

There are 352 Running Start students attending BBCC this winter and 357 attended last fall. That’s more than double the 172 Running Start students at BBCC in winter of 2013.

The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend community college tuition-free while they earn high school graduation credits and college credits at the same time. In 2014, 41 BBCC Running Start students earned a high school diploma and an associate degree at BBCC.

College officials think a change in requirements for entering the program contributed to the increase. Students formerly had to place at college level in both math and English to enroll in Running Start. The new requirement allows students passing one of those placement tests to enter the program.

‘Start Next Quarter’ workshops set at BBCC

‘Start Next Quarter’ workshops set at BBCC

Big Bend Community College is offering four workshops for people interested in starting classes during the Spring Quarter 2015.

The "Start the Next Quarter" workshops will be held in the BBCC library on January 30th, February 13th and 27th, and March 13th.

“Some students are not prepared or are unaware of the process to get started,” said Monica Medrano, Workforce Education Service Coordinator at BBCC.

Medrano said the ‘getting started’ workshops are designed to help potential students understand the process and prepare them to enroll.

The workshops provide students with information about admissions, financial aid, other funding opportunities, applications, placement testing, new student orientation, and a review of programs of study available at Big Bend.

To register for a workshop, contact Medrano at 793-2051.

Employers invited to register for BBC's 22nd Job and Career Fair

Employers invited to register for BBC's 22nd Job and Career Fair

Registrations are now being accepted from employers who plan to exhibit at the 22nd annual Job and Career Fair at Big Bend Community College on April 16, 2015.

More than 60 companies are expected to exhibit at the event in the Grant County Advanced Technologies and Education Center (ATEC). Booth space is limited, and early registration is encouraged.

Employers historically attending the event include companies involved in manufacturing, food processing, retail, health care, aerospace, education, service industries, and technology.

As companies register, their names and links to their websites will be posted on the job and career fair web page (www.bigbend.edu/jobfair). Job seekers can learn in advance which employers will be attending and can research the employers from their websites.

Free workshops will include panel discussions by local employers and educators about how to find jobs in specific areas, like manufacturing and health care.

Attendance by job seekers has been 1,200 to 1,800 in recent years, according to college records.

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OMWBE Get Certified Campaign to host educational workshops around the state Jan. 20-23

OMWBE Get Certified Campaign to host educational workshops around the state Jan. 20-23

The Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) has announced the office will  launching a statewide ‘Get Certified’ campaign starting January 20th intended to help more women- and minority-owned businesses win contracts with state and local governments.

 

The campaign will be held from January 20th through January 23rd. Activities will include conducting more than 35 educational workshops and other stops across the state to help boost understanding for small, diverse businesses regarding the benefits getting a variety of certifications – including OMWBE certification.

Area Get Certified Roadshow events will take place at the following:

Wednesday, January, 21st

  • Republic |10:00 a.m. |Ferry County PUD 686 S Clark Ave Republic, WA 99166
  • Kettle Falls| 2:00 p.m. | Sandy's Drive Inn 1045 U.S. 395
  • Colville | 5:00 p.m. Dept of Transportation Upstairs Meeting Room 440 North Hwy, North Roundabout

 

Thursday, January 22nd

Schools have until Jan. 21 to sign up for Fit for Bloomsday

Schools have until Jan. 21 to sign up for Fit for Bloomsday

Elementary schools from Eastern Washington and North Idaho have just a few more days to sign up for the Fit for Bloomsday...Fit for Life youth fitness program. After the entry deadline, over 60 schools are expected to have signed up, with more than 6,000 kids participating in the ten-week running and walking program.

“We’re really pleased with the support this program receives from principals, teachers, PE instructors and parent volunteers,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong. “They’re really making a difference in the fitness of kids in the community.”

Fit For Bloomsday...Fit For Life—dubbed Fit For Bloomsday for short—was developed by Bloomsday volunteers in cooperation with PE instructors, coaches and parents in the Spokane area. The Lilac Bloomsday Association provides information, materials, structure and incentives for the 8-10 week program, which is administered by school personnel and volunteers at participating schools. Now in its 30th year, the program prepares kids to run or walk Bloomsday while teaching them the importance of fitness, nutrition and safety.

1 dead in Moses Lake fast food shooting

An early morning fight at the Moses Lake Jack in the Box restaurant ended with one person dead and two people arrested on murder charges on Sunday.

Police say just after 1:30 a.m. two vehicles pulled into the drive through at the fast food restaurant located in the 500 block of E. Wheeler. The vehicle in front, a black 2011 Yukon, backed up, almost striking the second vehicle, a 2010 Fusion. The driver of the Fusion yelled to the driver of the Yukon, Martha Mejia, to be careful. Mejia exited the vehicle and an argument ensued. Mejia attempted to hit the victim, Christian Guerra, who was a passenger in the Fusion. Mejia then yelled to her passenger for assistance as Guerra exited the Fusion. The suspect, Jason Williams, exited the Yukon and got in a fight with Guerra.

According to police, after Williams and Guerra were separated, Guerra re-entered the Fusion, but was again confronted by Williams as he sat as a passenger in the Fusion, where Williams punched him. Guerra was able to get out of the vehicle and the physical confrontation began again.