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Riverfront Park 4th of July Celebration

Riverfront Park 4th of July Celebration

Fourth of July festivities in Spokane's Riverfront Park kick off in less than 24 hours, with all-day fun for kids and kids at heart. And to make sure you don't miss a thing, we've compiled a list of all the day's activities in one easy-to-find place.

 

Clocktower Stage

  • Noon – Square Dancers
  • 2:00 pm – Spokane Aerial
  • 4:00 pm – Blue Door Improv

 

Lilac Bowl Stage

  • 2:00 pm – Steven King
  • 7:30 pm – Opening Ceremony
  • 8:00 pm – Spokane Jazz Orchestra
  • 10:00 pm – Spokane Tribe of Indians Fireworks Display

 

Children's Meadow

Riverside State Park wants to make you Happy

Does visiting Riverside State Park make you Happy? That's the theme of a new music video they debuted this week.

Featuring a funky park ranger who isn't afraid to bust a move and hundreds of volunteers dancing to the hit song Happy by Pharell Williams, the video has already been viewed 12-hundred times since it was posted last Friday.

Anyone with a keen eye will also be able to pick out some of their favorite locations in the park, and maybe even a guest appearance by none other than Smokey Bear.

Riverside State Park is a 14,000-acre camping park along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. The park supports a wide variety of recreational activities and is rich in history.

Freshwater marshes, running rivers and beautiful countryside make up the terrain. The park also includes the Nine Mile Recreation Area which is available for camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing and boating.

Spokane Valley pools open on Fourth of July

Spokane Valley pools open on Fourth of July

With temperatures climbing into the 80's and 90's this week, Spokane Valley Pools want to spread the word that they'll be open all afternoon to beat the heat on the 4th of July.

All three family-friendly City pools will be open for open swim from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm and again from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Open swim rates are just $1 a person, and children under the age of 5 are free. On Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend, children 12 and under can swim for free with a paying adult.

If you expect to make frequent use of the pools throughout the summer, you can also purchase an Open Swim Pass, discounted to $20 for 25 visits and available at all three locations.

 

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.

Spokane Humane Society cuts adoption fees for Freedom by the 4th

Spokane Humane Society cuts adoption fees for Freedom by the 4th

The Spokane Humane Society is cutting adoption fees as part of their Freedom by the 4th program. The goal is to adopt 50 of the shelter's cats and kittens into loving permanent homes by the end of Thursday.

“With the recent large number of unwanted animals being surrendered to the Spokane Humane society, we need the community's help to provide homes for these amazing Spokalicious animals,” said the Spokane Humane Society's Executive Director Dave Richardson. “The shelter is full.”

In order to help things along, the humane society is reducing kitten adoption fees by half, and waiving adoption fees entirely for all adult cats.

“We need individuals and families in the market for a new furry-faced family member to opt to adopt,” said Richardson.

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.