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Coeur d'Alene fundraiser for children injured in explosion

Coeur d'Alene fundraiser for children injured in explosion

If you're headed to the Fourth of July Celebration in downtown Coeur d'Alene, keep your eyes peeled for a cool fundraiser. Families and staff of the Sorenson Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities are pulling together to raise money to help the families of two children burned last week in a backyard accident.

“We are a family. We stick together,” said parent and staff person Lisa Thompson. “This is a horrible situation and we wanted to do what we can to help the family, our family.”

Both today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), the group will be outside of the new Java at 9th and Sherman selling Otter Pops before and during the parades. One-hundred percent of the money raised will go directly to the fund that has been set up to help pay for travel and lodging expenses for the families.

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.

Spokane Fire Department extends ARU pilot program

Spokane Fire Department extends ARU pilot program

The Spokane Fire Department is extending its pilot program for Alternative Response Units, which use SUVs staffed by one firefighter to respond to non-emergency calls.

On Tuesday, firefighter Mike Dawson was manning one of the fire department's ARU, driving around Spokane responding to calls in an SUV.

"This alternative response unit program has more pluses than minuses, I'm convinced," he said.

The City of Spokane is seeing the pluses as well. During a six-month trial period the fire department's three ARUs responded to nearly 1,200 calls. Dawson was part of the initial test run of the units and averaged eight calls per shift.

"The vast majority of calls I went to I could do myself, while I was out doing them the trucks were available for more urgent calls," Dawson said.

To emphasize that point, during a 15-minute period Tuesday, Dawson responded to a seizure downtown and a welfare check near the intersection of Division Street and North River Drive.

"During the trial period, I was surprised by the number of those that we helped said thank you for not sending the big truck," he said.

Food trucks get passing grades from county inspectors

Food trucks get passing grades from county inspectors

A new report by the Institute for Justice shows food trucks in Seattle are just as safe to eat at compared to a restaurant, and as it turns out the food trucks in Spokane are pretty clean as well.

Friday morning inside the Jamaican Jerk Pan food truck, owner Roian Doctor is preparing to open for the day.

"I keep it right back to my grandfather, you know like keep it real keep it authentic, never forget the culture," he said.

Doctor knows he has to run a tight ship to pass inspections by Spokane County.

"You have your sanitizing water, you have your hand wash, you have all of that good stuff and you keep your food at the right temperature and you won't be having a problem," Docttor said.

On Friday food inspector Lisa Breen checked over his trailer. Across the county she says foot trucks are doing a good job staying clean and sanitary. Of the 32 current food trucks in Spokane 13 have no violations while the rest had minor issues for things like hand washing and not property using wash rags.

Department of Health tracked E. coli outbreak through patient survey, lab tests

Department of Health tracked E. coli outbreak through patient survey, lab tests

The Food and Drug Administration is taking over the investigation of a multi-state E. coli outbreak believed to be linked to clover sprouts from north Idaho producer, Evergreen Produce.

The Washington Department of Health said Wednesday, that there has been ten illnesses since May 1, ranging from King to Kootenai Counties. All ten were females between the ages of 20 to 40 years old.

"When it's detected in a laboratory and the health care provider sees it, they have to report it to us," Spokane Regional Health District Epidemiologist Dorothy MaCeachern said.

That's when the investigation begins. Each patient fills out The Department of Health's six-page survey for E. coli. The questions ask what the individual has been doing during the incubation period,which is typically the past 10 days.

"We have a lot of very specific questions about what they've been eating.," MaCeachern said.

Everything from meat to milk, produce to water is questioned. The answer that reoccurred on all ten surveys: clover sprouts. It was at that point the Food Safety Program stepped in.

INHS offering free skin cancer screenings

INHS offering free skin cancer screenings

Is that mole something to be concerned about? Still worried about the damage done by that blistering sunburn last year? Inland Northwest Health Services wants you to get screened for skin cancer, and they’re making it easy by offering free screenings.

Spokane Regional Health District named healthy workplace

Spokane Regional Health District named healthy workplace

The Spokane Regional Health District has beaten companies from 33 countries to be named one of the three healthiest workplaces in the world.

The health district recently won the international award in Shanghai, China.

From encouraging physical activity to providing healthy food options and helping out new moms, they're setting a high standard when it comes to health at work.

There is a new addition at the health district, someone who can't type or talk yet, but is good at smiling and spending time with mom. Calliope might be three and a half months old, but she's already getting used to the workplace.

"It just takes out another element of stress that I think new moms just don't need," new mom Amy Jennings said.

Jennings is an employee at the Spokane Regional Health District, where they allow moms to bring their babies to work until they're six months old. Jennings' office now doubles as a nursery for this graphic designer and mother of two.

"I was grateful for the policy," Jenning said.

It's one of many polices, that led to the health district's recent award, naming them one of the healthiest workplaces.