Today is Friday, Jul. 3, 2015

NEWS
Think twice before lighting fireworks this weekend

Think twice before lighting fireworks this weekend

Okanogan County code prohibits fireworks in all unincorporated areas of the county. Winthrop and Twisp do not have ordinances prohibiting fireworks, but in light of the current extreme fire danger, town officials advise against using fireworks this year. Winthrop Marshal Rikki Schwab asks that people use only “safe-and-sane” fireworks within town limits if they do...
Equipment problems caused 911 system outage last weekend

Equipment problems caused 911 system outage last weekend

Overheated fiber optic equipment and subsequent problems caused an outage of the 911 emergency system that affected landline service in Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop from about 3 p.m. Sunday (June 28) to 8 a.m. Monday (June 29). An air conditioning unit failed at …
Brush fire ignites state land near Winthrop

Brush fire ignites state land near Winthrop

A wildfire burned just over one acre of dry grass and brush on a bench above the Chewuch River about 3 miles from Winthrop on Friday evening (June 27). The fire was reported near East Chewuch and Walter roads around 7 p.m. Responders included Okanogan County Fire District 6 fire chiefs and 15 volunteers from...
Possible changes to mail collection times delayed, but still looming next year

Possible changes to mail collection times delayed, but still looming next year

Notification that collection times at local post offices could change turns out to be a false alarm — for now. The U.S. Postal Service plans to consolidate about 82 mail processing centers across the country, but the consolidation has been postponed until next year, according to Ernie Swanson,
School district hiring new teachers, staff to expand programs

School district hiring new teachers, staff to expand programs

New administrative jobs for elementary principal, facilities operations By Marcy Stamper Elementary school students will learn to speak Spanish and have regular music classes, while junior high and high school students can select more work in science, engineering and design as the Methow Valley School District expands and reorganizes its programs. The district has budgeted...
Ice rink expansion underway, volunteers needed

Ice rink expansion underway, volunteers needed

A small crew of intrepid volunteers, led by project superintendent Marc Robertson, donned their tool belts, braved last weekend’s heat, and began framing an addition to the Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink (WISR) building. “We got about half of the interior walls framed,” said Robertson. “This week we’ll …
Record low river levels bad for irrigators, fish

Record low river levels bad for irrigators, fish

With rivers and streams dropping to seasonal record low levels due to drought, irrigators in the Methow Valley and around the state are facing water cutoffs much earlier than normal this year. The dropping water levels may also be bad news for fish returning to the Methow watershed to spawn. About 60 irrigators …
Gov. Inslee declares ‘emergency conditions’ across the state

Gov. Inslee declares ‘emergency conditions’ across the state

Extreme heat and drought conditions across the state have prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to issue an emergency proclamation for all 39 counties, activating essential resources needed to prevent and contain wildfires. Forecasts call for continued high temperatures and dry conditions around the state, creating …
Electric co-op proposes three-year rate plan

Electric co-op proposes three-year rate plan

A three-year rate plan proposed by Okanogan County Electric Cooperative (OCEC) calls for decreases for some members and increases for others, but will not result in an overall rate increase for 2016 and 2017. The third year, 2018, includes a general rate increase of up to 3.5 percent for most customers.
Cinder getting comfortable in the wild after her release

Cinder getting comfortable in the wild after her release

Famous bear takes a tour of her new habitat By Ann McCreary Cinder the bear has been exploring her new home in the wild, and biologists are able to follow her travels via the GPS radio collar placed on her before she was released in early June. The bear’s paws, which were badly burned in...