Walla Walla County jobless rate down in April

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Walla Walla County's unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in April, according to results released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department.

The figure was down from an adjusted 8.2 percent in March and from a 7.5 percent rate during the same month a year ago.

The reduction from the first quarter of the year is typical for Walla Walla.

The county continued to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, which in April matched the nation's 8.1 percent jobless rate. The low number has not necessarily reflected an increase in employment in the community. As more people exhaust their unemployment benefits, an increasing number of people have stopped looking for work, officials have said.

In other surrounding areas, Columbia County posted a 10.6 percent unemployment rate in April while Garfield County had a jobless rate of 7.9 percent.

The trainers behind Cardio Strength Bootcamp and owners of Public House 124 are teaming together in a fundraiser for the community's furry friends.

"The Pub, Pushups and Pooches" will be benefit for the Blue Mountain Humane Society. The event takes place June 3, 7-10 p.m. at Public House, 124 E. Main St.

Tickets are $30 and include light food, a drink token, entry in a door raffle and live music by Frankie Joe of Rubberneck. They're available for purchase at Public House 124. For more information, call Public House at 876-4511, or the founders of fitness program Cardio Strength Bootcamp, Marc Yonts, 540-9553, or Scott Tibbling, 240-4126, or email them at myonts12@gmail.com or stibbling@yahoo.com.

Financial services firm Edward Jones was named the Advisory Solutions Firm of the Year by the Money Management Institute.

The award, presented during the institute's annual Gateway to Leadership awards dinner in Chicago, reflects Edward Jones' overall excellence and its contribution to the long-term success and sustainability of the wealth management industry, according to an announcement from advisors at the Walla Walla branch., 109 S. Second Ave.

The Money Management Institute is the national association for the managed investment solutions and the wealth management industry. This award recognizes the features and benefits of both of Edward Jones advisory platforms.

Edward Jones Advisory Solutions is an asset allocation and advisory program. It allows investors to select from research or custom models with an initial minimum investment of $50,000. The models use a combination of mutual funds, exchange traded funds and separately managed accounts in the construction of the portfolio and allow clients to delegate asset allocation, investment selection and portfolio rebalancing to Edward Jones. The program has grown to more than $75 billion in assets under management since August 2008. It is the fourth-largest mutual fund advisory program.

In addition, St. Louis-based Edward Jones offers a dual-contract, separately managed account program with more than $2 billion in assets being managed.

The firm provides financial services for individual investors through a team of more than 12,000 financial advisors across the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada.

Puget Sound Energy will celebrate the completion of the Lower Snake River Wind Facility with an event a week from today.

The energy company will offer lunch and an optional bus tour for views of Garfield County's new wind turbines -- said to be the largest wind farm yet in Washington.

The celebration starts at 11 a.m. at the Pomeroy Elementary School. Tour seating is limited, so participants are asked to RSVP at 509-843-9902.

The facility was intended to build on Puget Sound Energy's previous two wind-power developments, the Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility in Columbia County, and the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Kittitas County. The three together have capacity for 773 megawatts of power generation. They make PSE the largest utility producer of wind power in the Northwest and second in the country.

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

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