WINTHROP — An unexpected $100,000 gift from a Mazama resident who died in March has tripled the endowment fund for the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association. David “Red” McComb left $100,000 to the nonprofit group, and those funds were placed in its recently-established legacy endowment, called “Trails for Life.”
WINTHROP — The Methow Valley School Board on Friday picked Thomas Venable, deputy superintendent of the Bellingham School District, as the district’s new superintendent starting July 1. Venable was the unanimous choice after the board and residents met with three finalists for the position. He will replace Mark Wenzel, who is leaving to become superintendent of the Anacortes School District.
NCW — The mayors of Quincy, Oroville and Brewster all have challengers, along with quite a few other positions up for election in North Central Washington this year. Candidates for open positions had to file for election this week.
NCW — Two requests to issue school bonds are still failing after more ballots were counted Friday. The measures by the Entiat and Okanogan school district to issue bonds to renovate buildings needed 60 percent approval to pass. The Entiat School District’s request for a $7.952 million bond is failing with 57.8 percent of voters in favor. The Okanogan School District’s request for a $1.15 million bond to repair its buildings is failing with 58.3 percent in favor.
WENATCHEE — Several school and ambulance levies in Chelan and Okanogan counties are all passing after ballots were counted in Tuesday’s special election. But two bond issues sought by the Entiat and the Okanogan school district are currently falling short of the required 60 percent needed to pass.
WENATCHEE — The state Department of Ecology on Tuesday banned all outdoor burning and the use of uncertified wood-burning stoves, inserts or fireplaces in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties, until further notice. Current weather conditions has resulted in stagnant air, and air quality monitors in Wenatchee and Twisp recorded moderate air quality, while those in Leavenworth and Okanogan registered air unhealthy for sensitive groups.
TWISP — A U.S. Forest Service plan to manage fuels would include logging, thinning, under-burning and constructing firelines on 47,000 acres south and east of Twisp. The Methow Valley Ranger District is seeking comments on the South Summit Forest and Fuels Project by Feb. 4.
WENATCHEE — It may be Black Friday in town, but some parts of North Central Washington woke up to a white Friday. Some 5 inches of new snow coated the Methow Valley, and 7 inches had fallen in areas north of Lake Chelan.
OKANOGAN — With Okanogan County Commissioner Bud Hover only eight votes behind challenger Ray Campbell after the latest tally, election officials are planning a hand recount of more than 17,000 ballots. “The law says this is the way it is,” Okanogan County deputy auditor Mila Jury said Monday. Any election outcome that’s less than one-quarter of one percent and less than 150 votes difference means that auditors must recount all of the ballots cast in that election by hand, she said.
WINTHROP — When the state Department of Transportation started making safety improvements at the Methow Valley State Airport last year, nearby resident Ken Bevis didn’t think much about it. After all, the airport isn’t that close to his quiet rural residence.
WENATCHEE — A fire near Liberty in Kittitas County became so massive and powerful on Wednesday afternoon that it began to threaten homes several miles away, near Mission Ridge. Officials issued evacuation notices to about 200 homes in the Mission Ridge area Wednesday evening, after the 9,500-acre Table Mountain fire blew up, sending a column of smoke about 35,000 feet into the sky.
CARLTON — Two fires in the Methow Valley are still active and growing, including one discovered Saturday near Alta Lake, northwest of Pateros. The Goat Fire grew from 30 to 94 acres and is burning in very steep country, said fire spokeswoman Alexis West.
A dry cold front that blew into the region late Friday night has helped clear smoke out of the upper Wenatchee Valley and should help lift the inversion that has been holding toxic smoke in the Wenatchee area today.
LAKE WENATCHEE — After working for the last decade to restore a coho run in the upper Wenatchee River, the Yakama tribe is now embarking on a long-term plan for this late-season spawner. The tribe last month closed a deal to buy 155 acres about a mile south of Lake Wenatchee, where it hopes to eventually build a small coho incubation facility and rehabilitate a dry side channel for juvenile fish.