We are entering one of the busiest days this winter with the 35th annual Outhouse races and the 15th annual Northwest Ice Fishing Festival both planned for this Saturday, Jan. 19.

Main Street through Conconully will be flush with commodes starting with registration 9-11 a.m. in the parking lot next to the Community Hall, 219 N. Main St.

There is a cost to enter, but all registered outhouses may compete in every division.

Outhouse team members are encouraged to decorate their entries, and team members are encouraged to be in costume.

There will be a show-n-shine 11 a.m. to noon, along with voting for people’s choice outhouse and best costumes.

Instructions on what is needed in an outhouse are online at www.conconully.com/outhouse-races.

A parade of the poopers is at noon, followed by races that include men (18 and up), women (18 and up), children (7-12), teens (13-17), family (all ages; all team members must be related by blood or marriage), seniors (there is an age total to meet) and Clydesdale (each competitor must weigh more than 200 pounds).

There will also be bucket races (entries navigate the course with pushers wearing buckets on their heads), commercial (for businesses both local and out of town) and X-treme through an obstacle course.

Area eateries will be open.

Bouncin’ for Boobies, which raises funds to help those in the area fight cancer, will serve breakfast and lunch at the Community Hall.

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For those up north, the Ice Fishing Festival, sponsored by Oroville Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Molson Grange, kicks off with registration at 7 a.m. at the Grange Hall, 520 Molson Road.

Fishing, where there are prizes for adults and youth, starts at 8 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m. on nearby Sidley Lake.

There are activities all day in the warm grange including breakfast, a traditional arts and crafts fair, bingo and new the Makerspace activities for children.

There is a raffle by the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society, with Joyful Thai providing food in the afternoon.

At the lake an ice hut contest is planned.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked the lake with 2,000 catchable fish on Nov. 15.

Bird watching of late has been great at the lake, the chamber said.

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Breane George and Navarro Nanpuya were named Omak High School’s student/athletes for December.

“Breane has been a consistent help since joining our team,” said Omak girls’ basketball coach Mike Ables. “She has worked hard to learn the plays and to be able to go from one level to the next in one year.

“Breane never complains, always has a great attitude, and is a player you can count on to take care of business. She is a great student and has really helped round out our varsity team. We are so happy she decided to play this year and look forward to her helping us continue to win games and be a great teammate.”

“Navarro is a great team leader with an attitude that is geared towards the improvement of the whole team,” said Omak wrestling coach Dean Agee. “Navarro knows that he will do well this year, but he strives to make his teammates better as well. Navarro has been filming each wrestler and reviewing the film with them individually after their matches.

“He is present at all practices and meets. Navarro is a good student. He has spent many hours after practice to improve his skills. Navarro’s mental toughness is above all others.”

Agee noted Nanpuya returns to the mat after breaking his arm last year.

“He has overcome the fear of reinjuring the arm and has stepped up to all challenges,” Agee said. “Navarro claimed second at Tri-State, is ranked No. 1 one in the state at 170 pounds, remains undefeated in league and was named the defensive player of the year in the CTL for football. Navarro is a fun, energetic and loving kid who I thoroughly enjoy spending time with.”

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There will be a Coaches vs. Cancer night Jan. 25 between at Tonasket against visiting Waterville-Mansfield.

A silent auction is planned between games and a live auction during halftime of the boys' varsity game.

Those attending are encouraged to wear pink in support of the evening.

All proceeds go toward local cancer patients.

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Doug McMillan knocked down a perfect 25 score for the Oroville/Tonasket gun clubs in the second week of the Spokesman-Review Inland Northwest Trapshoot Tournament.

“It was foggy, but not really cold and a good turnout of shooters,” reported secretary Linda Schwilke.

Lloyd Caton Jr. gunned top handicap score at 23.

Singles (16 yards) – 25, Doug McMillan. 23, Rick Lind, Jerry Asmussen. 22, Robert McDaniel, Bill Temby, Josh McDaniel, Lloyd Caton Jr., Jordon Montanye. 21, Noah Olmstead. 20, Logan Faris. 19, Lloyd Temby, Jeff McMillan. 18, Ken Chapman. 17, Deven Sprague, Al Rise, Vern Cole. 16, George Miklos. 15, Paul Schwilke. 14, Chuck Gavin. 8, Heather McDaniel.

Handicap – 23, Lloyd Caton Jr. 20, Bill Temby, Jerry Asmussen, Rick Lind, Josh McDaniel. 19, Noah Olmstead, Doug McMillan. 18, Jordon Montanye. 12, Lloyd Temby. 9, Deven Sprague.

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Paul Steuermann and Vivian Olsick produced 1,000 aces during pinochle night Jan. 8 at the Eagles in Okanogan.

High scores: 8,620, Paul Steuermann. 7,590, Tim Norman. 7,320, Dee Tarnowski. 7,290, Pat Byrd.

Partners with 300 pinochle: Ida Laurie and Dee Tarnowski; Tim Norman and Millie Jewell; Ida Laurie and Gail Norman; Valerie Murray and Boyd Walton; Vicki Harlan and Norma Lawson.

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The Okanogan Country Tourism Council sent out its Bird of the Week earlier this month, which was the chukar partridge.

The chukar is slightly larger than a valley quail and a little smaller than a ruffed grouse.

It’s also known as red-legged partridge and rock partridge.

The second nickname is inspired from the bird’s typical habitat that includes cliffs and canyon walls.

They not only roost in steep, rocky areas, but feed on grains, seeds, forbs and grasses they find among and around the rock piles and cliffs.

Tree roosting, especially fruit-tree roosting, is not a common practice by the chukar partridge.

So, said the email, no partridge in a pear tree for the Christmas holiday season. At least not biologically speaking.

The bird weighs about three-quarters of a pound and are 13- to 14-inches long.

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North Dakota State University not only won the FCS national title, 38-24, over Eastern Washington University on Jan. 5, but received some special Washington State products.

The connection with EWU with our area includes Okanogan’s Jim Townsend on the defensive line and Omak’s Ryan Nilles on offensive line. Eta Ena of Inchelium was a defensive coach.

Our state governor Jay Inslee, having lost a friendly wager with North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, sent east a box of Washington’s famous apples from Hansen Fruit and Fuji Apple, Lavender Dry Sparkling Soda from the Seattle based Dry Soda Company, and an assortment of candy from Liberty Orchards–which is home to the famous Aplets and Cotlets.

The items will go to North Dakota’s Great Plains Food Bank.

“Washington has the best apples, hops, shellfish and wine,” Inslee said. “While Bison are majestic creatures, nothing swoops like an Eagle. Red and white just fight, fight, fight, and Eagles will win the victory!”

Had EWU won, Burgum would have sent this way his state’s Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, Homestead Honey and North American Bison steaks to Olympia’s Thurston County Food Bank.

“Washington and North Dakota are both agricultural juggernauts, but only one of these football powerhouses can harvest the FCS national championship trophy, and Bison Nation won’t be denied,” Burgum said. “Good luck to the Eagles, whose narrow victory over the Bison in the 2010 FCS quarterfinals still stings – though six national championships since then has certainly eased the pain. Go Bison!”

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The state Department of Fish and Wildlife staff started capturing deer in northeast Washington in early December to fit them with radio-collars as part of an ongoing predator-prey study that began two years ago.

The study, scheduled to run at least five years, will help to assess the impact of wolves, cougars, and other predators on deer and elk by monitoring the interactions of all species.

This winter, researchers hope to capture at least 30 white-tailed deer in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties – primarily on public land, but also on private land where the state has secured landowner permission.

Capture techniques include trapping animals using bait, entangling them in drop nets, and darting them with immobilization drugs from the ground.

The study plan also calls for radio-collaring wolves, cougars, bobcats, and coyotes in Stevens, Pend Oreille and Okanogan counties.

Some wolves are already radio-collared in those areas, but researchers want to maintain collars on at least two wolves in each of the packs within the study area.

Cougar capture work with the use of dogs will get underway in late November, followed by bobcat and coyote captures using box traps and foothold traps after Jan. 1.

Collaborating researchers from the University of Washington joined WDFW research scientists and field biologists to monitor radio-collared ungulates and track their movements, distribution, habitat use, diet, productivity and survival.

Cougars will be monitored to learn about changes in social behavior, population dynamics, prey selection and movements in areas where wolves also occur.

State wildlife managers ask that hunters who harvest a radio-collared deer or elk – and residents who encounter a dead radio-collared animal – contact the department’s Eastern Region office in Spokane Valley at 509-892-1001, so researchers can recover the collar and collect biological samples from the carcasses.

Funding for the five-year study comes from a 2015 state legislative appropriation, federal Pittman-Robertson funds, and state wildlife funds.

The UW also secured National Science Foundation grant funds for part of the project.

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The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comments on proposed recommendations for the 2019-20 hunting seasons.

From Jan. 23 through Feb. 13, the state will accept written comments from the public to help finalize hunting rules and regulations proposed for the upcoming year. The proposals and comment forms will be posted on the department’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/.

Most of the proposals address minor changes in special permit levels and hunting area descriptions proposed since the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the state’s latest three-year hunting package in 2018.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will also accept public comments on the proposed recommendations at its March 1-2 meeting in Spokane.

Final action by the commission is scheduled at a public meeting April 5-6 in Olympia

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Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center signed a three-year contract to house the Indoor Football team the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks.

The Skyhawks will play in the five-team American West Football Conference. Other teams included Tri Cities, Boise, Sacramento and Reno.

There will be at least six homes games in the Town Toyota Center arena this season.

“The Town Toyota Center prides itself in bringing a different array of entertainment options to the valley to bring a smile to all faces,” said Mark Miller, General Manager of the Town Toyota Center.

Arena Football is played indoors on a smaller field than outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game.

Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks tickets will be available at the Town Toyota Center box office in the upcoming weeks.

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Looking for an old sports story?

The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, has launched a new website for the Washington Digital Newspapers program: Washingtondigitalnewspapers.org.

The site features new titles in the State Library’s digital newspaper collection, with full-text article search of more than 400,000 pages from the State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. Visitors can interact with the site with the help of text correction features to improve search results on dark or damaged pages, by attaching subject tags to articles, and saving their search history for larger research projects.

The Washington Digital Newspapers program brings together the library’s earliest pioneer-era online collection with titles digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The State Library’s newspaper collection in Olympia contains more than 6,500 newspaper titles, including more than 50,000 reels of microfilm and newspapers in German, Vietnamese, Danish, and Greek. As a rich source of primary materials for teachers, students, genealogists, and professional researchers it’s one of the best “go-to” places to find Washington newspapers.

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The 2019 Special Olympics Washington Polar Plunge Events Make Big Splash Across the State with Stops in Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, Spokane, Anacortes, Seattle and Tacoma.

The Seattle Polar Plunge on February 9 will attempt Guinness World Record for most simultaneous polar plungers.

The Wenatchee plunge is Feb. 9 at Walla Walla Point Park.

There will be plunges at Liberty Lake Village HOA on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.

For the Seattle Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 9, polar plungers everywhere are invited to help break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous polar plungers. More than 1,800 participants with warm hearts and nerves of steel are needed to crush the current Guinness World Record set in 2015 in Poland.

Registration is now open for all 2019 Polar Plunges. For more details and registration, including registration for the Guinness World Record attempt at the Seattle Polar Plunge on February 9, visit PolarPlungeWA.com.

Al Camp is sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at acamp@omakchronicle.com.

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