School board candidates’ forum
The Twisp Valley Grange will host a public forum for all six candidates for the three Methow Valley School District board of director position on the Nov. 7 ballot on Tuesday, Oct. 17, starting at 6 p.m.
Invited to appear are:
• District One candidates, incumbent Judith Hardmeyer-Wright and challenger Austin Lott.
• District Three candidates, Scott Larson and Jennifer Zbyszewski.
• District Five candidates, incumbent Frank Kline and challenger Michael Liu.
Doors open at 6 pm. For a meet-and-greet; the forum will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Candidates will answer questions collected from the audience or submitted prior to the forum. Send questions to email@example.com.
All voters within the Methow Valley School District are eligible to vote for the three open positions. Ballots will be mailed Oct. 20.
The State Department of Commerce has awarded $35 million in grants to organizations around the state for solar power systems with battery backups, including three in Okanogan County.
The grants to local, state, and tribal governments and nonprofits will support more than 80 projects to “provide clean back-up power for critical community needs during power outages, including supporting emergency services, healthcare, and shelters,” Commerce said in a press release.
The Twisp Valley Grange, which serves as an emergency hub in the Methow Valley, received a planning and development grant of $13,580.
The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation also received a $100,000 grant for planning and development.
Family Health Centers was awarded $595,938 to develop solar storage.
“Okanagan County is highly prone to wildfires, smoke and heat events, flooding, and other natural disasters that have had an increasing impact on our rural power grid with the effects of climate change,” said Kevan Coffey, medical director for Family Health Centers. “We currently have no backup power at our Omak Clinic, the largest clinic in our system. The ability to maintain clinic operations during power outages will reduce barriers for our patient population, allowing patients to keep previously scheduled appointments, seek urgent health care and fill prescriptions.”
WVC grant for health programs
The Wenatchee Valley College Foundation has received $25,000 from Coordinated Care to support students in the Medical Assistant or Chemical Dependency Studies programs at Wenatchee Valley College.
Coordinated Care is a managed care organization that provides health insurance coverage throughout Washington state, including Apple Health (Medicaid), foster care, Medicare and the state-based Marketplace (Exchange). Coordinated Care created its Community Scholarship Fund in response to workforce shortages within the health care industry. It was designed with an equity lens and launched with community colleges who are skilled at supporting first-generation and underrepresented student populations.
The WVC Chemical Dependency Studies program is a two-year associate degree and prepares students to practice chemical dependency counseling. Students who complete the chemical dependency studies program will have met the certification requirements for chemical dependency treatment service providers.