There's a new sheriff in townBy Brock Hires Okanogan Living
Former Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow stepped into the uniform of Okanogan County Sheriff Jan. 1, and plans to lead by example.
Early last year, Budrow mentioned the prospect of running for sheriff, but most expressed some hesitancy.
“Talking to my peers, they said that would be stupid because you can’t beat an incumbent,” Budrow recalled. “I was, like, ‘I have to at least try. I just can’t sit back and let something happen that needs to be fixed; Friends that I have were all like, we think you’re crazy for doing this because this is a huge shot.”
Budrow said his top order of business - aside from arresting bad guys - is to “bring back the moral.”
“The Sheriff’s Office is looked at as being one of the premiere entities in the county as well as the state,” he said in late December ahead of swearing-in. “Bad guys will have consequences.”
Staff recruitment and retainment, along with revamping jail protocols are two areas Budrow hopes to address in the immediate.
“The next two months we're going to build moral and get bodies to work,” he said. “We’ve had conversations with quite a few of them (former deputies). Now that they know there’s a different administration, they’re willing” to come back to the sheriff’s office.
He named Dave Yarnell as undersheriff and Rick Balam as third-in-command.
He also plans to look at ways to improve the county’s Search and
Over the river and through the woods to
Republic's Winterfest CelebrationBy Mary Masingale Republic Chamber of Commerce
Over the river and through the woods will find you in Republic, Washington. Yes, Republic, a somewhat isolated community nestled in the mountains on the north side of the Columbia River and west of Sherman Pass on Highway 20, Republic was known for its gold – and was founded during the days of the gold rush. Along with
mining, logging was a big industry here and Vaagen Brothers Sawmill, a major employer.
The gold mine and the saw mill both closed in recent years, leaving Republic in search of a new industry. Ferry County is sparsely populated – just 7,000 human residents – but we are abundantly blessed with wildlife – including moose, turkeys, two species of deer, mountain goats, cougars –and yes, even wolves. Ferry County also boasts several freshwater
lakes brimming with trout and surrounded by huckleberry bushes. If you want to see nature, Ferry County is a great place to start. Ferry County is abundant in beautiful scenery, clean lakes and streams, and wildlife – in fact Republic has its own Mule Deer herd – that have taught themselves to use the crosswalks on our main street.
We want to share the beauty and unique isolation of our community by inviting visitors – and thus bring
in much needed commerce and employment. Republic’s Chamber of Commerce wants everyone to know how special it is here – and that we welcome visitors! We have a rail trail that reaches from Republic to Canada (some portions are scheduled for new surfacing). It’s very popular for wintertime cross country skiing. We have a world-renown fossil center –visitors worldwide come to visit our Stone Eocene Fossil Museum –you even get to dig your own fossils
At 93, Ida Laurie is proof thatBy Susan Brandt Special to Okanogan Living
Ida Laurie is the most senior of our volunteers at the Okanogan Senior Center Thrift Store. Ida is 93 years young and more active than some of us were in our 50s.
She began volunteering at the thrift store in 2007 with thrift store coordinator Connie Pitts. Other volunteers she worked with were Karen Spencer, Olga Baines, Sandy Lander, Doris Jones, Lou Lantrip and currently Ann Harmon. Ida and Ann work at the sales desk helping the customers with their
purchases on Wednesday mornings and she is still very sharp with numbers. Ida says she thinks playing Pinochle, which she learned at an early age with her family at home, has helped her memory and kept her mind sharp.
Ida was born in Oroville, growing up she and her twin sister, Iva, attended a one-room school in Ellisforde
and finished school in Tonasket, graduating in 1946. She had hoped to attend beauty school, but her first job was at the First National Bank of Tonasket as a bookkeeper and she stayed there for five years instead of going to school. She recalls receiving $27.50 a week paycheck and her room rent was $25 a month. Two years after graduating, she was still enjoying
playing pinochle with groups of friends. Those friends invited a young man by the name of Bernard Laurie to join the pinochle party and meet Ida.
The next year — in 1949 — they were married. Bernard had grown up on his family's homestead in Wauconda.
On July 1, 1951 they moved to Okanogan and bought a house near where the senior center is now. Bernard worked for the Bronson Lumber Company in Okanogan. In 1955, Bernard quit Bronson Lumber and started working at Biles Colman Lumber in
Outhouse races mark Conconully TraditionBy Brock Hires Okanogan Living
The 42nd annual Conconully Outhouse Races will be Jan. 14 on the town’s Main Street.
Registration and outhouse inspection will be from 9-11 a.m. in front of the Conconully Community Hall, 219 N. Main St. A registration fee is charged.
Each team wishing to enter must have three members — two pushers and one rider. The teams must keep the privy under control and not engage in any unnecessary roughness, said organizers.
Outhouses must be mounted on two skis, have a push bar, at least three full sides, a roof, toilet seat, toilet paper and meet other criteria. Rules and requirements are on the Conconully Chamber of Commerce website, www.conconully.com.
Competitors may choose from categories and divisions including: Men (18 and older), women (18 and older), children (7-12), teens (13-17), family (all members of the team must be related), seniors (the combined age of the team must be at least 150), bucket (pushers wear buckets on their heads and the rider directs them where to go), commercial (for businesses both local and out of town), Clydesdale (all team members must weight more than 200 pounds), X-treme ( obstacle course) and people’s choice.
The event typically has anywhere from 17-24 outhouses, and draws upwards of 1,000 spectators to Conconully.
For registration and more information, see Conconully Chamber on Facebook. ♦
Fresh snow awaits at Sitzmark Ski-AreaBy Adeena Hires Okanogan Living
With plenty of snow this past month, many of us are enjoying the winter activities that accompany it, such as skiing and snowboarding. We are fortunate enough to have a ski hill available nearby, just a quick 25-minute drive from Tonasket or Oroville. Located just outside Havillah, Sitztmark Ski Area offers a welcoming atmosphere with its small town charm and snowy allure. It is here where many locals have learned to ski and snowboard, starting out on the "Bunny Hill" with its rope tow guiding them to the top. The peak elevation is 4,947.5 feet and offers a 649.6 foot vertical drop on 80 acres of skiable terrain. There is a double chair lift that offers access to 10 different marked runs that range
from beginner to expert.
In 1951 the idea of a ski hill was born with the purchase of a rope tow by Jick Fancher, Earl Freels, John Woodard and Jim McIntosh. Ike Dunn of Havillah also supported this aspiration and without asking for any money in return, he granted the men use of his property. A building from one of Virgil "Duke" Rihart's logging camps was donated for use as a lodge; volunteers cut it in half, loaded it by hand onto a flatbed truck, and then stitched it back to together upon delivery to Sitzmark. Two more rope tows, powered by Chevrolet engines and constructed by Tonasket Machine Shop, were soon added. Tonasket Kiwanis Club took over operation of the hill in 1953 and operated it for several years before the Sitzmark Ski Club formed and took over ownership.
Melvin Kuhlmann was hired to
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