Today is Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

NEWS
Methow Valley Irrigation District will exclude members who converted to wells

Methow Valley Irrigation District will exclude members who converted to wells

About 70 members of the Methow Valley Irrigation District (MVID) who now have individual wells for irrigation may be excluded from the district before the next irrigation season. The district has initiated a process that would remove members who installed wells for irrigation last year as part …
Hot debate as county mulls revised rules for tourist rentals

Hot debate as county mulls revised rules for tourist rentals

As Okanogan County considers revising its rules for overnight tourist rentals, some people hope the changes will rein in an industry that has become increasingly difficult to manage as online lodging reservations proliferate on websites such as Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner. Others are concerned that the changes proposed by …
Comment on zoning, Public Health proposals

Comment on zoning, Public Health proposals

In late December, the county commissioners extended an interim zoning ordinance until June 22 so they can consider proposed changes. The Planning Commission will discuss the proposed zoning code — which covers many things beyond nightly rentals — on Monday (Jan. 11) at 7 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. They won’t be taking any testimony at...
News briefs: Jan. 6, 2016

News briefs: Jan. 6, 2016

Chambers of commerce host Venable The Winthrop and Twisp chambers of commerce will host a joint meeting on Jan. 14 at the Winthrop Barn to hear from Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 8:30 a.m. Venable will discuss the district’s four-year replacement maintenance and operations...
Burn ban extended to next week

Burn ban extended to next week

A stage 1 burn ban that was imposed on Dec. 29 in Okanogan, Kittitas, Chelan and Douglas, counties has been further extended to 10 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 12), the state Department of Ecology (DOE) announced. DOE said it imposed the ban because stagnant air conditions are forecast in the region, putting the counties at risk...
County commissioners mull ways to plug early gaps in firefighting response

County commissioners mull ways to plug early gaps in firefighting response

Concerned about what they say are gaps in the earliest stages of firefighting that contribute to the growth of large, catastrophic wildfires, the Okanogan County commissioners are considering several proposals to the state Legislature. The ideas grow out of community meetings and discussions with fire chiefs and others with experience in …
News briefs: Dec. 30, 2015

News briefs: Dec. 30, 2015

Outdoor burn ban imposed in county A stage 1 burn ban was imposed Tuesday (Dec. 29) in Okanogan, Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Asotin and Walla Walla counties, the state Department of Ecology (DOE) announced. The ban will continue through at least 10 a.m. on Monday (Jan. 4), DOE said. DOE said it...
Snowpack levels above normal after heavy storms

Snowpack levels above normal after heavy storms

A series of storms that dumped snow on the North Cascades during the second half of December helped bring the mountain snowpack to well above normal and eased fears about another year of extreme drought in Washington. In the Upper Columbia Basin, which includes the Methow Valley, snowpack readings are 139 percent of normal for …...
Congressional budget provides more funds for firefighting, prevention

Congressional budget provides more funds for firefighting, prevention

A 50-percent increase in federal funds for firefighting — $1.6 billion — included in the budget signed by Pres. Obama has been hailed by lawmakers as “real money” and “a very good down payment.” In addition, the Congressional budget extension, signed Dec. 18, includes $375 million for fuels reduction and grants to help local communities decrease fire hazards.
Two property owners seek to divide riverfront land

Two property owners seek to divide riverfront land

Okanogan County planners are reviewing two applications to subdivide lots, one in the Lost River Airport development near Mazama, and one on Twisp-Airport Road 1 mile south of Twisp. Laurence and Lisa Savage seek to divide 13.67 acres on the Methow River in the Lost River Airport development into two lots. One lot, on the...