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Canoes to Kettle will launch Friday

About 80 people will leave in canoes from Crescent Bay, heading toward Kettle Falls on Friday, June 14.

A brief ceremony will take place from 9 a.m. until the paddlers leave at 11 or possibly earlier, according to an organizer of the event. Traditional Native American singing may take place, and speakers will be at the launching of the canoes.

The paddlers are heading toward Kettle Falls, a traditional fishing spot of local

Native American tribes that is now under water. The trip is largely to bring awareness about an effort to return salmon above the Grand Coulee Dam following a 79-year absence since the construction of the dam. All are welcome at the event, or to join for a portion of, or for the entire trip.

Deputies arrest man suspected of

stabbing mother

Okanogan County sheriff’s deputies struggled in the Okanogan River with a man suspected of stabbing a woman who later died Monday.

Deputies were on the scene within seven minutes of getting the call about 2:44 p.m. to the area of Old Highway 97 and Central Street in Malott, Sheriff Tony Hawley said.

Bystanders told deputies where a man had fled to, Hawley said, so deputies established a perimeter and eventually found him at the river.

The suspect, Jose Mejia, 34, “resisted arrest and attempted to disarm one of the deputies of his firearm,” Hawley said. “Deputies and the suspected were in the river during the struggle to arrest him.”

His mother, Juana Ferreria Demejia, 64, died at the scene. Her son was booked into Okanogan County Jail.

He was in custody 20 minutes after the initial report came in, Hawley noted. He credited residents of Malott for guiding the deputies to the suspect.

Wildfire risk rises as landscapes begin to dry out

With hot and dry weather coming this week, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to help prevent wildfires.

The National Weather Service in Spokane has issued a Fire Weather

Watch for the local region, expecting wind and low relative humidity from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening.

“Our firefighters are concerned that we may see more wildfires this week due to rising temperatures and higher wind speeds,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “With 71 percent of our state experiencing drought effects, and no rain forecasted, we all need to be extremely cautious when outdoors.”

This Wednesday, temperatures on the west side of the state will be 20 to 30 degrees above normal, and temperatures near 100 for many places on the east of the Cascades.

Increasing winds will accompany the hot, dry weather, which can wreak havoc on any tiny spark. The amount of rain many areas received over the weekend creates taller grasses, which will dry out at an accelerated pace over the week that will serve as fuel for any fire that starts.

Already this year, DNR has responded to 478 fire calls. Snowpack is lower than average and is melting faster and earlier.

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