News

Year in review – looking back at 2007The first six months

Editor’s Note: This week we take a look back at just a few of the stories that made the front page of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune during the first the first half 2007. The rest of the year will be reviewed in next week’s edition.

January

Three vying for May Festival Queen – Jessica Santana, Alysia Cumbo and Rachel Marringer have thrown their hats in the ring for a chance this year’s May Festival Queen’s crown.

Oroville grows by over 150 acres in less than a year – The City of Oroville grew by more than 65 acres after the council unanimously accepted a petition for annexation at their first meeting of the year-bringing the small city’s total growth to over 150 acres in less than a year’s time.

It’s official: Gail Milliken can stay in the U.S. – About to get married and planning her honeymoon, little did Milliken know the journey she was about to take was not to some warm tropical isle, but rather a two and a half year odyssey to remain in her adopted country.

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Annexation requested of Oroville Council

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard yet another request to annex property located north of the current city limits at their final meeting for 2007.

Several property owners, owning 344 acres in 93 parcels, have submitted a letter of intent to annex into the city, said Oroville City Planner Chris Branch. The request was made by property owners representing 20 percent of the annexation boundary’s total valuation. Property owners representing a minimum of 10 percent of the valuation are required, according to the planner to request annexation from the city.

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Tonasket council holds last meeting

TONASKET – The final city council meeting of 2007 ended with a sendoff for Councilman Patrick Plumb and a celebration of Tonasket’s official incorporation into Okanogan County in December 1927.

Harry Hayter, a member of the Coulee Corridor council and publisher of the Coulee Corridor Publication, addressed the Council.

At their last meeting, the council decided to pull the $500 they gave to the publication.

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Solberg will lead Oroville Chamber of Commerce in ’08

OROVILLE – The Oroville Chamber of Commerce elected a full slate of officers for the upcoming year at their Thursday, Dec. 13 meeting and chose Rich Solberg to head the business organization in 2008.

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The Tonasket Community Cultural Center’s front, as seen from Western Avenue. The center recently received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.

Community Cultural Center receives Gates Foundation grant

The building on Western Avenue in Tonasket has been many things since the 1930s.

It was once a mechanic shop. Then a Studebaker dealership. A temporary music and band room for Tonasket High School. It was the Valley Tire Store in the 1980s.

But soon, the building on Western will be renovated to suit exactly what it’s been since 1992: The Community Cultural Center.

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Architect Dave Frunkland, from Yakima, talked about the proposed North Valley Hospital renovations at length with a packed crowd Nov. 27. Most of the council meeting was spent on the proposed plans, addressing a sometimes-hostile crowd - Photo by Amy Vene

Council meeting draws big crowd

A standing-room-only crowd greeted Nov. 27′s city council meeting, eager to voice their opinions, whether supportive or objective, to the North Valley Hospital’s proposed expansion plans.

Though the hospital asked for a delay in the decision to vacate 2nd Street, the council still allowed public comment. The new meeting was scheduled for Jan. 22, 2008.

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Oroville’s city hall is slated for expansion in 2008 if the city can find the additional funding it needs to finance the project. Expansion would move the planning and building and permits departments out of the council chambers, where they currently oc

Oroville City Council holds preliminary budget hearing

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council discussed a preliminary 2008 budget that is $92,505 more than the amended 2007 budget and still doesn’t include several items like city hall expansion, sewer improvements and a hoped-for airport grant.

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About 100 people came to the Sitzmark Ski Club’s benefit auction Nov. 19, where they ate, mingled and bid in both silent and live auctions to benefit the ski area.

Sitzmark benefit auction raises more than $6,000 for ski club

TONASKET – The Skitzmark Ski Club slalomed closer to the season with a benefit auction Nov. 17 at the Tonasket Eagles Club, raising more than $6,000.

About 100 people turned out for the silent auction and dinner, and more arrived later to bid during a live auction. Silent auction items ranged from a basket of potatoes, ski items and gift certificates at local spas.

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A view of the spillway of Enloe dam from the west bank of the Similkameen River. Okanogan County PUD recently released their Draft License Application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for relicensing the hydroelectric dam.

Enloe Dam restoration efforts renewed

OROVILLE – Okanogan County Public Utility District has decided to renew its efforts to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to restore Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River above Oroville in order to once again generate hydroelectric power.

The dam, which has not been used to make electricity since it was decommissioned in 1958, has the potential to generate an average five megawatts of power and up to nine megawatts at peak generation, according to Okanogan County PUD Commissioner Ernie Bolz.

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Photo by Rick BramanGroups such as the Lake Osoyoos Association and the Osoyoos Water Quality Society are working to preserve the water quality in Lake Osoyoos, viewed here from a vineyard in Oroville. The Lake Osoyoos Association recently heard there may

Lake group gets boost from environmental specialist

OROVILLE – After electing a slate of officers at their Thursday, Nov. 1 meeting, the newly reformed Lake Osoyoos Association was told by a representative of the Department of Ecology that there would be some state help available to monitor lake quality.

Monitoring and testing Lake Osoyoos’ water quality for plant and animal life and for human use and consumption was adopted as the association’s number one goal. Other goals include determining the causes of water pollution and advising the public and appropriate government agencies of their findings, as well as helping these agencies in carrying out programs to improve the quality of the lake. Monitoring lake management and shoreline development and public education are the group’s other main goals.

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