BREAKING NEWS …  According to Senator Ann Rivers (18th Legislative District), whose office was briefed today by the Employment Security Department (ESD), the unemployment check fraud case is now approaching $1 billion in lost state funds.

Originally, the suspected fraud loss was $350 million.

“The ESD fraud case is beyond anything originally suspected,” said Rivers. “Nearly $1 billion has been lost to Nigeria and other fraudsters.”

Rivers said the people of Washington have been subject to a series of data breaches over the last several years, which includes Zappos, Primera Blue Cross, and Equifax. This past year, Rivers was the Senate Republican lead on the Data Privacy Bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate, but was blocked in the House.

“I knew this was going to be a problem,” said Rivers. “The partisan breakdown in the House is what killed this bill. I worked it very hard. I knew we had to act, and this is unfortunate.”

The bill would have locked down the state’s consumer data to prevent hacking, requiring two-factor authentication, among other security measures.

“The hackers have been waiting for the right moment to attack an underprepared Employment Security Division,” said Rivers. “COVID gave them that opportunity. My office was overwhelmed with calls of people needing help filing unemployment.”

Today, Rivers was notified by ESD that each caucus can help only 20 people per week. 

“I was able to get in and help people get the unemployment benefits they deserve, and I was told by ESD I can only help one person a week,” Rivers said. “This is ludricious. Period. That’s like saying to a mother with five children on the Titanic she now must choose her favorite child.”

Rivers said the state needs to act.

“It’s not enough to label the problem, we need to change the leadership to right this ship,” said Rivers. “Families desperately need this money and they’re not getting it.”

 Suzie LaVine is the current ESD Director. 

Rivers is pushing for a special legislative session in June, and that the Republican caucus will demand LaVine’s termination. 

More to come.

Gov. Jay Inslee today activated an additional 200 members of the Washington National Guard in response to a second request from the City of Seattle to help clean up, protect against property damage, and manage crowds and traffic during downtown protests, which resulted in riots. Guard personnel will be unarmed and work under the direction of City of Seattle leadership.

The additional guard personnel were activated by a letter from the governor to Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, the day after demonstrations in Seattle protesting the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this week turned into destructive riots.

Inslee this morning issued the following statement:

“Saturday’s disheartening events in Seattle – carried out by a smattering of the thousands of protesters on hand – will not deter the cause of justice. Hundreds of public servants and volunteers are already helping clean up the property damage done. I have complete faith that downtown Seattle will recover from this quickly, and the state will help, however we may be of assistance.

“Thousands were protesting peacefully against an atrocious act of brutality. This cause confronts a different kind of destruction, one that can’t be fixed with new windows, graffiti-scrubbed walls or insurance. The message behind the demonstration was compelling and one all of us should share. We will not allow vandalism and destruction to obscure the protest’s central call for justice.

“On behalf of all Washingtonians who believe in justice, I want to thank the protesters who carried a peaceful and important message. We all also owe gratitude to law enforcement, fire fighters, medics, National Guard and volunteers who are working to protect the city and its people.”

Read the letter here.

Riots
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), per their website, now says the novel coronavirus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects but health officials warn against not continuing current COVID-19 precautions.

The federal health agency changed its guidelines from early March that said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces. The CDC also said the virus does not easily spread from animals to people, or from people to animals.

“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads,” according to the CDC.

The CDC said the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2, “is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.”

The CDC did, however, did say the coronavirus does spread person-to-person, noting the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2, “is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.”

On their website, the CDC says the virus primarily spreads between people:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms

The website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html also says: The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Coronavirus
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Olympia, WA — Earlier today (April 19) in the House Finance Committee, the 9-4 Democrat majority voted to increase taxes on Washingtonians by more than $4 billion over the next four years. The new taxes approved by the committee include:

·         A capital gains income tax;

·         A Business and Occupation tax surcharge on services;

·         A graduated real estate excise tax; and

·         A change to the nonresident sales tax exemption, turning it into an annual remittance program.

Eighteenth District Republican Reps. Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff, who recently co-authored two op-eds in opposition to new and increased taxes, issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“Despite record revenues, a $3 billion surplus, and voters rejecting tax increases time and time again at the ballot box, the majority party continues to show blatant disregard for anything resembling fiscal sanity. If these new taxes are signed into law, along with the House majority’s proposed spending plan, we will not only have ignored voters’ wishes, but we will also have increased spending by 70 percent since 2013.

“Here locally, residents in the 18th District and across Clark County will be hurt if the state’s nonresident sales tax exemption is turned into an annual remittance program. Hindering cross-border competition will result in businesses closing, jobs being lost, and more families struggling to make ends meet.

“We don’t believe taking money out of taxpayers’ wallets and making our state less competitive is going to improve the prospects of Washingtonians in Clark County or anywhere else. Our state’s policy goals can be achieved within existing revenues without making cuts to necessary programs. We call on the majority party to revise its approach to budgeting and fund our shared priorities with the record revenues we currently have.”

The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 28.

Rep. Larry Hoff was sworn in to office Monday as the newest state representative for the 18th Legislative District. He replaces former Rep. Liz Pike, who did not run for reelection.

Hoff, who has lived in Clark County for more than 40 years, recently retired as president and CEO of the $1 billion Fibre Federal Credit Union.

“It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to serve our 18th District communities in this new role as state representative,” said Hoff, R-Vancouver. “I look forward to bringing the voice and perspective of so many of my friends and neighbors to Olympia, and to delivering results on their behalf.”

Hoff has been appointed to three House committees. He will serve as the assistant ranking member of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, which considers an array of consumer protection issues, as well as the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, the regulation of consumer credit and lending, and the regulation of securities and investments. He will also serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which considers the operating budget, and on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee, which reviews legislation related to industrial insurance, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, occupational health, and employment standards.

“Each of these committees plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of Washington state’s economy,” added Hoff. “The actions we take will affect millions of people, so it is my hope that we work together in a bipartisan way to get it right. We know Washingtonians don’t want tax increases, nor do they want unnecessary regulations that stifle economic growth. We should instead be focused on supporting policies this session that keep Washington state competitive, grow jobs, and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The 2019 legislative session began Jan. 14, and is scheduled to run for 105 consecutive days.

Photo by Steven Nelson.

Camas, WA — The two-time, back-to-back State Champion Camas High School (CHS) Boys Swim team lost their home pool several weeks ago as negotiations between Lacamas Athletic Club and the CHS Athletics Department failed to reach an agreement.

Fortunately, Cascade Athletic Club stepped up and took in the displaced team, but it hasn’t been without challenges. The venue change has forced the Varsity swimmers to begin practices at 5:30 am, which gives the boys ample lane space to maximize workouts. Junior Varsity practices in the evenings, beginning at 7:15, which alleviates lane congestion.

It also forces the champion athletes to get up before 5 am, travel to Vancouver, practice, then rush to shower, change, and drive or bus to CHS. It’s not ideal, but the team is adjusting.

“It takes an extra 10 minutes to get here,” said CHS sophomore, Jack Harris. “We have to get here pretty early. It’s not too bad, at least we have afternoons to get homework done, but it’s still a big change from last year. We’ll do our best given the situation.”

On day one, Head Coach Mike Bemis gave the entire team a tour of the facility, and thanked Cascade for their generosity. The team practices alongside competitors at Union, Mountain View, Evergreen, and Heritage.

“We’re treating this season like a new season,” said co-captain, Chris Xia. “We’re not really gonna focus on our past titles, we’re just going into this year trying our best and yeah we have some swimmers who have left, but we’re just gonna try to make up for them, and do the best we can.”

Swim

Camas Swim team captains, from left: Chris Xia and Austin Fogel.

The team won State titles in 2017 and 2018, thanks to amazing talent, and coaching strategies. But, they also lost three star athletes — Finn McClone and Mark Kim — to graduation, as well as Eric Wu, who dropped the team this year because of losing Lacamas Athletic Club as their home pool.

“The Camas High School Boys swim team is about to start training for our third state title,” said Wu. “I find it near impossible if we can’t do that without our pool. The past few seasons we were able to train in the afternoon at Lacamas. Not only does swimming in the morning affect our training, but it affects our whole day during school. Without proper sleep and a home pool, how will we put together another strong state team?”

Losing Wu was a blow, but the team is soul-searching, and working hard to fill in the gaps.

”We’re still gonna try hard to defend our State title,” said co-captain, Austin Fogel. “Hopefully some of the underclass men will step up and fill those shoes. We have some really fast swimmers.”

Their first meet of the season is today at Curtis High School.

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Background

So, how did a two-time State Championship team lose their home pool?

Several months ago, Denise Croucher, owner and operator of Lacamas Athletic Club, expressed her desire to have a member of her club staff serve as assistant coach to both the boys and girls Camas High School (CHS) swim teams. Athletes from several private clubs swim for CHS, including Lacamas Headhunters, Columbia River Swim Team (CRST), Portland Athletic Club, and Mt. Hood.

CHS and Bemis say Croucher wanted to be head coach, which Croucher denies.

Croucher’s demand to coach was met with resistance from CHS, whose loyalty remains to Bemis, who has brought home two back-to-back state champions. Negotiations between the two entities ended with the girl’s team being forced out and finding a new, temporary home at Cascade Athletic Club.

“Yes, we will continue to swim at Cascade Athletic Club for the boys season,” said Rory Oster, CHS Athletic Director. “We are grateful for the great management and leadership at Cascade who is willing to do whatever they can to help our program, and we will make it work. Again, our preference would be to swim at the local Lacamas Athletic Club and are disappointed an agreement could not be made.”

Swim

Front, left to right: Jack Duerfeldt and Luke Bales. Back, left to right: Zach Macia and Ben Taylor.

Croucher said she thought they were still in negotations, and was shocked when the girl’s team switched over to Cascade. At the time, CHS had hoped they could salvage the relationship and keep the Lacamas pool for the boy’s season.

There’s been bad blood between Croucher and CRST for more than 15 years, but Darlene Hill, owner and operator of CRST, says “There’s nothing there that can’t be fixed — the focus should be on the kids who all get along very well. The swimming community generally gets along well. This is very obtuse.”

Bemis said over the years Lacamas Athletic Club has manufactured tensions, but “we always found a way to work it out.”

Parents have complained that Lacamas Athetic Club management was seldom prepared for home meets, and that facilities haven’t been properly maintained. Croucher said their facilities were vandalized during home meets, and that the costs of opening the pool for the CHS team were too high. CHS pays $20,000 each season to Lacamas Athletic Club to lease lanes at their facility, said Croucher.

“They pulled all shower plumbing off the locker rooms, they played with heaters and they ruined a locker room heater,” said Croucher. “Other teams would leave a mess in the locker room after each swim meet. We had a huge mess every single day after practice. Garbage strewed across the locker room. The attitude was very negative from outside swimmers. They don’t respect it like its theirs.  Honestly, sometimes I don’t think we want them back here. It has been so nice to have our team, staff and employees without the high school teams.”

But, she also feels bad a deal couldn’t be worked out.

“It’s not something we really want,” said Croucher. “We want the kids to be able to swim, so I’m a supporter of that. But, we have to find a way that it doesn’t impact the business so much. I also want a member of my staff coaching the team, that way our interests are represented at every practice, and at every meet. I’m open to suggestions.”

Swim

From left: Chris Xia, Dave Peddie, and Austin Fogel.

Bemis said the politics of the situation have been a challenge for more than a decade, and that they’ve always found a way to work it out. But, not this year.

“Leslie (the assistant coach) and I aren’t even allowed on the Lacamas Athletic Club premises anymore,” said Bemis. “It’s gotten that bad. Denise wants to coach both Camas High School teams, and if she doesn’t get that, then the Camas teams aren’t allowed to practice or compete there. It’s not a good decision.”

Bailey Segall, of the CHS Girls swim team, said that Lacamas Headhunter swimmers even petitioned Croucher to change their minds.

”They went in there and begged Denise to change her mind, but she wouldn’t listen,” said Segall. “Nobody is really happy about this.”

George, Washington — A bus accident in Central Washington changed many lives on Thanksgiving Day, including Battle Ground City Councilor, Shane Bowman, his family, and the small town of George.

Moments after bus three in a six-bus caravan transporting University of Washington Marching Band and Spirit Squad members to Pullman slid and rolled on the icy highway, Bowman said he heard the sirens of fire trucks and ambulances passing through George.

“I grew up in Central Washington four miles from George, we were visiting for Thanksgiving, working outside and we heard some police sirens and ambulances, so we assumed there was an accident,” said Bowman. “We finished our work and pulled up the news and learned that a UW band bus rolled over just six miles from us. My son said we should go see if we they need any help.”

So they did.

Within moments, the Bowman’s found out they were triaging victims at George Elementary School. So, they called the fire chief and asked if they needed anything.

“They said they needed food and blankets,” said Bowman. “We rounded up everything we had and headed down there. All the buses were there, five in total. So, we just took in everything that we had, we called a few friends to gather food, and we went to the gas station and cleared out all the hot pockets and burritos we could buy. We bought a couple hundred of them.”

Bus

Local community members brought everything they could to feed the 325 students and staff.

Using the tiny school’s kitchen, they heated up the food, put out the snacks, and watched local community members bring in their delicious Thanksgiving food.

“We fed all of them,” said Bowman. “We had enough water and people showed up with everything — soups and enchiladas. Everything.”

From 6:15 pm until the UW buses departed at 10:30 pm, Bowman’s family, including his son, Trey, and his parents, Alan and Sue (and a total crew of about 10) stayed for the duration. Another 15-20 families came in and dropped off food.

“We’d been down there quite a while, and a whole bunch of food came in — the kids just snacked on anything we had,” said Bowman. “Then a bunch of people brought in more food, blankets and mattresses. A couple even came in from Wenatchee on those icy roads. We thought they were going to spend the night at the school at first. It was chaos, but I was impressed with how professional everyone was. The UW students and staff are incredible. They had a lot to deal with. No complaining from anyone. The whole group was very professional.”

Bowman also got to spend time with Union High School graduate, Tommy Strassenberg, who used to live in Battle Ground. Strassenberg was a phenomenal wrestler who is now part of the UW Cheer team.

Everyone was equally impressed with the first responders — especially given the resource constraints an accident this size causes in rural Washington. Bowman said each little jurisdiction has ambulances, but they don’t have the resources here to deal with something this big.

The UW students are dealing with a spectrum of injuries — from sore backs and lacerations to broken bones and concussions, however, Bowman said it could have been a lot worse.

“I spoke with the bus driver of bus 4 who said he nearly hit bus 3,” he said. “A second collision would have made things a lot worse. We’re very grateful there were no fatalities. There was a lot of ice on the road. We have four-wheel drive pickups and the roads were slick. It was bad out there. There was freezing rain and sleet for about an hour.

“Regarding the response, I don’t expect anything different. I was in Battle Ground when we had the tornado come through, and we had the same thing there. People just stepped up, and put aside all their differences, and that’s what was cool. All the Fire Departments here are volunteers. It’s refreshing to see everyone help out.”

The UW students spent the night at Moses Lake, and will likely return to Seattle tomorrow morning. They won’t attend the Apple Cup, which was their destination.

8:00 am UPDATE: Edie Myers-Power has been discharged, as have most, and reports are the UW students spent the night at a nearby hotel in Moses Lake. Her dislocated shoulder will require a surgeon when she returns to school. More information will be reported.

11:00 pm UPDATE: Austin Miller has been discharged from the hospital. He will be OK, but will be very sore for a while.

10:25 pm UPDATE: Camas High School 2015 graduate, Austin Miller, sustained injuries in the accident.

”When talking to him he feels like his injuries are minor compared to others — cuts on hand and chin, sore back and pieces of glass in his scalp that need to be cleaned up,” said Mia Miller, Austin’s mother.

Edie Myers-Power is getting X-rays. Other names haven’t been released yet.

9:36 pm UPDATE: There was a total of 6 chartered buses carrying UW band members. The bus that went off the roadway was # 3 in the group. Also, the numbers transported to area hospitals is closer to 40-45 plus.

Local families are asking for your prayers. Please share this article. We will keep updating this story as more details unfold.

BREAKING NEWS: Icy road conditions caused one of three buses carrying members of University of Washington’s marching band and spirit squad headed to the Apple Cup in Pullman to roll on its side, injuring at least 25 people. 

The crash happened at 5:20 pm today on eastbound 1-90 about three miles west of George. The injured were taken to the area hospitals to be treated, which are being reported as not life-threatening. Injuries include lacerations, broken collar bones, sore backs, bruises, and glass shards in scalps.

According to Jennifer Myers-Power, her daughter, Edie, and several Camas High School graduates, are among those injured. 

“Right now, there are 20+ kids at the Quincy Valley Medical Center,” said Myers-Power. “From talking to the other Camas moms of Husky Saxes, Edie’s might be the worst. Of those not hospitalized, there was still lots of broken glass, so lacerations and bruises. Some hand injuries so I’m pretty sure they won’t be playing.”

According to Grant County Sheriff’s Office: “Chartered bus carrying part of the U of W band lost control and rolled about 5:20 p.m. east bound I-90 MP143. Bus came to rest on a frontage road. All people on board accounted for. Injured all have non-life-threatening injuries. Around 25 victims transported to several area hospitals. That number subject to change as we work to verify all information. Remainder of students on the rolled bus have been taken to George Elementary School to be re-evaluated by EMS. Working on plan moving forward.”

There is currently no need for any volunteers, food or donations at the George Elementary School school, but families are asking for prayers.

We’ll keep you updated on this story.

Photos by Seattle Times and Washington State Patrol.

 

 

The Downtown Camas Association (DCA) announced today that Camas is a top 20 national finalist to appear in the next season of “Small Business Revolution – Main Street,” which is a streaming Hulu web series hosted by Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington.

Camas made the top 20 out of 12,000 applicants, said Maria Gonser, owner of Attic Gallery in Downtown Camas.

“I’m a big fan of the show, and I submitted an online application to get Camas to be on ‘Main Street’,” said Gonser. “The show really understands small towns, and they’re big on restoring them.”

Gonser explained that Small Business Revolution will choose 10 of those cities to come visit. And out of those 10, they choose five, then the show’s viewers will vote on the remaining five. The top vote getter will be the focus of season four.

The top 10 will be announced on December 11, and the town visits will take place in January. The top five will be announced in mid-February, and the public vote takes place the end of February.

“I was drawn to it because we have so many projects but don’t have all the funding for them,” said Gonser. “If we win, we’d get $500,000 in funding. Six businesses would get a major makeover, plus we need to send more love to 3rd and 5th Streets in Camas. I want to feel good when I go on those streets.”

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Once the show’s producers contacted Gonser, she directed them to the DCA’s Executive Director, Carrie Schulstad.

“I spent about 40 minutes on the phone talking with them,” said Schulstad. ”I told them all the great things about Camas, but also the areas that need major improvement. If we get picked, they will go into each business for a month and help them out. They all have their own expertise and help each business revamp their whole branding, their space, etc.”

To get to the Top 10, each town is encouraged to promote why they should be considered. Schulstad wants Camas residents to use the hashtag #MyCamas on social media posts.

“Please like their Facebook page (go to @SmallBusinessRevolution) and post a photo to their timeline with a message about why you love Camas and be sure to use the hashtag #MyCamas,” said Schulstad. “Our town can do this! Please use this hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, too!”

Main Street

The show is hosted by Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Small Business Revolution Main Street?

This is what the show’s producers say: “As we traveled the country, capturing the inspiring stories of 100 small businesses, we recognized that nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns.

“We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.

“Each season, we seek out America’s most inspiring small towns, and award the winner – and six of its small businesses – a $500,000 revitalization and feature the transformation in an original series.”

To learn more, visit www.smallbusinessrevolution.org

 

 

Vancouver, WA — With help from the Vancouver Rotary Foundation and a Swiss-funded school, Navraj Lamichhane, or “Raj,” of Nepal, is living his dream, and plans use his education to improve the quality of life in his native country.

After completing two years of college in Nepal, Raj arrived in Vancouver nearly three years ago to continue his studies at Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver where he recently earned a Business Administration Degree with a certificate in professional sales.

“I was the scholarship recipient from the Vancouver Rotary Foundation, and was paid through grants and other scholarships, and directly from WSU,” said Raj. “I got a sponsor from Switzerland, and she helped me through the first semester. Her name is Birgit Krneta, with Bright Horizons Children’s school in Nepal, which is a Swiss-funded school, and everyone has a sponsor. I had her as my sponsor and she paid for my education and she paid for my first semester at WSU Vancouver. After that, I was able to get the remaining funds.”

Raj also received support from Beverly Questad, who assisted with room and board. The two originally met in Nepal during a teaching abroad program. Questad, a Skyview High School teacher, traveled to Nepal to teach and train.

“I was planning to come to America at that time, and we started talking and she really liked my drive,” said Raj. “She offered free room and board, which is close to the WSU Vancouver campus. When I came here I got full scholarships, and that’s how I was able to get it all done.”

His interest is in renewable energy and improving the quality of life in developing countries — and is putting his focus on new, improved cooking stoves that are more efficient, and healthier. Back in Nepal they cook everything inside with antiquated cooking stoves that create toxins and smoke in the home.

“I learned about energy through Winrock International, which is based in Arkansas, and they promote renewable energies worldwide,” said Raj. “They teach, and do proposals, train people, work with local banks, and help local businesses secure financing. I worked with them as a paid research intern for two years, and I learned about solar home systems. During my internship with Winrock is when my interest in America emerged. It really fascinated me. America is a great country as they have diverse thinking. I wanted to study here and I was really in need of those kind of connections.”

Upon arrival in the United States, Raj heard about the Rotary scholarship, and applied. After several interviews, he received the $4,000 scholarship.

“I love that Rotary is doing international things,” he said.

Raj is making plans to earn his MBA, and is currently looking at several schools. He wants to start classes in 2019.

After that, he wants to become an energy expert, and plans to eventually return to Nepal, but still travel the world bringing energy solutions to the developing parts of the world. In Nepal, they often face 18 hours of energy blackouts each day, which is a huge struggle.

“I want to work in project management and bring good products to help people in these places,” Raj said. “I want to first gain work experience in the United States and stay here for 5-10 years and then set up my own company in Nepal. I want to help in different ways. I love my country but I want to get established here. I want to get all this experience and go back and help.”

Nepal

Raj wants to market new, more efficient stoves in Nepal and other developing countries.

The 26 year-old has two older sisters and one younger brother, who only attended school through the 7th grade. He was raised in Kathmandu, but was born 2.5 hours away — in rural Nepal. There aren’t a lot of jobs there for people who don’t have an education, and the nation has a massive unemployment problem.

“Renewable energy is a way to a healthy life,” Raj said. “It’s a way to progress and sustainability. It’s a way to empower people. I think there are ways we can think critically — in different ways. Like using solar cars, and it’s just healthier.”

He said that solar home heating systems and modern cooking stoves are key to their progress.

He plans to bring newer stoves to market, because their current models are making women and children sick, given that most women stay at home in Nepal.

“With new cooking stoves, we can eliminate these health problems and provide for a better life,” he said. “In the cities, they use more gas stoves with ventilation. The traditional stoves are used more in the rural areas.”

He’d like to see Metallic Improved Cooking (MIC) stoves spread through his native country — and to other parts of the developing world.

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