New airport kiosk
Visitors who arrive at the Tri-Cities Airport will get a great first impression of the community thanks to a new interactive kiosk made possible by the combined efforts of Visit Tri-Cities, Washington River Protection Solutions and the Port of Pasco.
The kiosk, which is located prominently near the baggage claim area, will give visitors traveling through the airport a way to easily access more than 775 hotels, restaurants, attractions and businesses using touch screen monitors.
Washington River Protection Solutions sponsored $40,000 for design and development of the kiosk. It is part of the new meet-and-greet area at the airport, which is undergoing a $41.9 million terminal expansion project, according to Visit Tri-Cities officials.
Making people feel welcome right after they get off the plane is bound to help market the Tri-Cities as a great place to visit, and the kiosk is a central part of that promotion. This is a wonderful addition to the airport, and those who made it possible did a great thing for the community.
Summer Pell Grants
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has helped make a big difference in the lives of college students in our state and around the country by working to expand Pell Grant allocations.
The bill was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday and now goes to the full Senate. If approved, it would make Pell Grants accessible year-round beginning in the 2017-18 school year.
Currently, low-income students who receive Pell Grants generally reach the maximum annual grant amount within two semesters. This prevents them from being able to afford summer courses they may need to graduate, or to put them on a track to better fit in required classes.
The Summer Pell, as it is called, should help 1 million students nationwide and an estimated 15,000 in Washington.
College classes don’t always fit easily around work and life schedules, and giving students the flexibility to take summer classes using Pell Grant money offers them a huge relief. We hope the full Senate approves this much-needed assistance.
North Franklin County has been plagued by burglaries for several weeks.
The intruders are brazen, often approaching homes and outbuildings in the daytime.
It sounds like they knock on doors and if someone answers, they ask for directions or say they are looking for work. They may be scouting the location for another attempt if folks are home and return another time. If no one is around, they take off with what they can grab, and sometimes the stolen items are not that easy to wrangle. These people are willing to do some heavy lifting if they see something they like.
Items that have been stolen run the gamut from a freezer full of food to tools to antique scale weights to John Deere tricycles. It appears these are opportunists, looking to grab anything of value or easy resale opportunities.
One robber last week forced his way into an occupied home near Mesa and stole a purse. These people need to be stopped before anything worse occurs. Rural folks tend to have guns at the ready, so we hope this situation doesn’t escalate.
While it’s unclear if there are multiple groups or a unified crew of criminals at work, it’s a problem.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is aware and is warning residents. They are trying to add patrols but they have a lot of ground to cover.
Rural residents tend to be a bit more trusting and may not have their possessions as secure as those in town would. It’s also farming season and people and equipment are in motion out in the blocks. The robbers are taking advantage of the bustle of the season and the nature of the area.
Look out for you neighbors and their property. Tell the sheriff’s office if you see something suspicious.