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Check your child's vaccinations before heading back to school

Check your child's vaccinations before heading back to school

Getting ready for back to school means getting school supplies and backpacks, but it's also the perfect time to make sure children are up-to-date on their shots. Getting all of the recommended shots is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their kids' health.

A new survey from the Washington State Department of Health shows vaccination rates are on the rise (71 percent in 2013 versus 65 percent the year before) but are still below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent, leaving many kids unprotected.

Below is a summary of shots children need:

Spokane salon sending kids back to school in style

Spokane salon sending kids back to school in style

A Spokane salon is helping send kids from McDonald Elementary back to school in style with free haircuts this Friday, August 29.

“It's important to me and the team at dept. Z to give back to our community,” said owner Zoe Boysen. “Everyone should feel fresh and confident after a haircut, and we want to help students from McDonald Elementary feel that way when they return to the classroom next week. The last thing a child needs on the first day of school is a bad hair day.”

The 24 appointment slots filled quickly, but Boysen says she and her stylists will take as many kids as time allows.

“We may not be able to supply all these kids with food and clothing but we can definitely give them a really great haircut,” said senior dept. Z stylist Mateo Balmes. “When you look good you feel good and that's so important for your first day at school. I thought by providing students with a free cut and style, we could get them off to a great start for the new school year.”

WSU student planners feature rival school on cover

WSU student planners feature rival school on cover

Students at Washington State University did a double-take when they received their free student planners from The Bookie this week. The cover features a picture of a cougar, the iconic Bryan clock tower and a building that was a little harder to identify.

Down at the very bottom of the cover, with beautiful brick and elegant cherry trees is Savery Hall, a building located at the heart of the campus of WSU's sworn rival – the University of Washington.

Distraught manager Leslie Martin at WSU's bookstore The Bookie says they are aware of the problem and are working with the vendor to come to a solution. The planners are no longer being handed out, but the ones that have been released are not being collected.

There is no word on whether the school will receive a refund or whether a reprint with a corrected cover is in the works. Meanwhile, a photo of the planner is quickly making the rounds online drawing amusement and criticism.

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

In an effort to help students and their families impacted by the Cartlton Complex fires, Eastern Washington University will send a team of financial aid counselors and outreach staff to Okanogan County to assist those who are planning to attend Eastern this fall.

The financial aid and outreach team will be in Okanogan County the week of August 11 to meet with students and their families. As the date approaches, details on the exact location and times will be announced and posted on the university website and Facebook page.

Eastern has also authorized $250,000 of aid for an EWU Student Hardship Fund to help with tuition and housing for current and incoming students.

EWU Vice President for Student Affairs Stacey Morgan Foster said financial aid counselors will have the authority to award hardship grants during their visit. The grants are also available to EWU students outside of the Carlton Complex fire area.

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

Washington State University researchers have created a product that could help farmers keep their fields moist during a drought.

Led by Associate Professor Jinwen Zhang, the group created hydrogel pellets similar to the super absorbent material used in diapers. The main difference is what they're made of. While diapers rely on petrolium based gel, WSU researchers have created one out of soy protein.

The pellets swell to hold 250 times their weight in water, and because they are made of biodegradable agricultural material instead of chemicals they leave no residue behind when they disintegrate in the ground. In fact, the soy protein can actually act as a source of nitrogen to help plants grow.

A soy-based product would also lessen dependence on foreign oil imports, and boos the local economy since the U.S. Produces half of the world supply of soy beans.

New round of Washington charter proposals begins

Organizations that want to open a charter school in Washington state have until the end of the day on Friday to turn in a form that says they plan to apply to the statewide charter commission.

As of Thursday afternoon, five letters of intent had been posted on the state's charter school website, including some from organizations that had applied during the last round but weren't approved.

The next deadline in the process will be July 15, when formal applications to open a charter school are due. After public forums, interviews and other evaluations, The Charter School Commission plans to vote in October on which schools will be given tentative approval to open.

Class of 2014 looks ahead to bright future

 Class of 2014 looks ahead to bright future

Proud friends and family looked on as their Shadle Park graduates received their high school diploma Saturday morning.

Four years of countless tests, Friday night football games and school dances. All now closed chapters in their own history books.

"We thought it was going to do slow like when you come in as a freshman you're like oh my gosh I'm going to be in this high school forever, but it goes so quick," said Olivia Meyers, Shadle Park graduate.

Most of these graduates started kindergarten in 2001. The year when ENRON crashed, Friends was the most watched television show, the Arizona Diamondbacks were World Series Champions, and of course the unforgettable tragedies of 9/11.

The class of 2014 has grown up through some of the worst times the world has seen, but also some of the best.

It's almost parallel to these young adults lives, showing what they are capable of. Their future is in their hands .

For many of these students that future is college.

"I hope it's just as much fun as high school if not way more, and really just get a whole new experience," said Brittany Gately, Shadle Park graduate.