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Local jobless rates remain low

Snohomish County's unemployment rate ticked downward to 5.6% in August from 5.9% in July, according to the state Employment Securities Department. In August 2020, the county had a 8.3% unemployment rate.

In Island County, the jobless rate edged up slightly to 4.9% in August from 4.6% in July. A year prior, the county's unemployment rate was 8.4%.

Camano Library adds 24/7 service with lockers

Camano Island Library customers can now pick up their items on hold 24 hours a day by using new lockers installed outside the library.

Customers can request their holds be placed in the locker for pick-up, rather than on a shelf inside the library. When the hold is ready, customers can pick up their items using a self-service touch screen built into the locker. 

PUD offers customers help paying their bills

Snohomish County PUD is offering assistance to customers who may need help paying their electric or water bill due after the state's utility shut-off moratorium ends Sept. 30.

The PUD does not plan to immediately return to its disconnection process prior to the COVID pandemic, but rather reach out to customers and help those who are experiencing financial hardship return to manageable balances, utility officials said. The PUD is partnering with local agencies to connect customers with available federal grant money to ensure as many customers as possible can be helped. For details, call 425-783-1000.

Safety advice on using wood for heat

State officials remind people that now is the time to prepare and inspect wood stoves or fireplaces. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, heating is the second leading cause of home fires. It is advised to have chimneys cleaned and inspected by a professional once a year.

Experts also suggest people keep the doors of your wood stove closed or a metal screen in front of a wood-burning fireplace to prevent embers from jumping out. They also suggest avoiding flammable liquids to start a fire. Keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from the fire, and burn dry, seasoned wood to create less creosote buildup.

Income tax extensions ending soon

Taxpayers who requested extensions to file their 2020 tax returns should file on or before Oct.15. There usually is no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund. However, waiting too long to file means risking losing a refund altogether, IRS officials said.

Taxpayers who have yet to file a 2020 tax return, owe taxes and did not request an extension can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any taxes owed. Visit irs.gov for more.

Pets

Aloha from Harper

Harper, a 2-year-old pup from Hawaii, is active and loves to run and play, but cats are a deal-breaker. She walks nicely on a leash and will make an affectionate companion and walking partner. The Noah Center, 360-629-7055

Meetings

  • Stanwood-Camano School District Superintendent Deborah Rumbaugh is hosting a listening session for parents, students and staff to provide input, ideas and perspectives about our schools, 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28, at Cedarhome Elementary, 27911 68th Ave. NW Stanwood. stanwood.wednet.edu
  • Board of Island County Commissioners meets at 10 a.m. every Tuesday in the Commissioners Hearing Room at Island County Annex Building. islandcountywa.gov
  • Snohomish County District Committee meets 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, snohomishcountywa.gov
  • Camano Preparedness Group Board meets 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, at Madrona Fire Station, 273 N. West Camano Drive.
  • Stanwood-Camano School Board meets at 1 p.m. Oct. 5, at 26920 Pioneer Highway, Stanwood. stanwood.wednet.edu
  • Stanwood Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, on Zoom. stanwoodwa.org
  • North County Regional Fire Authority Board of Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, on Zoom. nothcountyfireems.com
  • Stanwood City Council meets online at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, on Zoom. stanwoodwa.org
  • The American Association of University Women and Stanwood Camano News will host a local candidate forum online via Zoom starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13. Candidates will have 3 minutes for an introduction, and then a moderator will ask viewer-submitted questions. To register for the forum and to submit questions, visit aauwsc.org

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