Today is Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

NEWS
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...
Valley wildfires 100-percent contained; some areas still closed

Valley wildfires 100-percent contained; some areas still closed

Fire managers reported 100-percent containment on all three major wildfires in the Methow Valley as of Monday (Aug. 25). Fire activity on the Upper Falls Fire, which burned 8,100 acres in the Chewuch drainage, is limited to smoldering in heavy dead and downed fuels. Crews are continuing suppression-repair work on the fire. The Little Bridge...
Community pitches in to help owners of slide-damaged home

Community pitches in to help owners of slide-damaged home

By Don Nelson When they heard, they came. Several dozen friends and neighbors who responded to word-of-mouth networking swarmed through and around the home of Bob Elk and Janie Lewis on Friday afternoon (Aug. 22) to haul away belongings and shove thick, slimy mud out the back door one shovelful at a time. Volunteers toted...
State grant to promote tourism in county, valley

State grant to promote tourism in county, valley

By Don Nelson
The Methow Valley and Okanogan County will get some help from the state to promote the region’s beleaguered tourism industry, in the wake of devastating wildfires that discouraged untold potential visitors over the past several weeks. Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday (Aug. 15) that he has approved a request from …...