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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.

Community Library Network launching after-school programs

Community Library Network launching after-school programs

The Community Library Network in north Idaho wants to make sure every child has a library card as they head back to school this fall, and offering new and replacement cards for free this month as part of National Library Card Sign Up Month.

Libraries in the Community Library Network include Athol, Harrison, Hayden, Pinehurst, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Spirit Lake and the Bookmobile.

All seven brick and mortar locations are now offering classes and activities for children ages zero to five to attend with their parents. Meanwhile kids in grades three to six can enjoy the KaBoom! program, offering hands-on activities coupled with demonstrations to teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) principles in an engaging way.

KaBoom offered at the following locations and times:

 

Hayden Library

First and Third Monday

4-5 pm

 

North Idaho Day of Hope

North Idaho Day of Hope

National charity organization Convoy of Hope is hosting an event at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds next weekend to assist families with a wide variety of free services.

Saturday, September 6th starting at 10 am, all families are invited to day of hope and family fun, and to take advantage of the following:

  • Groceries
  • Flu Shots
  • Shoes
  • School Supplies
  • Haircuts
  • Health and Dental Services
  • Job and Career Services
  • Family Portraits

Free transportation to and from the Kootenai County Fairgrounds is being offered from select locations. You can get more information on those routes here.

The event will go on rain or shine while supplies last. Families are not required to show ID to enter.

Priest River teacher receives grant for class library

Priest River teacher receives grant for class library

A Priest River teacher is excited to fill her classroom bookshelves this fall with the help of a $2500 grant from Farmer's Insurance.

First-grade teacher Jessica Randolph was one of just 30 teachers to be honored in this round of Farmer's “Thank A Million Teachers”initiative, inviting America to offer heartfelt thank to teachers for their positive impact on students and communities across the United States.

Jessica says it was her Farmer's agent who nominated her for Thanks a Million, then asked clients to vote for her proposal and even garnered support in the local newspaper.

“My proposal was for books for my classroom library,” Jessica said. “It was really tough last year and I had to borrow books. My students loved to read, and by the end of the year they even wanted to take books with them out onto the playground.”

While this grant is being used exclusively for her class library, Jessica says her ultimate goal is to put more technology into her students hands.

Idaho awarded grant to help low-income students take exams

Idaho awarded grant to help low-income students take exams

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Idaho $75,552 as part of its efforts to boos college and career readiness for historically under-served students. The grant will help defray the costs of taking advanced placement tests for low-income students.

“This is an opportunity for students throughout Idaho to excel. This grant, along with Advanced Opportunities programs like Fast Forward, offered through the Idaho Department of Education, give students the opportunity to earn college credits in high school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. “It's a chance for students to excel without the worry of a financial burden.”

The grants are used to help pay for low-income students taking approved placement tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations. By subsidizing test fees for low-income students, the program is intended to encourage students to take advanced placement tests and obtain college credit for high school courses, reducing the time and cost required to complete a degree.

Deadline today for $900k in scholarships

Deadline today for $900k in scholarships

Today is the deadline to apply for a scholarship for North Idaho College, and with more than $900,000 being offered you don't want to wait.

Today's deadline is for the fall 2014 semester and allows students time to attend an orientation session, register for classes, purchase books and pay for classes prior to the start of school on August 25.

New students can click here to download an application. Awarding criteria of each scholarship varies and all students are encouraged to apply.

Recipients also include traditional credit students who can click here for information on how to apply. NIC Foundation scholarships are also available for Workforce Training and Dual Credits students with applications available through those respective programs.

 

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.