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Blessings Under the Bridge honored by People magazine

Blessings Under the Bridge honored by People magazine

If you've picked up a copy of the most recent People magazine, you may notice a hometown connection.

In between the photos of celebrity weddings and fall fashions, a shout-out to Spokane natives Mike and Jessica Kovac and their charity – Blessings Under the Bridge.

The couple were on the verge of divorce when Jessica says she began distributing bagged lunches to the homeless in downtown Spokane. Eventually her husband joined her and realized their problems that felt so big could be fixed.

Mike and Jessica emptied their savings to found Blessings Under the Bridge and have since fed thousands of people and helped some find and furnish apartments.

You can learn more about the Kovac's and Blessings Under the Bridge in our Everyday Heroes section on KXLY.com.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduces new Military Outreach Liaison

Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduces new Military Outreach Liaison

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers released a statement Thursday announcing retired Air Force service member and longtime veterans advocate John Davis as her new Veterans and Military Outreach Liaison.

“I am both humbled and honored to welcome John Davis to my team. Over the past four decades John has dedicated his life to serving our country, our military and our veterans, and his compassion for the Eastern Washington veteran community has impacted countless lives,” the congresswoman said.

Davis' role with the congresswoman's office will be to assist veterans with their claims and records, and provide support and information on how to navigate the VA system.

Davis enlisted in the Air Force in 1968 and served in many locations, including Fairchild Air Force Base in the 92 Munitions Maintenance Squadron. While assigned at Fairchild AFB, John graudated from Spokane Falls Community College and Eastern Washington University where he studied counseling and sciences.

September is National Disaster Preparedness month

September is National Disaster Preparedness month

Disaster can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross encourages everyone to take the first step during National Preparedness Month and create a disaster plan for their household that can keep people safe in an emergency.

“Having an emergency plan is an important step so everyone in the household knows what they should do if something happens,” said Martha Reed, Regional Disaster Program Officer. “We believe people should mark National Preparedness Month by creating or updating their plan.”

As we recently saw throughout central and eastern Washington, flash floods and severe weather can strike quickly, leaving residents with only moments to evacuate in some cases. Every second counts during a disaster so the best time to prepare is before one hits.

The Spokane Regional Health District is also participating in National Preparedness Month with a different, but important message every week. They'll be providing resources online and on social media to assist families with the following themes:

Grant County Sheriff concerned about rural burglaries

Grant County Sheriff concerned about rural burglaries

The Grant County Sheriff's Office is increasing patrols in rural communities to combat rising property crimes. Today Tom Jones reports the rural areas of Grant County have experienced several property crimes, specifically thefts of metal, wire, batteries and livestock panels. The most recent thefts occurred in Mae Valley and the area to the northeast of Moses Lake.

With autumn approaching and the farming season coming to an end, Sheriff Jones is offering several reminders to assist farmers and ranchers in protecting themselves and their property from being a victim.

Check your child's vaccinations before heading back to school

Check your child's vaccinations before heading back to school

Getting ready for back to school means getting school supplies and backpacks, but it's also the perfect time to make sure children are up-to-date on their shots. Getting all of the recommended shots is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their kids' health.

A new survey from the Washington State Department of Health shows vaccination rates are on the rise (71 percent in 2013 versus 65 percent the year before) but are still below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent, leaving many kids unprotected.

Below is a summary of shots children need:

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Just in time for the holiday weekend, fire restrictions have been lifted for the Colville National Forest.

“With the wetting rains and cooler daytime temperatures we have been experiencing in the Colville National Forest, the anticipated fire danger is reduced enough to allow visitors to once again enjoy campfires in the forest,” said Fire Management Officer Tim Sampson. “Firewood cutters are also able to run chainsaws after 1 pm.”

Forest visitors must still use caution and exercise sound fire precautions, however, on National forest System Lands. Good fire building and extinguishing practices are advised such as:

  • Keeping campfires small
  • Using existing fire rings
  • Have a bucket, shovel, water and fire extinguisher readily available
  • Attend and fully extinguish all fires

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.