Today is Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

NEWS
County commissioners seek to tackle firefighting with local resources

County commissioners seek to tackle firefighting with local resources

By Marcy Stamper
Okanogan County wants to create its own local emergency response plan for wildfires to promptly deploy local resources and position them in advance in high-risk areas. The idea for a pilot program for local emergency response was proposed by Okanogan County commissioners Ray Campbell and Jim DeTro i…
USFS must designate over-snow vehicle travel areas

USFS must designate over-snow vehicle travel areas

By Ann McCreary Areas where motorized “over-snow” vehicles are allowed to travel on U.S. Forest Service land in and around the Methow Valley will need to be designated by the Methow Valley Ranger District under a policy adopted last week by the Forest Service. Previously, local Forest Service managers had discretion to decide whether to...
PUD powerline gets OK from state’s high court

PUD powerline gets OK from state’s high court

By Marcy Stamper
After more than a dozen years of lawsuits, the Okanogan County Public Utility District’s transmission line from Pateros to Twisp has won an almost certain path to construction with a Washington Supreme Court decision that the utility has the right to condemn state land to build the powerline. The opinion found...
Methow, county representatives testify in favor of fire relief funds in Olympia

Methow, county representatives testify in favor of fire relief funds in Olympia

Methow Valley and Okanogan County representatives testified last Thursday (Jan. 29) before the state House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee, supporting the need for economic recovery funds for areas affected by the Carlton Complex Fire. The committee heard from Rep. Brad Hawkins (R-East Wenatchee), who is sponsoring HB 1125, which would provide an...
Proposed laws emphasize local resources for firefighting

Proposed laws emphasize local resources for firefighting

By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County commissioners are not the only ones looking to manage firefighting at the local level — several bills currently under consideration by state lawmakers would shift some responsibility for firefighting into local hands. One bill would require the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) …
PUD commissioners set to decide future of Enloe Dam next week

PUD commissioners set to decide future of Enloe Dam next week

By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners will consider two resolutions next week that could decide the fate of Enloe Dam — whether to reenergize it to generate power or to remove the dam from the Similkameen River. The dam, near Oroville, has not produced power …
Parts of charred Methow landscape face uncertain future

Parts of charred Methow landscape face uncertain future

By Ann McCreary
Because they are adapted to fire, the forest and shrub-steppe lands burned in the Carlton Complex Fire can be expected to recover, although many areas of the Methow Valley landscape will remain changed for the rest of our lifetimes. “Our regular haunts are changed,” said Susan …
County’s comp plan to get another hearing

County’s comp plan to get another hearing

By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County commissioners took testimony on the county’s comprehensive plan at a hearing on Monday (Feb. 2), but they still want more time to review the plan before making a final decision…
Senior Center uses Facebook posts to expose ‘after-hours shoppers’

Senior Center uses Facebook posts to expose ‘after-hours shoppers’

By Ann McCreary
Fed up with people taking donated items left for the Rummage Room after hours, Methow Valley Senior Citizens Association board president Judy Tonseth recently posted photos taken by a surveillance camera …
Winthrop awards contract for Bluff Street project

Winthrop awards contract for Bluff Street project

By Don Nelson
A contract to complete a substantial street and water improvement project on upper Bluff Street was approved last week by the Winthrop Town Council. The lowest qualified bidder on the long-awaited project was Hurst …