Manson man Arrested in Connection with Body Discovered on Aug 26
- Written by Undersheriff John Wisemore
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on December 8, 2014 Chelan County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested 55 year old Benito C. Sedano in connection with the unidentified remains located in Manson, Washington on August 27, 2014. Sedano was booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for Kidnapping 1st degree and Assault 1st degree.
The male located on August 26, 2014 was identified as 33 year old Ignacio Ramirez. Ramirez died from multiple gunshot wounds and was buried in a shallow grave in a remote area of Manson. Through their investigation, Chelan County Detectives learned that on August 24, 2014 Sedano contacted Ramirez and his friend at a trailer in downtown Manson. Sedano was armed with a pistol when he approached Ramirez and his friend. There was a brief conversation before Sedano forcefully kidnapped Ramirez. Sedano forced Ramirez into Sedano’s vehicle and drove him to an unknown location. Ramirez was not seen or heard from again until his remains were located on August 27.
On December 8, 2014 the Chelan County Regional SWAT Team, along with Okanogan County SWAT, and Chelan County Detectives executed a search warrant at Sedano’s residence in Manson. Detectives recovered weapons, ammunition, and other items that could possibly be evidence related to the homicide of Ramirez. The investigation continues and Detectives are still actively investigating the incident.
ORIGINAL STORY 8-27-14
Unidentified body located in remote Manson area
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on August 27, 2014 Chelan County Sheriff’s Detectives recovered the remains of an unidentified male in a remote part of Manson, Washington. Detectives responded to the scene to recover the body and collect any information leading to the cause of death for the unidentified male. Due to the condition of the body Detectives are not currently able to determine the time of death, the male’s age or his race.
Detectives are currently working to identify male, the time of death, and why the male was in the remote location.
Adopt-A-Tree For Christmas
- Written by Herb Sargo
AUSSIE KIDS ADOPT BUCKNER ORCHARD APPLE TREES
Australians MacKenzy (age 7) and Cooper (4) Claridge of Newlands Arm, Victoria, and their cousins Ben (11) and Georgia (15) Claridge of Aranda, Australian Capital Territory, proudly display their Certificates of Adoption awarded in 2014. The four kids each adopted a tree in 2013 as well. The lucky trees are the first ones to have Australian adoptive “parents.” Ben and Georgia visited Stehekin and the Buckner Orchard in 2008. (Photo by Ally Claridge).
Chelan PUD Employees Receive Industry Awards for Outstanding Performance
- Written by Kimberlee Craig, CCPUD
Washington PUDs Association recognize Chelan PUD employees’ service to peers and community
WENATCHEE – The state’s public utility districts honored six Chelan County PUD employees for their service that includes saving the life of PUD wireman Ron Messer and for building a scholarship fund of more than $190,000 for high school students active in preventing teen drug and alcohol abuse.
The Washington PUDs Association (WPUDA) presented the five-person wireman crew at Rocky Reach Dam with the 2014 Good Samaritan award for their quick action in giving life-saving aid to Messer who had a heart attack while at work in December 2013. The award highlights “meritorious action in a life-threatening situation.”
Because of their fast action, Messer is alive, well and back at work. This is the third safety honor for the actions of foreman Cindy Bowen-Lorrain and crewmembers Chris Shimer, Darren Davis, Daniel Martyn and Todd Melton.
WPUDA also honored Sarah DeLozier, Chelan PUD’s new services coordinator, with the William T. Elmgren Public Service Award for her key role in organizing and hosting 10 years of the Andrew York Lineman Rodeo. The award recognizes “community service that addresses or improves social, educational, cultural, economic or environmental condition including …volunteer work.”
DeLozier was the lineman rodeo’s primary administrator and chief wrangler, keeping the myriad of volunteers and the core organizing committee on track as well as accounting for every cent raised and holding a tight rein on expenses. Proceeds from the lineman rodeo built the Andrew York Memorial Scholarship into a fund for annual scholarships that will last far into the future.
The event honored the memory of Andrew York, a Chelan PUD journeyman lineman, who died in 2000 after he was hit while on the job by a drunken driver.
“We’re thrilled to see these outstanding employees honored for their dedication to safety and their commitment to serving our customer-owners,” said General Manager Steve Wright. “Service to our customers and the community defines us as a consumer-owned utility.
“And, it is what these employees, and everyone here, bring to the job every day.”
Kirby Reinhart, Rocky Reach and Lake Chelan operations superintendent, said training and the close working relationship of the wireman crew were key to the response that saved Messer’s life. In addition to having emergency medical equipment at the dam, several Rocky Reach employees are EMTs (emergency medical technicians), including Messer’s fellow crewmember, Shimer.
Tim Pettit, Distribution Operations manager, said DeLozier’s work on the lineman rodeo reflects her daily dedication to PUD customers and to making sure line crews have the information they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
WPUDA presented the awards at the group’s annual meeting in Vancouver. Chelan PUD Commission President Ann Congdon accepted the awards on behalf of the wireman crew and DeLozier.
Internship Program Puts Manson Students In Flight
- Written by Janice Stewart
After hearing about the newly launched internship program at Manson High School, Dale England, of Lake Chelan Helicopters, jumped into the ring and is now hosting Josh Davis and Cody Amsden, both freshmen, as they learn the ins and outs of the helicopter flight business. England says he knew right away that offering his business as an intern site was a good thing to try. “I’m an advocate of a well rounded education,” he said. “I have had the lucky opportunity to do many different things in my life. I may not be very good at all of them, but at least I have an understanding of how our world works.” Exposing these students to different occupations at an early age gives them a bigger window of understanding what they may want to look at doing,” England added.
So, what exactly is involved in the helicopter flight business? The interns started with some basics, such as sweeping the floor and cleaning the hanger. Then things picked up, said England. “Students washed the chopper and had to memorize the safety briefing for passengers prior to flight. They will also learn FAA regulations and flight rules identify main parts of the helicopter and how they work and affect the flight controls, what to do in an emergency and what not to touch,” he said.
For England, the best part of the intern program is getting to know the students in a personal way. “The excitement I see in their eyes as they learn what makes the bird fly,” he said. “I hope we can continue to keep working together even after the internship is over.”
In the end, England says Josh and Cody will see that the business is more than just jumping in the helicopter and flying. “They learn the paperwork, rules, regulations, risks, taxes, insurance, equipment requirements and much more,” he said.
Commissioners Unanimously Pass 2015 Budget With No Change to Utility Rates
- Written by Kimberlee Craig, CCPUD
Board sets priorities including paying down debt and investing in dams and electric grid
WENATCHEE, WA – Looking at a $98.5 million 2015 positive bottom line, Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday approved the utility’s budget for next year that is focused on carrying out five-year business plans to continue delivering reliable and cost-effective utility services by increasing investments in critical infrastructure. The 2015 budget provides long-term value for customer-owners and the community by tackling some delayed or deferred projects.
Now that Chelan PUD has met, and in some cases exceeded, financial goals from the 2010 strategic plan, General Manager Steve Wright has said it is time to turn attention to key investments in the utility’s dams, power grid and people while continuing to pay down long-term debt.
Mark O’Bryan, strategic financial planning director, said the 2015 budget does that by:
- Paying down more than $122 million in debt
- Restarting deferred projects and rebuilding dam generators and turbines
- Basing operating expenses and staffing plans on five-year business plans
- Meeting all financial targets with a year-end positive bottom line result of $98.5 million
- Keeping cash reserves strong at $388 million
As part of the budget approval, commissioners accepted recommendations to resume rebuilding the 1950s-era turbine-generators in the first powerhouse at Rock Island Dam. The District deferred the work in 2010 to focus on stabilizing PUD finances. The PUD completed two of the six units before postponing additional work. Funding for work on unit B6 is in the 2015 budget, and commissioners approved contract changes with Andritz Hydro to restart the work.
Overall, revenues for next year are expected at $326 million, about 6 percent more than 2014. Operating expense of $145.9 million is about 11 percent above 2014 and includes the start of long-term repairs for four large units at Rocky Reach Dam. There are no changes in utility rates assumed.
The 2015 budget does not address any spending for next year that may come out of strategic planning. Staff will ask commissioners to revisit the budget following approval of the 2015-2019 strategic plan.
Investment in new projects to upgrade key assets, meet license and compliance responsibilities and to provide for continued customer experience improvements will be $57.7 million, a 7.4-percent increase. In addition to the work at Rock Island and Rocky Reach dams, those projects include:
- Adding campsites at Lincoln Rock State Park
- Continuing the fiber network technology upgrade
- Building a new substation in Cashmere
- Supporting plans for a new regional transmission line (see below)
Commissioners thanked staff for the months of work developing the 2015 spending plan, as well as the five-year business plans that are its foundation.
“I’m just really happy that we as a utility have turned the corner where we can look forward to and plan for the future,” said Commissioner Randy Smith.
Commissioner Carnan Bergren noted the 2015 budget puts Chelan PUD in the position to catch up on necessary work and brings in the employees needed to do that and other important work.
“It’s a really good budget that positions us well for the future,” Bergren said.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
- Received an update on plans for a new regional transmission line to improve the flow and reliability of electricity. Douglas PUD and Bonneville Power Administration are leading design of the “Rapids to Columbia” line. Chelan and Grant PUDs are helping fund the effort, that’s expected to be more cost-effective than individual utility projects, said Chad Bowman, Transmission and Compliance director. Chelan PUD’s share of the environmental work to date has been $320,000, with an additional $650,000 earmarked for environmental and engineering design work by Douglas and BPA in 2015. A final decision on the route won’t come until the environmental assessment is done. Once the route has been determined, more design will follow to develop better cost estimates, Bowman said. Public meetings to gather comment on the environmental assessment of the proposed line, including route options, are set for 4:30-7 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Rock Island Elementary School and Dec. 10 at Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works. There is more information about the project on BPA’s website.
- Reviewed a tool for evaluating the community benefit of using low-cost PUD power for serving new industrial customers. Gregg Carrington, Energy Resources managing director, said the tool answers a request that came from the group developing economic development options for the District’s strategic plan. Commissioners also heard that mailing of the “owner’s guide” listing strategic options for 2015-2019, and seeking feedback, is set for mid-December with comments due from customer-owners by Jan. 16.
- Invited PUD employees, customer-owners and friends of retiring Commissioner Norm Gutzwiler to an open house to celebrate his service. The event is 3:30-5 p.m. on Dec. 15 in the Wenatchee Headquarters Auditorium. Gutzwiler is leaving the board after 12 years.