Today is Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

NEWS
Benson Creek watershed expects irrigation system fix

Benson Creek watershed expects irrigation system fix

After eight months of meetings among irrigators, property owners, hydrologists, engineers and fish biologists to deal with the effect of floods and mudslides in the Benson Creek watershed, the group is close to a resolution to fix the damaged irrigation system. The group may also study the hydrology of the larger watershed next year.
Kennedy, Branch will face off in District 1 commissioner race

Kennedy, Branch will face off in District 1 commissioner race

In a razor-thin primary election contest, Okanogan County incumbent Commissioner Sheilah Kennedy squeaked by with one more vote than challenger Chris Branch, whom she will face in the November general election. Kennedy received 615 votes and Branch got 614. While 2,274 people cast votes for District 1 commissioner, the top-three vote-getters …
County’s stance on public works projects concerns town, district officials

County’s stance on public works projects concerns town, district officials

Emphasis on private contracting may drive up local costs By Ann McCreary Okanogan County Commissioners don’t want county government competing with private business in providing public works services to municipalities, which has left some local officials wondering if they can turn to the county for assistance as they have in the past. Towns and fire...
Twisp River fish habitat restoration project will be completed next year

Twisp River fish habitat restoration project will be completed next year

A fish habitat restoration project about 10 miles up the Twisp River will continue next summer after crews ran out of time to complete work in the river last month. The Newby Narrows Fish Habitat Enhancement Project was expected to be completed this summer, but crews were unable to finish work during the short time frame...
Conservation groups sue county over newly adopted zoning code

Conservation groups sue county over newly adopted zoning code

Okanogan County’s new zoning code — the first complete update in 38 years — has been challenged in court by two conservation groups who argue that the code fails to protect the county’s natural resources, in particular its water and farmland. The lawsuit also asserts that the county did not take into account the potential impacts of wildfire in allowing...
State appeals court declines to reconsider ATV decision

State appeals court declines to reconsider ATV decision

Okanogan County’s environmental analysis of the impact of allowing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to use almost 600 miles of county roads will not get a re-hearing by the state Court of Appeals, which last week declined the county’s request to reconsider its June ruling. The court also rejected a request by the plaintiffs, the Methow Valley Citizens’...
Uneasy riders

Uneasy riders

summer the North Cascades Scenic Highway attracts thousands of motorcycle riders who travel the route to enjoy the highway’s spectacular views, sweeping curves and tight turns. Highway 20 is frequently called one of the “premier rides” on websites describing popular motorcycle routes in Washington state, and many riders heading east make the Methow Valley their destination. ...
State audit highlights timing issues in fire-recovery funding

State audit highlights timing issues in fire-recovery funding

State and local conservation districts that assist property owners with recovery after a wildfire or other disaster sometimes struggle to get projects approved and completed before funding expires. In fact, sometimes they have only a few months to get everything completed. The districts also face limitations because state law requires that only a fraction of the...
Hover, Thrasher advance to general election in District 2 race

Hover, Thrasher advance to general election in District 2 race

Okanogan County citizens will have at least one new representative on the county board of commissioners after strong showings by challengers Andy Hover and Ashley Thrasher, who elbowed out incumbent Commissioner Ray Campbell in the Aug. 2 primary. With all but a handful of ballots counted on Monday (Aug. 8), Hover had 40 percent of the...
Winthrop agrees to salary increases for police officers

Winthrop agrees to salary increases for police officers

The Winthrop Town Council has agreed to pay raises for the town’s marshal and deputies to help recruit better candidates for its police positions. At last week’s meeting, the council adopted a revised pay schedule proposed by Marshal Hal Henning. The salary figures in the proposal approved last week were less than those in an earlier...