Mud-spattered and weary, Seattle physician Teal Hallstrand watched as Department of Transportation crews removed debris from a mudslide that trapped his car about three miles west of Rainy Pass in August. The slide forced closure of the highway for several days; other slides later closed the highway again. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

Mud-spattered and weary, Seattle physician Teal Hallstrand watched as Department of Transportation crews removed debris from a mudslide that trapped his car about three miles west of Rainy Pass in August. The slide forced closure of the highway for several days; other slides later closed the highway again. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

JANUARY

Valley residents press Washington State Department of Transportation to modify the operation of a new, rotating navigational beacon at Methow Valley State Airport.

Nine new cases of pertusis are confirmed in school-age children in the Methow Valley, with more awaiting test results.

Dos Amigos Restaurant opens in the former Blackbirds building on Highway 20 in Twisp.

Trick Pony store featuring “vintage, new and repurposed items” opens on Highway 20 in Twisp.

U.S. Forest Service proposes logging in the Loup Loup area.

Spartan Art Project tops its fundraising goal to support renovation of a vintage travel trailer as an art display space.

Twisp adopts a new sign ordinance.

Twisp agrees to revise its firearms ordinances after being threatened with a lawsuit by a gun rights organization.

Spokane Public Radio returns to the airwaves in the Methow Valley after its local transmitter is repaired.

Owners of Methow Valley Sanitation Service and Methow Recycling Roundup combine companies to form WasteWise, which will handle garbage collection and recycling in the valley.

Attorney Charles Short is appointed Okanogan County District Court judge.

Twisp, Winthrop town council members begin discussing the potential for merging the towns’ police departments.

 

FEBRUARY

Confluence Gallery streamlines its operations, cuts staff and reduces the number of classes it will offer.

Janikowski family buys Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop.

Methow residents take a stand for the community’s post office, which faces reduced hours.

Public questions greet Okanogan County Fire District 6 proposal for a new fire station in Winthrop.

Boulder Creek Deli in Winthrop is purchased by Chris and Kerri Butler.

Kathleen and Kyrie Jardin purchase the building housing Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop.

Twisp tables discussion of allowing ATVs on town streets after a public hearing draws contentious comments from audience and council members alike.

A 10-year emergency services levy is approved by a wide margin.

Flagg Mountain cabin controversy draws large crowd at Mazama community meeting, most opposed to the structure.

Dean Coe purchases Hotel Sa Teekh Wa in Winthrop, renames it River Pines Inn.

Washington State Department of Transportation recommends that a new navigational beacon at Methow Valley State Airport be pilot-activated.

 

MARCH

Methow Valley School District Superintendent Mark Wenzel takes the job of superintendent in the Anacortes School District.

Federal budget cuts affect senior meals, preschool education, wildlife, fire response times and other programs.

Former Okanogan County Commissioner Bud Hover of Winthrop is named to head the state Department of Agriculture.

Okanogan County Fire District 6 postpones a levy proposal to support a new fire station.

Hotel Rio Vista sold to Paul and Melissa Peterson.

Twisp, Okanogan County Fire District 6 finally agree to fire protection contract.

David “Red” McComb, noted entomologist and community fixture, dies at age 91, leaving substantial amounts of money to local nonprofits.

 

APRIL

U.S. Forest Service decides to grant 10-year special use permits to outfitter-guide companies based in and around the Methow Valley.

Three-unit storefront on Glover Street in Twisp is purchased by Seattle couple.

Seth Carlson joins the Winthrop Marshal’s Office as a deputy.

North Cascades National Bank merges with Glacier Bancorp of Kalispell, Mont.

Okanogan County Electric Cooperative launches “Dark Sky” project to reduce light pollution in the valley.

Lily of the Valley, offering gifts, accessories and “gently used” clothing, opens on Highway 20 in Twisp.

Highway 20 reopens for the season on April 16.

Ben and Virginia Nelson purchase the Rendezvous Huts.

Mike Kutz begins building a new six-unit inn in Winthrop.

 

MAY

A group of local residents files a lawsuit alleging that a small cabin on the crest of Flagg Mountain violates property covenants that prohibit negative visual impacts on the upper Methow Valley.

East County Road Creamery is launched on Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road.

Twisp Treasures consignment and resale store opens on Highway 20 in Twisp.

Methow Ice Company is launched in Winthrop.

Owners of Methow Valley Inn put it on the market.

Proposed coho pond on the Chewuch River is criticized by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Three finalists selected to replace Mark Wenzel as superintendent of the Methow Valley School District.

Okanogan County Superior Court decides that a lawsuit challenging a cabin built on Flagg Mountain may proceed, but without some of the original plaintiffs.

Updated draft of the Okanogan County comprehensive plan contains special provisions for the Methow.

Blackbirds Café takes over the Dos Amigos restaurant spot, Mr., J’s Barber Shop also moves to the Blackbirds building.

Twisp guitarist Rico Stover receives Artistic Achievement Award from the Guitar Foundation.

 

Tom Venable greets Liberty Bell High School ASB president Kathleen Chavey-Reynaud while Erik Brooks, Hanz Scholz and Sarah Brooks listen in, at a public forum after Venable was named superintendent of the Methow Valley School District. Photo by Marcy Stamper

Tom Venable greets Liberty Bell High School ASB president Kathleen Chavey-Reynaud while Erik Brooks, Hanz Scholz and Sarah Brooks listen in, at a public forum after Venable was named superintendent of the Methow Valley School District. Photo by Marcy Stamper

JUNE

Tom Venable is named superintendent of the Methow Valley School District.

Formation of a Methow Valley Recreation District is proposed by local residents who see it as a way to support facilities and programs in Twisp, Winthrop and elsewhere in the valley.

Memorial Day burglary at the Tenderfoot in Winthrop results in three arrests.

Andy Johnson, who owned Java Man Espresso in Winthrop, is seriously injured in car accident.

TwispWorks launches “Methow Made” marketing program to support local products.

U.S. Forest Service plan to issue 10-year permits to local outfitter-guide companies is challenged by outfitters and Wilderness Watch.

Outward Bound returns for a full season after a one-year hiatus.

Hours at Carlton post office are likely to be halved as U.S. Postal Service contemplates cutbacks.

Okanogan Bakery relocates to Local 98856 building in Twisp.

Okanogan County transit planning group contemplates a November ballot proposal for a sales tax increase to support a countywide bus system.

L-Bow the Clown heated things up at the Winthrop Park during Pridefest. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

L-Bow the Clown heated things up at the Winthrop Park during Pridefest. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

Methow Valley Pridefest celebrates diverse community.

Vicky Welch, long-time environmental activist and co-owner of Sunny Pine Farm, dies at age 66.

 

JULY

Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable begins his new job.

State audit highlights financial challenges at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster.

Legislature approves last-minute bill to expand opportunities for off-road vehicles.

The Merc Playhouse selects Ki Gottberg as its new artistic director.

Community event in Mazama raises funds to support a lawsuit challenging the legality a cabin built on Flagg Mountain.

Potential ballot measure on formation of a Methow Valley parks and recreation district is postponed to 2014 because of timing and technical issues.

Okanogan County Public Utility District gets federal approval to restart Enloe Dam for the first time in more than half a century.

Thomas McCord, director of the Bear Fight Institute, is awarded the NASA Public Service Medal.

Fast-moving brush fire causes a nine-hour power outage in the valley after damaging transmission lines.

Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp denies a request, filed by defendants in a lawsuit challenging the legality of a cabin on Flagg Mountain, to disqualify some plaintiffs in the case.

Winthrop Town Council decides to take hands-off approach to zoning for marijuana-related businesses.

Backcountry Coffee Roasters changes it name, logo and marketing to Lariat Coffee Roasters.

Okanogan County opens hundreds of miles of roads to all-terrain vehicles.

Transit planning group decides on November ballot measure for sales tax increase to support a countywide bus system.

 

AUGUST

Three Bears Inn, a combined retail/lodging building, begins taking shape on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop.

Okanogan County Pubic Utility District begins installing 200 miles of fiber optic cables to help bring high-speed Internet service to under-served areas.

Rumohr Healing Arts opens in Winthrop.

Mudslides close Highway 20, force tourists to use alternate routes.

The Methow Valley Citizens Council and Conservation Northwest file suit to challenge the Okanogan County commissioners’ action allowing all-terrain vehicles on county roads.

Oroville edges out the Methow Valley for the greatest value of new construction in Okanogan County.

Aero Methow adds new ambulance to its fleet.

Room One offers to help local residents with the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

 

SEPTEMBER

Clay Hill resigns from the Twisp Town Council to take a job in Olympia.

Okanogan County will get up to five retails stores for the sale of marijuana under rules established by the state Liquor Control Board.

Record rains block roads, turn rivers muddy.

Highway 20 closed again by more mudslides.

Twisp River Suites unveils rooms designed to accommodate visitors’ dogs.

Dollar Mountain Bookkeeping is launched inTwisp.

K-Root radio launches fundraising campaign to support purchase of new equipment and its move to TwispWorks.

Three pups confirmed born to a pair of wolves in the Lookout Pack territory.

 

OCTOBER

Federal government shutdown takes its toll on agencies in the Methow Valley.

Deer hunter kills a gray wolf in the Pasayten Wilderness Area.

Twisp, Winthrop disinfect their water supplies because of concerns about “total coliform” findings in water samples.

Methow Valley Irrigation District drills a test well in Twisp to assess how the effort might help its water needs.

Buck numbers are said to be the best in years for deer hunting opener.

Methow Resource Recovery will close after eight years.

Amanda Tomatich of Twisp looks over bargains at Methow Resource Recovery on one of the last days that the nonprofit organization was open. Photo by Don Nelson

Amanda Tomatich of Twisp looks over bargains at Methow Resource Recovery on one of the last days that the nonprofit organization was open. Photo by Don Nelson

Spring freeze takes a big bite out of local apple crops.

K-Root settles into its new studio at TwispWorks.

Okanogan County considers whether to eliminate environmental reviews for larger building projects in the Methow Valley.

Town of Winthrop sells the old town hall building on Riverside Avenue.

Looney Creek store and studio opens in downtown Winthrop.

 

NOVEMBER

Okanogan County decides to turn land-use decisions over to a professional hearing examiner rather than volunteer board members.

Carlos1800 restaurant will expand to a third location, in Leavenworth.

Smoke scare causes evacuation of Liberty Bell High School.

U.S. Forest Service postpones plans to log in the Loup Loup area.

Okanogan County Planning Commission recommends that environmental review rules for Methow Valley not be changed.

Three Rivers Hospital considers budget/staffing/program cuts that may include the obstetrics unit.

Ballot measure enacting a sales tax increase to support a countywide bus system passes by a large margin.

Supporters of a Methow Valley recreation district begin collecting signatures to put the proposal on the April 2014 ballot.

Washington State Supreme Court agrees to hear a challenge by the state Department of Natural Resources to the Pateros-Twisp powerline planned by Okanogan County Public Utility District.

Rick Northcott is re-elected to the Winthrop Town Council, Sue Langdalen is elected mayor, and Michael Strulic is elected to the council. Dwight Filer is elected to the Twisp Town Council, and council members Bob Lloyd and Clint Estes are re-elected.

Liberty Bell High School Activities Director Mike Wilson is placed on paid leave pending an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office investigation of an incident involving Wilson and a student.

County fields a flood of inquiries about various aspects of the marijuana trade.

“Friends of the Trail,” a citizen group, is formed to support creation of Twisp’s community trail system.

Almquist’s Oldtime Pottery in Winthrop will close after 40 years in business.

Brian and Amy Sweet return to the Methow Valley with plans to launch an outdoor clothing and gear store in the former Grubstake & Co. building in Winthrop.

Howard Moss announces that he will retire as Twisp’s public works superintendent.

Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop begins expansion to larger space in the same building.

Winthrop Red Apple will become Evergreen IGA after becoming a member of the International Grocers Association.

 

DECEMBER

David Dahlstrom resigns as Winthrop town marshal.

Okanogan County Planning Commission rejects a planned development in the Mazama area.

The Tawlks-Foster bridge over the Methow River gets an extensive upgrade.

Okanogan County Commissioners decide not to require conditional use permits for marijuana-related businesses.

TwispWorks will seek nonprofit status to increase flexibility in supporting economic development initiatives.

Methow Watershed Council proposes changes to state water law that, among other benefits, could help solve Twisp’s water supply problems.

Methow Valley School District puts “mindfulness” program on hold to review concerns of parents, staff.

Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster decides on cuts in staff and programs, but retains its obstetrics unit.

Ken Bajema is named interim town marshal for Winthrop.

Hotel Rio Vista in Winthrop recovers after extensive water damage.

Bunk House Inn is ready to take visitors in Winthrop.

Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink launches fundraising campaign to support installation of refrigeration equipment and other amenities.

Andy Johnson returns home to Twisp following extensive rehabilitation after an automobile accident that left him in a wheelchair.

Scant snowfall to date has significant economic impacts for the Methow Valley.