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Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

In response to the recent wildfires in Washington and Oregon, Lowe's has activated its customer donation program in all Washington and Oregon stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Donations enable to Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small, like the wildfires in several states.

In Washington, the Red Cross has served nearly 33,000 meals and snacks to affected residents and distributed more than 3,500 cleanup supplies. In Oregon, the Red Cross served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and opened four shelters in response to the wildfires.

As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe's pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help the Red Cross deliver immediate aid to communities in need.

Since partnering with Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

Working 4 you: Is your news feed biased?

Working 4 you: Is your news feed biased?

As the crisis in Gaza and Israel plays out, the world is paying attention online. That's where most of us get our information, and it could be influencing how we view the conflict.

Many of us see the world through an internet filter and that can be dangerous when it comes to forming opinions about major issues such as the conflict in the Middle East.

If you use Facebook, for example, your news is processed through a filter of things you are most likely to "like." It may keep you engaged with the story, but you will only be fed information that agrees with your point of view or that of your friends.

And Facebook isn't the only company that uses these algorithms to filter you news feed.

Eli Pariser, author of "The Filter Bubble," has warned about the dangers of internet customization. He points out that a Google search of a country or conflict will yield completely different results for different users, dependent upon what they have viewed in the past.

Yahoo News also personalizes stories to fit what the company believes is the user's perspective.

Exchange students meet host families at Spokane International

Exchange students meet host families at Spokane International

In the midst of the crowded airport friends and family greeted each other with smiles and hugs, many for the first time.

Simen Smaariset is a 17-year-old from Norway.

"I want to discover a new culture, try a new way of living," said Smaariset.

He is one of the many foreign students traveling to Spokane to live for an entire school year.

Lori Larsen has welcomed foreign students into her home since 2012.

"Really what they are looking for is that experience of an American family. Now that we've hosted a few times we do a pretty good job of that, our student gets a chore," said Larsen.

She said the experience has been life changing for her family of seven.

"Mostly because we live out in Chewelah and it's rural and it's not a great recipe for diversity and exposure for our own children," said Larsen.

Larsen's two oldest children were able to go to Germany for an entire month this summer to stay with a former student, who they call their German brother. Something she never knew she would be able to do for her kids.

Defensible space a good plan to protect your property

Firefighters quickly put out a fire near Cheney Wednesday night, but not before it chewed through five acres and coming close to homes.

When Mary Ann Klute saw smoke on the horizon it felt like deja vu. Her house almost fell victim to the fire storm of 1991, which left one person dead and over 100 homes burned to the ground.

?The fire burned all of our 15 acres and up to the edge of our house and killed one of our dogs, so he's been spending the last 25 years clearing the property, cutting down the old trees, thinning the new trees trying to make this defensible,? Klute said.

The US Fire Administration says that's a very good idea. They say the best ways to keep your home safe are to create a 30 to 100 foot defensible barrier around your property, clear all flammable vegetation, remove all dead branches that extend over the roof and create and practice a home evacuation plan.

After the brush fire Wednesday, Klute was glad her husband hasn't left their safety to chance.

?Every time he smells smoke he get really stressed and we kind of tease him about it but now, he was right,? she said.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

The Spokane Regional Health District announced Thursday that starting tomorrow, August 1, they will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week here in Spokane. The event draws attention to the positive health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.

On Saturday, breastfeeding supporters like peer counselors and other staff from the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program will participate in the World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration hosted by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Spokane. Participants should meet at 10:00 am at Riverfront Park's Red Wagon.

Shortly after at 10:25 am, all breastfeeding mothers are welcome to join in the Big Latch On – a simultaneous international breastfeeding event to focus attention on communities' efforts to provide ongoing breastfeeding support.

Residents prepared for fire sparked near Cheney

A fire burned five acres near U.S. Highway 95 late Wednesday afternoon. Several houses were threatened but homeowners were ready if it came any closer.

When Mary Ann Klute saw smoke on the horizon Wednesday, it felt like deja vu. Their house almost fell victim to the Fire Storm of 1991, which left one dead and over 100 homes burned to the ground. Klute's husband has been wary of wildfires since then.

"The fire burned all of our 15 acres and up to the edge of our house and killed one of our dogs so he's been spending the last 25 years clearing the property, cutting down old trees, thinning new trees, trying to make this space defensible," says Klute.

The U.S. Fire Administration says that's a very good idea. They say the best way to keep your home safe are to create a 30 to 100-foot defensible barrier around your property, clear all flammable vegetation, remove all dead branches that extend over the roof and create a practice a home evacuation plan.

After today's ordeal, Klute is glad her husband hasn't left their safety to chance.