OKANOGAN — The state Department of Natural Resources will auction five parcels of land totaling 180.4 acres in Okanogan County this month. The Aug. 22 auction includes parcels near Conconully, Okanogan, Twisp, Winthrop and Methow.
MAZAMA — A 28-year-old Oregon man who fell while climbing Liberty Bell Mountain west of Mazama on Friday was airlifted from the mountain with injuries. The man had been climbing with his wife when he fell at about 4:30 p.m., suffering injuries to his head, arms and ribs, said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.
A pretrial ruling upholding a state law that allows faith healing for Christian Scientists but not other religions will go unchallenged now that Greg and JaLea Swezey agreed to plea deals, their lawyer says.
OKANOGAN — As a large sigh rang out across the courtroom, Greg and JaLea Swezey looked anything but relieved when the judge read their three not guilty, and three hung jury decisions Monday night. Accused of being criminally responsible for their son's death for praying at his bedside but failing to call a doctor three years ago, the Swezeys were both found not guilty of second-degree murder by an Okanogan County Superior Court jury.
WENATCHEE — Voters throughout North Central Washington were in a supportive mood for Tuesday’s special election. In Chelan County, voters in the Leavenworth area adopted a new technology levy for Cascade schools with 61.2 percent — well over the 50 percent needed to pass. And in Manson, a parks and recreation levy in Manson that previously failed twice before garnered 67.2 percent of the vote.
OKANOGAN — It took nearly three years for the Okanogan County Prosecutor’s Office to file charges against the parents of Zachery Swezey, a 17-year-old Carlton boy who died from a ruptured appendix on March 18, 2009. Officials say they were too busy with other cases to move this case forward, until now.
WENATCHEE — The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is seeking members to fill vacancies on two advisory committees, including one that offers advice for management of national forest land in Chelan County and the Methow Valley. Applications are sought for people to represent fish, environmental groups, the forest products industry, forest conservation and mining.
This week, lawmakers will go back to the cutting board in a rare pre-Christmas special session to trim more than $2 billion out of the state’s $32 billion biennial operating budget. And again, public education is on the block.
OLYMPIA — School districts in Entiat and the Methow Valley will get get state Department of Ecology grants to help retrofit their school buses with idle-reducing technology. Eight school districts will receive part of the $500,000 provided to districts in this round of funding. The money, from a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances, has given $30 million over the past 10 years to help school districts add the emission-reduction technology.
WENATCHEE — Fishermen looking to reel in a steelhead or fall chinook this month may have gotten a surprise on the end of their line, and one they’re allowed to keep — the coho. Just 15 years after the Yakama Nation started mass-producing coho in hatcheries and releasing them from ponds along the Wenatchee and Methow rivers, more of the late-spawning salmon are in our rivers and streams than we’ve seen in at least 78 years.
WINTHROP — More than 200 hand-painted bowls sat waiting on a table Saturday afternoon for the big event in the Winthrop Barn. In just a few hours, they’d be filled with gourmet soup made by one of the Methow Valley’s best chefs, and later taken home by a patron of Room One — a nonprofit Twisp organization that promotes health and wellness and connects low-income residents with social services.
CARLTON — A Lake Tapps man who was hunting near Carlton Saturday was found dead in the woods after a day-long search Sunday. Charles R. Dodson, 51, apparently suffered from a medical problem and died, said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.
OLYMPIA — The state Department of Ecology has awarded $3.5 million to 20 jurisdictions to implement parts of their watershed plans over the next two years. Grants in North Central Washington include $198,000 for the Methow River watershed; $90,000 for the Wenatchee River watershed; $50,000 for the Lake Chelan watershed; $30,000 for the Entiat River watershed; $30,000 for the Moses Coulee/Foster watershed; $25,000 for the Squilchuck/Stemilt watershed.
CONCONULLY — On Friday, two Okanogan friends were still deciding what to do this weekend after their best-laid plans for Memorial Day went terribly awry. Bryan Smith feels lucky to be alive after a mass of mud, rocks, water and logs chased him a quarter-mile down a twisty Forest Service road Wednesday evening. He was driving his pickup in reverse with a 35-foot trailer hitched to it at the time.