Today is Thursday, Mar. 30, 2017

NEWS
Winthrop, Methow Valley set records for lodging taxes

Winthrop, Methow Valley set records for lodging taxes

Winthrop and the Methow Valley had a record year in 2016 for the number of visitors, measured by big increases in overnight lodging tax revenues. Winthrop was up 18 percent in 2016 over 2015’s record-setting year, and the Methow Valley as a whole, including Mazama and Twisp, was up 23 percent last year over 2015’s hotel/motel...
Okanogan County sets informational meetings on water usage

Okanogan County sets informational meetings on water usage

As part of its efforts to develop a procedure that complies with a state Supreme Court ruling on water adequacy, Okanogan County is holding a series of informational sessions and opportunities for public comment. The October court ruling in a Whatcom County case requires anyone who wants to use a well as the source for water...
State audit reviews Three Rivers Hospital’s time record procedures

State audit reviews Three Rivers Hospital’s time record procedures

A state audit of Three Rivers Hospital found that hospital employees had adjusted their own electronic time records but supervisors had not always reviewed the changes, in violation of hospital procedures. The review by the Washington State Auditor of operations at the Brewster-based hospital in 2015 also found that there was not adequate documentation to ...
Local leaders rallying around North Cascades Smokejumper Base

Local leaders rallying around North Cascades Smokejumper Base

Alarmed by the possibility that the historic North Cascades Smokejumper Base (NCSB) could be shut down in the future, local elected officials and economic leaders are mustering forces to keep the base open. The U.S. Forest Service, which owns and operates the smokejumper base at the Methow Valley State Airport, is assessing the condition of ......
Road warriors

Road warriors

Josh Morgan was at work by 5 a.m., waiting his turn in the garage to thaw out his plow truck so he could load it with sand and, still long before first light, head out to plow Twisp River Road. Morgan and his five fellow plow operators were summoned to work an hour earlier than usual...
Commenting period open on proposed nightly rental zoning

Commenting period open on proposed nightly rental zoning

A property owner on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road is applying to Okanogan County for a zoning change to allow an existing single-family residence to be used as a nightly rental. The 10-acre parcel is about 2-1/2 miles south of Winthrop, on the east side of Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road. If approved, the property would maintain 9-1/2...
Winthrop Rink is the hot place to be this winter

Winthrop Rink is the hot place to be this winter

What a difference a really big ice machine makes. A year ago, the Winthrop Rink was already closed for the season after a Christmas Day 2015 opening. The rink had been plagued by bad (meaning warm) weather and the frustration of unremitting delays in the arrival and installation of a long-anticipated refrigeration system that would create...
‘State of Salmon’ report outlines recovery challenges

‘State of Salmon’ report outlines recovery challenges

A state report tallying the achievements of almost 20 years of salmon recovery gives this region high marks for habitat and land protection, but paints a gloomier picture for endangered fish, with spring Chinook “getting worse” and steelhead “not making progress.” The 2016 “State of Salmon in Watersheds” update, released by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office,...
Frozen water lines still a problem for some Winthrop residents

Frozen water lines still a problem for some Winthrop residents

Relationships between the town of Winthrop and its residents whose water pipes are frozen didn’t thaw out much at last week’s Town Council meeting. Residents and business owners are still frustrated that their water service is disrupted — perhaps until spring. The town’s ability to help them is still limited by a combination of town ordinance, state law,...
Low-power radio station KFAC-FM takes to the air in Twisp

Low-power radio station KFAC-FM takes to the air in Twisp

The Methow Valley has a new radio station featuring music — as much as possible by local artists — and informational programming of particular interest to veterans. After years of volunteer labor and thousands of dollars, KFAC, the low-power radio station of the American Legion Post in Twisp, is on the air at 105.5 FM. Tristan Gilbert, the ...