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USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

The United States Department of Agriculture wants to help farmers impacted by this year's brutal wildfire season in central and eastern Washington.

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Services is now accepting applications from agriculture producers in Kittitas, Grant, Chelan, Okanogan and Douglas counties impacted by wildfires in 2014. Financial assistance is offered through the Wildfire Initiative of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help resource concerns on private and tribal land.

NRCS will be offering two financial assistance options:

Option 1 – General EQIP

The key conservation practice available for assistance under this option is deferred grazing. This practice allows grasses time to recover while livestock producers seek alternate feed sources. And for the first time, NRCS is also offering broadcast seeding as part of this initiative.

Option 2 – Wildfire Special Initiative

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Vote Spokane number one for Best American Riverfront

Vote Spokane number one for Best American Riverfront

Each week USA Today teams up with 10Best to bring you a new travel poll on the top destinations in America. This week the theme is Best American Riverfront, and Spokane has made the list!

According to the poll a great waterfront can “define a city” when they make the most of it. They chose their candidates based on urban planning and green space, public access, beauty, popularity and ability to handle special events.

They finally narrowed the field down to just 20 contenders, including Spokane. The poll says Spokane is home to the second largest urban waterfalls in the country, and highlights its footbridges, platforms and the SkyRide for providing breathtaking views.

Spokane is currently the number two city according to votes, only behind Dubuque, Iowa. You have until Monday, October 20th at noon to vote for your favorite city. You can find a link to the poll here, and no registration is necessary.

Spokane's Bishop Cupich named Chicago Archbishop

Spokane's Bishop Cupich named Chicago Archbishop

In two months, Spokane's Bishop Blase Cupich will pack his bags and head to the Windy City to take on his new title of Archbishop.

"The Holy Father's appointment of me to Chicago humbles, but also encourages me," Cupich said during a press conference on Saturday in Chicago.

Pope Francis named the 65-year-old Nebraska native as the new archbishop on Saturday. On November 18, Cupich will take over for current Chicago archbishop Cardinal Francis George who has held the position for 17 years.

"My priority is to really be attentive to what's already happening, the great things that God is already doing," Cupich said.

It's a big promotion, not only was the appointment by Pope Francis the first big one for American Catholic leadership, Chicago is also the third largest diocese in the country. Cupich will go from serving just under 100,000 Catholics in Eastern Washington, to more than 2.2 million in Chicago. Local leaders said Cupich will be a great fit for the job.

"He interacts well with us and certainly the young men here," Rector Bob McNeese said. "I think he inspires them a great deal."

Bancroft School gets new name, maintains same commitment to students

Bancroft School gets new name, maintains same commitment to students

In an effort to grow their school and change their image, the Bancroft School has a new name - Eagle Peak School - and a new location, but the commitment they have to serving students with behavioral issues in Spokane County hasn't changed.

The school, located in the old Pratt Building, is for kids in grades 4 through 12 who may need more support in the classroom. Administrators call it Spokane Public Schools best kept secret.

As teachers and staff at Eagle Peak will tell you learning isn't black and white. For students with behavioral issues they need more support.

"I went to Rogers and made it through freshman year and then sophomore year was worse," Adam Bailly, an Eagle Peak senior, said.

Bailly is smart, personable and ambitious, but his sophomore year of high school was a different story.

"Kids picking on me, some kids were standing up for me but yet they picked on me too," he said.

"He was struggling getting his credits, he was struggling maintaining in a regular classroom, he was an anxious kid and needed more support," Principal Melinda Keberle said.

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Employers gather for Hiring Heroes job fair

Veterans often have a tough time transitioning back to civilian life when they enter the job market, but the second annual Hiring Heroes job fair, which was held Friday, aimed to change that.

More than 100 employers gathered at the fair Friday to give veterans an opportunity at a new career now they've separated from the service.

?It's a good environment I think just being able to talk to so many different companies and offer what I have,? Air Force veteran Lucas Lopes said. Lopes recently got out of the service after six years.

?I don't really know what people go through civilian-wise. I feel like I'm offering the same amount of skill sets, but actually after talking to them I feel like I have a lot of higher skill sets,? Lopes added.

Fair organizers made a point to educate employers ? which ranged from police departments to banks ? beforehand to understand the unique experience service members can bring to their organization

?Soldiers have leadership responsibilities from a very young age and so typically what an HR person might look at as far as stereotypes don't always apply to a military member,? Dara Bender said.

Police, prosecutors working to keep car thieves behind bars

Have you ever had your car broken into or stolen? You're not alone. Spokane is one of the top cities in the country for car theft and now police are working to keep two prolific thieves behind bars.

Jeremiah Harris and Andrew Gardner are such prolific car thieves they were in court two days in a row on car theft charges. Police are working to keep them in jail because once they're out they just need one key to get into your driver's seat.

Police say Spokane has a relatively low number of car thieves but the problem is that they're all repeat offenders and those are just the ones that are getting caught.

?Mr. Gardner's been arrested three times over a period of two weeks. So let's look at how many speeding tickets you got. If you have two speeding tickets in five years can you honestly tell me you've only sped twice in five years,? Spokane Police Captain Dan Torok said.

Police are now working with the Spokane County Prosecutor to get higher bonds for Harris and Gardner to keep the two in jail.

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Few things will ever be as cool or awe-inspiring as dinosaurs, and today is the first day you can meet one up close and personal at Mobius Science Museum. Not just any dinosaur either, but Sue – the largest and most complete fossil of a T-Rex ever discovered.

Sue's trip to Spokane began as a whirlwind affair, with an empty stretch in her schedule the options were to either be shipped back to Chicago for storage or find a museum who would be willing to take her.

“Sue is what we call, in the business, a last minute booking,” said Mobius CEO Phil Lindsey. “Some of our board members had been reaching out to the Field Museum in Chicago about her availability and we reached a point where we thought we were going to be able to get her out here. From the booking to the shipping, everything was about six weeks.”