Today is Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

NEWS
County reorganizing emergency management

County reorganizing emergency management

By Marcy Stamper
Okanogan County is reorganizing its approach to emergency management, moving the job back under the county commissioners instead of the Sheriff’s Office. The change was prompted by a reevaluation of …
Revamped county boards begin work on tourism grants

Revamped county boards begin work on tourism grants

By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County commissioners have merged the two committees that advise them about how to distribute taxes on lodging to attract more tourists to the county. The commissioners adopted a resolution establishing the combined committee, which will be known as the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), on Dec. 30. After hearing...
Analysis: new fire hall would strain District 6 resources

Analysis: new fire hall would strain District 6 resources

By Ann McCreary
An independent financial analysis of Okanogan County Fire District 6’s ability to borrow money for a new fire station found that the district could borrow up to $2.5 million, but would likely deplete half its reserves and have little money available for unexpected expenses or future purchases. The analysis was...
Another bad summer?

Another bad summer?

By Ann McCreary
After last summer’s severe wildfire season, no one wants to hear that the coming summer could be just as bad. But that’s what a fire weather consultant predicts, based on current weather patterns and long-term forecasts. “We’re going down a path right now and the path is leading to an...
County comp plan appealed again over water, ag protections

County comp plan appealed again over water, ag protections

By Marcy Stamper
The comprehensive plan and zoning code adopted by the Okanogan County commissioners at the end of last year violate state law because they do not protect water resources, do not protect county residents from wildfire and landslides, and do not clearly designate commercially productive agricultural and forest lands, argue...
County commissioners to reconsider recently adopted comp plan

County commissioners to reconsider recently adopted comp plan

By Marcy Stamper

For three weeks, Okanogan County has had its first new comprehensive plan in half a century. The county commissioners adopted the plan just three days before Christmas, but that plan is now up for reconsideration. After further review of comments received at the Dec. 22 hearing — at which the commissioners...

Methow Wildlife Area manager brings conservation, habitat experience from Florida

Methow Wildlife Area manager brings conservation, habitat experience from Florida

By Marcy Stamper
Sherry Furnari started her job as manager of the Methow Wildlife Area in late August, just over a month after 15,000 of the 35,000 acres she manages burned in the Carlton Complex Fire. Although Furnari came to the Methow from a dramatically different climate and habitat type — in Florida — she said there are...
Idaho wildlife manager is new director of WDFW

Idaho wildlife manager is new director of WDFW

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has selected Jim Unsworth, former deputy director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, as the new director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The commission made its selection from four finalists — narrowed down from eight original candidates — on Saturday (Jan. 10). Unsworth replaces outgoing director Phil...
K-12: Expensive focus of 2015 legislative debates

K-12: Expensive focus of 2015 legislative debates

By Cooper Inveen, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
OLYMPIA – Washington’s lawmakers have opened this year’s legislative session amid predictions of a long and contentious debate focused on budget and tax votes for the K-12 education system. Lawmakers are confronted with a mountain of expensive problems to solve, ranging from transportation to mental health. But education...
‘Divine timing’ for The Cove’s new space in Twisp

‘Divine timing’ for The Cove’s new space in Twisp

By Laurelle Walsh

Conditions have improved for everyone — clients, volunteers and coordinators — at The Cove since the food bank began moving stored food out of its original building on Glover Street in Twisp and into the organization’s new warehouse on Third Avenue. The new warehouse, known as Cove II or the annex, has opened up...