Today is Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

NEWS
North Cascades National Park announces closures

North Cascades National Park announces closures

The last three miles of the Cascade River Road will be closed to all vehicle and foot traffic from Sept. 8 through late October, the North Cascades National Park Complex announced this week. According to the park’s release, “the road closure will begin at the Eldorado parking area near milepost 20 and will affect hikers...
MV School District welcomes new staff, changes for coming year

MV School District welcomes new staff, changes for coming year

By Marcy Stamper  Students attending Methow Valley Elementary and Liberty Bell High School will find a variety of staff changes when schools open on Tuesday (Sept. 2). The school district has hired new classroom and special education teachers, counselors and coaches, and several staff members are switching to new jobs. Methow Valley Elementary has an...
New faces and places at the Methow Valley Community School

New faces and places at the Methow Valley Community School

By Marcy Stamper 
The Methow Valley Community School is launching its new school year in a new (and once and former) location, in the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp, and is welcoming an entirely new staff. School starts Sept. 9. Executive Director Crystal Bacon, who took the helm this summer,...
Floods, slides cut swath of damage after torrential storm

Floods, slides cut swath of damage after torrential storm

By Ann McCreary and Marcy Stamper

The potential for flooding, mudslides and erosion was predicted in the aftermath of the enormous wildfire that swept through the Methow Valley last month, searing more than 250,000 acres and leaving blackened hillsides bare of vegetation. In her latest assault on the valley, Mother Nature wasted no time...

Fires and floods: a natural progression

Fires and floods: a natural progression

By Ann McCreary and Marcy Stamper
Changes in soil from the intense heat of fire, along with a treacherous mix of ash and water, create a heightened risk of floods and mudslides in fire-damaged areas. When fires move across the surface of the ground, burning grasses and plants, the combustion of vegetation creates a...
Winthrop Town Council remains undecided on allowing ATVs

Winthrop Town Council remains undecided on allowing ATVs

By Don Nelson
The Winthrop Town Council, split 2-2 on the question of whether to allow all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on town streets, decided at its meeting last week to hold off a final vote until the fifth council member could be present. But they shortly learned that long-time council member and former mayor Mort...
Winthrop mourns death of Town Council member Mort Banasky 

Winthrop mourns death of Town Council member Mort Banasky 

By Don Nelson

Mort Banasky, a Winthrop Town Council member and former mayor who devoted much of her 30 years in the Methow Valley to civic service, died at her home last week. She was 73. Banasky was also a long-time fire tower lookout for the U.S. Forest Service — a job she loved and...

Wenner Lake dams fail in heavy storm

Wenner Lake dams fail in heavy storm

By Marcy Stamper

Heavy rains appear to have contributed to the failure of three Wenner Lake dams, adding to the volume of water that turned the normally modest Benson Creek into a torrent Thursday night (Aug. 21). Wenner Lakes are a series of five ponds used for irrigation and recreation tucked among the...

Mount Vernon firm chosen to handle state-funded tourism promotion

Mount Vernon firm chosen to handle state-funded tourism promotion

By Don Nelson
The Economic Alliance has selected BrandQuery, a Mount Vernon-based company that calls itself a “brand enhancement agency,” to create and launch a marketing campaign intended to help draw visitors back to the Methow Valley and Okanogan County. Earlier this month, Gov. Jay Inslee approved a request …
Flagg Mountain cabin legal dispute awaits judge’s ruling

Flagg Mountain cabin legal dispute awaits judge’s ruling

The trial over the legality of a small cabin built atop Flagg Mountain in Mazama concluded last week with oral closing arguments and a visit to the cabin site by Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp, who is expected to make a ruling in October. Attorney David Bricklin, who is representing the plaintiffs in...