OKANOGAN – Due to bitterly cold temperatures, energy demand in Okanogan County hit a record breaking 178 megawatts at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Jan. 12. This surpassed a previous historic load record of 173 megawatts set in December 2008.
UNION GAP – Worsening air quality conditions in North Central Washington are prompting Stage 1 burn bans to be added for Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, and an existing ban to extend in Kittitas County over the weekend and through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
SPOKANE – A Stage 1 burn ban has been called for Okanogan County, beginning at 4 p.m. today, Jan. 6, and extended for Stevens County at least until noon, Monday, Jan. 9. Air quality conditions have worsened in these two Northeastern Washington counties, particularly for sensitive groups.
OKANOGAN — Superior Court Judge Veronica Galván issued a ruling last Thursday that said Okanogan County Commissioners Jim Detro, Sheilah Kennedy and Ray Campbell violated separation of powers when they interfered with the Okanogan County Superior Court’s obligation and prerogative to administer its own affairs and by withholding from Court Administrator Dennis Rabidou the pay increase contracted between himself and the Superior Court.
OROVILLE — Chris Branch, Oroville’s director of Community Development tendered his resignation at the Tuesday, Dec. 20 city council meeting. The planner ran for and was elected as a county commissioner, a position he will start in January.
As snow continues to fall deep in the Pasayten and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness areas, some folks are already planning their guided trip into the most remote areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest next summer. Some Forest staff are also planning over the winter; completing an environmental analysis of how to best provide necessary public access to these wilderness areas while balancing wilderness impacts and use in the years ahead.
TONASKET – On Friday, Jan. 6, award-winning photographer Paul Bannick returns to Highland Wonders with a presentation based on his new book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls.
TONASKET – The Okanogan Land Trust was able to bring four years of persistent effort to a conclusion by finalizing the placement of a conservation easement on nearly 1600 acres in the Okanogan Highlands.
OMAK – The general manager of Omak Forest Products, a plywood mill in Omak, has confirmed a state WARN alert that more than 200 employees will soon be without a job.
The U.S. Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources released a report Friday outlining recommendations on moving forward in firefighting efforts based on lessons learned from the Aug.19, 2015 Twisp River Fire incident in Okanogan County in which three wildland firefighters lost their lives and four others were injured.