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WSU wide receiver Vince Mayle named 2014 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist

WSU wide receiver Vince Mayle named 2014 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist

Washington State senior wide receiver Vince Mayle has been named a 2014 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club announced Monday.

The Biletnikoff Award is presented annually to the nation's outstanding college football receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., (TQC). The award defines receiver as any player who catches a pass regardless of position. Mayle is the first Cougar to be named a finalist since Jason Hill in 2005.

University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

The Spokane City Council on Monday night formally approved the lease of the former Spokane Visitor Information Center to the University of Washington, which will use the space for many purposes, including business outreach, alumni activities and student admissions. The site will also help support the UW's efforts to expand its existing medical school in Spokane.

The city of Spokane sought tenants for the roughly 2,550-square-foot space and the UW submitted its lease proposal on Oct. 2, 2014. The space is expected to become a hub for prospective students and their parents, alumni and other members of the community to learn more about the university. It may also provide opportunities for startup companies and other innovators in the Spokane area to interact with the UW.

Local finalist in PETA's Sexiest Vegan over 50 contest

Local finalist in PETA's Sexiest Vegan over 50 contest

When you hear vegan, what's the first thing that pops into your head? It's probably not “sexy,” but that's what PETA is trying to change with their current competition for Sexiest Vegan over 50. The field has been narrowed down to just 14 men and women from around the US and one of them is from right here in Spokane.

Atania Gilmore is marking her two-year anniversary as a vegan this month. She's a runner and says it was another runner's book that encouraged her to make the change for what she calls selfish reasons.

“As a runner you're always looking for an edge,” she said.

Gilmore says it was “Eat and Run,” a book written by ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek that inspired her. In the book, Jurek explains that his record setting speeds to his vegan diet.

“I'm a turtle when I run,” said Gilmore. “I wanted to be faster so I thought it was worth a try.” So she decided to give it a try for the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving and see if it made a difference.

RSVP now for state-wide teleconference on I-594

RSVP now for state-wide teleconference on I-594

Want to learn more about Initiative 594 on the November ballot this year? This is your chance to listen to, and ask questions of, state experts from the comfort of your own home.

Today, October 14, at 6 pm the Yes on 594 campaign is hosting a tele-town hall with over 100,000 Washingtonians around the state to discuss the importance of closing the background check loophole.

Initiative 594 would require everyone who purchases a gun to undergo a background check, no matter who they buy it from or where they purchase it.

Participants include former Bellingham Police Chief Don Pierce and domestic violence advocate Trese Todd who will discuss the loophole in our state and how Initiative 594 would close it.

The discussion will be moderated by Reverend Sandy Brown, president of the board of directors of the Center for Gun Responsibility and provide an important opportunity for voters to ask questions about background checks.

USDA awards WSU $14 million to study specialty crops

USDA awards WSU $14 million to study specialty crops

Researchers at Washington State University have been awarded more than $14 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants aimed at strengthening markets for specialty crops, including wine grapes, hops, berries and tree fruit.

Two projects will share $5.9 million awarded under the Special Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) which funds research for specialty crop production.

Bioinformaticist Dorrie Main received $2.7 million to support her genome database which provides public access to genetic and breeding data for the rosacaeae family of flowering plants like almond, apple, cherry, peach, pear, raspberry and strawberry.

“Ultimately this research helps create better cultivars by helping breeders decide which parents to cross to get the optimal traits in offspring,” said Main.

Meanwhile Doug Walsh receive $3.2 million to develop strategies for pest and disease free management in hops, which will help meet market demand for damage-free hops grown with fewer chemicals.

Pullman Fire Department goes "Passionately Pink"

Pullman Fire Department goes "Passionately Pink"

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and pink is everywhere you look – including at the Pullman Fire Department.

PFD is going “Passionately Pink for the Cute” in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. All month, PFD employees will be wearing pink shirts while on duty to show their support.

They're also holding a fundraiser, co-sponsored by Pullman Firefighters Local 1892. All funds raised this month will be split equally between the IAFF Charitable Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Please contact a Pullman firefighter if you would like to make a donation or purchase one of their t-shirts. You can visit www. iaffloca1892.org for additional information on how to donate. The PINK t-shirts are 100% cotton, made in the USA and $25 each.

Leavenworth one of the most affordable for leaf peeping this fall

Leavenworth one of the most affordable for leaf peeping this fall

If you're looking for a fall getaway without breaking the bank, vacation specialists at TripAdvisor have named Leavenworth one of the top spots in the country to take in some colorful sights.

According to TripAdvisor, 83 percent of those surveyed plan to take a leisure trip this fall, with 31 percent planning to travel for the joy of viewing fall foliage. To help travelers plan, TripIndex compared the cost of a weekend getaway for two in 15 of the most popular leaf-peeping destinations in the US, including the combined average cost of a two-night stay in a bed and breakfast, a full tank of gas, apple picking and a meal at a restaurant.

Leavenworth came in at an affordable $476.89, but you'd better make your reservations now before the winter flakes start to fall.