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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.

Upcoming construction closing access to airport

Upcoming construction closing access to airport

The contractor working on the Highway 2/Spokane Airport interchange has adjusted their schedule and issued a revised plan for on and off-ramp closures while workers grind out old pavement and lay a new asphalt surface.

The full closures are limited to single-lane ramp sections where the roadway will be blocked during the work. The most intense work will be scheduled during hours when traffic counts are lowest.

During the following days and hours, single-lane segments of on and off ramps leading to and from Spokane International Airport on Highway 2 and Sunset Highway will be fully closed. Signed detours will direct drivers to and from Spokane International Airport. Drivers should expect slow traffic, congestion and delays on the detour routes. Travelers are urged to allow plenty of extra time to reach their destinations during these periods to avoid missing flight connections.

There will be no work from 5 am Friday, August 29 until 7 pm Tuesday, September 2.

 

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.

Spokane lab certified for marijuana testing

Anatek Labs, an environmental and industrial testing facility for over 20 years, has been certified as the first recreational marijuana testing lab in Spokane.

The lab will test the weed for potency, contaminants and moisture levels to ensure it complies with state mandated standards. Although the amount of pot needed for testing is very small, it is monitored every step of the way.

"There's a tracking system in the state so the customer has to login to a system, notify the state they're going to deliver samples. When we receive them we have to login to the system and say we've gotten them because we have to track them the entire time," says Anatek's Karice Scott.

Anatek is one of just two recreational marijuana testing facilities in eastern Washington. The other is in Yakima, so Scott expects their services will be in high demand.

"We've been getting phone calls right from the very beginning. Are you going to be a lab? Once we said yes the word goes around. We have customers that are just waiting to be able to come in," she adds.

Anatek says they hope to begin test tomorrow after all of the incoming product is reported.

Meals on Wheels fundraiser this weekend

Meals on Wheels fundraiser this weekend

For the sixth year in a row, Meals on Wheels Spokane is hosting their annual fundraiser this Saturday in Millwood.

From 8 am until 3 pm, Millwood shuts down Dalton Street for food, festivities and fun benefiting Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels Spokane provides nutritional and social interaction for local seniors and their downtown location and for those who are homebound. They serve 500 meals daily and more than 116,000 each year.

Check out the schedule of events, you're sure to find something for everyone:

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.