Stories for September 2013


Sunday, September 29


Schools plan college fairs

Several area schools will be hosting college fair days next week. Omak High School’s college fair will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the commons and library at the school, 20 S. Cedar St.

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Senior honored for homecoming

Even before Brewster High School senior Ana Bohorquez was crowned homecoming queen, she knew she had it in the bag. “Everybody would tell her, ‘You’re the queen, you’re the queen,’” fellow senior and homecoming king Adrian Urias said.

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Volleyball sweeps abound

OMAK – The Omak High School volleyball team blanked Tonasket, 3-0, in a Caribou Trail League match Sept. 24. “We were able to work on running a quicker offense,” Omak coach Brittney Richter said after winning 25-8, 25-12 and 25-10. “The girls kept their momentum going and played pretty consistent throughout each set.”

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Omak hunter bags bear in Pasayten

Jeremy Draggoo went looking for a trophy deer and instead brought home a big bear. He would tramp solo around the mountains in the Pasayten Wilderness in search of the perfect buck earlier his month during the high hunt.

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Homelessness goes beyond the numbers

Services are available year-round for Okanogan County’s homeless population, but local organizations are ramping up their efforts with the start of school and the arrival of cooler weather.

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Local man recognized as ‘lifesaver’

A local man has earned the Governor’s Lifesaving Award for helping an injured co-worker who overturned his all-terrain vehicle this summer. Jose Diaz, who works for Pateros-based AgriMACS in Richland, was one of 40 men and women around the state to receive the honor this week from the state Department of Labor and Industries.

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Tonasket, Okanogan blank soccer foes

OMAK – Tonasket shut out Omak, 5-0, in a Caribou Trail League soccer match Sept. 24. “Tonasket outplayed us,” Omak coach Chris Werner said. “We went out and played a very sloppy first half and it put us in a hole. Mental mistakes mainly. These are things we can fix.”

September 29, 2013 midnight read more..

Wednesday, September 25

Audit scolds Ferry County

Ferry County has been scolded by the Washington State Auditor’s Office for making purchases that didn’t comply with federal rules for school and road program funds. The auditor questioned $23,692 in expenditures of U.S. Forest Service funds passed to the county through the state treasurer during 2012. The report and finding were released last week.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Pateros woman injured in crash

The collision of a pickup and a tractor-trailer Sept. 19 injured a local woman and shut down U.S. Highway 97 about two miles north of town, slowing traffic to a crawl for about three hours.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Fire district plans to ask for levy

Citing safety concerns for its firefighters, Okanogan County Fire District No. 6 plans to ask voters next year for a levy lid lift to build a new station in town. Chief Don Waller said the district just hired an architect last month, so design work hasn’t begun yet. A lid lift amount is still to be determined, as well.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Town seeks council member to fill term

Rather than leave the seat empty until Michael Strulic, running unopposed in the November election, takes the helm Jan. 1, the Town Council has decided to appoint a resident to serve the rest of the year.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Oroville expands services at park

The city has authorized an additional $500 in support for the Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition Program. The money will go to the senior nutrition program, the City Council decided during its Sept. 17 meeting.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

City approves annexation

The City Council has approved the annexation of several parcels to the south end of town. During its Sept. 17 meeting, the council accepted the proposal of Caribou Trail LLC, represented by Bonnie Rawson, to annex six parcels, totaling 7.35 acres, plus a portion of state Highway 20 running alongside the parcels.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Twisp pedestrian struck by vehicle

A local man was injured Sept. 16 when he was hit by a vehicle on Twisp River Road near Marmot Bench Lane. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Carl A. Snyder, 49, was walking his dog about 10:10 p.m.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Sheriff lauds rescue crews

A search and rescue case originally reported as a woman with a broken ankle who managed to hobble to safety with the help of other hikers turned out to be a full-fledged rescue with the injured woman getting a piggy-back ride from a deputy.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Voters should protect initiative

In this age of highly divisive political debates, intimidation is becoming more prevalent. And in recent years’ state elections, more and more voters are complaining about intimidation. Initiative 517, on the ballot in the Nov. 5 general election, would take some small steps to help curtail intimidation, and at the same time protect the voters’ right to initiative guaranteed in the state constitution.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Fire damages Wauconda home

A local home was damaged Tuesday morning in a chimney fire, according to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office. County emergency management officer Scott Miller said the tenant, Carrie Luther, was able to safely get out of the house at 2586 state Highway 20.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Woman charged in firearm case

A local teenager was arrested Sept. 17 on suspicion of stealing a gun, identification and credit card from an off-duty police officer. Cheyenne R. Lezard, 18, was charged Sept. 20 in Okanogan County Superior Court with theft of a firearm, second-degree theft-access device and second-degree vehicle prowling. As of Sept. 20, she remained in jail.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Clues sought in gun thefts

Authorities are investigating a theft of more than 30 weapons from a Bridgeport home. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s help in solving a burglary that happened Aug. 22 that resulted in 32 guns being stolen. Most of the guns were rare, custom or unique.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Roundtable covers range of topics

Wildlife officials and area residents will meet Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics affecting North-Central Washington. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting the roundtable meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Cove Recreation building, 508 W. Cliff Ave.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Area prepares for health care changes

Health insurance enrollment through the Affordable Care Act begins next week, and although the state has answers, there are still some major question marks. “Will it work? I don’t think any of us know,” said Carolyn Smith with the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Deer-killing suspects identified

Months of investigative work, help from the public and Facebook posts assisted state wildlife agents in tracking down three local men suspected of killing deer, decapitating them and leaving their bodies to rot.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Federal, state probes ongoing

The Washington State Patrol and National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau are continuing their investigations into a shooting at Kettle River Campground northwest of town in Ferry County.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Taking the challenge

Last week, by a vote of 217-210, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $40 billion from the federal food stamps program over the next 10 years.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Deputy prosecutor leaves for Olympia post

Clayton Hill has resigned from the Town Council and will soon leave his job as Okanogan County deputy prosecuting attorney for a new job in Olympia. Hill, 37, has been hired as staff counsel for the state Republican House Caucus. He has worked for Okanogan County for more than three years, he said.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Buckhorn review begins

The review process for a Buckhorn Mountain Mine wastewater discharge permit renewal is under way. The draft renewal for the permit is available for review and comment from the state Department of Ecology.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Unemployment rate drops to 6.5

Unemployment in Okanogan County dipped to 6.5 percent in July, but state and local officials expect that number to go back up as harvest season draws to a close. “It’s always hard to predict, because Okanogan County is so heavily agricultural-based,” regional Labor Economist Don Meseck said of the winter shift in unemployment, which hit 12.5 percent in early 2013. “Unfortunately, I don’t see any change in that.”

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

New shuttle approaches reality

A new shuttle service connecting the town to Kelowna International Airport may be in the works, according to the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Brewster won’t be part of district

The city has elected not to be part of the mosquito control district being formed in the Omak-Okanogan area. “Basically, the city of Brewster doesn’t have a mosquito problem,” Clerk/Treasurer Misty Ruiz said. The council made its decision during the Sept. 11 meeting.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Proposals sought for project

Proposals are being sought from contractors for work in Salmon Creek on property purchased recently by the Colville Confederated Tribes.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Chronicle Website updates loom

All businesses must change with the times. And The Chronicle is no exception. Don’t panic. You’re still going to get the award-winning local news coverage, photographs and local advertising that you’re accustomed to. And no, our print edition is not going away anytime soon.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Let’s play ball

The inaugural Bouncin’ for Boobies coed softball tournament, already with 15 teams, remains open until today for additional teams to play Oct. 5-6 at The Plex, 93 Rodeo Trail Road.

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Taxpayers are not willing buyers

Why are American taxpayers funding federal, state and private organizations’ land and conservation easement purchases while defunding programs intended for our veterans, children and grandparents?

September 25, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, September 24

Okanogan moves on; Brewster soccer is out

MANSON – A young, shorthanded Brewster High School soccer team failed to advance past the opening round of the postseason, falling 3-1 to Manson on May 4 in the 1A/2B District 6/7 tournament. “We don’t have an excuse,” Brewster coach Ernie Santos said.

September 24, 2013 12:08 p.m. read more..

Coal spill briefly turns Canadian river black

NIGHTHAWK — The state Department of Ecology and the Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management tested water samples from the Similkameen River last week to determine if a coal spill in Canada will have any impact on local waters.

September 24, 2013 9:52 a.m. read more..

Saturday, September 21

Local man pleads guilty

A local man who exchanged gunfire with an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office sergeant last fall pleaded guilty Aug. 15 in that case and a previous stabbing.

September 21, 2013 midnight read more..

Thursday, September 19

Wednesday, September 18


Flight draws superstitions

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. While law enforcement personnel probably see this more than any other career field, working in a newsroom might not be too far behind.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Tell wildlife officials how you feel

Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials’ ears must be burning. Many area residents are talking about catching them in the act of trying to change wolf-kill rules in violation of an agreement made to pass a law giving the agency more money through license plate sales.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Let none go hungry

In our wealthy nation, it’s astounding that nearly 22 percent of children under 18 live in poverty and more than 16 million children live in households that struggle to put food on the table.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Raiders lose a star

Dakotah Holt, a multi-sport athlete who graduated in 2011 from Lake Roosevelt High School, was electrocuted Aug. 29 in Kansas.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Slides can vary from fun to terrifying

The English language contains words that have multiple uses, and “slide” is one of them. Just now, one of those meanings is in the headlines, but let’s look at a number of them, beginning with the more innocent ones.

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Constitution stands over centuries

On Sept. 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the United States Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This month marks the 226th anniversary of this landmark moment in American history when our founding fathers gathered together to form “a more perfect Union.”

September 18, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, September 17

State Highway 2 through Tumwater Canyon reopens

LEAVENWORTH – Completion of a new bridge over Drury Canyon Creek in Tumwater Canyon Friday, Sept. 13, marked the end of a seven-day closure of 15 miles of state Highway 2 between Leavenworth and state route 207.

September 17, 2013 1:46 p.m. read more..

Thursday, September 12


Wednesday, September 11


Frequency of recent storms is unusual

When George Stewart wrote his book “Storm,” published in 1941, he named the storm Maria; the author stipulated that it should be with a long I (Mar-aye-uh).

September 11, 2013 midnight read more..

Railroads move America safely

For activists intent on stopping all use of fossil fuel, train safety has become their cause du jour. After all, if you can block transport of fossil fuels, you can choke off their use.

September 11, 2013 midnight read more..

Rate jump hit last week

Well, after months of anticipation, it’s finally happened: The first electricity bill with the Okanogan County Public Utility District’s revised rate structure hit my mailbox last week.

September 11, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, September 10

Monday, September 9

Thursday, September 5

Wednesday, September 4

Montanye wins demo derby

Nine demolition derby teams entered the Commenchero Rodeo Arena Sunday. But when it was over, it was 23-year-old Jordan Montanye of Tonasket winning the main event and proclaiming victory.

September 4, 2013 5:04 p.m. read more..

Brewster class of 1973

The Brewster High School Class of 1973 recently celebrated its 40-year reunion with 19 graduates in attendance. A potluck and barbecue were hosted by David and Jinx Freels, where classmates enjoyed old photos, reminisced and read class wills and prophecies.

September 4, 2013 5:02 p.m. read more..

Hospitals aim to help babies at birth

To help newborns come into the world as painlessly as possible, Three Rivers Hospital staff has been practicing what to do when a baby’s shoulder is hurt during delivery. An emergency response simulation was conducted Aug. 19, training for a rare condition known as shoulder dystocia.

September 4, 2013 5 p.m. read more..

U.S. Chamber honors Hastings

PASCO – U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings has received the “Spirit of Enterprise” award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

September 4, 2013 4:58 p.m. read more..

Chiliwist garners Firewise distinction

Okanogan County’s first Firewise Community will be dedicated at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the intersection of Chiliwist and North Star roads. A potluck is planned, Okanogan Conservation District Education and Outreach Coordinator Kirsten Cook said.

September 4, 2013 4:51 p.m. read more..

Enloe debate continues

When it comes to resurrecting a means of generating power through Similkameen Falls, the most contentious debate has been about the impact on aesthetics.

September 4, 2013 4:50 p.m. read more..

In school, one size doesn’t fit all

It’s that time of year, again. The fun-filled days of summer vacation are drawing to a close and teachers and students across Central Washington are heading back to the classroom for the school year.

September 4, 2013 4:49 p.m. read more..

Season will be a thriller

The first week of college football is in the books, and the first week of the National Football League season is finally upon us after four weeks of tough-to-watch preseason action.

September 4, 2013 4:49 p.m. read more..

Go get a dictionary and look it up

I’m not squeeing much this week after checking out the new words recently added to the dictionary. Oh, you’ve never heard of “squee”? That’s because it’s one of those new buzzworthy words in the Oxford Dictionaries, srsly.

September 4, 2013 4:48 p.m. read more..

Tribal projects benefit economy

The Colville Confederate Tribes may be giving our economy a much-needed shot in the arm with two projects in planning and permitting stages.

September 4, 2013 4:47 p.m. read more..

Primary results finalized

Voter turnout for the Aug. 6 primary election was 26.39 percent in Okanogan County and 36.82 percent in Ferry County.

September 4, 2013 4:46 p.m. read more..

Stonerose plans events

REPUBLIC – A geologic timeline will be painted on part of Kean Street in October in conjunction with Stonerose Interpretive Center’s observance of National Fossil Day.

September 4, 2013 4:45 p.m. read more..

Cats do more than control rodent levels

Let us consider cats, specifically house cats. In an effort to be official about it, I dug out my “Encyclopedia Americana” and looked them up. There followed columns of information, more than I ever wanted to know.

September 4, 2013 4:44 p.m. read more..

Local man arrested in shooting

A local man will be arraigned at 10 a.m. Friday in Ferry County Superior Court on charges of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree arson.

September 4, 2013 4:43 p.m. read more..

Show features vintage wheels

WINTHROP – All types of vintage wheels will be on display this Saturday during the 38th annual Winthrop Auto Show. The Sept. 7 show, previously the Winthrop Auto Rallye, will include vintage cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, trailers, bicycles and pedal cars.

September 4, 2013 9:52 a.m. read more..

Dam featured in exhibit

The “Grand Coulee to Grunge” exhibit, featuring eight stories that changed the world including construction of Grand Coulee Dam, opens Sept. 4 at the State Capitol. The Office of Secretary of State exhibit celebrates Washington’s great triumphs, from the dam to the Boeing Co. to Starbucks.

September 4, 2013 9:48 a.m. read more..

Twamley dominates modified racing in Republic

REPUBLIC – Twamley captured first in both heat races and the main at the Flip Hougland and Buck Strauch Memorial. The season wraps up with season championship Saturday, Sept. 14, with racing starting at an early 2 p.m. at the Republic raceway.

September 4, 2013 9:47 a.m. read more..

Area woman witnesses ceremony

A local woman recently returned home from Washington, D.C. with a camera full of photos and a lifetime of memories as her nephew received the Medal of Honor.

September 4, 2013 9:45 a.m. read more..

Coulee Dam man electrocuted

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. — A Lake Roosevelt High School graduate died Thursday while working to install poles for a utility company in south-central Kansas.

September 4, 2013 6 a.m. read more..

Laboring at rodeo

Levi Brotherton of Omak was the big winner at the 42nd annual Methow Valley Labor Day Weekend Rodeo on Aug. 31 to Sept. 1.

September 4, 2013 midnight read more..

Time to hit the fair

Although the Okanogan County Parks and Recreation Board has had some internal strife in recent weeks, I hope that won’t stop people from attending this weekend’s fair.

September 4, 2013 midnight read more..

Tuesday, September 3