Today is Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

NEWS
Santa's helpers

Santa’s helpers

At the Twisp Valley Grange Hall on Friday (Dec. 12), Manger Mall coordinator Glenda Johnson, on left, volunteer Kim Claussen, and dozens of other volunteers filled tables with age- and gender-appropriate toys, games, dolls and stuffed animals for parents to select for their children. The Manger Mall itself took place on Saturday (Dec. 13), where...
Twisp adopts 2015 budget with sewer, water rate hikes

Twisp adopts 2015 budget with sewer, water rate hikes

By Ann McCreary
An increase in water and sewer rates, the first rate hike in two years, is included in a 2015 Twisp town budget that otherwise includes minor changes in spending. The town council approved a budget on Dec. 9 that includes a 12-percent increase in water rates and a …
County gets renewal of $2.3 million for nontaxable federal lands

County gets renewal of $2.3 million for nontaxable federal lands

By Marcy Stamper
Okanogan County will be getting about $2.3 million — thus joining almost 1,900 other rural counties around the country in a collective sigh of relief — after Congress authorized payments to counties for their nontaxable federal lands.
County commissioners fine-tuning $56.7 million budget

County commissioners fine-tuning $56.7 million budget

By Marcy Stamper
Okanogan County commissioners and staff are still finalizing their $56.7 million budget for 2015. The biggest change is accommodating the new position of county coroner, which is mandated by state law based on passing a population threshold. The $143,000 to set up …
PUD adopts 2015 budget; reflects fire-related costs

PUD adopts 2015 budget; reflects fire-related costs

The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners adopted the utility’s budget for 2015 on Dec. 15. The budget is based on expected revenues of $59.8 million and expenditures of $44.1 million. The bulk of the revenue comes from electric sales, with $3 million derived from use of the PUD’s broadband network. The budget also...
Duwamish River to get $342 million more for cleanup

Duwamish River to get $342 million more for cleanup

By Daniel Person

Kids who were born the year Seattle’s Lower Duwamish Waterway was designated a Superfund site are now approaching high school. If everything goes according to plan, the federally ordered river cleanup will be finished by the time they …

Killing wolves to protect cattle may backfire

Killing wolves to protect cattle may backfire

By Sarah Jane Keller

A new study raises questions about how to handle livestock conflicts. In two decades of studying large carnivores, nature has never failed to surprise Rob Wielgus. For example, he and his student found in 2013 that cougar hunting does not reduce complaints about …

New Winthrop deputy has experience in Alaska, Washington

New Winthrop deputy has experience in Alaska, Washington

By Don Nelson
The valley’s patch of wintry weather is isn’t likely to faze Winthrop’s newest deputy marshal. Mark Harreus comes to the Methow directly from Alaska, where he worked for about nine years in various law enforcement jobs including one at the remote village of Unalakleet.
Twisp police chief ready to train citizens for emergency response team

Twisp police chief ready to train citizens for emergency response team

By Laurelle Walsh
To prepare for future large-scale emergencies, Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow says his community needs to be able to survive for three days before outside agencies come in with assistance. Last summer’s fires “brought the issue into the forefront,” Budrow said.
Fees waived at county central landfill for some fire debris

Fees waived at county central landfill for some fire debris

By Marcy Stamper
People who still have “ash and trash” to dispose of after their property burned during the Carlton Complex Fire can get the disposal fees at the Okanogan County landfill waived if they make arrangements with volunteers from the Brewster-Pateros Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO).