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+ News for the week of December 14, 2014

Housing Authority of Chelan County12/19/2014


 Housing Authority of Chelan County will purchase Lake Chelan Community Apartments

Grant allows housing authority to purchase apartments and renovate for continued use as subsidized senior housing; purchase and sale agreement in place since 2013

The Lake Chelan Community Hospital (LCCH) Board of Commissioners approved the sale of the Lake Chelan Community Apartments at 509 E. Gibson St. to the Housing Authority of Chelan County at their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 16.The apartment building, located directly below the current hospital facility, was built in 1947 and served as Chelan’s hospital until 1972, when it was converted into 28 apartment units. Seniors who live in the apartments receive rental assistance through the federal Housing and Urban Development agency.

The housing authority has managed the apartments since 2006 and has been trying to secure funding for the purchase for two years. A purchase and sale agreement between the housing district and LCCH has been in place since Sept. 2013.

The sale will secure subsidized housing for seniors and allow LCCH to better focus on healthcare,” said Kevin Abel, LCCH CEO. “The hospital board recognizes that the housing authority has more expertise in operating low-income apartments.”

The housing authority recently received a $2.1 million grant from the Washington Housing Trust Fund. This grant will cover the purchase price of $680,000, as well as fund renovation of the one-bedroom apartments.

For several years we have been hopeful the housing authority would be able to put together funding for the purchase of the apartments,” said Tom Warren, LCCH Board of Commissioners chairman. “It is exciting that this tremendous community asset will be protected for our community. Funding will also provide for renovation and upgrade of the apartment facility. It is a win-win for both the community and LCCH, as the purchase proceeds will be available for future hospital capital projects.

Thursday AM News 12/18/1412/18/2014

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Wednesday AM News 12/17/1412/17/2014

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Tuesday AM News 12/16/1412/16/2014

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+ News for the week of December 07, 2014

Friday AM News 12/12/1412/12/2014

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Thursday AM News 12/11/1412/11/2014

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Wednesday AM News 12/10/1412/10/2014

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Winter Forest Road Closures12/9/2014

Tonasket, WA - In December of each year, many forest roads in Okanogan County are closed for the winter to wheeled vehicles. Several of the closed roads are part of the Districts' snowmobile taril system and others help provide protection for deer winter range and lynx habitat.

Food resources can be scarce for deer in the winter, and their energy reserves are low. The closure limit the disturbance of deer during this critical period.

Likewise, disturbance during the winter has been identified as a risk factor for lynx and the closures help limit disturbance.

The Okanogan National Forest Travel Plan map shows seasonal road closures. It is free and available at Forest Service offices in Okanogan, Tonasket and Winthrop. The map is also available on the forest website at:

"Regardless of the time of year, it's always a good idea to check the Travel Plan Map before heading out to the woods," said Mike Liu, Methow Valley District Ranger. "March, June, October, November and December are all months for changes in whether certain roads are open or closed."

Temporary exceptions to the Travel Plan may be authorized and information about those exceptions is available at Forest Service office in Okanogan, Tonasket and Winthrop.

Tuesday AM News 12/09/1412/9/2014

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Monday AM News 12/08/1412/8/2014

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+ News for the week of November 30, 2014

Friday AM News 12/05/1412/5/2014

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Ice Storm Warning12/4/2014

The National Weather Service in Spokane has issued an Ice Storm Warning...which is in effect from 4 PM this afternoon to 10 am Friday.

The Freezing Rain Advisory is no longer in effect.

* Locations...Wenatchee...Chelan...Entiat...Cashmere... Leavenworth...Mazama...Twisp...Winthrop...Stehekin... Conconully... Blewett Pass...Loup Loup pass...Waterville... Mansfield...Badger Mountain Road.

* Ice quarter inch.

* Timing...light freezing rain is expected to occur today through Friday...however the most intense interval of freezing rain accumulation is expected tonight into early Friday morning.

* Impacts...light to moderate freezing rain will likely lead to treacherous travel conditions. Some treated roads will be wet... while others will be ice covered. Many side streets and parking lots will be slick. Be especially careful driving over bridges and overpasses. Sidewalks...porches... steps...and driveways will glaze over quickly.

  • the middle 20s to around 30.


Precautionary/preparedness actions...

An Ice Storm Warning means significant ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel...pack a flashlight...blankets... food...and water in your vehicle. 

Thursday AM News 12/04/1412/4/2014

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Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery12/4/2014

Pateros, WA-- At its Monday December 1st meeting, the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group (CCLTRG), announced plans to manage a rebuilding effort slated to begin in spring 2015, aimed at helping individuals and communities recover from the Carlton Complex wildfires and floods of 2014.

The CCLTRG is a non-profit organization formed to address both long-term community needs and the rebuilding of homes and other lost structures due to the federally declared disaster. The group, which consists of representatives from throughout the large region affected by the disasters, plans to hire an executive director by December 31.

Jon Wyss, chairman of the CCLTRG, said “the organization's first objective is to raise $500,000 in seed funding, to place an on-the-ground team for two years to coordinate the rebuilding of an estimated 40+ houses and other structures. The CCLTRG has already raised $200,000 towards the seed-funding goal.

“This rebuild team is a vital investment that will allow us to maximize contributions from the private and public sector for the rebuilding of homes lost in the Carlton Complex fires, while working to revitalize our local economic base.” said Wyss.

In establishing the rebuild team and budget, the CCLTRG is following a model provided by Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, a national coalition of charitable groups dedicated to helping disaster-stricken communities rebuild.

These same state and national charitable agencies are considering sending volunteer teams to the area to rebuild homes in 2015 and 2016. 

“We take our responsibility, to be cost effective, very seriously and are working to coordinate as many volunteers and donated supplies as possible” said Carlene Anders a board member from the Pateros/Brewster area.

Once the rebuild team is in place, fundraising will be directed at securing building materials needed for the homes, as well as funds to pay specialty trades people such as concrete contractors, plumbers and electricians. The LTRG estimates rebuilding costs to exceed $7 million.

The Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group is working hand in hand with the Disaster Case Managers employed through Okanogan County Community Action Council. These Case Managers have been working with fire survivors since September to help identify resources that can lead to recovery. The Case Manager positions are funded through March 2015; continued funding for these critical positions is also a high priority of the CCLTRG.

For more information on how to make donations or to volunteer call 509-433-7260.

Wednesday AM News 12/03/1412/3/2014

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Tuesday AM News 12/02/1412/2/2014

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Monday AM News 12/01/1412/1/2014
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+ News for the week of November 23, 2014

Friday AM News 11/28/1411/28/2014
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Thursday AM News 11/27/1411/27/2014
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District VII Apple Judging11/26/2014

 The  top ten individuals from the District VII Apple Judging CDE held at the Manson Grange.   Dane Schwartz was 2nd,  Bobby Hanson 3rd, and Stephanie Olivera 4th from the Chelan FFA.


The top ten individuals from the District VII Apple Judging CDE held at the Manson Grange. Dane Schwartz was 2nd, Bobby Hanson 3rd, and Stephanie Olivera 4th from the Chelan FFA.

The Manson Grange was the location for the District VII Apple Evaluation CDE. Chapters from Tonasket, Okanogan, Manson, Mansfield, Eastmont, Wenatchee, Cashmere, and Chelan were represented. Members completed a pesticide applicators test, and practicums: Variety Identification, Entomology, Red Delicious Grading, Golden Delicious Grading, Tray Evaluation, Pressure Testing, Bloom Date Maturity Determination, and Blemish Identification. When all the points had been tallied, the Cashmere FFA came out the winner with Chelan second. This broke a 7 year run of the Chelan Chapter as District VII Apple Champions and winning the Lake Chelan Fieldman’s Trophy.

The Chelan Falls All Star team earned the second place banner and was made up Dane Schwartz who placed 2nd, Bobby Hanson who placed 3rd, Stephanie Olivera who placed 4th, Erick Straub, and Sarah Goyne. The Chelan Red team was Michael Tutino, Henry Suarez, Norma Cristobal, Simon Courtney, and Rhiannon Davis and placed 6th. The Chelan Fuji Team of Alex Gavin and Julia Horlebein placed 10th. The high four scores off of the team make up the team total.

The apple teams will travel to Kennewick for the Washington State FFA Apple Evaluation CDE on Wednesday December 3 held in conjunction with Washington State Horticulture Association Annual Meetings. Members will get the opportunity to interact with industry leaders and professionals and compete with FFA members from the other fruit growing regions of the state.


Wednesday AM News 11/26/1411/26/2014
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Methow Schools Closed Wednesday11/26/2014

The Methow Valley School District, including Liberty Bell High School,  Methow Valley Elementary and the Independent Learning Center,  will be closed Wednesday, November 26th due to weather conditions.

School well resume on Monday, December 1st.

Tom Venable

Superintendent, Methow Valley SD

Tuesday AM News 11/25/1411/25/2014

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North Cascades Highway Closed For Winter11/24/2014

The latest blast of wintery weather on State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, will keep it closed until next spring.

The Washington State Department of Transportation temporarily closed the highway at 9:30 Sunday morning, due to heavy snowfall and a snowslide in the Liberty Bell zone east of Washington Pass. An assessment by maintenance and avalanche technicians found more slides, WSDOT determined it could not safely keep the North Cascades Highway open.

Last year, WSDOT closed the North Cascades Highway for the season on Dec. 3. The 37-mile-long winter closure zone begins 14 miles east of Newhalem at milepost 134 on the west side of Rainy Pass (4,855 feet) and ends 22 miles west of Winthrop at milepost 171 below Washington Pass. Avalanches usually close the highway between Thanksgiving and the second week of December.

Last spring, the highway reopened May 8. It is typically reopened between late March and early May. The earliest opening ever was March 10, 2006.