WINTHROP — A pertussis outbreak at Methow Valley schools has the potential to spread to other districts after one of the students confirmed with the disease attended a basketball tournament with teams from across the state. School officials say they haven’t been able to get a clear answer from health officials about whether a basketball player who was confirmed to have whooping cough on Jan. 3 would have been contagious when he attended the Brewster Christmas basketball tournament on Dec. 28 and 29. Some 17 schools attended that tournament.
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 — The number of local motorists receiving DUI tickets during a holiday enforcement period dropped from 92 in 2011 to 54 in 2012 in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties. The decrease may be the result of more people using designated drivers or calling cabs, said Mike Harris, chief of patrol with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
OMAK — All last spring, and then through the summer and fall, Joanne Lord figured she’d get a call one day with news of her father. Peter Greene, a 79-year-old man with Alzheimer’s, had walked away from Apple Springs Senior Living in Omak on Jan. 2, and despite several days of searching — including the use of bloodhounds and questioning people in the Omak area — police found no clues of his whereabouts.
WENATCHEE — Whether you’re driving in Leavenworth, Oroville or anywhere in between, you’ll be seeing some extra police out on patrol tonight. Make that 10 extra law enforcement officers out on the streets and highways, watching specifically for intoxicated drivers Police agencies throughout North Central Washington have been participating in DUI emphasis patrols since Nov. 21.
NCW — It’s still a little far out to forecast, but the National Weather Service says we may see sunny skies on New Year’s Day, accompanied by some pretty cold nights. A weak storm system is forecast to move across the North Cascades and into North Central Washington this weekend, bringing a slight chance of snow or even rain on Saturday, meteorologist Jeffrey Cote said.
OKANOGAN — Okanogan County teenagers may have the easiest time buying tobacco products of the 39 counties in Washington, according to recent state data. The number of retailers in Washington illegally selling tobacco to minors went to its highest level in more than a decade this year, and Okanogan County was at the top of the list.
TWISP — A mobile art gallery in the works in Twisp may soon bring Methow Valley art to other places. An event nearby, a park in another town, or perhaps a road trip to Burning Man. But the three Twisp artists who spent their summer gutting a 60-year-old trailer say traveling art is just one small part of their vision for the Spartan Art Project.
Chelan and Douglas County commissioners agreed on a plan Tuesday to hold Douglas County inmates at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center temporarily until they can be picked up and transported to the Okanogan County Jail.
NESPELEM — The Colville Tribe’s governing council says it will stick to its plan to spend half of a $193 million settlement on tribal programs, and will not be distributing it to members. The statement from the Colville Business Council came after the council received a petition Monday signed by one-third of eligible tribal voters asking them to distribute the rest of the settlement funds. Half of the funds were distributed to members in two payments earlier this year.
Ana Maria Spagna and Laurie Thompson were slightly out of breath and glowing with excitement when they showed up at the Chelan County Courthouse a few minutes after 9 a.m. today. They were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in the county on the first day same sex marriages became legal in Washington state after voters approved Referendum 74 last month.
WENATCHEE — Enjoy it while you can. Today’s sunny weather isn’t going to last, the National Weather Service says. By Tuesday, cloudy skies are forecast throughout North Central Washington. And precipitation — either rain or snow, depending on where you live — will return Wednesday night, said meteorologist Steve Bodner.
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.
OMAK — The weather was overcast, and just above freezing in Omak on Friday. But that didn’t prevent some “guests” in the area from being treated to a Fiji-style “vacation.” The two dozen or so dogs staying at the Okanogan Valley Pet Resort were receiving individualized care from Jim and Julie Bucsko and five of their six children while their owners were away.
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.
OMAK — Two western Washington residents are in the Okanogan County Corrections Center today after an Omak woman reported they tried to sell a friend some of her stolen property. Authorities on Saturday recovered weapons, computers and tools taken in the burglary after searching a vehicle stopped after a pursuit on Friday.
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.
OKANOGAN — An Okanogan man who was shot by a deputy on Saturday was released from an Omak hospital Tuesday and then arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault. Neal S. Mix, 27, is accused of firing one round from a 12-gauge shotgun at Deputy Tony Hawley after a high-speed chase in Okanogan that ended when Mix’s vehicle skidded off a gravel road and went down a bank.