The Wenatchee World

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Several contested races in North Central Washington

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.

Ecology issues ban on burning

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.

Fish counts: Who wants to know?

WENATCHEE — Fishermen use it to figure out when to head to their favorite spot. Fish biologists use it to track salmon runs.
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Fish counting — not an exact science, but getting closer

WENATCHEE — It’s been an exciting year for the six people who count fish at Rocky Reach and Rock Island dams. A record-breaking 410,618 sockeye climbed the ladders at Rock Island, and 363,308 continued on past Rocky Reach on their way to their spawning beds this summer.
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How bad is it? Experts say take smoke levels seriously

WENATCHEE — If you think breathing smoke for a few days or even weeks while wildfires rage on is no big deal, you’re wrong. Health officials say even short-term exposure to the hazardous air in Wenatchee that’s persisted since last week is dangerous for everyone, not just those with health problems.

Stand Down offers free goods and service for vets

Military veterans are invited to the Wenatchee Veterans Stand Down from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Wenatchee National Guard Armory, 1230 Fifth St., next to Wenatchee Valley College.

Chelan fires contained, but new blaze erupts at Banks Lake

CHELAN — Two Chelan-area wildfires were contained on Tuesday, but a new 300-acre fire is burning near Banks Lake in Grant County. One 20-person crew and five engines will remain today on the 800-acre Navarre Fire, using infrared cameras to detect hotspots, said fire spokeswoman Sarah Foster.

Smoke from wildfires hangs in the Wenatchee air

WENATCHEE — Smoke from several wildfires burning in the area is lingering in the Wenatchee Valley, prompting a health alert for people with breathing problems. Massive wildfires in Russia and China area also likely contributing to the haze, according to Sean Hopkins, who heads smoke management for the state Department of Ecology in Yakima.

Lightning threat passes, but hot weather is here to stay

WENATCHEE — As the 800-acre Navarre Fire near Chelan began winding down Monday, lightning storms sparked a half dozen new fires in North Central Washington, and fire officials expect more to show themselves today. The good news for firefighters is that weather forecasters are seeing no new thunderstorms on the horizon.

Orchard copter crash kills 1, injures second

One man was killed and another seriously injured Tuesday afternoon when a helicopter clipped a power line while attempting to dry off an East Wenatchee cherry orchard.

Surprise, surprise: Public officials in outlying areas didn’t expect such support

Public officials from other parts of North Central Washington were generally quite surprised by the level of support that voters in both counties gave to the .1 percent tax measure to help pay for the Town Toyota Center. While no one said they were predicting the measure to go down, few thought it would be passing with a 65 percent favorable vote.

Burglary suspect injured jumping off roof

WENATCHEE — A 19-year-old Rock Island man suffered serious injuries Saturday night after jumping out the window of a home in the 100 block of South Cleveland Avenue, apparently attempting to escape police. The man was in the intensive care unit at Central Washington Hospital this morning, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, said Wenatchee Police Sgt. Ken Britt.

Air quality worsens in NCW

WENATCHEE — The air quality in the Wenatchee Valley went from good on Monday to moderate today as a burn ban for Chelan and Douglas counties entered its second day. The state Department of Ecology issued a Stage 1 burning ban beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday, which prohibits the unnecessary use of uncertified woodstoves, inserts or fireplaces, and all outdoor burning. The ban does not apply to those who use a stove as a primary heat source.

Semi full of apples overturns

ROCK ISLAND A truck driver was not injured when the apple-loaded semi he was driving overturned on Highway 28 early this morning. State Department of Transportation crews were still out diverting traffic around the crash site this morning, about two miles south of Rock Island, said State Patrol Lt. Kandi Patrick. The trucking company was also making arrangements to load the apples onto another truck, she said.

Chelan County PUD settles over oil spills

WENATCHEE — The Chelan County PUD will plant native vegetation in an area south of Rock Island in exchange for a $2,800 fine for three oil spills since July 2010. The state Department of Ecology cited the utility for the spills, and announced a negotiated settlement on Wednesday, part of $47,000 issued in penalties across the state during the third quarter of this year.

School cuts: On the block again

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.
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Coho counts are jumping

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.