NESPELEM — Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation voted overwhelmingly in favor of distributing half of a $193 million settlement to members, instead of 20 percent. The Aug. 11 referendum vote — which passed by a margin of 10 to 1 — is not binding, so the Colville Business Council will have to take action before funds can be distributed to about 9,500 members, said chairman John Sirois.
NESPELEM — Displeased with how a $193 million federal settlement will be spent, some members of the Colville tribes are now seeking a recall of their leaders who negotiated it. Joanne Sanchez — a tribal member who gathered 2,092 signatures to distribute more of the funds to members — is circulating petitions to recall Michael Finley, the Colville Tribal chairman, and Brian Nissan, a councilman who also negotiated the settlement.
Massive steel sculptures created by a well-known artist of the Colville Indian Reservation are turning up far from the sculptor’s home near Omak. To the north, Virgil “Smoker” Marchand took one piece as far as Edmonton, and more than a dozen of his larger-than-life works are scattered across the Osoyoos Indian Band reserve, just across the Canada border from Oroville.
MANSON — Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing who to call. A complaint last month over sewage overflowing a shared holding tank at the Mill Bay RV Resort went to local, county and state offices before finally landing where it belonged — with the Colville Tribe’s Environmental Trust Program.
OMAK — An estimated 120 to 150 people who were sexually abused as children by Jesuits at St. Mary’s Mission boarding school near Omak won part of a $166.1 million settlement in an agreement announced Friday — the largest in U.S. history by a single order of the Catholic Church. The victims — most of them now in their 50s and 60s — are among about 450 children abused by Jesuit priests who ran mission schools for American Indians in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana from the 1940s through ...
OMAK — “I always thought I was the only one,” said Kathy Mendez, a 54-year-old Wapato woman who says she was molested by Father John Morse at St. Mary’s Mission boarding school in Omak as a young girl. The abuse began soon after a state foster worker sent her to the Omak boarding school in 1966, when she was just 11 years old.
OMAK — Virgil “Smoker” Marchand was already a recognized artist before he jumped into steelwork about a dozen years ago. He was born in Inchelium and grew up in Omak with his grandmother, Mary Marchand.
NESPELEM — Officials for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation say approval of a merger between communications companies Qwest and CenturyLink will help bring high-speed Internet to their reservation. The Federal Communications Commission approved the proposal for CenturyLink to buy Qwest in April in a $22 billion deal, and only Oregon still has to approve the proposal, according to national news reports. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission also gave its blessing, but included two conditions sought by the Colville Tribes, a tribal news release said.
SEATTLE — Forecasters say a series of weather systems moving through the Northwest will dump 1 to 3 feet of snow in the Washington Cascades by Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service says heavy snow also will fall through Wednesday on the east slopes of the Cascades and northeast Washington. Snow accumulations are expected to be 2 to 4 inches, mainly north of Wenatchee and on the Waterville plateau. “The heaviest snow will likely fall in the Okanogan valley and the Okanogan highlands,” according to the weather service.
WENATCHEE — Sigh. We all knew these sunny fall days couldn’t last. Today is it for a while. The National Weather Service predicts a 20 percent chance of rain tonight, Friday and Saturday. The chance of rain goes up to 40 percent on Sunday.
Michael O. Finley, the chairman for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reser-vation, was selected for the Native American 40 under 40 award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, in recognition of achievements in business, community, and native matters.
WENATCHEE — This year’s wet spring and warm fall have some species of pine, sage and weeds pollinating enough to make allergy sufferers sneezy and teary-eyed. “It does seem like the counts have been higher for sagebrush, and then we suddenly saw pine pollinating this week,” said Lori Sweet, a registered nurse at Wenatchee Valley Medical Center who tracks and identified pollen.
It’s almost flu season. How will you cope? Some people find relief holding their face over a steaming vat of mentholated water. Some people swear by chicken soup. Still others swear by a hefty dose of hard liquor.
Weather perfect for a kick in the park is expected to continue past the weekend with highs in the low 80s, well above the mid-70s normal for time of the year, says forecaster Steve Bodnar of the National Weather Service in Spokane.
WENATCHEE — It sounds pretty far-fetched, but the general manager for the area’s new phone company swears it’s the truth. Phone on the fritz? Internet won’t connect? TV picture fuzzy? Then call him directly, even on weekends, and tell him the problem. That’s right, no outsourcing to New Delhi — your call can go directly to the guy in charge right here in Wenatchee.
WENATCHEE — A relatively mild fire season may be winding down as rain this week dampens fuels. But U.S. Forest Service officials caution the fire season could quickly return once the weather warms, and grasses dry out. “I don’t know if it’s over, exactly. But I’d say it’s definitely taking a strong vacation right now,” Bobbie Scopa, fire management officer for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, said this morning.
NCW — A windstorm that blew through North Central Washington on Thursday resulted in the closure of two roads in the Mansfield area. The Washington state Department of Transportation closed Highway 172 through Mansfield and Highway 17 from Coulee City to Highway 174 because of blowing dust and zero visibility Thursday afternoon. The roads were reopened by 8:20 p.m. The peak wind gust in Mansfield reached 43 mph, according to Greg Koch, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Spokane.