Today is Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

NEWS
Winthrop writes off $49,000 in old, unpaid traffic tickets

Winthrop writes off $49,000 in old, unpaid traffic tickets

Winthrop won’t try to collect on old unpaid traffic tickets dating back to 1993 that are considered “uncollectable,” the Town Council has decided. The council decided last week to write off almost $49,000 of unpaid fines owed the town, many of which are more than 10 years old and have therefore passed the statute of limitations...
County’s new construction value on par with recent years

County’s new construction value on par with recent years

The value of new construction in Okanogan County in the past year is fairly consistent with value picked up annually since 2011, with the only spike recorded in 2015. New construction in Okanogan County in 2016 was valued at $40.7 million, a 20-percent drop from the $50.6 million added last year. “The spike in total new construction...
Fire bans on state, national land

Fire bans on state, national land

Here’s a roundup of recent campfire bans affecting outdoor activities: The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) banned all campfires on lands it administers as of Aug. 17. The statewide burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forestlands protected by DNR firefighters. It prohibits all outdoor burning, including …
Bus barn razed for more productive space

Bus barn razed for more productive space

In just two days, the powerful jaws of an excavator demolished the old school bus barn in Twisp, clearing more space in the parking area and giving access to a second entrance to the bus-maintenance garage. Demolishing the bus barn — which hasn’t been used to shelter buses for years—was one of the improvements recommended by a Methow...
Twisp re-captures the (crossing) flags

Twisp re-captures the (crossing) flags

After hearing reports from Twisp residents about near misses with vehicles while crossing Highway 20 in town, Twisp officials have installed new bright orange flags at four locations in town for pedestrians to carry while crossing the road. The flags are intended to make pedestrians more visible to motorists and increase pedestrian safety.
Forest Service, community honor fallen firefighters

Forest Service, community honor fallen firefighters

Firefighters, U.S. Forest Service staff and community members had an opportunity for personal and shared reflection about the lived legacy of Tom Zbyszewski, Rick Wheeler and Andrew Zajac, the three firefighters who died in the Twisp River Fire one year ago. The U.S. Forest Service held a formal tribute on the one-year anniversary of the firefighters’...
Winthrop crosswalk plan more than a pedestrian issue

Winthrop crosswalk plan more than a pedestrian issue

Plans for new accessible pedestrian ramps at each corner of the four-way stop in Winthrop drew criticism, concern and some support when state transportation officials presented their ideas to the community last week. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) held a public open house prior to the Winthrop Council’s Aug. 17 meeting to let community...
Benson Creek watershed expects irrigation system fix

Benson Creek watershed expects irrigation system fix

After eight months of meetings among irrigators, property owners, hydrologists, engineers and fish biologists to deal with the effect of floods and mudslides in the Benson Creek watershed, the group is close to a resolution to fix the damaged irrigation system. The group may also study the hydrology of the larger watershed next year.
Kennedy, Branch will face off in District 1 commissioner race

Kennedy, Branch will face off in District 1 commissioner race

In a razor-thin primary election contest, Okanogan County incumbent Commissioner Sheilah Kennedy squeaked by with one more vote than challenger Chris Branch, whom she will face in the November general election. Kennedy received 615 votes and Branch got 614. While 2,274 people cast votes for District 1 commissioner, the top-three vote-getters …
County’s stance on public works projects concerns town, district officials

County’s stance on public works projects concerns town, district officials

Emphasis on private contracting may drive up local costs By Ann McCreary Okanogan County Commissioners don’t want county government competing with private business in providing public works services to municipalities, which has left some local officials wondering if they can turn to the county for assistance as they have in the past. Towns and fire...