Today is Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

NEWS
Roadblock

Roadblock

By Ann McCreary

After a nearly snowless winter, the devastating wildfires of summer, and the prolonged closure of state Highway 153 following floods and mudslides, the Carlton General Store is struggling to keep its doors open. “It’s kind of a day-by-day thing. I’m just putting one …

Winthrop council OKs digital highway sign at town entrance

Winthrop council OKs digital highway sign at town entrance

By Don Nelson

Just how “western” can a flashing digital-readout warning sign be? Not even a little bit, say critics of a plan by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to install such a device on the wood-framed sign in Winthrop that sends …

Cinder the bear back on her feet

Cinder the bear back on her feet

By Ann McCreary
Cinder the bear now has bare feet. After two months of treatment for badly burned paws, the bear cub — a survivor of the Carlton Complex Fire — is walking without bandages on her feet. Cinder was flown to the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC) …
Highway 153 property owner to fight condemnation

Highway 153 property owner to fight condemnation

By Ann McCreary
Patrick Fitzgerald will “vigorously resist the state’s efforts to condemn his land” in order to repair a washout on Highway 153 at Benson Creek, according to a statement from his attorney. Fitzgerald has refused to negotiate sale …
Benson Creek man cited for alleged reckless burning

Benson Creek man cited for alleged reckless burning

Thomas A. Henson, 67, of Benson Creek, was cited for alleged reckless burning Oct. 5 in connection with a grass fire on Benson Creek near Highway 153. The fire was reported at 3:23 p.m. and Deputy Laura Wright of the Okanogan County Sheriff’s office responded. When she arrived, the fire was more than an acre...
Local landmark Tice Ranch to be auctioned off

Local landmark Tice Ranch to be auctioned off

By Ann McCreary
Tice Ranch, the expansive 305-acre working ranch that has hosted international gatherings and celebrities, will be auctioned on Oct. 16 by J.P. King Auction Company, which specializes in premier, luxury properties. The ranch features a 15-bedroom, 20- …
Tourism promotion gets local thumbs-down

Tourism promotion gets local thumbs-down

By Ann McCreary
A $150,000 marketing campaign aimed at luring visitors to areas impacted by wildfires and other natural disasters last summer has raised questions among some Methow Valley residents about its portrayal of the valley and Okanogan County.
FEMA says ‘no’ – again – to individual disaster assistance

FEMA says ‘no’ – again – to individual disaster assistance

By Marcy Stamper
Finding that “the impact to individuals and households from this event [the wildfire] was not of the severity or magnitude to warrant the designation,” the federal administrator for disaster …
State seeks private property condemnation to continue Highway 153 flood repairs

State seeks private property condemnation to continue Highway 153 flood repairs

By Ann McCreary With negotiations at an impasse, state transportation officials are planning to use eminent domain to acquire property from a landowner near Benson Creek in order to repair flood damage on Highway 153. Repairs to other sections of Highway 153, damaged by mudslides during severe rainstorms on Aug. 21, are mostly complete, said...
Disaster case managers help with winter housing, emergency funds

Disaster case managers help with winter housing, emergency funds

By Marcy Stamper
The new local disaster case manager for fire survivors has already worked with about 20 people and households — many who lost everything in the fire — and said she is encouraged about meeting people’s winter housing needs. “So far, I’m really …