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Articles from the August 5, 2020 edition

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  • Hospital staff test positive amid "alarming growth" of virus

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    Two Coulee Medical Center employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now isolated and recovering at home, the hospital announced Monday as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state, including in Grant and Okanogan counties. CMC began investigating the outbreak on Sunday, the hospital said, and Grant County Health District began investigating Monday. All staff exposed are being tested and quarantined at home, and patients who may have been exposed are being contacted, said Ram... Full story

  • Level 1 evacuation alert issued for Lower Coyote Creek Fire

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    Due to a Red Flag Warning for fire conditions and potential changes to fire behavior, a Level 1 evacuation order has been placed on the area between Redthunder-Cutoff Road, Mill Creek Road, to Harrison Ranch Road on the Lower Coyote Creek Fire burning about four miles west of Nespelem. A map of the fire shows the evacuation zone northeast of the burn area and northwest of the town of Nespelem. It straddles SR-155 and includes at least 15 "structure address points." Isabelle D. Hoygaard, DNR... Full story

  • Public health pleads for unity on virus fight

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    A frustrated Okanogan Public Health official Tuesday pleaded with county commissioners to present a unified message to the public on fighting the COVID-19 epidemic in the county, which killed three more people last weekend. "My heart breaks for the people who have unnecessarily lost their lives," OPH's Lauri Jones told county commissioners Tuesday afternoon. She said those who had died included three more last weekend, including one "as fit as a fiddle." The county has one of the highest... Full story

  • Electric City voters will decide on park funding

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    Electric City voters will be asked on November’s ballot whether they support an extra tax to go toward funding maintenance of the planned Ice Age Park, the city council voted last week. After a brief special council meeting held only for that purpose Thursday evening, council voted to submit a proposal up for a vote of the people that would levy a tax of a little over 14 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation on property in the city. The resolution passed states the money would be used for maintenance and operation of the park and c...

  • Grand Coulee discusses use of federal CARES funding

    Jacob Wagner|Aug 5, 2020

    The Grand Coulee City Council is looking into upgrading their tech with federal coronavirus relief money. At their July 21 council meeting held via Zoom, City Clerk Lorna Pearce presented the idea of using some of the city’s qualified amount of $31,650 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds to buy tablets for council members, which they could use for their council meetings now held electronically because of the COVID-19 pandemic, relieving them of having to use their own personal devices to conduct city b...

  • How do you feel about masks in businesses?

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    We're wondering how our readers feel about going into stores that don't require customers and employees to wear masks. Create your own user feedback survey... Full story

  • The best of times...

    Aug 5, 2020

    Plenty of boaters on Banks Lake play on the water Tuesday evening and show a summer activity often coupled with camping, both of which can be safe and fun, even amid a pandemic, if distancing is followed as public health officials are urging. Camping get togethers can also spread the illness if people are not careful, as detailed in some stories this week. - Scott Hunter photo...

  • NPS seeks public help preventing wildfires at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

    News release, National Park Service|Aug 5, 2020

    According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, 85% of all wildfires in Washington State are caused by humans. Already this summer the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area has had five wildfires started on National Park Service lands, the NPS says. One of those was caused by a lightning strike, the other four were caused by humans — either through the illegal use of fireworks or unattended campfires. “There is not much land between the park and our private neighbors,” an NPS release notes. “Fires can quickly spread...

  • Tax foreclosure sale cancelled in tough year

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    Okanogan County’s treasurer Tuesday said she will not be selling real estate in foreclosures this year. “After everything the County Treasurer’s office had to consider regarding this year’s Real Estate Tax Foreclosure Sale due to Covid 19,” said Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack in a release, she made the decision to cancel the sale for this year. “If you have questions regarding this decision,” she said, “please do not hesitate to contact our office at 509-422-7180 or e-mail us at Hopefully, in 2021, we will be back on...

  • Local COVID-19 cases hit 20

    Scott Hunter|Aug 5, 2020

    The local area has now seen more than 20 cases of COVID-19, according to statistics offered by local county health authorities. Okanogan Public Health reports two in Coulee Dam and 11 in Nespelem. Grant County Health District reports seven cases in the Grand Coulee area, plus one in Coulee City they have not been able to confirm is a resident. Okanogan County has seen a total of 782 cases, 297 of them in the last 14 days, including eight deaths. Grant County has seen 1,343 cases, including 10 who have died. GCHD counts 688 of those as... Full story

  • Unofficial Primary Election results

    Aug 5, 2020

    Here are the unofficial election results as of Tuesday night after the 8 p.m. close of voting. Grant Okan. Lin. Doug. State Governor Tim Eyman in Grant Co: 832; Okanogan Co.: 356; Lincoln Co.: 246; Douglas Co.: 420; Statewide: 88,177 Raul Garcia in Grant Co: 1271; Okanogan Co.: 294; Lincoln Co.: 332; Douglas Co.: 278; Statewide: 63,093 Jay Inslee in Grant Co: 2,449; Okanogan Co.: 2,830; Lincoln Co.: 570; Douglas Co.: 1,540; Statewide: 649,074 Loren Culp in Grant Co: 4,228; Okanogan Co.: 3,854; Lincoln Co.: 1,259; Douglas Co. : 2,561;...

  • Flukes have a girl

    Aug 5, 2020

    Kaitlyn and Andrew Fluke of Coulee Dam, Washington, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter Luna Rose Fluke born Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Coulee Medical Center in Grand Coulee, Washington. She weighed 7 lbs., 12 oz., and was 19 inches in length at birth. Sibling includes Raven. Maternal grandparents are Shawn and Shawn P. Traxler. Paternal grandfather is Miles Fluke. Great-grandparents are Mike and Nancy Merrill, Betty Beale, Harry and Robin Traxler and Don and Dora McGuire....

  • Lake Roosevelt Jr./Sr. High honor roll for second semester

    Aug 5, 2020

    Lake Roosevelt Jr./Sr. High honor roll for second semester High Honors 3.500 TO 4.000 Grade Point Average Seniors - Megan Abel, Ellie Hansen, Wensdae Antoine, Brianna Whybark, Damian George, LorRinda Richardson, Nicholas Engeseth, Madisyn Toulou, Alexia Ryan, Brianna Stanger, Keziah Stice, Kyle Edmo, Joshua Thomas, Patrick Hevener, Jonathan Cante’ Jordan Flett, Tahrae Bear Eagle, Christian LaPlante, Allison Nomee, Kyla Wells, and Abbiggale Murray Juniors - Vanessa Ankney, Blossom Armstrong, Lillie LaPlace, Heatherly Budravage, Bryn Chaffee, Rav...

  • Meetings and notices

    Aug 5, 2020

    Electric City Council to Meet (telephonically) The Electric City Council will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 11 (telephonically). To join this Zoom Meeting, Meeting ID: 823 0382 7649, Passcode: 464538, or by phone @ 253 215 8782 (same meeting ID & passcode). No Regional Board of Mayors Meeting The Regional Board of Mayors Meeting scheduled for August 10 has been cancelled....

  • Limited library services to begin soon in Grant, Ferry and Okanogan Counties

    Aug 5, 2020

    North Central Regional Library is getting ready to start curbside pickup and reopen its book return boxes at libraries in Grant, Okanogan and Ferry counties. Starting Aug. 10, libraries in the three counties — which are all in Phase 2 or 3 of the state’s reopening plan — will begin accepting returns of books and other materials. As a safety precaution for staff, all returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in. No donations are being accepted at this time. In addition, NCRL branches throughout Ferry, Okanogan, and...

  • City council, are you crazy?

    Aug 5, 2020

    To the Grand Coulee City Council and mayor: Why do you hate our community? We are in the middle of the worst pandemic in our history! Businesses closed, people out of work, and mask shave to be worn at all times, and you pass an ordinance that lets anyone from anywhere rent our neighbors’ houses for weekends or vacations! (“Short-term rentals will be allowed in Grand Coulee” Star, July 29). Are you crazy!? You let an out-of-towner run our town, people who don’t even live here! We have to say enough! Did you ever check with the CDC? Did you eve... Full story

  • Climate change and mule deer habitat

    Robert Valen|Aug 5, 2020

    In past columns, I’ve shared information regarding climate change and the measurable impacts that are occurring. The impacts are measurable, and the science on climate change is being documented around the world. Back in June 2017, the column was about tree species migration. The most recent column provided information about the declining populations of songbirds. This column, we will read what researchers at the University of Wyoming are doing. Their published work addresses Climate Change impacts on mule deer habitat and migration. The r...

  • From the egg biz to driving grain trucks, farmers deserve a good harvest

    Roger S. Lucas|Aug 5, 2020

    A drive through the Hartline area the other day showed piles of wheat forming outside granaries, an indication of an abundant harvest. I was born on a farm about four miles south of Palouse, delivered by my aunt while my dad went to town to get Dr. Dart, the area medical czar. I was on the farm until age 5, when the family moved to town so I could start school the next year. There was a custom, a sort of a rite of passage, that young kids could ride the harvest trucks during harvest. We would go down to the warehouse, and when the trucks would...

  • The first locomotives at dam construction

    Dan Bolyard, Them Dam Writers Online|Aug 5, 2020

    The first locomotives to haul construction material for the dam were old and tired. Two were on hand in 1935 and had been bought by MWAK to get trains moving. For the section from Electric City down to below the dam, an old logging locomotive, built in 1926, was purchased. It was of the Shay type of geared steamer, in that it was designed to move via pistons turning a common shaft via gearing attached to the wheels. The speed wasn't high, nor was the pulling power great, but it was perfect for...

  • Editorial cartoon

    Stack, Star Tribune|Aug 5, 2020