Mid-Columbia Libraries begins an online survey of residents in three counties today to help improve library services and, possibly, develop new services. The 18-question survey is available for three weeks, in both English and Spanish, on the library district’s social channels and website at midcolumbialibraries.org.
The survey is open to any resident 18 and over living in a city served by MCL, which covers Benton, Franklin and parts of Adams counties. Those living in some select census-designated and unincorporated communities, as well as visitors to any of the 12 branch locations, may also participate. All participants who complete the survey are entered to win an Apple iPad mini and can pick up a free book bag from their local branch, while supplies last.
“We’re asking our communities to help shape the future of their local libraries,” said Sara Schwan, advocacy and development manager at MCL. “Our communities created these libraries. They pay for these libraries. So we need to continue providing not just resources, but the right resources, based on community feedback, in the right venues and with ease of access.”
The survey asks respondents to rate the importance of quality-of-life influencers such as cultural diversity, educational opportunities, career programs, social connections and access to resources. It also explores associated demographic characteristics such as income, ethnicity and age.
“Our goal is inclusiveness,” Schwan said. “We want a truly balanced representation of the diverse voices out there. Please, pause a few moments to voice your needs and take this survey.”
To prepare for the survey, MCL held nine focus groups and town halls, some only in Spanish, with residents and organizations from the Tri-Cities, Prosser, Connell and Othello.
“We listened to a diverse group of people, who identified some real strengths, such as our early literacy programs,” said Schwan. “But we also heard concern about information availability, particularly for those in unserved, underserved or historically marginalized communities. There also seems to be a desire for more multilingual resources beyond Spanish. These are just a few of the concerns that the survey will help us better understand and plan for.”
MCL aims to efficiently use its limited resources to address the most common wants and needs of those it serves, be it leisure, education, community integration, or any other service that one might seek from their hometown library. MCL will study the results and, working with its community partners, use the insights to ensure the library district continues providing the best value to taxpayers and its communities as a whole.
After accessing the survey site, participants will be asked to enter their ZIP code. Users will be allowed to proceed only if they enter a ZIP code from Benton City, Basin City, Burbank, Connell, Eltopia, Finley, Kahlotus, Kennewick, Mesa, Othello, Pasco, Prosser, Paterson, Plymouth or West Richland.
Lourdes Health recently announced that Tracy Gowan has been recognized as the facility’s 2022 Mercy Award winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s facilities who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.
The Mercy Award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life and contributions of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.
“At Lourdes Health, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job,” said Joanie White-Wagoner, CEO of Lourdes Health. “We are extremely proud to recognize Tracy for his efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. He goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person he encounters receives the highest level of care and compassion.”
“Tracy, a Registered Nurse, has dedicated his life both on and off the job, advocating for the most complicated and vulnerable population in our community”, White-Wagoner said. “He utilizes his clinical expertise for educating others and providing quality care in a compassionate manner. Tracy has a gift of making any individual feel like they are the most important person to him, at the moment, no matter if he has the time”.
Tracy is a genuine, compassionate individual with a big heart and a gentle soul. He inspires others by his positive attitude and the love he has for his job and patients. He often works late, covers others shifts as needed, demonstrates professionalism, respect and compassion to all individuals.
He is also committed to serving the people and organizations of his community. Tracy has served as a volunteer at Kennewick Nazarene Church for many years. During his years of service, he has been a leader who helped create a warm and welcoming environment for the kids who attended the church.
“We recently had a new family attend our service”, said Amanda Mohs, Children’s Ministry Director of Kennewick Nazarene Church. “Their son had just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and this was the first time he was going to be out of his parents care since spending a week in the hospital. Tracy went out of his way to comfort the parents and give them the confidence to allow their son to stay with his peers for Tracy’s class. After the service the parents let me know how meaningful Tracy’s attention was and that he helped them feel a little bit more normal after such a dramatic change in their household”.
Each hospital winner, including Tracy, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2022 companywide Mercy Award. The companywide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., in August, to which Tracy and all facility winners are invited to attend.
The weather is heating up and the Kennewick Parks and Recreation Department is excited to announce the four City splash pads will open Memorial Day weekend. These zero depth water features are a great way to cool down on hot days in the park.
Splash pads are open 9am to 7pm daily, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Kennewick Splash Pad Locations: Columbia Park, Grange Park, Southridge Sports and Events Complex, and Underwood Park.
For more information, please contact Brandon Lange at 509-750-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s 4th of July Celebration is better than ever, as musicians from around the area will turn out for a day full of music, fun, and fireworks as they compete for more than $1,500 in cash and prizes along with spots performing at this year’s Central Washington State Fair.
This is the 5th year for AppleJam with last year’s celebration being a “best of” due to the pandemic.
Starting April 25th, musicians can upload a demo video for free at YakimaAppleJam.com to compete in either the solo or the bands contest. The deadline for entry is May 25th.
On May 25th, all the entries will be made available on YakimaAppleJam.com for public voting – with the performers who get the most votes winning a slot in the Yakima AppleJam Battle of the Bands 4 lineup.
“The first part of the selection process will depend on bands motivating their friends, family and fans to get out and vote,” said organizer Paul Crawford, Marketing Manager of Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, sponsor of this year’s 4th of July Festival.
The top vote-getters in the first round will be invited to perform live at Yakima’s 4th of July Celebration at State Fair Park. They’ll try and wow a panel of VIP judges in hopes of winning the top prize: $500 for the best band performance, $500 for the best solo performance and an additional $500 for best overall performance.
The contests are open to all ages and all musical types, and there are no entry fees to compete. “We have a lot of talent here in the Yakima Valley,” said Crawford, “AppleJam celebrates these amazing artists with a fun family-friendly concert in front of a great big crowd.”
The Prosser Memorial Health Foundation, along with the PMH Auxiliary Volunteer group, is excited to announce the winners of the 2022 Foundation Healthcare Scholarships. We had eleven extremely qualified and outstanding students apply this year, making the selection process difficult. Members of the Foundation Board and the Volunteer Auxiliary group review the application and score them in ten different areas. Join us in congratulating our scholarship recipients! Each recipient receives a $2,000.00 education. scholarship to pursue a career in healthcare.
Monse Diaz, a student at Prosser High School, is one of our Health Occupation students. Monse is a member of the National Honor Society, a Student-Athlete in multiple sports, the ASB Treasurer, and active in multiple clubs at school. She is plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall and pursue a degree in nursing or as an EMT.
Our Grandview High School recipient is Jasmin Torres. Jasim is in the National Honor Society, on the President’s List and is graduating from high school with a 3.975. She is also graduating with her AA from Yakima Valley Community College at the same time. Jasmin is planning to attend Washington State University this fall and purse a degree in nursing.
Cecilia Alvarez-Alvarado is our Kiona Benton High School recipient. Cecilia received the Perfect Attendance Award; the Citizen Award, and the Principal’s Honor Roll and she is graduating with a 3.916. Cecilia plans to attend WSU in the Tri-Cities and pursing a degree in Nursing.
The Prosser Memorial Health Foundation Scholarship is open to high school seniors in our primary services areas, Prosser, Grandview, and Kiona-Benton, with one recipient chosen from each district. Applying students must be pursuing a career in healthcare to be considered for the scholarship.
Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, founder, president, and chief technology officer of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, received an honorary doctorate of engineering from Purdue University’s College of Engineering during the commencement ceremony held on Friday, May 13.
The university recognized Schweitzer as a pioneer in digital power protection and for his many other career achievements, including being a recipient of the IEEE Medal in Power Engineering and 2019 induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
“Your legacy is inspiring generations of people…[and] all of us here, to turn every single one of the brilliant minds that enter our school into brilliant, effective, and outstanding engineers,” said Dimitrios Peroulis, Michael and Katherine Brick Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, during a luncheon honoring Schweitzer.
Schweitzer earned both his bachelor (1968) and master (1971) of electrical engineering degrees from Purdue and credits his alma mater with preparing him to take his interest in electric power and start his own company. Today, Schweitzer has been granted more than 250 patents and SEL products are helping protect, monitor and control electric power systems in 168 countries.
“I’m grateful for the recognition, but I’m even more grateful for the work you all do at Purdue to educate and inspire young people to go out and work to make the world a better place—the same way you did for me,” said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer has maintained his connections with the university through research collaborations, support for its educational initiatives and partnerships with the Purdue College of Engineering.
In 2019, Schweitzer and his wife, Beatriz, contributed $3 million to endow an electrical and computer engineering professorship and to support the school’s power and energy systems research area, now named Schweitzer Power and Energy Systems. In October 2020, Dr. and Mrs. Schweitzer made a $4 million commitment to support programs and scholarships at Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center at Englewood, one of three free, STEM-focused charter high schools founded by the university and the City of Indianapolis.
SEL celebrated the grand opening of its new 100,000 sq. ft. facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, known as SEL Purdue, in 2020. The ground floor of the three-story building houses a manufacturing operation while the upper floors provide space for its Engineering Services and Research & Development divisions, which include opportunities for internships for Purdue students and research collaborations with the university’s faculty.
Schweitzer earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University (1977) and holds honorary doctorates from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León (2005), Monterrey, Mexico, and the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi (2012), San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
The Visit Tri-Cities team is excited to welcome Alane Wilkerson as the Public Relations Manager for the destination marketing organization. She is responsible for strengthening and maintaining relationships with local and regional travel media, developing compelling editorial content and social media communications, and serve as the point of contact for media.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Alane to the team,” said Michael Novakovich, President & CEO of Visit Tri-Cities. “She has great energy and a passion for the Tri-Cities—a great addition to the team as we continue to champion tourism and economic recovery in our community through increased visitation with conventions and meetings, sports events and, of course, leisure.”
A Tri-Cities native, Alane graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Communications. Alane’s experience at PNNL coupled with her Tri-Cities knowledge and strong sense of hometown pride make Alane a great ambassador for the community.
When Alane is not championing the Tri-Cities as a premier destination in the Pacific northwest, she can be found enjoying local parks with her dog, soaking up the sunshine on the Columbia River, or setting new high scores on any of the local golf courses.
Connect with Alane Wilkerson at alane@VisitTri-Cities.com. To learn more about Visit Tri-Cities, check out visittri-cities.com.
The 92nd Washington Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Convention will be held May 12 – 14, 2022 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. Approximately 2,000 FFA members and guests from throughout Washington State will gather in the Tri-Cities with their iconic blue corduroy jackets, generating an economic impact of $661,496.
“The Tri-Cities is beyond thrilled to welcome the FFA State Convention for the first time to our community,” said Michael Novakovich, President & CEO of Visit Tri-Cities. “The Visit Tri-Cities team is working hard to build back convention and group business. Our community securing this convention and bringing 2,000 people into the Tri-Cities is such a win. And not only are the hotels and the Three Rivers Convention Center full, but our local restaurants and eateries can expect to be busy as the attendees will be patronizing local businesses for lunch and dinner.”
The State Convention had been held at Washington State University in Pullman since the convention’s inception 92 years ago.
The FFA was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928 with the mission to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. During the State Convention, attendees will have the opportunity to broaden their horizons in three specific areas: leadership, building communities, and strengthening agriculture.
Information regarding the 92nd Washington FFA Convention can be found at WashingtonFFA.org.
For more information about Visit Tri-Cities, check out VisitTri-Cities.com.
Leslie Streeter joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as director of marketing and communication May 9. In that role she will oversee the campus’ advertising, marketing, public relations, social media and website with a focus on growing enrollment.
Streeter comes to WSU Tri-Cities with a background in consumer and non-profit marketing strategy and brand management. In the nonprofit sector, she most recently led a rebranding initiative, digital and content marketing and social media strategy to increase awareness and revenue on behalf of a health care organization. As a research analyst and assistant project manager for an innovation consultancy, Streeter conducted consumer and market research and assisted with strategy sessions for Fortune 100 companies such as Kraft Foods and Kellogg’s.
Streeter is a WSU alumna with bachelor’s degrees in communication and business administration/marketing. She is also a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities, Class XVIII, and currently serves as the organization’s board secretary. Streeter is a Tri-Cities native and lives in Richland.
“I am excited and honored to join the marketing and communication team at WSU Tri-Cities. Cougs always find their way back home, and that is exactly what this feels like to me. Having the opportunity to work with talented people, at a university I love, doing what I love… It just doesn’t get much better than that,” said Streeter.
Prosser Memorial Health Holding Free Summer Safety Event May 18 in Prosser, Grandview, and Benton City
Summer is just around the corner! With warmer temperatures and more sunshine coming our way, it’s time to start thinking about how we can enjoy summer safely. Prosser Memorial Health’s free Summer Safety Event is back this year with complimentary food, activities, giveaways, and safety tips for the whole family.
The summer season calls for more time spent outdoors. An afternoon in the water might be the perfect way to keep cool, but it’s important to remember the risks of water activities. May is water safety month, and the risk of drowning increases anytime you enter a body of water. This is even more true for children. With drowning being one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in children, it is essential to know how we can keep our littles safe in the water. Adults should also make sure to protect themselves. Boating is a fun and popular way to spend a day on the water but being prepared and using proper equipment will ensure that it is also safe. Free life jackets for children will be provided during the Summer Safety event, while supplies last. Prosser Memorial Health has partnered with local Fire Departments to help properly size and fit the life jackets for children during the event.
Please join us Wednesday, May 18th from 4-7pm at each of our Prosser Memorial Health Primary Care Clinics in Prosser, Benton City, and Grandview for the Summer Safety Event. This is a free family-friendly event. For Clinic locations and to learn more, visit our website at prosserhealth.org. For questions about Prosser Memorial Health’s Summer Safety event, call Prosser Memorial Health Communications Officer Shannon Hitchcock at 509.786.6601.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.