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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.

Working 4 you: How to crave healthy foods

Working 4 you: How to crave healthy foods

Could it be possible to rewire your brain so that it wants, even craves healthy food? New research suggests it could be possible.

So how do you do it?

Researchers suggest all you have to do is eat healthy. They say by following a healthy diet, a person can actually change how their brain reacts to high- and low-calorie foods. It could be the difference between deciding to snack on carrots or cookies.

Researchers divided the participants of this study into two groups.

The experimental group was offered healthier meals for six months and asked to reduce their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day. The meals in the second group, the control group, were not adjusted.

The experimental group ended up losing about 14 pounds, on average during that period.

Then, at the end of that six months, both the experimental and control groups were shown photos of healthy and unhealthy foods.

Spokane Symphony Musicians approve new contract

Spokane Symphony Musicians approve new contract

The Spokane Symphony Society announced Tuesday that the musicians of the Orchestra and the Board of Trustees have unanimously approved and ratified a new two-year labor agreement.

“This new agreement recognizes the dedication and talent of our musicians, and it demonstrates our commitment to them. We understand that their artistry is an important asset that enriches the vitality of our region, enhancing our city's reputation as an attractive place to live and work,” said Executive Director Brenda Nienhouse. “This spirit of partnership and joint problem-solving as we move forward together has the Symphony poised for great things as we launch our 2014-15 Super-Sonic Season and plan for the future.”

September is National Disaster Preparedness month

September is National Disaster Preparedness month

Disaster can strike at any time, and the American Red Cross encourages everyone to take the first step during National Preparedness Month and create a disaster plan for their household that can keep people safe in an emergency.

“Having an emergency plan is an important step so everyone in the household knows what they should do if something happens,” said Martha Reed, Regional Disaster Program Officer. “We believe people should mark National Preparedness Month by creating or updating their plan.”

As we recently saw throughout central and eastern Washington, flash floods and severe weather can strike quickly, leaving residents with only moments to evacuate in some cases. Every second counts during a disaster so the best time to prepare is before one hits.

The Spokane Regional Health District is also participating in National Preparedness Month with a different, but important message every week. They'll be providing resources online and on social media to assist families with the following themes:

Bicyclist killed in Spokane Valley hit and run

Bicyclist killed in Spokane Valley hit and run

Spokane Valley Police are investigating an early morning fatal hit-and-run.

The incident happened on the overpass at Park and Cataldo above I-90 around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police say a vehicle hit a man in his 40's on a bicycle then drove away.

Police are looking for the suspect vehicle, though they have little information to go off of.

Anyone who may have seen something is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Working 4 you: Americans working more than 40-hour weeks

Working 4 you: Americans working more than 40-hour weeks

For many Tuesday means back to work after the Labor Day weekend. But for many full-time employees, they may still be clocking in close to 40 hours this week.

A new study suggests most full-time employees are logging more than 40 hours per week. Gallup's annual Work in Education Survey shows that many people could be working a full workday longer each week.

Some experts believe the reason for this is some people might be more resourceful, while for others, it may be part of their pay structure.

Employees paid by the hour are sometimes restricted in the amount of time they can spend on the job because of limits on overtime. That's typically not an issue for salaried employees, so they are more likely to log more hours at the office.

Gallup's survey found about half of the adults it surveyed say they work 47 hours a week, on average. Nearly one in ten say they work even more, at least 50 hours a week. And 18 percent they work 60 hours a week or more.

So, if you're a full-time employee but actually work less than 40 hours a week, you're in the eight percent minority.

Splashdown happy with the summer heat

Splashdown happy with the summer heat

Temperatures may be below average now, but the last two months have brought record breaking heat to Spokane. While you may have been ready for a cool down several weeks ago some businesses were grateful for the heatwave.

"Hot summers are imperative," Melissa Kellogg, owner of Splashdown Water Park, said.

It's pretty simple, the hotter the day, the more people there are looking for ways to cool down.

"It feels better in the cold water when it's hot out," Grace Kellogg said.

With the hottest July and August on record for Spokane, Splashdown has been packed all summer, though, even on the hottest days, the park still has some competition.

"We went to Silverwood, we were at the lake fishing or at the pool, any way to stay cool," Amanda Short said.

Despite the competition Splashdown still had above average attendance this summer.

"When it's cool, people still come but it's just so much more vibrant and fun when there are a lot of people around," Melissa Kellogg said.