Port provides cushier wait for travelers at Walla Walla Regional Airport

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Port of Walla Walla officials have added a couple of incentives to entice air travelers through security at the Walla Walla Regional Airport.

Complimentary beverage service is available and a flat-screen television has been in installed in the airport terminal's security departure lounge, announced Port Commission President Mike Fredrickson.

The improvements are intended to make the departure lounge more comfortable and enjoyable, so that passengers will be willing to enter in a more timely fashion. An incident last summer prompted the changes. A number of passengers were unable to board the aircraft and left behind after the deadline for checking through security.

The Port, which operates the airport, hopes the complimentary coffee/tea/cocoa service and the opportunity to watch the news will encourage people to arrive earlier and proceed through security.

"Upon clearing the security checkpoint and entering the lounge, our passengers can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on the day's news," Fredrickson said in a prepared statement.

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Inland Octopus will be the place for the Salvation Army's Giving Tree.

The downtown Walla Walla toy store, 7 E. Main St., will keep the tree up until Christmas Eve. Donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts for newborns to 17-year-olds will be accepted. For more information, call 526-0115 or drop a line at: email@inlandoctopus.com .

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The Walla Walla Sweets will step up to the plate with a "Black Friday" event to benefit local children and families in need this weekend.

The West Coast League baseball team, which had its inaugural season in Walla Walla last summer, will offer a discount on Sweets merchandise to those who make a donation to the Toys for Tots campaign or the Pantry Shelf of Walla Walla.

The sale takes place Friday and Saturday, according to an announcement from the organization. Anyone who brings in a new, unwrapped gift for the Walla Walla chapter of Toys for Tots will receive 15 percent off all Sweets merchandise.

The same discount will be offered to customers who bring in nonperishable food donations, which will be delivered to the Pantry Shelf, the food pantry that operates in the basement at First Presbyterian Church and distributes extra food to households in need for holiday meals. Suggested donations include stuffing, canned corn or beans, pasta side dishes, box puddings, pickles, olives and boxed potatoes.

The Sweets Shoppe, 109 E. Main St., will be closed Thanksgiving Day and open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday. The shop will operate 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

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Coffey Communications is doubling donation dollars during this year's United Way campaign.

The Walla Walla company, which creates print and web communication products for hospitals and health plans nationwide, has said for every dollar donated to the United Way through Dec. 31, Coffey will add another to its annual gift.

The company will match up to $10,000 over its annual contribution.

The 2010-2011 United Way campaign is currently under way. For materials or additional information, call the local office at 529-1183 or visit: www.unitedwayww.org .

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