Stories for August 2013


Friday, August 30


Cutthroat Classic

RAINY PASS — Nick Welch of Seattle finished first overall at the Cutthroat Classic 11.1-mile trail run Aug. 24 that follows portions of the Pacific Crest Trail. Welch covered the trail, which also includes going over Cutthroat Pass, in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 52 seconds.

August 30, 2013 12:56 p.m. read more..

Thursday, August 29

Wednesday, August 28


Utility contests petition on Enloe permit

The Okanogan County Public Utility District has asked the state to deny conservationists’ petition to clarify the state’s decision upholding a water quality permit issued for Enloe Dam.

August 28, 2013 1:43 p.m. read more..

Car shows draw vintage rides

More than 30 vintage cars, trucks and tractors assembled Saturday under cloudy skies and an occasional sprinkling of rain for the fourth annual Hot Summer Nights show. Turnout was “very disappointing,” with about half the number of entrants and spectators as in past years, organizer Pauline Waits said.

August 28, 2013 1:42 p.m. read more..

North Cascades fires continue to smolder

MARBLEMOUNT - Three active fires ignited by lightning continue to burn within North Cascades National Park, but the remaining fires are in areas where they can be managed as part of the natural processes.

August 28, 2013 noon read more..

Fire district assists towns with insurance

TWISP — The Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau is evaluating the towns of Winthrop and Twisp and Okanogan County Fire District 6 as part of its Protection Class program. The program assigns a numerical grade that represents the fire suppression capabilities of each community and the fire district.

August 28, 2013 11:54 a.m. read more..

ATV lawsuit claims harm

Some conservationists are suing Okanogan County in an attempt to prevent the majority of county roads from being opened to all-terrain vehicles.

August 28, 2013 11:05 a.m. read more..

Pro wrestlers return to Omak

Professional wrestling invades Omak on Saturday, Sept. 14. Ronnie Angel and others from Pro Wrestling Beyond, based in Wenatchee, will put on “Omak Slampede” at the Omak Community Center, 601 S. Benton St.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Guest Commentary - Wolf rule could break agreement by Aaron Golladay

Washington residents have differing opinions on whether reintroducing wolves to our state is a good idea. But farmers and ranchers being directly affected by wolves chasing and killing livestock are looking for a remedy. If the wolves are going to remain, then real and effective management tools must be made available to landowners allowing them to protect their animals.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Mill gets first logs

The Omak Wood Products mill received its first shipment of logs from Colville tribal forests last week and each day continues to accept more deliveries of timber.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Ferry’s maiden voyage draws crowd

KELLER FERRY LANDING – Gong, gong, crack. The third time was a charm for Jeanne Jerred of Keller as she christened the new ferry M/V Sanpoil with a non-alcoholic “champagne” Aug. 14, marking the vessel’s maiden voyage across the Columbia River.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Winds hammer Coulee area

A powerful storm cell ripped through the area Sunday night, downing trees, damaging buildings and knocking out power.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Golfers raise money for screenings

The Cal Auto team took first place at the fifth annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink on Aug. 23. Cal Auto finished at 53. The team included Robert Gregory, Geoffrey Phillips, Ryder Lewis and Brian Condon.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Hunter bags giant elk

Charles Eder lived a hunting experience he will not soon forget. “Junior” bagged a 7x7 elk on a trip earlier this month in Idaho.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Princess and Pirate Party

Little boys ran around on Saturday wielding swords and bearing names like, “Red Eddie Byrd,” while girls ate dainty finger food in their poofy princess gowns – and it was all for a good cause.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Okanogan seeks project grants

The city is seeking more than $400,000 in grants for a trio of street and sidewalk projects, including extending sidewalks on North Second Avenue to Legion Park. The City Council agreed Aug. 20 to submit the funding applications to the state Transportation Improvement Board.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Man of interest sought

The Ferry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of Richard William Green, a person of interest in an Aug. 20 shooting.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Bonneville Power plans to buy land from county

Okanogan County commissioners are waiting to hear more on a possible land purchase by the Bonneville Power Administration in the Salmon Creek area. The federal agency gave the news last week to the county, which has been working on a study to analyze the impacts of governments’ land acquisitions on the local economy.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Pool event makes a SPLASH

East Side Park may have smelled like a wet dog on Saturday, but organizers of the inaugural Wag N Run Splash couldn’t be happier.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Fair comes to Ferry County

Area residents will show their animals and show off their gardening, cooking, sewing and crafts skills during the annual Ferry County Fair on Aug. 30 to Sept. 1. The event will be at the fairgrounds, 14 Lawson Way. Admission will be charged, with daily and three-day passes available.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Stampede addresses security

OMAK – Stampede officials say they’re investigating reports that the event’s hired security force was overly heavy-handed with rodeo fans.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Security issues require review

There’s no doubt that being a security guard is a tough job, especially in places were crowds get drunk and rowdy. But there is a limit to what a security guard can do.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Area clothing drives deemed successful

OMAK — Dozens of families took advantage of a “free yard sale” at Eagle Home Mortgage, 715 Okoma Drive, on Saturday, just in time for school to resume. This was the second year the business has hosted the clothing giveaway.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Full moons tend to bring out the madness

Sometimes I just shake my head at some of the stuff that people report to the police. This stuff is so wacky it can’t be made up. It has to be true. Often, the odd ones are funny on the surface, but I have to keep reminding myself that they must have been serious to someone, since the cops got a call.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Marchand captures bronc title

POLSON, Mont. – Francis Marchand, 23, of Omak, won the saddle bronc title and was fifth in bareback riding at the Flathead River Rodeo on Aug. 22-24. He is ranked No. 6 in bareback and No. 14 in bull riding.

August 28, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, August 27

Fire destroys Omak home

OMAK - A house that had caught fire twice before over the past dozen years was destroyed in an early morning blaze Aug. 25.

August 27, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Monday, August 26

Friday, August 23


Thursday, August 22


Wednesday, August 21


Run for beer in Seattle

Fresh on the heels of the Warrior Stampede, which had a beer garden and live music on Friday night, comes the 11th annual Fremont Oktoberfest 5K in Seattle.

August 21, 2013 midnight read more..

Is carbon-dioxide really the target?

Environmental activists claim they want to reduce production of greenhouse gases such as carbon-dioxide. If so, they’re going about it in a very strange way.

August 21, 2013 midnight read more..

Rates match in two states

All the recent talk about electricity rates has gotten me thinking about my own power bill. I’ve begun to wonder both how it will be affected by changes in the fee structure from the Okanogan County Public Utility District and how much different the rates are from what I was paying while living in Salem, Ore., as a customer of Portland General Electric.

August 21, 2013 midnight read more..

Students stick to studies

Youngsters in Okanogan and Ferry counties are joining their counterparts all over the country in returning to classes in the next few weeks.

August 21, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, August 20


Friday, August 16

Thursday, August 15

Wednesday, August 14

A high-tech snub turns into a ‘phub’

The other day during lunch, I commented to my table mates about a couple sitting nearby. The two had their heads bowed, their eyes concentrating on their phone screens and their thumbs madly tapping out text messages. They were having lunch together, separately.

August 14, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Answering your questions

In addition to receiving thousands of emails, phone calls, letters, and messages from social media on a variety of topics, I recently conducted a round of telephone town halls to all eight counties that make up the 4th Congressional District. I wanted to share a few questions that your neighbors recently asked me:

August 14, 2013 midnight read more..

Keep forest roads open, repaired

Nothing irks me more than heading out into the mountains in my four-wheel drive on what was once a wagon trail or logging road only to run into a berm blocking access.

August 14, 2013 midnight read more..

Lake fishing is great

The Conconully lakes and even nearby Sugarloaf Lake continue to boot out sizeable fish. Charlie Wines of Kelso along with John and Brenna Decker of Arlington caught a bunch of rainbows at the upper lake and Sugarloaf last week, Gene Bussell of Liar’s Resort said.

August 14, 2013 midnight read more..

Race makes rodeo special

Six months ago, the only thing I knew about Omak was that it hosted one of the largest annual rodeos in the state. But to me — and I know this could be considered a blasphemous statement around here — rodeos are mostly the same from one city to the next.

August 14, 2013 midnight read more..

Economy needs immigration reform

It’s a rare issue that brings together Washington’s agricultural industry, immigration rights groups, business associations, faith organizations and politicians from both sides of the aisle.

August 14, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, August 13


Thursday, August 8

Wednesday, August 7


Hawkins on wrong side of land buy

Last week, the Okanogan County Farm Bureau called out 12th Legislative District Rep. Brad Hawkins for his vote to give away $3.1 million in taxpayer dollars for proposed land acquisitions and easements in Okanogan County.

August 7, 2013 10:41 a.m. read more..

Dogs head south

Jim Townsend of Okanogan and the Columbia Basin River Dogs 18U baseball team topped Crater Lake, 6-3, to win the Pacific Northwest Senior Babe Ruth regional tournament Aug. 4 and advance to the Babe Ruth World Series.

August 7, 2013 midnight read more..

Open doors create trust

It seems to me distrust in government, from both sides of the political aisle, has reached — or is very near — an all-time high.

August 7, 2013 midnight read more..

Don’t let forests burn, work them

There are more than 9 million acres of federal forests in our state alone. Many of our communities are in close proximity to federal forests, and we are all too aware of the wildfire risks. Ensuring proper management of forests is critical to preventing wildfires and important to the long-term health of our forests and communities. The federal government made a commitment more than 100 years ago to actively manage forests and provide a percentage of revenue from management to counties containing national forest land. However, as we are seeing in Wenatchee and Goldendale, the failed attempts by bureaucratic Washington, D.C. agencies to actively manage our forests have real and dire consequences. Rural communities no longer have stable funding to pay for vital services. Thirteen years ago, the Secure Rural Schools Act was intended to be a short-term solution to continue to provide funding as timber sales declined. With a national debt measuring in the tens of trillions of dollars, the program is becoming increasingly difficult to finance, especially when it fails to address declining forest management. These communities cannot afford the status quo. Police units don’t have the resources to respond to emergency calls, school districts are laying teachers off and communities are being left to crumble. A new approach is needed. The government’s lack of forest management has cost tens of thousands of American jobs. In the last 10 to 15 years, it has not been uncommon to pick up a newspaper in the Pacific Northwest and read of yet another timber mill shutting its doors. Instead of people going to work managing our forests, they are heading to unemployment lines. The lack of active forest management has caused significant forest overgrowth and degradation and made them increasingly susceptible to bug infestations and wildfires. Our national forests can and must be managed more effectively. We can’t continue to sit idly by. This week, the House Natural Resources Committee, of which I am chairman, approved House Resolution 1526, Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, a bill I introduced to address these problems. My bill, which has bipartisan support, renews the federal government’s commitment to manage forest resources. This is a long-term solution to put hard-working Americans back to work and to restore the economies of rural communities. This common sense approach will help our forests remain healthy, turn forest timber into economic opportunity, produce revenue, reduce the risk of fires and increase local and state management of our forests. I’m hopeful the full House will soon consider this vital legislation to restore active forest management. Our communities, our families, and our businesses deserve better than the status quo and the current failure of federal forest management. Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District, including part of Okanogan County.

August 7, 2013 midnight read more..

Folks can be clueless in dry conditions

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how people can be so clueless in dry areas during the summer. While we haven’at hd a whole lot of human-caused fires locally so far this year, the potential certainly is there.

August 7, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, August 6


Friday, August 2

Thursday, August 1