News

Assessor says property values will increase for most homeowners

OKANOGAN – Okanogan County Assessor Scott Furman announced last week that his office has completed the reevaluation process for all the taxable property located within the Oroville School District.

Portions of the county are re-evaluated on a four-year cycle and it was the Oroville area’s turn. Portions of the Omak School District that are located outside Omak’s city limits were also revalued, according to Furman. This included the Omak flats and the Conconully, Riverside and Tunk areas, as well as portions on the Colville Reservation.

“Notice of value change forms will be mailed out May 30, 2008,” said Furman.

Furman told those in attendance at the Thursday, May 8 meeting of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce that many taxpayers will see increases in their property valuation. He explained how the real estate appraisers used “comparables” from recent sales of similar properties to determine current value. He also showed several examples of homes and lots that had sold recently and how much they had increased with each successive sale over the past four years. Most had at least doubled in value, while some had gone up several times.

“The re-appraisal process involves real estate appraisers from the assessor’s office going out and physically inspecting all taxable property. The last revaluation was based upon sales that occurred prior to Jan. 1, 2004,” said Furman.

“The new assessed values are based upon comparable sales of similar property located in your area that have occurred over the past few years,” he said.

According to Furman the real estate market in the Oroville area has experienced unprecedented market appreciation in the past three years.

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Oroville will receive money to fence airport, build two helipads

OROVILLE – Oroville has been granted $616,567 from the FAA to completely fence the perimeter around the city’s Dorothy Scott International Airport.

The city has also applied for $16,225 from the state Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics division which it will receive to help pay the city’s share of the grant from the federal government. The federal agency, as well as the city, agrees that fencing the airport to keep deer off the runway is an important step. The fence is also intended to bring additional security to the airport.

At their Tuesday, May 5 meeting, the Oroville City Council passed a resolution saying that it had matching funds to the FAA grant. Councilman Tony Keopke made the motion to approve the resolution and it was seconded by Councilman Jason Blotsky.

“Fencing around the perimeter will include the buildings and the open hanger area and leave out the parking area,” said Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works.

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Everything set for Run for the Border Saturday

By Gary A. DeVon

Managing Editor

OROVILLE – A convoy of 300 or more riders on their motorcycles is expected to roar into town as the 6th Annual Run for the Border comes to Oroville this Saturday.

The Columbia River Harley Owners Group (HOG) sponsors the 150 mile run from Wenatchee to Oroville as a charitable event. This year they will again be raising funds for North Central Washington Kids in Need. Although the club is made up of Harley Davidson owners, all types of motorcycles are welcome to join in the ride, according to Ken Taylor of Oroville who is helping to coordinate the event.

“They start up in Wenatchee at 10 in the morning and usually stop in Pateros which is about half way,” said Taylor. “We expect the convoy to start rolling in to town around 1 p.m.”

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Oroville’s four wineries plan Spring Barrel Tasting

OROVILLE – Oroville’s four wineries will be having a Spring Barrel Tasting at their wineries on Saturday, May 17.

This is the fifth annual event for Okanogan Estate and Vineyards, Oroville’s oldest winery, and the first for Oroville’s newest Esther Bricques Winery and Vineyard.

For Okanogan Estate and Vineyards, their tasting begins at noon and runs to 5 p.m. and is at their winery located at 1010 Appleway. This is the only day of the year the winery is open to the public and their inviting people to “taste wines by the barrel.”

Esther Bricques Winery and Vineyard is located about 8 miles south of Oroville, nestled at the base of Mt. Hull at 38 Swanson Mill Rd. The winery is the dream of Steve and Linda Colvin, who began experimental plantings of seven different varieties of grapes in 2001. They will have their tasting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></p><p>    Oroville's mayors, past and present, were this year’s Grand Marshals. Riding the Mayor’s Float are former mayors David Reynolds, John Shaw, Jimmy Dale Walker and Steve Bayley and current mayor Chu

Weather couldn’t dampen May Fest spirits

OROVILLE – Although the weather could have been a bit warmer, all made the most of this year’s 74th Annual May Festival whether it was enjoying the parade, fishing for the big bass, shooting hoops or learning about Native American Culture at the pow wow.

The theme for this year’s May Festival was ‘Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future. On Friday the Queen’s Coronation was held and Ashley Porter was crowned May Festival Queen and Megan McKinney and Lacy Johnson were crowned as her princesses.

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<div align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></div><p></p><p>    Port Director Ron Arrigoni (left) presents Mel Lindauer with several gifts in honor of his 33 years of service at the U.S. Port of Entry. Lindauer retired from th

Mel Lindauer stands down from standing guard at border

OROVILLE – He’s seen many changes in his 33 years working at the U.S. Port of Entry at Oroville, but Mel Lindauer says he’s looking forward to retirement — his second.

Lindauer also taught mathematics at Oroville High School for 30 years, retiring in 1989. It was while he was teaching that former Port Director Bud Brownlee asked if he’d like to work part time at the border.

“That was in 1975 and teachers were often hired because summer traffic was heavier. It was a good job. Since then they’ve virtually phased out part time employees,” Lindauer said.

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Airport, hospital, correspondence dominate Tonasket council

TONASKET – The City Council had a relatively short meeting April 22.

The council approved granting North Valley Hospital three spots in the City Hall/Library lot for the duration of the construction at the hospital. Hospital Administrator Warner Bartleson requested use of the spaces through October 2009.

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Oroville schools will use ’728 money’ to reduce class size

OROVILLE – The Oroville School Board held a hearing on 728 funds and passed a motion to continue to use this money from the state to reduce class sizes.

“We have received a lot of money from the 2008 state legislature and they said they want us to use it to lower class sizes,” said Dr. Ernie Bartelson, district superintendent.

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<html>  <head>  </head>  <body>    <div align="right"><i>Photo by Gary DeVon</i>    </div>    <p>    </p>    <p>    Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth, with help from Oroville Garden Club President Betty Bair and other club members, plants a Hinoki Cypress in ho

Historic flagpole rededicated at McDonald cabin

OROVILLE – Community members gathered last Thursday to rededicate a flagpole that once graced the U.S. Port of Entry north of Oroville, raise the American Flag and plant Oroville’s Centennial Tree in honor of Arbor Day.

The flagpole was installed at the historic J.T. McDonald cabin, which McDonald, one of the area’s early U.S. Customs officials, used as the Custom House for travelers crossing the border into the United States in the late 1800s. The flagpole was originally dedicated in 1933 at another Custom House that was torn down to make way for the current U.S.-Canada shared Port of Entry north of town.

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<html>  <head>  </head>  <body>    <p align="right"><i>Photo from Brady Freeman’s MySpace account</i>    </p>    <p>    Brady, left, and twin brother Boone Freeman during a camping trip.    </p>  </body></html>

Tragedy for Tonasket family

TONASKET – A trip home from college has left two students dead and one injured.

Brady Freeman, 21, a 2005 Tonasket High School graduate and co-valedictorian, was killed April 25 in a car crash 13 miles south of Okanogan. His girlfriend, senior Jocelyn Denham, 21, a native of Bend, Ore., also died. Freeman, a junior, and Denham were both Pacific Lutheran University students. Brady’s twin and co-valedictorian Boone Freeman, a junior at the University of Puget Sound, was transported to the Okanogan Douglas County Hospital in Brewster. He was released early Saturday afternoon.

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