Alternative energy fair April 19 in Tonasket

TONASKET – As energy costs rise and experts world-wide look for alternatives, an Okanogan Valley group intends to do their part for the planet.

The first Green Okanogan Alternative Energy, Housing and Agriculture Fair (GO) will begin at 10 a.m. April 19 at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket.

“There is a need for alternative fuels and energy,” said Mikkel Gredvig, one of about eight organizers. “We need to seek out alternatives to the status quo.”

The fair will cover alternative fuels, alternative agriculture practices, alternative energy, eco-housing and a break-out discussion session.

One important aspect of the fair will be a push for recycling, Gredvig said.

“That will be major,” he said. “We need to begin thinking about how to bring recycling to Okanogan County.”

Read full story
<p align="right"><i> Submitted photo</i></p><p>Retired North Valley Family Medical physician Walter Henze (center) received an Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner 2008 Award March 21 in Spokane. Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (left) and state Sec

Retired Tonasket physician receives state healthcare award

SPOKANE – A long-time family health practitioner in Tonasket recently received an Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner 2008 Award at the 21st Annual Pacific Northwest Rural Health Conference in Spokane March 20-21.

Dr. Walter Henze, retired from North Valley Family Medicine, received his award from Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers at the Washington Rural Health Association (WRHA) Awards Luncheon. The award is based on the overall contributions a practitioner has made to benefit rural health over the course of his career.

Henze has practiced medicine in the North Okanogan Valley for more than 30 years, according to a nomination letter submitted on his behalf.

Read full story
<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon </i></p><p><font size="3">Brad Calico, with Oroville Public Works, takes a pneumatic jackhammer to the remains of the low cement wall that was removed from the front of what will soon be Oroville’s Centennial Par

Oroville Council discusses demolition of building for city hall expansion

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council decided demolition of a building to make way for expansion of the city hall will not include trying to salvage the building’s cement blocks.

After agreeing that it was time to advertise for bids to demolish the building, the council discussed whether to offer the structure, located north of city hall, for bids for salvage of its building materials.

City Attorney Mick Howe warned that it might be better to not offer the building for salvage. “You’ve got to be careful, what happens if you find asbestos for instance?” asked Howe.

The cement block building, which has housed various businesses over the years, including a dry cleaners and a bookstore, was most recently used as storage for the city’s Public Works department.

Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, recommended not offering the building for salvage as it would save time and money if the demolition crew did not have to take care in not damaging things like the old cement blocks.

“My suggestion is we just tear it down,” said Noel.

The council agreed and the city will advertise for bids to do the demolition.

The city has been asked to apply for a Conditional Use Permit so work can move forward on Oroville’s Centennial Park. The Streetscape Committee has agreed to pay the $250 fee for the permit. In addition it was noted that the city still needs to sign its lease with Stan and Tamara Porter for use of the lot on Main Street between Porter’s Sun Lakes Realty and the Old Peerless Restaurant for the park. The Porters have offered the lot at very low terms and attorney Howe agreed to review the lease so Mayor Chuck Spieth can sign it.

Read full story
<p align="right"> Submitted photo</p><p><font size="3">Oroville Reman and Reload will be among the Oroville businesses that will benefit from the Heavy Haul Corridor designation between the U.S. Port of Entry and the Cascade and Columbia River Railroad ra

Gregoire signs Hwy. 97 Heavy Freight Corridor Bill

OROVILLE – Some 100 new jobs may soon be created along a newly designated Heavy Haul Corridor along a five mile stretch of Highway 97 from the Canadian border to the Reman and Reload facility just south of Oroville, thanks to a bill that was recently signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Substitute Senate Bill 6857, “State Route Number 97,” provides a “heavy haul designation” for the highway, which will allow trucks bringing wood products across the border to be fully loaded, according to North Central Washington Resource Conservation and Development Vice President, Chris Branch.

“Without the designation, only partially loaded trucks were allowed to cross the border,” Branch said. “Now, fully loaded trucks can be reloaded onto rail freight cars at the Reman and Reload station and continue by rail to a variety of businesses in Eastern and Western Washington,” he said.

Read full story
<p align="right"> Photo by Gary DeVon</p><p><font size="3">Jerry King, a self-described member of the Turtle Clan, shows off the turtle his wife bought for him during the auction at the Habitat for Humanities benefit. The event, held at the River’s Edge

Habitat for Humanity ‘tasting’ raises more than $4000

OKANOGAN – North Okanogan Habitat for Humanity and their plans to build their next house in Okanogan benefited to the tune of more than $4000 from the wine, beer and coffee tasting event held there last Saturday evening.

“It was nice, it worked out very well,” said Ivetta Howell, one of the board members for the local Habitat for Humanity group.

In addition to the tastings, the event included both a silent and live auction. Ken Neal, veteran auctioneer of many a local benefit quickly got those in attendance to open their wallets wide.

“The generous contributions of all the merchants and individuals were fabulous,” she said.

Howell, who credits NOHH Secretary Lynn Champman with organizing the benefit, said there weren’t as many pre-sold tickets as she thought there would be. However, pre-event publicity packed the River’s Edge Center with people willing to put their $20 down for tickets at the door. The donation returned three drink tickets that could be used for tastings of wine, beer or coffee.

Oroville was well represented at the benefit with three wineries – Copper Mountain, Lake Crest and Okanogan Estate and Vineyards. Oroville’s well-known Alpine Brewing Company was also offering tastes of one of their fine pilsners. The Methow offered up the Lost River Winery from Mazama, Methow Valley Brewing Company in Twisp and coffee from Methow Valley Roasters in Carlton.

Read full story
<p align="right"> Photo by Gary DeVon</p><p><font size="3">Haley Montowski’s spelling abilities earned her a trip to Wenatchee to compete for a chance to participate in this year’s National Spelling Bee. Although the 11 year-old fifth-grader at Orovil

Oroville’s top speller competes for chance at National Bee

OROVILLE – For many her last name might be hard to spell, but for Haley Montowski her spelling abilities were good enough to get her a chance to compete at Wenatchee for a shot at going to Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee.

The 11 year-old fifth-grader from Dave Taylor’s class earned her place as Oroville Elementary School’s top speller by first winning a class competition. From there three spellers from her class went on to a school-wide spelling bee held in the gym where she got to complete with other kids from her grade.

“I was in the spelling bee last year so I wasn’t that nervous, but I wasn’t completely calm either,” said Montowski with a smile.

She says there ended up being four fifth-graders competing for the top honors and this in turn was narrowed down to two. She can’t recall just what word it was she spelled to win the school competition.

“I don’t remember…it wasn’t really easy, but it wasn’t that hard. I felt some of the kids got harder words than me,” she said.

Read full story
<p align="right"><i> Photo by Gary DeVon</i></p><p>Chiropractor Dr. Jeff Landon has sold his business, Oroville Chiropractic, to Dr. Cynthia Ground D.C., who will open her doors to patients beginning today.</p>

Oroville Chiropractic changing hands

OROVILLE – While Dr. Cynthia Ground, D.C. begins her practice at Oroville Chiropractic, the former owner, Dr. Jeffrey Landon, embarks on a much different path, going into the business of wheat farming in Waterville.

Landon, who has been a chiropractor in Oroville since July 1995, has sold his clinic to Ground and will move to Waterville to begin growing wheat on his own farm. His wife Kim and daughters Alex and Zoey will follow when school lets out.”

Read full story
<div align="right"><i> Photo by Charlene Helm</i></div><p></p><p>Gloobal Agent Dawn McLure</p>

McLure wants to help you secure financing

OROVILLE – Dawn McLure wants to help people to get financing for their dreams – whether it is for the purchase of a home, land or commercial property.

McLure is an agent for Global Realty Marketing/Global Equity Lending and she offers assistance in real estate mortgage applications. She works with brokers located in Tacoma and says she is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through her cell phone (509) 560-3306. She offers assistance with obtaining all types of loans, including FHA, VA and Reverse Mortgages.

Read full story

Touch of Grace Massage opens in Tonasket

TONASKET – Tired muscles and sore bodies have a new ally in Tonasket.

Laura Loney started Touch of Grace massage at the Evolution Health and Fitness Club in early March. Loney is a licensed massage therapist.

“I joined Evolution because they were just starting up, like I was,” Loney said. “I also wanted to align myself with the concept of health and fitness.”

Read full story
<p align="right"><i> Photo by Amy Veneziano</i></p><p>The sign for Just Us Girls, on the south side of the Subway building on the corner of Fourth Street and Whitcomb, signals shoppers from Highway 97.</p>

Just Us Girls a more feminine antique alternative

TONASKET – There’s a new option in town for style mavens.

Just Us Girls, an antique boutique at 6 West 5th Street in Tonasket, on the south side of the Subway building, opened March 1 with success, said one of the three owners.

The store, in fact, is owned by three generations of women: Diane Allstot, her daughter Debbie Graham and Debbie’s daughter Madeleine.

Read full story
<html>  <head>  </head>  <body>    <p align="right"><i>Photo by Amy Veneziano</i>    </p>    <p>High school student Jessica Santana sang “My Immortal,” a song by the band Evanescence. Santana is in the OHS choir and sings for her church as well.    </

Dollars for Scholars Talent Show and Auction raises $1380

OROVILLE – Fans of Oroville students had the chance to check out local talent on stage and on the auction tables while supporting scholarships March 4 at the high school commons.

About 65 people came to the third-annual Dollars for Scholars Talent Show, which raises money for a continuing education scholarship for an OHS graduate.

The event raised $1380 total, said organizer Tedi Fletcher, a member of the Oroville School Board. The total will be split with the school’s music department, she said. That leaves the group with $690 to award to student continuing their education.

“It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps,” Fletcher said.

Read full story