WSDTlogo450OLYMPIA – Several tolling items, including future tolling for the State Route 99 tunnel in Seattle, are on the agenda for next week’s Transportation Commission meeting in Olympia.

The meeting starts 9 a.m. each day, Wednesday, Jan. 17, and Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

On Wednesday, the commission will kick off the next update of the statewide transportation plan with a briefing on the suggested focus for the next plan. Commissioners also will discuss the public review and input process that will take place during 2018. The Washington Transportation Plan establishes a 20-year direction for the statewide transportation system, based on six transportation policy goals established by the Legislature related to: preservation, safety, mobility, environment, stewardship, and economic vitality.

Tolling items fill out the rest of Wednesday’s agenda. The Legislature has directed the Transportation Commission to adopt tolls to generate $200 million towards the construction cost of the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. At 1 p.m., the City of Seattle, King County Metro and the Northwest Seaport Alliance will share their priorities and concerns with prospective toll policies and rates. This input will inform the commission’s toll rate and policy proposal, which it will release in spring for public review and input. Tolls will be adopted in fall 2018 and will vary by time of day to manage congestion on the facility and impacts on surface streets.

In addition, commission and Washington State Department of Transportation staff will present recommended system-wide changes to toll policies and rules with the intent of greater consistency across all tolled facilities. Proposed changes will focus on toll exemptions, and if advanced, the proposed changes will be released in spring for public review and input before changes would be adopted. The commission also will discuss proposed changes to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge policy requiring maintenance of a sufficient minimum balance in the bridge’s account. Action by the commission on this policy is expected.

On Thursday, the commission will get a progress report on preparations for the upcoming launch of the statewide Road Usage Charge Pilot Project. A road usage charge (RUC) is a per-mile charge drivers would pay for the use of the roads, rather than paying by the gallon of gas. The RUC would be a replacement to the gas tax to provide a more sustainable, long-term funding source for transportation infrastructure, in light of growing fuel efficiency of new vehicles. The pilot project will have 2,000 volunteers from across the state testing four different ways to pay by the mile. It will run for the next 12 months to determine how the RUC works for drivers under various conditions and travel behaviors.

Thursday’s agenda also includes a legislative preview of 2018 priorities from city, county, port and transit partners, along with a report from WSDOT on its work exploring partnerships with the private sector that would potentially aid in the funding and financing of ferry terminal facilities, transit-oriented development, and the possible replacement of the US 2 westbound trestle in Snohomish County.

This commission meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during several public comment periods throughout the two-day meeting.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

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The Manson FFA Ag mechanics team consisting of Cody Amsden, Ben Charlton, Eduardo Escalera, Bailey Cameron, Blake Cochran and Jonathan Morales, recently showed of their welding and shop skills at Cashmere High School who hosted a contest for central WA schools.

The schools competing where Manson, Chelan, Wenatchee, Cashmere and Omak. Students had to sharpen a drill bit, complete a gas butt weld, along with a vertical Lap weld, and gas cut a ½ piece of mild steel. In arc welding they did a butt weld along with a vertical up lap weld. Finishing off with able to Id 10 small gas engines parts. Results were not available at this time.

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The Manson FFA apple judging team consisting of Cody Fitzpatrick, Henry Armstrong, Blake Cochran, Marcos Diaz, and Nadia Tejada, traveled to Kennewick to participate in the state FFA Apple Judging CDE.

It was an early morning start meeting at the high school at 5am for the 3 ½ drive to Kennewick.

There were 127 competitors, with Blake Cochran placing 28th in the individual. The team placed 11th overall out of 28 teams, missing the top ten by a mere 1 ½ points.

The contest consisted of 25 questions out of the private applicator pesticide manual, judging two sets of trays: one red delicious and one granny Smith, figuring maturity date from full bloom, showing the proper way to pressure test, grading 25 golden Delicious, 25 Red delicious Apples, Identifying 25 variety of apples and Pears, identifying 25 insects and 50 blemish on the Apples.

The team was excited about their placing and look forward to next year.

douglascountysheriff148On 01/05/17 at approximately 9:43 AM a Douglas County Deputy on routine patrol in Rock Island spotted a vehicle in the BJ’s truck stop.  A vehicle license check revealed that an associated person had warrants.  As the vehicle left the parking lot, the Deputy stopped it and contacted the driver, 28 year old Jason Blomquist of Wenatchee.  He was found to be driving on a suspended license.  He also had a felony DOC warrant.  He was arrested and booked without incident.

On 01/05/18 at approximately 3:00 PM a Douglas County Deputy on routine patrol spotted a male in the Mansfield School Parking lot.  The Deputy knew the individual to have previous arrests.  He ran the subject’s name and found he had a warrant for his arrest.  The subject, identified as 40 year old Lester Haney of Mansfield, was arrested and booked without incident.

On 01/09/17 at approximately 4:40 AM a Douglas County Deputy on routine patrol in Bridgeport, WA stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation.  The passenger in the car matched a person known to have warrants.  The Deputy confirmed the warrants and attempted to take the person into custody.  The person tried to shed his coat saying it belonged to someone else. He struggled with the Deputy who then handcuffed him.  In the coat pocket he found a baggy filled with a substance he suspected to be methamphetamine.  The subject, 34 year old Olegario Duran of Bridgeport, was arrested and booked for possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor warrant.

On 01/05/18 at approximately 6:33 AM a Douglas County Deputy responded to the 400 Blk. of Hwy 173. Fire units were engaged in fighting a house fire. When the Deputy arrived, he saw the home was fully engulfed in flames.

There had been three residents inside the home. An adult male, Michael (Pat) McFadden, an adult female, Taralee Martin, and her eight year old son. All had escaped.

Ms. Martin told the Deputy she had awakened to rumbling sound in the house. She opened her bedroom door and saw flames in the hallway. She woke up Mr. McFadden. He quickly got up, ran into the eight year old’s room, scooped up the child, and fled down the hallway, through the flames, and out an exterior door. Ms. Martin was able to escape out a window. The Deputy reported the home appeared to be a total loss.

Mr. McFadden and the eight year old boy were transported to Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster. Ms. Martin had singed hair but no apparent injuries. Mr. McFadden and the eight year old boy sustained burns, but their current condition is unknown.

Mr. McFadden is the basketball coach at Bridgeport High School. The community can be proud of this couple’s quick actions in the face of this life threatening event.