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Pateros bounces Republic, heads to state 1B tourney

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School officials: Homeless pupil numbers rising

ThE Omak-OkanOgan COunTy

Okanogan boys, girls both headed to state 1A tournament March 5, 2014

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Essential Reading in Okanogan and Ferry counties.

Gay-Straight club allowed at Omak High School Adviser says students perceive need on campus By Dee Camp The Chronicle OMAK – A new Omak High School club, the Gay-Straight Alliance, is forming to address tolerance and bullying, and give students a group where they can feel safe and accepted. Adviser Stephanie Clark said she was approached by students

who wanted to start the club. Clark, who does outreach teaching for the alternative school and teaches remedial reading, said she checked with the administration and learned there’s a perceived need. The School Board gave the group the go-ahead during last Tuesday’s meeting. Students “wanted a club that would highlight tolerance of all,” Chairwoman Kathie Brown said. Vice Chairman Pete Sirois said the impetus came from students who wanted to address

Everybody was civil, even though they disagreed. Chairwoman Kathie Brown

” bullying “and some of the other stuff that goes on.” Several people – parents,

IT’S MARDI GRAS

students and community members – attended the board meeting, with most speaking in

favor of the club’s formation, Superintendent Erik Swanson said. A few spoke against allowing the club into the school, saying the Rachel’s Challenge group and the district’s anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies should take care of any problems. Rachel’s Challenge is a program started by the family of a Littleton, Colo., school shooting victim. It advocates tolerance and works against bullying. “Everybody (at the meeting) was civil, even though they

disagreed,” Clark said. “People were very quiet and civil,” Sirois said. After listening to audience members, the board decided to allow the club. There was little discussion, Brown said. Swanson and board members said civil rights rules prevent the school from barring the club, as long as it meets rules for setting up a student club, including allowing anyone to be a member. “It’s the same as for a Bible

See Club A12

State, utility face off in high court

TIME

Oral arguments presented in Pateros-to-Twisp power line case By Rebecca Gourley WNPA Olympia News Service

Al Camp/The Chronicle

Susan Stewart of Okanogan, left, and her mother, Rosie Davis of Omak, enjoy a moment together during a Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser Saturday at the Okanogan Eagles. Money raised at the event went to Relay for Life. More photos on Page A10.

OLYMPIA — A new power transmission line from Pateros to Twisp would mean more reliable electricity for residents in the Methow Valley. Currently relying on a more than 60-year-old line along state Highway 20, the Okanogan County Public Utility District would use the new transmission line as a redundancy case of a power outage. But during the past several years, controversy has been building over where to put the new line. Power officials want the new line to follow the Methow River valley instead of going over

Loup Loup Pass, where the current one is located. To do so, they need to erect transmission towers on state trust lands, something Okanogan County native and state Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Peter Goldmark is fighting in court. In May 2013, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the utility, saying the agency had the right to condemn state trust lands for a transmission line. That decision was appealed to the state Supreme Court. Natural Resources and utility attorneys faced off last Tuesday for final oral arguments before the Supreme Court. A decision isn’t expected for several months. Natural Resources attorney Paul Lawrence argued that because there is no legal

See Court A12

East Wenatchee man killed in head-on crash Victim was third to die on U.S. 97 in three weeks here By Jennifer Marshall The Chronicle PATEROS – An East Wenatchee man was killed Monday morning when his Chevrolet Astro Van collided with a logging truck on U.S. Highway 97, about five miles south of town.

The man was identified as Jason Herrin, 38, according to a Washington State Patrol report. The collision was reported at 10:25 a.m. The State Patrol cited the cause as speed too fast for conditions and unsafe passing. Herrin was northbound when he attempted to pass a vehicle near Milepost 248 and struck the logging truck in the southbound lane, the report said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver, 59-yearold William J. Wilcox of Tonasket, was not injured. Both men were wearing their seatbelts, the State Patrol reported. Both vehicles were destroyed and towed from the scene. Herrin’s body was released to Barnes Chapel in Brewster, the State Patrol reported. The crash prompted the state Department of Transportation to close a 13mile stretch of highway between Chelan and Pateros for

nearly three hours. The highway was reopened to onelane traffic shortly before 1 p.m., Trooper Darren Wright said. This was the third fatal crash in as many weeks along U.S. Highway 97 in or near Okanogan County. Longtime Okanogan resident Joyce K. Baughman died Feb. 22 in a vehicle crash nine miles north of Brewster. At about 4 p.m., Baughman fell asleep at the wheel, according to a State Patrol

report. Her minivan went off the road to the right, re-entered the road, crossed the southbound lane and overturned, coming to rest on its top in the southbound ditch. Baughman was pronounced dead at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster, the report said. Her husband, J.C. Baughman, was treated for several broken ribs. A Feb. 15 collision claimed the life of 59-year-old Timmi Schweigert of Bridgeport. The State Patrol also cited

the cause of that crash as speed too fast for conditions. He had been traveling north at about 4:33 p.m. when he lost control of his 2000 Dodge Neon and crossed the center line at milepost 246, two miles from the site of Monday’s collision. A southbound vehicle, a 2012 Nissan Frontier driven by 60-year-old Carol Stevens of Manson, hit Schwiegert’s car on the passenger side, the report said, noting both vehicles came to rest on the shoulder. Stevens was not hurt.

Bridgeport mayor appeals decision in recall case Judge previously ruled complaint meets legal rules By Jennifer Marshall The Chronicle BRIDGEPORT – The mayor is fighting back against an allegation she hired an employee without the consent of the City Council, which could lead to a recall election against her. Mayor Marilynn Lynn filed an appeal Feb. 28 with Douglas County Superior Court. She is asking Judge John Hotchkiss to reconsider his Feb. 21 ruling, which found there is “sufficient factual and legal basis” in the allegation.

“I believe this was the appropriate step to take,” Lynn said. Resident Michael Knox, who filed the complaints against the Lynn mayor, declined to comment on the mayor’s appeal. With her appeal, Lynn attached 14 pages of W-2 forms, timesheets and payroll information for Eugenia Dominguez, who worked in City Hall at various times from August 2012 to November 2013. She was first hired as a temporary office assistant and worked from August 2012 until

May 2013, during which time she accrued benefits and taxes were deducted from her paychecks. In August 2013, she was hired to provide translation services. The City Council signed off on paying her $12 on Sept. 25, 2013 from the vendor register program. The city paid Dominguez $3,759 in 2012 and $4,483.50 in 2013, according to W-2 forms. From October to November last year, Dominguez was hired again to provide “limited office assistant services,” Lynn said in her appeal. “I believe Ms. Dominguez was hired strictly on an hourly basis as an independent

See Mayor A6

City Council action likely violates open meetings law By Jennifer Marshall The Chronicle

Roger Harnack/The Chronicle

An online poll about Mayor Marilynn Lynn’s potential recall shows Chronicle readers prefer she resign her position.

BRIDGEPORT – An accusation that the City Council violated the state Open Public Meetings Act last week is being chalked up to inexperience. The council passed a resolution Feb. 26 issuing a vote of “no confidence” in Mayor Marilynn Lynn and requesting her resignation. The resolution was introduced by freshman Councilman Matthew Schuh, who said he had separately contacted two other council members to gauge their support before he drafted it. Although Schuh argued that it didn’t constitute a quorum, Lynn accused him and council members Janet Conklin and Neil

See Meeting A6

Year 104 No. 83 www.omakchronicle.com

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