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Mom asks community to remember daughter with acts of kindness

Mom asks community to remember daughter with acts of kindness

On July 10th, 2012, Jovie Sloan Preston died of SIDS at just 16 weeks old. This Sunday would have been her second birthday, and to celebrate her mom is hoping the community will spend March 16th spreading random acts of kindness in honor of her little girl.


Last year, Molly Preston celebrated Jovi’s birthday by thanking the first responders and doctors who helped her the day that she found her daughter dead in her crib after laying her down for a nap. Preston brought them cookies, but this year she wants to honor her daughter’s short life on a grander scale.

Mom hailed as hero for saving kids from burning home

Mom hailed as hero for saving kids from burning home

A Spokane Valley family is counting their blessings after a fire nearly destroyed their home Tuesday night. That fire could have had a tragic ending if it hadn't been for the heroism of a mom who went back into her burning home to rescue her children.

Rachelle Flatt is being called a hero for her bravery to go back inside and save her three children, but she says she was just being a mom. But she's not just a mom; she's also the wife of a firefighter.

Flatt had just put her three kids to bed and was winding down when she saw her porch had an orange glow. After realizing that it was on fire, she picked up the phone and called 9-1-1. Flatt said she grabbed a fire extinguisher but realized at that point it was too large and she needed to get her kids out of the house.

"I don't know why but I grabbed them each, one by one, and so going back for my last one was really difficult. We barely got out," she said.

Flatt says she couldn't see anything, so she felt her way around. When she got to the door, it had closed, causing her to stay extra time in the smoke filled space.

Unfortunately her 9-year-old Rottweiler didn't make it out.

The Gift of Life

The Gift of Life

Their name is synonymous with both grief and strength. The Swank family in North Idaho has had their faith tested in ways most of us could never imagine. In 2009, they lost their 17-year old son Drew following a football injury.

Now, their faith is being tested again as Drew's older sister fights for her life.

The Swank house in North Idaho is one of those idyllic places. On a recent February day, covered in snow, bathed in sunlight and filled with love. For 43-year old Tara Swank, it has been a refuge in a storm of unthinkable grief.

"Watching my youngest brother and sisters go through the death of their brother has probably hurt me as much as just my own hurt of watching my brother die," said Tara.

Reminders of Drew are everywhere in their home - in smiling pictures, in grieving hearts.

"It's horrendous, really," said Drew's mom, Patti. "There's no word for the heartbreak. I'm still not over Drew."

Drew was just 17 when a football injury ended his life. The oldest of eight and a critical care nurse by trade, Tara helped hold her family together.

The art of extreme couponing

The art of extreme couponing

The cost of groceries and household items keeps going up, with the average family of four spending up to $240 a week on food. But you can save as much as 75 percent on your grocery bills through extreme couponing.

When you think of extreme couponers you might imagine someone with an excessive, random stockpile of goods like 100 jars of pickles and 400 rolls of toilet paper.

But you can save big and not buy in bulk. Local couponer Shaunda Holbrook calls herself a small time extreme couponer, but her tips and tricks can help you save big. Saving money is her mission, and she has a stockpile room with toilet paper, toothpaste and soaps. It's like a mini store full of items she didn't pay full price for.

"I would say my grocery bill is probably cut down about 75 percent now," she said.

Annually she saves between $10,000 and $15,000 on groceries.

She wasn't always this savvy at saving.

"All the sudden the walls come crashing in when you realize everything that you had built is going away," she said.

Two years ago tragedy struck, twice.

The search for Washington’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer

The search for Washington’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer

Every day, Washington senior volunteers generously give their time and service to help others. Now here’s your chance to give back by nominating a deserving older adult in your community for his or her outstanding service through the Salute to Senior Service® program.

Sponsored by Home Instead, Inc., Salute to Senior Service recognizes the invaluable contributions of adults age 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes.

“Seniors have so much to give and make a positive impact on our communities daily,” said Lois Etienne, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Spokane. “Senior volunteerism not only benefits others, but also helps seniors stay active and socially engaged in their communities – important elements of healthy aging.”

Police searching for missing teen

Police searching for missing teen

UPDATE: Couer d'Alene Police have located Maya Fooe

 

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department is looking for an endangered missing girl that could be a runaway. Maya Fooe, 14, was last seen at her home in the 6100 block of N. Courcelles Parkway around 5 am Monday morning.

Spokane Valley leader passes away

Spokane Valley leader passes away

From the City of Spokane Valley:

 

It was with deep sadness that the City of Spokane Valley learned that former Councilmember Gary Schimmels passed away unexpectedly in his sleep last night.  Until he left office at the end of 2013, Schimmels had been the last remaining Councilmember to have served since the city's incorporation, and had served as the City's Deputy Mayor over his last four years in office.