Our network

Community Spirit

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.

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

In an effort to help students and their families impacted by the Cartlton Complex fires, Eastern Washington University will send a team of financial aid counselors and outreach staff to Okanogan County to assist those who are planning to attend Eastern this fall.

The financial aid and outreach team will be in Okanogan County the week of August 11 to meet with students and their families. As the date approaches, details on the exact location and times will be announced and posted on the university website and Facebook page.

Eastern has also authorized $250,000 of aid for an EWU Student Hardship Fund to help with tuition and housing for current and incoming students.

EWU Vice President for Student Affairs Stacey Morgan Foster said financial aid counselors will have the authority to award hardship grants during their visit. The grants are also available to EWU students outside of the Carlton Complex fire area.

Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm

Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm

Avista once again is expressing their gratefulness for customer patience and support after recovering from the second major storm in just two weeks.

It took only three days to restore power to all 48,000 customers impacted by the August 2 storm, which rolled across the inland northwest just six days after the July 23 storm. The last storm resulted in the worst damage to the system since an ice storm in 1996.

“It's an amazing achievement to restore power to all of our customers within a matter of days following the one-two punch we received from Mother Nature,” said Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion. “Given the magnitude of damage from these back-to-back storms, I have the deepest respect for all of our employees who were involved in restoration efforts, especially our Avista crews and the contract crews who worked tirelessly in the heat to turn on the lights and get the air conditioning and fans blowing for our customers.”

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

In response to the recent wildfires in Washington and Oregon, Lowe's has activated its customer donation program in all Washington and Oregon stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Donations enable to Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small, like the wildfires in several states.

In Washington, the Red Cross has served nearly 33,000 meals and snacks to affected residents and distributed more than 3,500 cleanup supplies. In Oregon, the Red Cross served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and opened four shelters in response to the wildfires.

As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe's pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help the Red Cross deliver immediate aid to communities in need.

Since partnering with Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

Carlton Complex Fire officials say no more donations!

Carlton Complex Fire officials say no more donations!

It turns out there can be too much of a good thing. According to the official Carlton Complex Fire blog, the community has overwhelmed community groups with their donations.

Effective immediately, physical donations of clothing, books, toys and more will no longer be accepted.

Okanogan County resources no longer have the space to store additional donations or the manpower to sort them. All donations currently being sorted are more than enough to cover what's needed – they are being transported to a central location and then distributed to members of the community from there.

If you would still like to offer assistance to victims of the Carlton Complex fire, please consider a cash donation to the Apple Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross or other local charities. You can also donate cash for fire victims at any North Cascades Bank.