Billy Henry, Founder, President/CEO Director
Northwest Association for Blind Athletes
703 Broadway St, Ste 600
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Local Phone: 1-360-718-2826
Vancouver, Washington—July 16th, 2019—Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is excited to announce as of July 9, 2019, NWABA is officially rebranding camp programs to Camp Spark. Formerly known as Camp Abilities Oregon and Camp Abilities Washington, Camp Spark enables NWABA to scale and enhance the camp program and has officially been adopted as NWABA’s sixth core program. Camp Spark will transform lives of individuals who are blind and visually impaired through sport. Camp Spark offers comprehensive sports programming for individuals of all ages with visual impairments in a camp setting.
In two weeks, we will be hosting our first Camp Spark summer session in Tacoma, Washington. The purpose is to empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired, break the cycle of dependence and ill health that is unnecessarily associated with visual impairments, and build their self-belief that they can take control of their own quality of life and use their many talents to actively contribute in their communities. Campers will participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities including goalball (a sport specifically developed for individuals with visual impairments), 5-a-side soccer, judo, tandem cycling, kayaking, track & field, and numerous others.
This will be the fourth year that NWABA has offered summer camp for children with visual impairments across the state. These one-week summer sessions will provide 1:2 sport instruction for each camper. These children vary in socioeconomic status, ethnic background, and level of skills and abilities. Camp Spark in Washington will be hosted at University of Puget Sound’s campus from July 29 to August 3, 2019. Washington’s camp will impact 38 campers from across Washington ages 9-14. Camp Spark in Oregon will be hosted at the Linfield College campus in McMinnville, OR from July 21 to July 26, 2019. Oregon’s camp will impact 36 campers from across the state ages 8-15 years old. This camp is offered at no cost to campers and their families.
"Our Board of Directors is extremely excited to offer these truly transformational programs to children and youth with visual impairments. Camp reaches far beyond participating in sports, and acts as a catalyst to help campers gain the confidence, self-esteem, friendships, and independence they need to achieve success in all areas of life.” said Founder, President/CEO, Billy Henry.
Camp Spark’s Oregon session is partially funded by the Oregon Blind and Visually Impaired Student Fund, and Camp Spark’s Washington session is partially funded by Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. However, additional support is critically needed to deliver a successful camp. Donations to support Camp Spark are accepted by mailing a check to PO BOX 65265, Vancouver, WA, 98665 or making an online gift at www.nwaba.org. Please indicate that your donation is to support camp programs. For more information on Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, please contact Billy Henry at 1-360-718-2826, or visit www.nwaba.org
The mission of Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. A group of students who were visually impaired formed the association in 2007 to ensure that people who are blind were participating in sports and physical activity. Today, NWABA is a rapidly expanding 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides more than 1,500 children, youth, adults and military veterans with visual impairments tailored programming which improves self-confidence and self-esteem, promotes independence, creates an inclusive community of supporters, and builds the skills necessary to succeed in all areas of life including school and employment.
SPOKANE, Wash. – Early this morning, the Bureau Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) led a large-scale enforcement action targeting a methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking organization with ties to a Washington State based street gang identified as the Eastside Familia Norteno (ESF). Over 300 law enforcement officials, including federal agents and state and local officers executed 19 federal search warrants located in Grant, Yakima and Adams Counties.
On July 10, 2019, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington returned an indictment charging 16 individuals for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. The lead defendants in this case are Luis Manuel Farias-Carendas, 40, of Moses Lake, and Joshua Isaac Stine, 34, of Ephrata, who are accused of being the leaders of the drug trafficking conspiracy. Both were taken into custody today. Twelve others named in the indictment are also in custody pending an initial appearance in federal court in Spokane, Washington. They are:
Patrick Elliot Pearson, 47, of Moses Lake
Cristian Misael Gomez, 23, of Grant County
Luis Manuel Ramirez, 25, of Moses Lake
Zacarias Martinez-Garza, 23 of Moses Lake
Mariano Ruiz-Balderas, 19, of Moses Lake
Jesse Leon Manion Jr., 55, of Moses Lake
Heather Elaine Keating, 41, of Moses Lake
Leonel Caballero, 62, of Warden
Forrest Walker Herzog, 34, of Moses Lake
Amy Jo Dygert, 33, of Moses Lake
Michael Edward McLaughlin, 59, of Ephrata
Jesus Valenica-Morfin , 31, of Yakima
One additional person, Tomas Gomez, 49, of Los Angeles, Calif., was also arrested during the operation and charged by federal complaint.
The 15 individuals were arrested in the following cities: 11 in Moses Lake, one in Ephrata, two in Yakima, and one in Warden. At this time, agents and officers have seized pound quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, over 50 firearms and U.S. currency.
This investigation is a continuation of law enforcement efforts in December 2017, which focused on violent drug traffickers who were operating in Grant County. The earlier investigation resulted in 24 individuals who have pled guilty in federal court and eight pounds of methamphetamine, 10 vehicles, $25,000 and more than 80 firearms were seized.
The following agencies provided significant assistance for today’s enforcement action: ATF, DEA, USBP, United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Moses Lake Police Department, Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, Washington State Patrol, Idaho State Police, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Law Enforcement Against Drugs, Yakima Police Department, Columbia River Drug Task Force, North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force, Warden Police Department, Ephrata Police Department and Quincy Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Caitlin Baunsgard, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
An Indictment Contains Mere Allegations That an Individual Has Committed a Crime. Every Individual Is Presumed Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt in a Court of Law.
Aurora, Ore., July 11, 2019— Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, is partnering with WhidbeyHealth Medical Center to open a new base in Island County, Washington. The base will be operational in late summer 2019. The 24/7 air medical helicopter, pilot and medical crew will be based on location at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, serving not only Coupeville and nearby communities, but also the broader Puget Sound Region including the San Juan Islands.
“We’re proud to partner with the exceptional providers at WhidbeyHealth and to work alongside local emergency responders in serving the health care needs of Island County residents,” said Life Flight
Network CEO Michael Griffiths. “At the core of our expansion in Washington is our mission to provide ICU- level transportation in a safe, compassionate, efficient and expeditious manner. With 41 years serving the state of Washington, we’re honored to add this new base and partnership to our service area.”
This second northwest Washington location expands capacity for Life Flight Network’s Port Angeles base, where demand is growing and the relationship with the local EMS community is strong. The two service areas will support each other when the demand for timely response for air medical transport is high.
“Our partnership with Life Flight Network will further enhance local services available for our patients and communities and allow us to provide access to even more specialized care,” said Ron Telles, WhidbeyHealth CEO. “We’re proud to be their partner, and we welcome Life Flight Network to Whidbey Island.”
In addition to serving Island County and neighboring rural communities, the new base will strengthen emergency medical response for the state’s population center. Seattle is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation this decade, growing by nearly 19 percent and adding more than 114,000 people since 2010. The broader Puget Sound region, including Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, King, Snohomish, and Skagit counties, is expected to gain at least 1.9 million people by 2050, for a total of nearly 6 million residents.
“Partnering with Life Flight Network to provide locally-based air medical transport is an unequivocal advantage to both WhidbeyHealth EMS and our community,” said Sean LaVine, Assistant Manager of WhidbeyHealth EMS. “Life Flight Network’s exemplary history of providing safe and compassionate care is consistent with the WhidbeyHealth mission. We welcome Life Flight Network and look forward to working with them.”
The Whidbey Island base brings the total of helicopters serving the region from three to four. By comparison, the Phoenix, AZ metro area – a comparable-sized urban area with more than 4 million residents today – has eight helicopter bases serving its two-county landlocked region (Maricopa and Pinal counties).
“Helicopter air ambulance response is an essential health care service for a fast-growing urban area with traffic congestion among the worst in the country in addition to some of the most challenging landscapes due to large bodies of water,” said Dr. Jim Bryan, Life Flight Network Medical Director.
“During a medical emergency, every second counts. Helicopters are uniquely suited to respond to emergencies over bodies of water and during peak traffic times, when gridlock challenges ground ambulances to move quickly and safely.”
Life Flight Network will station an Agusta-Westland AW109E helicopter at its Whidbey Island base. The AW109E is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capable aircraft, allowing safe operation in a range of weather conditions. The AW109E is one of the fastest light helicopters available and can cruise at 172 miles per hour. Each Life Flight Network helicopter is equipped with the medical equipment necessary to act as a mobile intensive care unit, with the ability to perform a multitude of highly skilled medical functions during transport, including video laryngoscopes, ICU level ventilators, and blood products for emergency transfusions.
Life Flight Network is a nationally recognized air ambulance service and membership program with almost 600 employees. The new base will create nearly 20 new jobs on Whidbey Island. The aircraft will be staffed 24/7 with an ICU-level nurse, experienced paramedic, and a highly skilled pilot. In addition to the medical staff based in Coupeville, Life Flight Network employs a full time dedicated medical director and associate medical directors to oversee the high level of quality medical care provided across its service region. Life Flight Network serves the western United States, including Alaska, from bases throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West.
Life Flight Network offers memberships for a $65 annual fee. Members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown for medically necessary emergent conditions by Life Flight Network or one of its reciprocal partners. To request more information about the membership program, or if organizations would like an in-person presentation, contact the Life Flight Network membership office at 800-982-9299.
ABOUT LIFE FLIGHT NETWORK
Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit air medical service, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) and the National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA). Life Flight Network is the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States. Its service area covers the western United States, including Alaska. Life Flight Network is headquartered in Aurora, Oregon. For more information about Life Flight Network or to become a member, visit www.lifeflight.org.