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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.

Washington sees largest growth in population since 2008

Washington sees largest growth in population since 2008

Is your neighborhood beginning to feel a little crowded? According to the Washington office of Financial Management, the state population has increased dramatically in the past year by an estimated 1.5 percent. That's 85,500 people!

Washington's population has been growing at an increasing rate, mostly due to migration. In 2013 the state saw a net gain of 49,200 people moving into the state, more than double the 21,600 from 2012.

Net migration accounts for 57 percent of the state's population growth this year, with natural increase (births minus deaths) responsible for the other 43 percent.

Seventy-five percent of the state's total population growth occurred in the five largest metropolitan counties: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane who's economic activity continues to attract migrants.  

Wildfire fighters train for the season

Wildfire fighters train for the season

Wildfire season is underway but what does it take to brave the front lines and fight those fires?

Stepping up to fight wildfires is a bold move.

"You pretty much dedicated your summer if you decide to do this," said Veronica Naccarato, wildfire fighter.

Not to mention the danger. Veronica Naccarato has been fighting fires for five seasons.

Friday she helped train more than 30 new firefighters.

"I started what's called a practice fire, just kind of gets them prepared for going out in a real life fire," said Naccarato.

The live burn exercise is the last part to a week long intensive training program.

Veteran firefighters say it is the most important test of the week.

"Live fire exercises at these guard schools are extremely important because once they leave here training is over and as soon as tomorrow they could be on an actual wildfire," said Josh Tellessen, wildfire fighter.

The trainees are from agencies throughout the area. Their ages range from 18 to 60, some are college students and others are just passionate about the environment, but now they all have the same goal.

Enrollment office for TSA PreCheck opens in Spokane Valley

Enrollment office for TSA PreCheck opens in Spokane Valley

Airport security just got a little easier for people living in Spokane. An enrollment center for the Transportation Safety Commission's program, PreCheck has opened up in the Spokane Valley.

"We travel a lot and we travel to a lot of major airports,? Leslie Johnston said. ?It makes a big difference when you're in a major airport."

Johnston was at the center at 12510 E. Sprague Avenue Thursday applying for PreCheck.

"I waited about three hours," Johnston said. "And that's this time. We came a little before lunch and got turned away."

The process only takes about ten minutes, but could take longer if applicants don't make an appointment. Interested people should go online and fill out the application at universalenroll.dhs.gov. From there, Spokane applicants can go to Absolute Drug Testing at the east Sprague location where they'll verify their citizenship or immigration status and be fingerprinted. There's an $85 non-refundable fee, which has turned off some travelers from taking advantage of PreCheck.