The Wenatchee World

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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.
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A different kind of soup kitchen

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.

Searchers look for missing Island County woman

WINTHROP — An Okanogan County search and rescue team is heading into the Pasayten Wilderness this morning to look for a missing Island County woman whose car was found at a trailhead north of Winthrop. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers — who was riding in with the team this morning — wrote in an email on Sunday that the U.S. Forest Service found her vehicle at the Upper Billygoat Trailhead, about 25 miles north of Winthrop. The vehicle had been there for several days, he wrote.

Out of the blue

WINTHROP — One of Dale Longanecker’s favorite jumps was parachuting into Mount Raineer National Park, with its spectacular views, wide-open landing spot, and soft-on-the-land firefighting that followed. His worst had to be when he hit a downdraft jumping into a fire on the Chelan Ranger District in 1979 and broke both of his ankles landing on a rock — the only time he was ever seriously injured.
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Winthrop bridge to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists

WINTHROP — Winthrop officials are hoping that a new bridge now under construction will make life a lot easier for residents looking to walk or bike to the grocery store, and for visitors looking for parking on a busy weekend. First envisioned about 15 years ago, the Spring Creek Pedestrian Bridge will connect downtown Winthrop with its new skating rink, a large parking lot, and a major Methow Valley Sports Trail Association trailhead.

Group drops Methow Valley from new National Park proposal

MAZAMA — A plan to add about 109,000 acres of the Methow Valley Ranger District to the North Cascades National Park has been dropped, due to opposition from mountain bikers, hunters, dog-owning hikers and others. The American Alps Legacy Project on Friday released its final proposal, which would now add nearly 238,000 acres to the park, instead of the 350,000 acres once envisioned.

70 years later, mine cleanup is nearly complete

MAZAMA — One of the largest abandoned gold mines on property administered by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is being cleaned up this summer, more than 70 years after the last of its ore was extracted. The Azurite Mine, on a remote mountainside 18 miles northwest of Mazama, produced about 22,600 ounces of gold in just over two years of operation. Leased by American Smelting and Refining Company, or ASARCO, the mine employed some 70 men until it closed in February 1939.

Two-car collision kills both drivers

CHELAN — Both drivers in a two-car crash two miles south of Beebe Bridge were killed Friday when one of the cars crossed the centerline. Jerald C. Petersen, 69, of Winthrop, was driving a 2001 Volkswagon Jetta north on Highway 97 and crossed the centerline, according to a State Patrol report. Petersen’s Jetta hit a 2006 Ford Taurus, which was heading south, at about 3:45 p.m.

People & Places

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recognized employees for salmon recovery work in the Upper Columbia Valley region. Casey Baldwin, a research scientist in Wenatchee, received the Steve Phelps Leadership in Science award for his advising on complex technical issues; Ken Bevis, a watershed steward in Winthrop, won the Rocky Spencer Award for his outreach and communication; Andrew Murdoch of Wenatchee received the Best Paper Award for his publication on wild and hatchery spring Chinook; Jay Deason of Wenatchee won the Innovators Award for his design and installation of ...
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Mudslide survivor ‘lucky’ to be alive

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.

It’s gonna be a rainy weekend

WENATCHEE — There is a 100 percent chance of rain both days this weekend, according to the National Weather Service. A flood warning remains in effect for small streams in Chelan and Okanogan counties, due to expected heavy rain and rapid snowmelt.

Street alert

For information on highway work or mountain passes, go to wsdot.org or call 511. May 14, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Highway 150 in downtown Manson will be closed between Green Avenue and Wapato Lake Road for the Apple Blossom Parade and Festival.

Cougar sightings up, bear calls begin

CASHMERE — Residents in the Wenatchee Valley are reporting more cougar sightings this spring, and also starting to see bears in the Leavenworth area looking for food, said state Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Doug Ward. Ward said his officers are getting about five calls per week from people who’ve seen a cougar — some of them close to communities — including one Wednesday of a cougar sitting on a rock on the hillside near Rusty’s Drive-In in Cashmere.

Snow forecast for mountains, NCW

SEATTLE — Forecasters say a series of weather systems moving through the Northwest will dump 1 to 3 feet of snow in the Washington Cascades by Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service says heavy snow also will fall through Wednesday on the east slopes of the Cascades and northeast Washington. Snow accumulations are expected to be 2 to 4 inches, mainly north of Wenatchee and on the Waterville plateau. “The heaviest snow will likely fall in the Okanogan valley and the Okanogan highlands,” according to the weather service.

People & Places

Winthrop’s Sun Mountain Lodge won Santé Magazine’s peer-judged Wine Hospitality Award in the Hotel/Resort Fine Dining category for the second year running. Bryce Mackay, Kyle Silk-Eglit and Kate Schosboek were sworn into the Chelan-Douglas County Bar Association. Mackay, an associate with Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn and Aylward, is a Cum Laude graduate of Gonzaga School of Law. Silk-Eglit, also an associate with Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn and Aylward, and Schosboek are both graduates of the University of Washington School of Law.

Oakes found guilty

MOUNT VERNON — A jury convicted a security expert of first-degree murder Friday in the death of a dog trainer whose clients included some of Seattle’s most famous residents. Michiel Oakes, 42, admitted at trial that he killed his girlfriend’s ex-husband, Mark Stover, but insisted he did it with Stover’s own gun after Stover shot at him. Oakes claimed Stover had been stalking him and his girlfriend, Linda Opdycke of Winthrop, in an obsessive attempt to regain wedding photos he believed Opdycke still had.