October 24, 2016
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WSU given preliminary accreditation for new medical school in Spokane

Washington State University is moving forward with plans to accept the first class of medical school students in 2017 at the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane. Last week, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting agency for MD-granting medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, granted preliminary accreditation to the school.

That keeps the state's second publicly-funded medical school on track to enroll the first class in August of 2017. It's been 70 years since Washington saw the opening of a medical school.

Now, WSU must wait for formal invitation from the American Association of Medical Colleges, which is expected in early November, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. This will allow the school to be listed to receive Medical College Admissions Test scores from prospective students. Full accreditation is typically available after the graduation of the first class.

“This is a significant moment in Washington State University’s 126-year history,” said WSU's new president, Kirk Schulz. “It puts us one step closer to educating physicians who will practice in Washington’s underserved communities and furthers the university’s land-grant mission to serve the needs of the state.”

The medical school is named after the late president of WSU, who worked even after his cancer diagnosis to successfully push for a bill that changed state law to allow WSU to offer medical education.

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Focus on Sustainability

Helping CAT Excavators Ride the Rails

HPF Manufacturing, Inc. has created an innovative way to cut fuel use by 97 percent for railroad work and maintenance.

The Snohomish County employer designed Rail-X undercarriages to maximize fuel efficiency by incorporating drive motors so that an excavator can be driven on rail to a work site by a single operator. The average fuel consumption is just 5 gallons per hour. In contrast, the traditional process for rail maintenance involves the following: An excavator is trucked to a rail site, hoisted and bolted onto a rail car, then pulled by locomotive to the work site. The average fuel consumption is 175-200 gallons per hour.

Using Rail-X excavators significantly cuts fuel consumption by up to 97 percent when compared to the traditional process of railroad maintenance, thus reducing the carbon footprint within the rail industry for a more sustainable and green environment.
Read more in Washington Business magazine
Reasons to Say Yes

Oil terminal merits approval

By Mike Bridges, business representative for IBEW 48, Longview

A recent letter by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 4 President Jared Smith mischaracterized the proposed Vancouver Energy crude-by-rail terminal.

Opponents such as Smith largely base their arguments on concerns about oil trains that are already running through this state and will continue whether or not Vancouver Energy is built.

The letter presented a false choice of windmills versus oil trains -- we need both. Cars, trucks, buses and jets don't run on wind. Petroleum fuels keep us moving and keep our economy strong.

Smith also asserted falsely that Vancouver Energy crude oil would go overseas. Instead, Midwest oil will go to West Coast refineries to create products we need, reduce crude imports by 30 percent, and enhance U.S. energy independence...

Read the full letter to the editor in The Olympian
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