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Articles from the July 23, 2014 edition

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  • Civil service chair asserts role in chief selection

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    The chairman of Grand Coulees Civil Service Commission said last week that his agency and Grand Coulee’s city council should play a role in selecting a new police chief. It’s a bad idea for one person to have that kind of power, said Alan Cain, the commission chair, responding to a news report that the mayor intends to not include the commission in the process. We don’t select an imperial mayor, Cain added. The selection of a new police chief should be transparent. Traditionally, the Civil Service Commission has been the lead agency in the s... Full story

  • Mansfield evacuates for fire

    Press release, State EOC|Jul 23, 2014

    State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Road C Fire, in Douglas County. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources July 28, 2014, at 6 p.m. at the request of Douglas County Fire District 5. The fire started at approximately 3:30 p.m. on July 28, 2014, the cause is unknown at this time. The fire is threatening the town of Mansfield and level three evacuations are... Full story

  • Latest count: 300 homes destroyed in Carlton Complex fire

    Scott Hunter|Jul 23, 2014

    The massive Carlton Complex fire has destroyed 300 homes, and regional and nationwide response has been in some ways "overwhelming," says Okanogan County Frank Rogers. Here's is his latest update, including what vicitims currently need: Members of the EOC and County Assessor’s Office have been out checking the burn areas and today were able to finish up the area that has been destroyed by the fire. The count today on homes lost is now 300. The Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center asked for state assistance on Tuesday, 07-22-14, for addit...

  • Thunderstorms cause Internet outage in many eastern Washington communities

    press release, Centurylink|Jul 23, 2014

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. Due to severe thunderstorms in the Spokane area, a fiber cable located near Fish Lake in eastern Washington was severed by a fallen tree. As a result, customers in the following communities and surrounding areas may be experiencing disruptions to their internet service: Almira, Basin City, Cheney (and Eastern Washington University), Chewelah, Connell, Coulee City, Creston, Davenport, Edwall- Tyler, Eltopia, Eureka, Harrington, Kahlotus, Kettle Falls, Lind, Matthews Corner, Medical Lake, Mesa, Nespelem, Odessa, Rearden,... Full story

  • Mayor asks to put chief replacement on agenda

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    The selection of Grand Coulee’s police chief will be on the Civil Service Commission agenda when it meets Aug. 4. The request that it be placed on the agenda was made by Mayor Chris Christopherson Monday. The Civil Service Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in the city council chamber. At least two council members, David Tylor and Paul Townsend, had asked if the council was going to be involved in the selection of a new police chief to replace Chief Mel Hunt, who is retiring Oct. 1, of this year. In a telephone i... Full story

  • People discuss police protection in meeting

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    Electric City residents had their opportunity to share their feelings about police protection in the city last night during a community meeting in the fire hall. The city and Grand Coulee came together recently and agreed to a one-year extension of their law enforcement contract. The two cities agreed on a $115,000 contract for 2015. That would give the two municipalities about 18 months to come up with a plan of how they would jointly develop a police department. The whole thing got off to a rocky start when Grand Coulee Mayor Chris... Full story

  • Local nurse helps at fire shelter

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    A local registered nurse worked with the Red Cross shelter at Omak over the weekend. Nurse Alan Cain, of Grand Coulee, who went to Omak Thursday, returned home Monday night when the shelter was closed, but expects to return where needed later. “The shelter housed about 100 people the first night and it was down to about 60 the next night,” Cain reported. “By the second night many of those who had been displaced had found other places to stay.” As a nurse, Cain ran what turned out to be a clinic for those with a wide variety of ailments. The she... Full story

  • Tour previews character of new school building

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    The hallways are polished and colorful. The elementary gym is ready for play, and all marked out for basketball and volleyball. Hoops are up. Racks are in the library and both libraries are ready for books and other materials. The kitchen is fully equipped with walk-in coolers and freezers, and soup will soon be on for students. You can almost hear the laughter from the various playground areas. Just 27 months after the state Legislature approved funding to build it, a tour of the Grand Coulee... Full story

  • Newsbriefs

    Jul 23, 2014

    Outdoor burning is banned The Grant County Board of Commissioners issued a temporary ban on outdoor burning effective, Wednesday, July 16. The ban prohibits all outdoor burning until further notice and will be lifted when conditions improve. If citizens are caught burning they could face fines and other consequences, a news release noted. The county ban affects all areas not already covered by a permanent outdoor burning ban within cities and towns and their Growth Management Act boundaries. Bank collecting for relief Relief donations for fire... Full story

  • Region responds to firestorm

    Scott Hunter|Jul 23, 2014

    When a storm system moved across the region July 14, lightning started multiple fires just as temperatures would reach into the 100s for days, feeding what would become the largest wildfire in state history. Local firefighters from Grand Coulee, Electric City, Coulee Dam and Elmer City would answer calls for help as Brewster and Pateros evacuated and a hundred homes burned. As of Tuesday, the largest complex of fires, the Carlton Complex, had consumed 250,000 acres of timber, an area four times... Full story

  • Reservation fires quelled

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    Mt. Tolman Fire Center personnel are concerned about weather reports of a storm and possible lightning strikes that is going to pass through the area this Thursday. Kathy Moses said Tuesday that firefighters have welcomed the change in the weather Tuesday and are bracing themselves for whatever might happen Thursday. The Colville Indian Reservation had a hit of 700 lightning strikes just over a week ago and had some 11 small fires contained or extinguished from that storm. While a number of very large fires are occurring in North Central... Full story

  • Some inter-town disputes resolved

    Roger S Lucas|Jul 23, 2014

    Differences regarding wastewater treatment billings between Coulee Dam and Elmer City are slowly getting resolved. The two council committees met July 17, and agreed to two adjustments between the two towns. Representing Coulee Dam were council members Shawn Derrick and Ken Miles, meeting with Donna DeWinkler and Don Bonertz for Elmer City. Two issues were resolved. Coulee Dam has agreed to credit Elmer City $1,069.14, for electrical overcharges for the years of 2007 through 2012. Additionally, Coulee Dam is crediting Elmer City $1,656.51, for... Full story

  • Plan to enhance employees lives in the works

    Jul 23, 2014

    Coulee Dam employees could be on the road to wellness. Town clerk Stefani Bowmen is working on a plan that will enhance the lives of town employees in several ways. The plan also, if enough participate, would enable the town to get a 2-percent discount on its insurance from the Association of Washington Cities. Bowmen instituted such a plan when she was deputy clerk at Wilbur. The plan would attempt to improve general health by encouraging employees to eat right, exercise, work safely and encourage employees to get along, which would... Full story

  • Plan to enhance employees lives in the works

    Jul 23, 2014

    Coulee Dam employees could be on the road to wellness. Town clerk Stefani Bowmen is working on a plan that will enhance the lives of town employees in several ways. The plan also, if enough participate, would enable the town to get a 2-percent discount on its insurance from the Association of Washington Cities. Bowmen instituted such a plan when she was deputy clerk at Wilbur. The plan would attempt to improve general health by encouraging employees to eat right, exercise, work safely and encourage employees to get along, which would... Full story

  • Clarification of story

    Jul 23, 2014

    A clarification on a brief report about Steve Salstrom commenting before the Electric City council at its last meeting follows: Salstrom says loud music at Electric City Tavern does not keep him awake at night (Salstrom lives a block away), and he wasn’t the one who turned the loud music complaint in (the story doesn’t say he was). He had earlier asked the council to look at the city’s ordinance and consider altering it to allow a change in summer hours for music at the tavern. He said his comments at council were to support such an ordin... Full story

  • Separation of powers a matter of degree

    Scott Hunter|Jul 23, 2014

    The degree to which the people and their elected representatives get involved in the day-to-day details of governance depends on how keenly the results are felt and on the relative opportunity for corruption. Our Constitution sets up a purposely cumbersome system of checks and balances between three branches of government, a principal that follows all the way down to the local level, where it sometimes seems forgotten. The legislative branch (municipal councils) make the laws and set the budget. Seeing that those things get carried out in a... Full story

  • Thoughts and concerns for the CMC board, and community

    Greg Behrens|Jul 23, 2014

    I had originally intended to present this at the board meeting but not knowing if I would be able to, and the thought of being misquoted, I thought it best to publish this as an opinion. I want to preface my concerns here with the understanding that I love this community and 97 percent of the compassionate, talented and resourceful employees here at CMC. I was never more proud than when I was able to represent you to our community and the many conferences, meetings and encounters with our state and federal delegates. I loved being on campus... Full story

  • Beltran qualified for 4th District in Congress

    Louis Logan|Jul 23, 2014

    Estakio Beltran, candidate for the 4th Congressional District Congressman, is endorsed by the Grant County Democrats (GCD). Estakio Betran’s qualifications include: • Having grow up in the Yakima Valley, he’s a “product of the district.” • Having worked in agriculture, he knows firsthand the importance of farming and farm workers. • Having a BA in communications from Gonzaga and a MA in Public Administration from Columbia University, he’s well educated for the position. • Having assisted Senator Maria Cantwell for two years, he’s the only can... Full story

  • Heartbreak: Here and around the world

    Jesse Utz|Jul 23, 2014

    The smoke is the sign. Our neighbors to the north have been devastated by the fires burning in their area. Hopefully by the time the paper hits our hands the flames will be extinguished and this raging beast we call a wildland fire, is dead. Never-the-less, when the coals are cold and the ground is just a black charring, there will still be the devastating recovery process for those who lost everything except their lives. Fire can be a powerful monster and we have seen it locally take single dwellings in an instant. But our friends in Pateros... Full story

  • Coulee Recollections

    Jul 23, 2014

    1 Years Ago Two more Grand Coulee Dam School District jobs became vacant last week with the buyout and settlement of former Superintendent Dennis Chambers and the resignation of Middle School Principal David Funk. Interviews for the High School Principal wrapped up this week and a selection will be made soon. Four Nespelem School students recently returned from a trip around Washington State. They spoke of their adventures at the school board meeting last week. The students were: Meghan Palmer... Full story

  • Meetings and Notices

    Jul 23, 2014

    Chamber This Week The Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce will meet Thursday, July 23, at noon, at Pepper Jackís Bar and Grille in Grand Coulee. Birdie Hensley will be speaking about “Coulee Area Genealogy.” Grant County Fire Dist. 14 to Meet Grant County Fire Dist. 14 will hold its regular monthly meeting Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m., at the Electric City Fire Station. Family History Center Available The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites all who desire to utilize the Family History Center in the Coulee Dam Chapel, loca... Full story

  • WSU Master Gardeners of Okanogan County start Plant Problem Diagnostic Clinics

    Jul 23, 2014

    Plant Problem Diagnostic Clinics have started at the WSU Extension Office located in the Okanogan County Courthouse, room 101. These clinics are a part of the public service that the Okanogan Master Gardener volunteers contribute to the community and are designed to help the backyard and non-commercial gardener identify, diagnose and provide solutions to various problems they may be having in their own gardens. Gardeners are encouraged to bring in a specimen of a plant or insect problem for the Master Gardeners to identify. Plant Problem... Full story

  • A coulee legend of Sammy the salmon: part one

    Frankie Delano|Jul 23, 2014

    Did Sammy leave his park site? Not so long ago in the summer of 2012, possibly 100 or more trees, many planted when the town was in its infancy, were toppled or uprooted in that weird storm, including two evergreens, towering spruce, that stood in the Mason City Park in Coulee Dam. After the storm was long gone and the MCP cleanup a done deal, the park's leftover tree trunks took on lives of their own when a chainsaw artist, hired by the town, went to work on them, grinding away bark and into ea...

  • Upcoming reunions

    Jul 23, 2014

    Class of ’64 Tigers’ reunion The 1964 class of Grand Coulee Tigers will be holding its 50th class reunion the weekend of August 1st. Friday night will be check in, Saturday a 1 p.m., backyard BBQ at Susan Fahr Miller’s home. Also on the agenda is seeing the new laser light show touring schools and a tribute to those we have lost and breakfast on Sunday For more information call Susan 633-2364. The class invites those that would like to stop by and say hi. LRHS Class of ’84 to celebrate The LRHS Class of 1984 will be celebrating its 30 year re... Full story

  • Leadingham graduates from basic training

    Jul 23, 2014

    Army Spc. Jacob Leadingham has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman. Jacob is the... Full story

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