Stories for December 2017


Sunday, December 31

Saturday, December 30

CENTER STAGE: Remembering those lost in 2017

Here’s to 2017. In a matter of hours fireworks will burst, confetti will fly, and glasses of champagne will chime. But among the libations and celebration cheer, for some the New Year will bring a different feeling.

December 30, 2017 midnight read more..

Friday, December 29

New Year’s celebrations planned

Folks wanting to celebrate the new year with something more than a quiet evening at home will find several New Year’s Eve parties around the region tonight.

December 29, 2017 8:54 p.m. read more..

Winter storm hits the region

Okanogan and Ferry counties became a wintery wonderland last week as snow fell off and on throughout the latter portion of the week.

December 29, 2017 8:50 p.m. read more..

Thursday, December 28


Wednesday, December 27


Winter storm watch issued

Batten down the hatches and dig out the snow shovel. The Spokane office of the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of the region.

December 27, 2017 9:22 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, December 26


2017: The year's top stories

The year that was 2017 brought weather-related disasters, creative writing in the sky, government maneuverings and a wealth of court matters – a typical year in Okanogan and Ferry counties.

December 26, 2017 2:26 p.m. read more..

Monday, December 25

Omak Conoco open for business

The fast foodstuff and longtime employees remain unchanged. But next door to the convenience store at Omak’s Conoco gas station, 414 Hanford St., a new owner bustles in his office, monitoring eight new security cameras and hatching other store improvements.

December 25, 2017 midnight read more..

Sunday, December 24

Fire destroys Twisp home

Fire crews from Okanogan County Fire District No. 6 responded to a fully-involved structure fire late Saturday night.

December 24, 2017 8:56 p.m. read more..

Saturday, December 23

Youngsters Shop with a Cop

Police officers from nine departments took 25 youngsters bowling, to lunch and shopping Saturday, Dec. 16, during the annual Shop with a Cop program.

December 23, 2017 11:56 p.m. read more..

Wednesday, December 20


Woman cited for apparently stealing Christmas tree

Apparently not only Dr. Seuss' ‘The Grinch’ steals Christmas trees. Oroville Police Chief Todd Hill said a 37-year-old Tonasket woman was cited for third-degree theft Dec. 15, after she apparently stole a Christmas tree from Frontier Foods.

December 20, 2017 11:31 a.m. read more..

CENTER STAGE: Hard to find holiday spirit with no snow

It seems there are two types of people you will encounter around Christmas time: Those who begin shopping throughout the year for Christmas gifts, and those who scramble to buy gifts to put under the tree a week or so before the big day.

December 20, 2017 8:57 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, December 19


Tribes host 'United by Water' screening

The Colville Confederated Tribes and the Upper Columbian United Tribes will co-host the screening of a new film, “United by Water,” at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Lucy F. Covington Government Center.

December 19, 2017 2:11 p.m. read more..

Former sheriff's employee sues county

A former Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office employee and his wife are suing the county for wrongful termination over what he claims was retaliation for his union activities.

December 19, 2017 2 p.m. read more..

Friday, December 15


Thursday, December 14

New NVH commissioners sworn in

Newly elected North Valley Hospital commissioners Jean Pfeifer and Jerry Bradley, and incumbent Adam Tibbs were sworn into office Thursday night during a regular board meeting.

December 14, 2017 9:16 p.m. read more..

Local fans wait for 'The Last Jedi'

Not even cold weather could keep local “Star Wars” fans from lining up at the Omak Theater Thursday morning in anticipation of an advanced screening of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” The film will be shown at 7 p.m. tonight at 108 N. Main St.

December 14, 2017 5:01 p.m. read more..

Healthplanfinder sign up deadline looms

The state Health Benefit Exchange is alerting customers who have not yet signed up for 2018 coverage that tomorrow, Dec. 15 is the deadline to select health and dental plans through Washington Healthplanfinder that begin on Jan 1, 2018.

December 14, 2017 9:44 a.m. read more..

Wednesday, December 13


Tuesday, December 12


Teachers receive classroom grants

Several teachers from school districts serving Okanogan County and the surrounding area have received classroom grants from the North Central Education Foundation.

December 12, 2017 3:44 p.m. read more..

CENTER STAGE: OVOC brings great performance

Saturday brought a stellar show to the Omak Performing Arts Center as the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus hosted its annual holiday concert. Never before have I been more impressed with this fine group of musicians as I was with their latest performance.

December 12, 2017 8:44 a.m. read more..

Wolf, livestock conflicts continue

Continued wolf-livestock conflict has been reported in Ferry County in the past month, according to a monthly report by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

December 12, 2017 8:35 a.m. read more..

Officials: Two wolves poached

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating two suspected wolf poaching incidents in northeast Washington, and a conservation group is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to convictions.

December 12, 2017 8:34 a.m. read more..

Cannabis moratorium extended

Okanogan County commissioners decided yesterday, Dec. 11, to extend a moratorium on new applications for cannabis operations until Monday, March 5, 2018.

December 12, 2017 8:34 a.m. read more..

Monday, December 11


‘God definitely has a plan for me’

A little more than a month ago Ron Champagne was lying in a bed at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, unconscious with tubes and IVs running though his body, while a ventilator was breathing for him.

December 11, 2017 2:22 p.m. read more..

Saturday, December 9


Truck strikes power pole

Traffic was tied up on Dayton Street for several hours Tuesday, Dec. 5, after a truck hit a power pole, which then fell across the road.

December 9, 2017 1:10 p.m. read more..

Friday, December 8


Thursday, December 7

Wednesday, December 6


Tuesday, December 5


Youngsters receive 4-H awards

The Okanogan Grange was filled to capacity on Nov. 19 for the annual Okanogan County 4-H Achievement Recognition Awards Banquet.

December 5, 2017 11:56 a.m. read more..

CENTER STAGE: Holiday events on tap Saturday

Christmas is right around the corner. Earlier this week, while driving to the office, I noticed only a few houses along my way with beautiful colored lights on them. Which begs the question, why are so few people decorating this year?

December 5, 2017 11:21 a.m. read more..

‘Winter Magic’ comes to PAC

The Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus will ring in the sounds of the holiday season with “Winter Magic” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Omak Performing Arts Center, 14 S. Cedar St.

December 5, 2017 11:18 a.m. read more..

Justice sought in homicide case

While the suspected killer of Clarence “Shag” Hauf was in an Okanogan County courtroom Monday afternoon, nearly a dozen local residents took picket signs to the street in front of the courthouse calling for justice.

December 5, 2017 11:08 a.m. read more..

Monday, December 4


Sunday, December 3

Friday, December 1

Board names interim CEO

Former North Valley Hospital Chief Operations Officer John McReynolds was named interim chief executive officer during a regular board meeting Thursday, Nov. 30.

December 1, 2017 2:24 p.m. read more..

North Valley board shuts down public comment

Blank faces of confusion and distraught stared at North Valley Hospital commissioners following the announcement that no public comment would be taken during the regular board meeting Thursday, Nov. 30.

December 1, 2017 2:24 p.m. read more..

Stagnant air prompts burn ban

A forecast of cooling temperatures and stagnant air is prompting a Stage 1 burn ban for Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4.

December 1, 2017 10:31 a.m. read more..