BRIDGEPORT — Hundreds came Thursday to celebrate the new, $50 million hatchery, its concrete raceways, its incubation building, its state-of-the-art plans to raise and release 2.9 million chinook salmon while protecting their wild cousins. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation officially opened the Chief Joseph Hatchery bordering the southwest corner of their reservation.
OKANOGAN — Her family says Vickey Lee Harvey was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, and that she still looked like the Omak homecoming queen when she was brutally murdered in October 2011, at age 59. Her killer, Benjamin Bridges, was sentenced in Okanogan County Superior Court to 24 years and three months in prison for her death Thursday, the lowest sentence in a standard range for first-degree premeditated murder.
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.”
OROVILLE — Several historians before her had tried to locate the remains of Hiram F. “Okanogan” Smith. He was, after all, a state representative when he died, and was known as Okanogan County’s first white settler and the father of Washington’s apple industry. So when Oroville researcher Dorothy Petry decided to look into the mystery of where Smith was buried, she knew she had her work cut out for her.
TWISP — The styles and significance of the works of two men who photographed American Indians will be compared at a talk at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. Frank Matsura was a Japanese immigrant who photographed Colville Indian tribal members in the early 1900s. Edward S. Curtis is well-known for his work documenting Indians, and worked nationwide from 1907 to 1930.
CHESAW — Despite efforts to work closely over the last five years, the company extracting gold from the Buckhorn Mine near Chesaw and an environmental group that monitors it are likely headed to court, representatives from both groups say. David Kliegman, executive director of the Okanogan Highlands Alliance, said the Buckhorn Mine has failed to establish a working system to collect groundwater, and continues to discharge pollutants that exceed water quality limits.
OKANOGAN — After getting shot in the stomach by his father last October, a 22-year-old Pateros man asked for and got leniency for his dad, who pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in Okanogan County Superior Court last week. Derik R. Darlington, 51, was sentenced to four years in prison on June 10 — about half of the low end of a standard range for the crime. Prosecutor Karl Sloan said Weldon Darlington’s request was a major reason he agreed to recommend the exceptionally low sentence.
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.
PATEROS — The dark clouds looked threatening enough, but the roar of thunder that rolled up from Wenatchee to Oroville on Saturday didn’t come from the sky. It came from the 180 motorcycles stretching out for more than a mile as they rode 150 miles north for the 11th Annual Run for the Border charity ride.
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.
These are the candidates in North Central Washington who filed for election on Thursday. Today is the last day to file for dozens of open positions on city councils, school boards, hospital commissions and other districts such as fire and cemetery. The deadline for filing online in any of the four counties is 4 p.m. Candidates wishing to file in person can do so at their local county auditor’s office, by 4 p.m. in Okanogan County, by 4:30 p.m. in Douglas County, and by 5 p.m. in Chelan or Grant ...
WENATCHEE — Becki Lockett Heath, supervisor of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, has been promoted to deputy regional forester. She will begin her new job as one of two deputy supervisors at the Region 6 headquarters in Portland on July 1.
NCW — The Okanogan and Stehekin rivers are expected to reach flood stage today, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning from today through Tuesday. With a flood stage of 24 feet, the Stehekin River hit 23.47 feet this afternoon, and is expected to spill over its bank onto the Stehekin Valley Road late today or tonight, the Weather Service said. McGregor Meadows Road, Torbert Pasture and part of the Harlequin Campground may flood between today and Monday, when the river is forecast to fluctuate between 24 ...
OKANOGAN — After more than 17 years of lawsuits and appeals over plans for a new transmission line in the Methow Valley, the Okanogan County PUD has jumped one more hurdle. And, officials say, if no one asks the state Supreme Court to review the decision, Tuesday’s ruling could clear the way for construction of a new transmission line from Twisp to Pateros.
OKANOGAN — Hot weather and faster-than-normal snowmelt prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch on the Okanogan River this week. And if the weather stays hot, as forecast, the river is expected to flood between Tonasket and Oroville by Thursday or Friday, and could threaten homes between Tonasket and Malott by the weekend, said Scott Miller, Okanogan County’s emergency manager.
OMAK — In a surprise move, an Omak man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the first-degree premeditated murder of a 59-year-old woman who was bludgeoned to death and then dumped on a remote road. Benjamin R. Bridges, 46, was scheduled to go to trial in Okanogan County Superior Court next week for killing Vickey Lee Harvey, a longtime resident and former Omak cheerleader and homecoming queen.
TWISP — A Twisp cattle rancher who admitted last year that he had earlier conspired to kill a wolf and ship its pelt to Canada reported finding a dead calf that he suspects might have been killed by a wolf on his property Wednesday. But state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say their preliminary finding is that Bill White’s calf was not killed by a wolf.