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Annual Dollar Dash fundraiser registration underway

Annual Dollar Dash fundraiser registration underway

The Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake is giving their scholarship foundation a boost with the fourth annual Dollar Dash 5k fundraiser on September 27.

“Dollar Dash is one way for the college to help students gain access to a high-quality education at BBCC while engaging the community and having some fun,” said Judy Oakes, race coordinator and BBCC Foundation board member.

The course follows College Parkway, which weaves through the school's 154-acre campus.

Participants who register before September 18 will receive a t-shirt. Registration costs $25 for adults and $15 for runners age 18 and under. Packet pickup begins at 7 am on race day in front of the campus ATEC building. The run begins at 8.

You can register online here, at the BBCC's business office, library or university center and at the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce and Park and Recreation offices.

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Dorms are filling up fast around Washington State as students begin or continue their college education, and the state Fire Marshal wants to make sure everyone has a safe school year.

“Fire safety should be reviewed as students settle into their new places,” said State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy. “Understanding the safety features of a building and knowing your escape routes can significantly increase your personal safety.”

The United States Fire Administration reports an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur each year. The leading causes include cooking, intentionally set fires, careless smoking, unattended candles and overloaded electrical wiring. Marshal Duffy suggests the following tips to reduce the risk of fire and increase safety:

Cooking should only be done in a location permitted by the school’s policies. Never leave your cooking unattended. If a fire starts in a microwave, leave the door closed and unplug the unit.

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:

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.

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.

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

Washington State University researchers have created a product that could help farmers keep their fields moist during a drought.

Led by Associate Professor Jinwen Zhang, the group created hydrogel pellets similar to the super absorbent material used in diapers. The main difference is what they're made of. While diapers rely on petrolium based gel, WSU researchers have created one out of soy protein.

The pellets swell to hold 250 times their weight in water, and because they are made of biodegradable agricultural material instead of chemicals they leave no residue behind when they disintegrate in the ground. In fact, the soy protein can actually act as a source of nitrogen to help plants grow.

A soy-based product would also lessen dependence on foreign oil imports, and boos the local economy since the U.S. Produces half of the world supply of soy beans.

New round of Washington charter proposals begins

Organizations that want to open a charter school in Washington state have until the end of the day on Friday to turn in a form that says they plan to apply to the statewide charter commission.

As of Thursday afternoon, five letters of intent had been posted on the state's charter school website, including some from organizations that had applied during the last round but weren't approved.

The next deadline in the process will be July 15, when formal applications to open a charter school are due. After public forums, interviews and other evaluations, The Charter School Commission plans to vote in October on which schools will be given tentative approval to open.