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  • Kids festival, car show beat out rainy weather

    Renata Rollins|Jun 19, 2024

    Despite threatening skies that occasionally burst into rain, lightning and wind gusts to topple a shade canopy, around 150 kids and their family members came out for Koulee Kids Fest, the car show, or both last weekend. For Kids Fest, families visit participating local storefront businesses, where kids do free activities and get their event "passports" stamped, to be entered in a drawing. Based on numbers from the chamber of commerce, most families chose to focus on businesses in central Grand...

  • Banks Lake Golf Course will be sold to Colville Tribes for $1.2 million

    Renata Rollins|Jun 12, 2024

    After a process going back more than two years, the Banks Lake Golf Course will soon be owned and operated by descendents of the area's original people: the Colville Confederated Tribes. Grant County Port District #7 Commissioners quickly voted to approve moving forward with the $1.2 million purchase and sale agreement after Commission Chair Jim Keene gave a presentation on the negotiations and terms at a June 11 Port Commission meeting. It was the only item on the agenda. "I'll just say that...

  • School director resigns following after- meeting confrontationSchool director resigns following after- meeting confrontation

    Scott Hunter|Jun 12, 2024

    A member of the Grand Coulee Dam school board has resigned in the wake of a contentious stand the board took last week to not allow four graduates to "walk" at graduation. Deidre Ellsworth explained her decision to step down in a letter to "students offended by my action after the board meeting," which she asked The Star to publish. It's on page 2. The affected students allegedly had arranged to buy alcohol on the senior trip to Disneyland. The board backed the decision of the administration to...

  • One applies for Grand Coulee mayor

    Renata Rollins|Jun 12, 2024

    The opening for Grand Coulee mayor netted one candidate, Ruth Dalton, who serves on the city council and has been the stand-in mayor for the last month, since the previous mayor resigned. Letters of interest were due Monday, and the council had planned to interview applicants at their June public meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. However, with the sole applicant already being a member of the council, the council may appoint Dalton as mayor at the June meeting without a formal interview, as allowed under state law, City...

  • USDA awards CCT $16.5 million for food processing

    Jun 12, 2024

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program has awarded the Colville Tribes a $16.5 million dollar grant to build a new food processing facility which will combine traditional and modern techniques. The new facility will include several buildings with a total area of approximately 28,000 square feet. Construction will occur on the site of the old food processing plant on Omak Mission Road. The processing facility will be dedicated to traditional first foods of the Colville Tribes. It will utilize state-of-the-art t...

  • Tribal museum now open

    Renata Rollins|Jun 12, 2024

    The Colville Tribal Museum opened for the season last week, and they've already had visitors from multiple states stop in to learn local history and culture from the Tribes' History/Archeology Department. This year, staff have installed new exhibits you have probably not seen before - even if you are local. These exhibits include twined basket work by Omak mixed-media artist and tribal member Joe Feddersen, an old dendroglyph on a San Poil ponderosa pine, and a section dedicated to the crisis...

  • Four seniors lose appeal to walk at graduation

    Scott Hunter|Jun 5, 2024

    Four seniors at Lake Roosevelt Jr/Sr High School lost an appeal to the school board Tuesday night, after asking the board to let them walk across the stage at graduation with their peers. The seniors had reportedly bought alcohol on the senior trip to Disneyland the prior weekend, which they had promised not to do. The board had heard the appeals of four students in a meeting last Thursday and decided not to counter the administration's decision. The appeals of their classmates played out in...

  • First Friday kicks off summer market fun at North Dam

    Renata Rollins|Jun 5, 2024

    June 7 is the official first First Friday of 2024. This year, the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber’s serial summertime pop-up market will be back at North Dam Park instead of Main Street. The evening market will run from 4 to 9 p.m. on June 7, August 2, and September 6. Vendors will include local businesses, art, leather and jewelry vendors, food trucks, plus a free craft table hosted by the local library, and other activities for kids. For entertainment, Kolton Carson, a Lake Roosevelt 10th grader, will be playing acoustic guitar and singing f...

  • Bureau opens up new fire station near finish

    Scott Hunter|Jun 5, 2024

    Bureau of Reclamation officials opened the doors of the new fire station in Grand Coulee Tuesday during public tours of the nearly complete new facility they said would be open within a few weeks. With terrazzo floors embedded with LED lighting strips to guide engine drivers in, a computer room overlooking the engine bay, a huge kitchen with lockers for individual crew members, windows that adjust the incoming sunlight to the needs dictated by the HVAC system, and much more, the bright facility...

  • Reclamation fire station construction wrapping up

    May 29, 2024

    Construction work at the Bureau of Reclamation's fire station is near completion, and the public is invited to attend an open house set for Tuesday, June 4 from 4-6 p.m., the bureau said in a press release Tuesday. The fire station is located at the west gate to the Grand Coulee Power Office industrial area near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street. The public is advised to park at Pole Park. Traffic control will be available to safely guide citizens across the highway to the fire...

  • Could you be the next Grand Coulee mayor?

    Renata Rollins|May 29, 2024

    The Grand Coulee city council is looking for the next mayor, and any registered voter living within city limits can throw their name into the ring. Interested applicants should bring a letter of intent to City Hall, 306 Midway Ave, by 4 p.m. on June 10. Letters can also be mailed to Grand Coulee City Hall, P.O. Box 180, Grand Coulee 99133. A letter of intent is similar to a cover letter for a job, and is up to individual applicants to decide what to write about. Possible topics could include: why you are interested in serving as mayor; your...

  • Banks Lake project draws new investor interest, but questions remain

    Renata Rollins|May 29, 2024

    The Banks Lake Pumped Storage Project has lingered since Columbia Basin Hydropower first brought it to the attention of local leaders in 2016. Lately the project, planned to generate 500 to 1,000 megawatts of hydropower by moving water in an underground tunnel between Banks Lake and Lake Roosevelt, has drawn attention from a new potential investor and developer. But questions remain, hurdles are high, and clear steps forward are a ways off for the proposed project that would involve...

  • CMC seeks federal funding for workforce housing development

    Renata Rollins|May 29, 2024

    Faced with a housing shortage that threatens their efforts to find and keep rural health workers, Coulee Medical Center wants to develop a tiny-home community for their medical staff. If all the pieces fall into place, the designated "critical access" hospital serving four counties and the Colville Reservation could begin purchasing 30 tiny homes this October to place on their property across SR-174. The cluster of tiny 357-square-foot homes would be developed between the grain silos and the...

  • Johnson appointed Grand Coulee interim police chief

    Renata Rollins|May 22, 2024

    After eight weeks with the position vacant, Grand Coulee now officially has an acting police chief. Grand Coulee Police Officer Levi Johnson will serve in the role for up to six months until a permanent chief is hired, the city council affirmed at their regular meeting May 21. Although the motion to appoint Johnson passed unanimously, no one from the council table made any speeches or comments surrounding the appointment. Afterwards, some council members and members of the public offered their...

  • Blue over blue

    May 22, 2024

    People enjoy the quiet at Crescent Bay on Lake Roosevelt Saturday morning while getting in a little fishing between the base of big hill and the beach under a blue sky. This week's weather will be a little more, um, spring like. Check out our forecast on page 3. - Scott Hunter photo...

  • Laser light show and public tours resume Memorial Day weekend

    May 22, 2024

    Bureau of Reclamation will begin operations May 25 of the "One River, Many Voices" laser light show and John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant public tours. The light show will run nightly at 10 p.m. Pacific Time through July 31. Beginning Aug. 1, the show will start at 9:30 p.m., and from Sept. 1 to 30, it will begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are not required to enjoy the laser light show. Public tours at the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant will be available daily through Oct. 31. Tour times...

  • Isle of Flags to honor more veterans Monday

    May 22, 2024

    The annual Isle of Flags, with its Memorial Day ceremony, will honor nine more veterans whose families have requested a flag be flown in their honor. The annual event, which started in 1976, continues to add more flags every year to the spectacle that community volunteers will start putting up at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Spring Canyon Cemetery. They will be flying 500 American flags. A Memorial Day Breakfast will be offered free of charge to all Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Vets Center in Electric City. Donations will be accepted....

  • Electric City approves scaled-back version of city park

    Renata Rollins|May 22, 2024

    Electric City's first-ever city-owned park may open this year on a parcel of city land behind the fire barn, capping off years of planning and discussions going back nearly a decade. The city council May 14 voted to approve the park committee's proposed plan, scaled back from some of the original proposals. The fenced, rectangular park will include a covered picnic shelter with tables and charcoal BBQ, a vault toilet, a walking path around the perimeter, irrigated lawn, a water fountain and...

  • On the way to Skagway

    Roger Lucas|May 22, 2024

    It’s true; apples don’t fall far from trees. Over the years I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit. Now it’s my oldest son Paul’s time to travel. He retired a year ago and started planning a near five-month trip to Alaska. He is the Daniel Boone member of the family. His travels are outdoor treks, living in the great outdoors. He has a half dozen canoe trips on Yellowstone Lake, living along the shoreline in all kind of situations, most of the time alone. On his last trip there, he had a grizzly bear in his camp only a few feet away. When...

  • Grand Coulee mayor resigns 

    Renata Rollins|May 15, 2024

    Grand Coulee is looking for more patrol officers, a police chief, a wastewater treatment plant operator, and a public works director. Starting Friday, the city will need a new mayor as well. Mayor Mike Eylar announced his intention to step down from the role, due to medical issues, at a special city council meeting May 14, less than five months after being sworn in. “Bills will continue to be paid, payroll will continue to be paid, decisions will continue to flow,” Eylar said at the special session. Councilmembers had just learned of his res...

  • Parade happens

    May 15, 2024

    A big crowd comes out for the annual Colorama Parade Saturday, after it had at one point looked like it would not happen at all. A declaration of its cancelation by the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, due to lack of needed police, got attention and response from the Grant County Sheriff's Office and local police, who staffed it as necessary for traffic control. - Scott Hunter photo...

  • School leaders avoid $500k loss of federal funds

    Scott Hunter|May 15, 2024

    Leaders of two school districts Tuesday night, agreed to a “tuition” plan that’s been in dispute for months, which threatened to cost them over half a million dollars that would otherwise go to educating their students. Everyone was relieved at a joint meeting of the boards of directors of the Nespelem and Grand Coulee Dam School districts. “Thank you so much for working hard to make that agreement successful,” GCDSD Board President Rich Black said. “I know it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind. It wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.” At is...

  • Rebuild of hospital access roads starts next Monday

    Renata Rollins|May 15, 2024

    Two short roads responsible for carrying 100% of Coulee Medical Center traffic in Grand Coulee will undergo reconstruction beginning next week and lasting into the summer. Fortuyn Road and James Saunders Street will be closed except to “local traffic only” starting Monday, May 20, according to an informational flyer delivered to Fortuyn residents last week. What that means in practice for ambulances and hospital visitors is not yet known, but the contractor is working on a plan for continued access, according to Grand Coulee Clerk Lorna Pea...

  • Some internet, wireless services out Thursday, Friday this week

    May 15, 2024

    A planned fiber outage will happen in Grant County late this week for line repair and replacement, temporarily cutting off internet for fiber customers, and disrupting major wireless carriers locally as well, according to local internet providers. Coulee Internet, iFIBER, and Fordair Wireless all sent notice that internet will be down for eight hours for fiber optic line repair, sometime within the window of 10 p.m. Thursday, May 16, and Friday at noon. “This will cause fiber hubs and cell phone services (Verizon & ATT/T-mobile) to be down f...

  • Wrong way to Colorama

    May 15, 2024

    A Grand Coulee ambulance heads the wrong way down Midway Avenue during Saturday's parade to take care of a man in distress at the Pacific Pride station. It was a heat-related issue. EMT Ben Alling, a veteran in the parade on the American Legion float, jumped off the float to help when his radio went off. When temperatures change quickly, as they did last week, suddenly exceeding 80, people have trouble adjusting. Just ask Star writer Roger Lucas. Or actually, on the opinion page, you can read...

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