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A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana

A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana

Legal marijuana sales kicked off Tuesday across Washington, including at one of three confirmed stores here in Spokane, with enthusiasts in line hours before opening.

But what about the curious among us who have never taken a puff in our lives, but are ready to give it a try now that it's legal and easily accessible?

“It can be a little alien if it's their first time,” said Green Leaf customer service representative Chad Welsh. “To walk in here and think 'What are these devices?' and 'What is your product all about?'”

A big part of Chad's job is to help guide first-timers through the experience, with tips on the product, how to smoke and what to smoke with. I also spoke with Daniel Wendling, general manager at Piece of Mind and assistant manager at the licensed pot shop Satori just next door, and put together a how-to of sorts for the first time smoker.

 

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Hiring event draws 20 employers to Post Falls Wednesday

Hiring event draws 20 employers to Post Falls Wednesday

A heads up for anyone on the hunt for a job – 20 employers are participating in a hiring event Wednesday at the Idaho Department of Labor's office in Kootenai County.

The event runs from 10 am to noon at the office on 600 N. Thornton St. in Post Falls. Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resumes and be prepared for interviews.

You can find interview tips and other information here.

Companies participating in the event are:

Fire danger on the rise

Fire danger on the rise

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced several chances to local fire danger levels, effective at midnight Wednesday (July 9) morning.

The fire danger is increasing from moderate to high in Spokane, Okanogan and north Lincoln county along with fire districts 1 and 2 in Stevens County.

The fire danger is creasing from low to moderate in Pend Oreille and Ferry counties along with Stevens county outside of fire districts 1 and 2.

The increased levels mean all outdoor burning is banned with the exception of recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds. The use of gas and propane barbeques along with self-contained stoves are allowed.

Working 4 you: Preventing heat illnesses in young children

Working 4 you: Preventing heat illnesses in young children

It's expected to be a very hot week in Spokane, and that means children are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses.

There is always something to do outside in the summer, and it can be easy for time to slip by. But experts say it's important to recognize that children and adults tolerate heat very differently.

According to doctors, children are at a higher risk for heat related injuries. They say children have thinner skin and don't manage heat exchange well. Children also tend to lose more fluids through their skin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants and children younger than four are among those at the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses.

So, doctors have some suggestions for children who are heading out to play.

First, they urge parents to plan ahead. Make sure children are hydrating before they head outside to play. And once they are outside, make sure children are drinking every 20 to 30 minutes. Children should be taking frequent breaks to hydrate.

Doctors also add that it's important to watch what your children are drinking. Make sure they're not drinking any caffeinated sodas.

Local agencies partner up for drowning prevention

Local agencies partner up for drowning prevention

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with the Spokane Regional Health District and the Inland Northwest Drowning Prevention Coalition to stress the importance of life jackets and swimming safety measures.

With the holiday weekend approaching, the agencies are partnering to remind residents that preventing drownings is as simple as putting on a life jacket.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists failure to wear a life jacket as among the top reasons people drown, along with lack of swimming lessons, alcohol consumption and lack of supervision.

Half of drowning victims in Washington state did not intend to be immersed in water. Instead, they were fishing near a river or riding in a boat but slipped and fell in cold or swift water.

The partners are working together to boost safety, even offering 25 percent off coupons for a life jacket from Big 5 Sporting Goods which you can find here.

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Another warning in the face of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend – the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has placed a burn ban on all DNR-protected land east of the Cascades.

Starting July 1 and running until September 30, the burn ban applies to all forestland under DNR fire protection.

“The seasonally dry weather creates a greater risk for wildfires,” said Commission of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “A burn ban helps to prevent them and protects forests, habitat and property.”

So far this year DNR has already had 172 wildfire starts, which have burned approximately 779 acres across the state.

The ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR forestland with two exceptions:

Recreational fires in approved fire pits

Gas or propane stoves and barbecue grills

Fireworks and incendiary devices like exploding targets, sky lanterns or tracer ammunition are also illegal.

Washington State survey shows job vacancies, hiring on the rise

Washington State survey shows job vacancies, hiring on the rise

A state-sponsored survey of Washington employers shows both hiring and job vacancies increased between fall of 2012 and fall of 2013 and employers say it's taking a lot longer to fill the openings.

The Employment Security Department’s “2013 Fall Job-Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report” estimated job vacancies increased by 23 percent to 86,600 in fall 2013. Estimated hiring rose nearly 10 percent to 209,100.

Employers also reported that vacant positions remained open for more than two months before being filled. That's a striking contrast to the rate of just 19 days in 2012.

The report also shows more than half of the state's job vacancies were in urban areas of Western Washington, accounting for nearly 82 percent of all new hires from July to September last year.

The industry sector with the most job openings was agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and the average estimated hourly wage for $13.69.