Charter to make things even clearer for its customers

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Charter is dialing up its service with 48 new high-definition channels slated from Walla Walla to Waitsburg.

The new additions are scheduled for the market June 7, the communications and cable company announced this morning.

They come as part of the evolution of Charter TV, which also includes more on-demand choices, 3D offerings, mobile apps that deliver digital channels on smart phones and tablets, online programming and more.

Along with the HD additions, Charter will also launch Estrella TV on basic (digital only) channel 304 that day. The Spanish-language network features musical-variety, comedy, scripted drama, talk and game shows, as well as national newscasts and news magazine shows.

"We want our customer to have the best television experience on all their screens," said Charter Vice President and General Manager Frank Antonovich, in a prepared statement. "Today's television experience extends far beyond the living room and onto a variety of connected devices. We're committed to providing the highest quality video experience, more choice, greater reliability and additional value."

Customers will receive notification about the changes this month. Information about channel locations will be available at charter.com/futureTV.

The channel upgrades will bring the number of high-definition channels available to Walla Walla, College Place, Dixie and Waitsburg customers to more than 100. Among them are high-definition movie channels, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, MTV2, VH-1 and many more.

Viewing high-definition programming requires an HDTV and Charter HD receiver. Roughly 80 percent of Charter customers already subscribe to digital service. Receivers are available at the local office, 1145 Abadie St. For Estrella TV, customers need a digital TV with a QAM tuner or Charter digital set top receiver.

The nursing care facility owned and operated by Garfield County Public Hospital District has been named a five-star nursing home.

The operation got the ranking through US News and World Report, securing its place on the organization's 2012 Honor Roll, according to an announcement.

The listing was announced in the publication's Feb. 7 edition. It's the highest ranking a facility can receive and is based on data compiled using Nursing Home Compare, a consumer website run by the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Scores are based on performance measures monitored by CMS, including health inspections, nurse staffing and quality.

Since converting all of its long-term care beds to a hospital-designated Swing Bed program, it is no longer listed on the Nursing Home Compare site; however according to Andrew Craigie, the hospital district's chief executive officer, "this is an example of how we have performed, and our internal quality measures, including those from the Health Home programs, demonstrate the fact that we continue to provide these same services at exceptionally high standards." There is also a site for Hospital Compare, but the volume at GCPHD is considered too small to be included.

A round of miniature golf Wednesday represents a hole-in-one for children.

A portion of proceeds from miniature golf rounds at The Sweet Putt will be donated to Children's Home Society.

The contribution is part of the operation's Awareness Wednesday campaign, which features a different nonprofit or cause as the recipient of its monthly events.

The Sweet Putt, 417 Wellington Ave., is open 2-9 p.m. Wednesday.

If you showed up Monday for the cruise-themed grand opening of Affinity at Walla Walla you may have felt a little like a castaway.

The wrong date was originally circulated for the event, which actually takes place Thursday.

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the 55-and-older community designed for active adults who want to live independently. The event runs 4:30-6:30 p.m. at 1706 Fairway Drive with food, entertainment and door prizes.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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