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Hastings asks USDA to purchase more asparagus

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) is leading a bipartisan coalition of Washington and Michigan lawmakers in asking the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to make a bonus purchase of asparagus for the nation's federal nutrition programs.

Hastings said American asparagus growers compete at a disadvantage in the domestic market because of increased asparagus imports from Peru. He explained Peruvian growers benefit immensely from the duty-free access to U.S. markets they were granted in 1991 by the Andean Trade Preferences Act.

"A purchase this spring would help our asparagus growers, who are working hard to meet the challenge presented by increased duty-free imports," Hastings said.

State charges two Yakima County nursing assistants

OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Health's Nursing Assistant Program has leveled formal charges against two Yakima County nursing assistants.

The state has charged Viola Jones, an applicant to reactivate her nursing assistant certification, with unprofessional conduct. Jones allegedly pled guilty to obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Also charged from Yakima County is Gabriela Madrigal. State officials say while applying for reactivation of her nursing assistant certification, Madrigal failed to disclose she pled guilty to burglary.

Both women had 20 days from when the charges were leveled to respond to the Department of Health in writing. Cases then enter a settlement process, but if no disciplinary agreement can be reached, a hearing is scheduled.

Impact of when

a local story goes national topic

of public forum

MABTON - A journalism advocacy group will hold a public forum on Wednesday, March 10, at the Silver Dollar Cafe in Mabton to discuss the impacts to a community when a local story becomes national and international news.

The William O. Douglas chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is coordinating the event. It will include a panel discussion on how the news media directed its mad cow coverage and how that coverage continues to affect the community.

The public is invited to the 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. free event, and questions from the audience will be encouraged.

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