Chamber to raise funds for Oso
OROVILLE — The Oroville Chamber of Commerce has started a new account to receive funds donated for a designated community in need, with Oso selected as the first recipient.
The community between Arlington and Darrington is the site of a massive March 22 mudslide that destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least 39 people.
The chamber opened the community needs account at Sterling Bank, now known as Umpqua Bank, 822 Central Ave. Once a month, the chamber plans to send money from the fund “to a trustworthy charity working with the designated community,” chamber President Clyde Andrews said.
One community at a time will be designated to receive money. All donations given to the fund will be passed along, the chamber said.
Company, non-profit expand recycling
TWISP – Methow Recycles has joined forces with WasteWise Methow to offer recycling for more materials such as milk cartons and other waxy containers.
“Now, self-haul recyclers who bring their own recycling to Methow Recycles in Twisp, are encouraged to participate in this opportunity to recycle more by purchasing WasteWise BlueBags for plastics numbered 3-7, lettuce boxes, and coated milk, juice, and soup cartons,” the Methow Recycles website said.
The BlueBags are available for purchase at several local businesses. Once full, the bags can be dropped off in receptacles at those business locations.
Unemployment down, but still high
OLYMPIA – Ferry County reported the highest February jobless rate in the state at 13.7 percent, while Okanogan County reported 10.9 percent and Douglas County had 9 percent.
However, Ferry County’s rate was down 1 percent from the same time last year, and down more than 3 percent since 2012, according to the state Employment Security Department.
Okanogan County’s unemployment rate has also dropped since last year, from 12.4 percent.
Unemployment figures for March were scheduled to be released Tuesday, after The Chronicle’s press time.
Colville Tribe plans new housing project
OMAK – A new development of single-family homes and duplexes, called Eagle Nest, will be built on the Colville Indian Reservation.
The state Housing Finance Commission has approved $3.5 million in low-income housing tax credits for the tribal project. Tribal officials did not respond to a request for more information.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit helps housing developers raise capital for new buildings and renovations by selling the credits to investors.
Grand Coulee ranch purchases top bull
ELTOPIA – Sanderson Ranch Inc. of Grand Coulee has purchased a top bull in the Washington Cattlemen’s Association all-breed bull test sale.
Sanderson purchased a bull consigned by Hajny Land and Livestock of Ellensburg for $6,750.
C.D. “Butch” Booker of Colfax was auctioneer for the Eltopia sale of 116 bulls. The sale was managed by Kendall Cattle Sales of Potlatch, Idaho.
Fire District 6 secures better fire ratings
TWISP –Town and Okanogan County Fire District 6 residents may be able to score lower home insurance rates now that the fire protection classes have improved.
Twisp went from Protection Class 7 to Class 6. The fire district improved one class from 8 to 7. Winthrop remained in Protection Class 6.
The new classifications take effect Aug. 1.
Utility to mail shut-off notices
OKANOGAN – Beginning July 1, the Okanogan County Public Utility District will mail disconnect notices for past-due bills rather than hanging tags on customers’ doors.
The measure is intended to “process collections in a more efficient manner,” according to the utility.
County promotes four employees
OKANOGAN – Four Okanogan County employees were promoted last week.
They included Julie Daigneau and Noemy Rivas, who moved from the legal secretary II to III positions; Branden Platter, the new chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney replacing Jennifer Richardson, who resigned April 11; and Tanya Craig, the new deputy clerk of the board.
Coleman changes business hours
TONASKET – The Coleman Oil plant, 107 W. Fourth St., has set new business hours.
The plant will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Winthrop Council denies appeal
WINTHROP – In a split vote, the Town Council has denied an appeal from a resident hoping to open a marijuana retail store in the town’s industrial zone.
Gaile Bryant-Cannon, Jessica Sheehan and Rick Northcott voted to deny the appeal, upholding last month’s determination by Zoning Administrator and Planner Rocklynn Culp.
Resident Austin Lott is waiting to hear if he will receive a business license from the state Liquor Control Board to open a retail shop at 29 Horizon Flats Road Suite 7.
However, the Planning Commission determined a marijuana store wouldn’t be a valid use for that location, and Culp backed up that decision in her own written determination.
Culp said Monday she plans to issue a notice of the council’s decision. She said Lott may be able to file a land-use appeal with Okanogan County Superior Court.
The town does not prohibit marijuana businesses from being established in compliance with local and state guidelines.
One other applicant, Hamsterdam LLC, plans to open a marijuana shop at 303 Riverside Ave., which Culp said is within the downtown commercial district.
“If he’s able to work everything out… then we wouldn’t have any objection to that,” she said.