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Costs to fix Wanapum Dam estimated at $86.5 million

The cost to the Grant County Public Utilities District to repair the crack in Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, along with other expenses, is $86.5 million.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports that was the estimate reported by PUD staff at the last commission meeting.

That total is about $25 million over the original estimate of $61 million for repairs to Wanapum, mitigation and lost revenue due to the need to lower the water levels behind the dam.

PUD spokesman Chuck Allen says officials don't think the higher costs will have an impact on already planned revenue increases.

Allen says the original estimate was made before PUD officials really knew the extent of the damage.

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Former BBCC student goes from McDonald's to Med School

Former BBCC student goes from McDonald's to Med School

 

When Timothy Woodiwiss dropped out of high school after ninth grade, he thought he might become the manager of the McDonald’s restaurant in Ritzville.

 

He started working full time in 2002 at age 16 and was promoted to McDonald’s shift manager when he was 17.

 

He earned a GED at Big Bend Community College, but only because the state would not allow him to work full time at the age of 16 without a GED.

 

After three years working at McDonald’s, Woodiwiss found the courage to attend BBCC. He sat in his car trembling with fear on the first day of classes in spring of 2006.

 

“I was sure a teacher would ask me a question and everyone would know I was an idiot,” he said. ““It could have gone south at that moment if I had given in to my fears.”

 

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.

 

Active shooter drill to take place at BBCC April 15

Active shooter drill to take place at BBCC April 15

 

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency vehicles will swarm Big Bend Community College's Nursing Building on Wednesday, April 15th during an active shooter exercise beginning at 1:15 p.m.

 

College officials say passers-by might hear an occasional fake gunshot during the drill. BBCC classes will be in session today, so students, faculty and staff have been notified of the drill.

 

According to Kyle Foreman, BBCC Director of Campus Safety and Security, students and staff members have volunteers to be actors in the drill. The exercise is meant to be an opportunity for local law enforcement agencies to practice a multi-hazard plan and incident command structure for an active shooter scenario.

 

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$200k worth of malicious damage to cellular tower site north of Moses Lake

$200k worth of malicious damage to cellular tower site north of Moses Lake

 

Grant County Sheriff's Deputies are asking for the public's help with finding those responsible for causing up to $200,000 worth of damage to a rural cellular site building about 20 miles north of Moses Lake near the town of Stratford, Wash.

 

Inland Cellular, Inc. of Moses Lake called the Sheriff's Office on April 2 to report the damage. Deputies found extensive damage to three sides of the building at 10902 Road 22 Northeast which houses electronic equipment at the side. Deputies day the electronics inside were not damaged, and cellular service was not interrupted.

 

Investigators believe a vehicle caused the damage, and that vehicle should have noticeable rear end damage.

 

Anyone with information regarding this incident should call the Grant Country Sheriff's Office at 509-762-1160, or send info to crimetips@grantcountywa.gov. The case number is 15GS03481. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Three injured in Ephrata gas station shooting

Ephrata police are investigating a shooting that left three people injured Tuesday night at the Tiger Paws Gas Station. 

The Ephrata Police Chief tells KXLY4 News that the shooting was gang related. The three victims were taken to the hospital, one of them had to be airlifted to another medical facility. Police say their wounds are non-life threatening.

Police have not yet tracked down the suspect or suspects. 

Two BBCC students selected to the All-Washington Academic Team

Two BBCC students selected to the All-Washington Academic Team

 

Two Big Bend Community College students have been selected to the All-Washington Academic Team, an honor that recognizes both academic achievement and community involvement.

 

BBCC students John Johnson and Kevin Herbert were recognized as all-state scholars during a reception in Olympia on March 26. Gov. Jay Inslee, legislators (including Re. Tom Dent of Moses Lake) and college presidents attended.

 

"To celebrate academic excellence is always a pleasure," said BBCC President Terry Leas. "We are excited to showcase before lawmakers and media our brightest and best students - many of whom have overcome great obstacles."

 

Johnson is a 32-year-old Arizona transplant who used ran a cheese plant. He went on to earn his GED in Utah before attending BBCC. He has a 3.94 GPA and Big Bend and plans to graduate this spring. After graduation he will transfer to Washington State University to major in food science. He already has completes cheese-making short courses at WSU.