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State's minimum wage is on the rise

The beginning of the new year will bring one definite change, Washington's minimum wage is set to increase by 19 cents on Saturday, Jan. 1. The increase will bring the state's minimum wage up from $7.16 an hour to $7.35 an hour.

The Department of Labor and Industries recalculates the state's minimum age every year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The annual inflation adjustment is required through a voter passed initiative, which was approved in 1998.

Washington is one of three states nationwide, along with Oregon and Florida, that have voter mandates to automatically adjust their minimum wage each year. There are currently only 14 states in the country that have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $5.15 an hour.

The state's minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. However, 14 and 15-year-olds can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage.

Computer training classes open to Latino farmers

GRANGER - New and emerging Latino farmers in Eastern Washington have a new tool available to them. The Center for Latino Farmers, a program of Rural Community Development Resources, in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency, is hosting "Risk Management Education Trainings."

The trainings will teach basic computer skills and will be conducted in Spanish. The classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from Jan. 11-27, at KDNA Radio in Granger. Classes will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Early registration is advised due to limited space. To register for the classes or for more information call (509) 453-3157.

Parent involvement focus group scheduled

Those interested in helping outline how parents and schools can work together are invited to attend an upcoming Sunnyside School District focus group. The group will serve as an arena for people to share their ideas on how the two can partner together.

The focus group is set to take place Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC), 800 E. Custer Ave. in Sunnyside.

For more information about the focus group contact ReBecca Bly with GEAR UP at (509) 865-1822, PIRC Resource Center Library Coordinator Luz Rodriguez at 836-8435 or PIRC Parent Education Facilitator at 836-8418.

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