manson schoolThe Manson School Board has passed a resolution placing a levy proposition on the February 14th 2017 Chelan County special election ballot. If approved, the levy would replace an expiring Maintenance and Operations (M & O) Levy passed by voters in February 2015.

The proposed levy is for 2 years 2018 & 2019 (Manson has historically run 2 year levies).

The current voter approved amount scheduled to be collected this year (2017) is $1,246,364. The proposed amounts are:                    2018     $1,333,609        2019       $1,426,962

Manson’s M & O levy funding is approximately 14% of the district’s total funding and pays for:

  • Maintenance of school facilities, including custodial staff, equipment, supplies and all utility expenses.
  • Instructional programs/technology:

o      College and advance placement courses in the high school

o      Preschool for all 4 year olds

o      High school internships program

o      Support of the arts (music, drama, art)

o      Vocational classes (shop, ag classes, business, technology)

o      Technology support

o      Replacement of computers/devices

  • Beyond the School Day Programs

o      After school enrichment and academic intervention classes

o      Middle/High school athletics (coaches, referees, travel, uniforms, equipment)

o      Clubs (pep band, FBLA, FFA, Knowledge Bowl).

  • Food Service (supplements inadequate state funding)

An informational meeting for the public will be held at Manson High School on February 8th at 6:30PM and additional informational meetings can be scheduled (687-3140). Information is also available on the district website at www.manson.org including an individual tax calculator where taxpayers can determine their estimated local school tax using their property assessed value amounts.

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manson trojans logoManson will host Oroville this Saturday, January 7th.   Games times have been changed as follows:

1:00 p.m. – Boys Junior Varsity
2:30 p.m. – Girls Varsity
4:00 p.m. – Boys Varsity

douglascountysheriff148On 12/29/16 at approximately 4:17 PM RiverCom dispatch received a call of a gunshot injury by the River near Rock Island. Deputies arrived on the scene and found a male with a gunshot wound to his right leg. The injury appeared severe so a Deputy quickly applied first aid in the form of a tourniquet above the injury. The victim was a 14 year old male from Cashmere.  

An ambulance arrived and transported the victim to Confluence Hospital. The investigation revealed that the 14 year old victim and his 17 year old friend had been hunting near the river. The victim had shot a duck.   He handed his 12 gauge shotgun with the safety off to his friend and went to retrieve his catch. The friend was holding the shotguns by their slings. As he walked toward the river, a branch snagged the trigger and the shotgun went off. The shot hit the victim’s right calf. Evidence and witnesses statements indicated that the incident was an accident.

I am grateful for the quick first aid work by the Deputies and quick response by ambulance personnel. I am also relieved the young victim was not hurt worse. Hunting is a wholesome sport, but one can never be too vigilant about safety.

Very Respectfully,
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation is coordinating a search for a missing private airplane near the northern Hood Canal area of Dabob Bay.

The plane left Seattle’s Boeing Field headed for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, and lost contact with air traffic control about 6:44 p.m. near the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene. The Federal Aviation Administration then contacted WSDOT.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office started a ground search and a U.S. Navy helicopter crew searched from the air Thursday night until visibility became too low to safely continue. The ground search continues and a fixed air Civil Air Patrol plane will launch at daybreak. The WSDOT Air Support Team also has been dispatched to track the airplane’s emergency locator signal.

At this time details about the plane and pilot, and any occupants onboard, are not being released. Updates on the search will be posted on the WSDOT blog.

WSDOT, by statue (RCW 47.68.380) is charged with the coordination and management of aerial search and rescue within the state. The agency works in conjunction with volunteer search and rescue groups, law enforcement and other agencies, such as the U.S. Navy, in carrying out such searches.

douglascountysheriff148On 12/27/16 at approximately 9:46 AM RiverCom dispatch received a report of an injury accident in the 2800 Blk. of Breckenridge Drive. 

Deputies responded and found a pickup truck upside-down in a swimming pool at a residence.  The investigation revealed that a 16 year old male had been driving the vehicle S/B at the 2900 Blk. of N. Baker when he lost control on the ice.  The vehicle went off the roadway and slid about 100 feet down a side hill.  It then hit a retaining wall which caused it to flip upside down and into the swimming pool of a residence.  The driver managed to escape by removing the head rest of his seat then using the metal bars to break a window. 

The driver was transported to Confluence Hospital for treatment.  His current condition is not known.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Friday (12/16/2016) at 10:14am RIVERCOM dispatch received a call reference a vehicle which had just been stolen from a residence in the 3600 block of Ridgeview Blvd in the Sunnyslope area of Chelan County.

The victim stated her nephew - who has been visiting from out of state - suddenly took her silver Jeep Liberty without permission as she was preparing to leave the residence to run errands. The victim’s purse and dog were in the vehicle at the time it was taken. The victim never gave her nephew permission to drive the vehicle and did not know where he would be heading.

Local law enforcement agencies began actively searching for the vehicle. At 10:36am a Department of Transportation employee driving on Highway 97-A observed the stolen Jeep Liberty parked on the shoulder of the highway facing northbound. He notified State Patrol dispatch who relayed the information to RIVERCOM. The WDOT employee then observed the vehicle begin traveling northbound behind him on the highway toward Chelan. North county deputies responded and eventually encountered the vehicle near milepost 222 about six miles north of Entiat.

As the deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver made a u-turn and began traveling back southbound. The driver failed to yield for several miles after the two pursuing deputies had activated lights and sirens. Eventually, the driver pulled to the right shoulder of the highway at the Earthquake Point turnout (milepost 118). Anthony Guentzel (26yoa) of Hibbing, Minnesota then refused to exit the vehicle or cooperate with deputies. While resisting the efforts of deputies attempting to take him into custody, Guentzel was tased. At that point, he was handcuffed and eventually transported to the Chelan County Regional Jail for booking on charges of: Theft of a Motor Vehicle; Attempted Eluding of a Pursuing Police Vehicle; Resisting Arrest; and No Valid Operator’s License.

The victim’s dog and purse were located in the Jeep Liberty. The dog is fine and was released the owner.

wsdot logoTrack conditions, slow down and allow for extra travel time

OLYMPIA – What’s the best present travelers can give to themselves and their families this holiday? Planning ahead to ensure safe, smooth travel whether going across town or across the state.

By following these steps, drivers can be celebrating with family and friends, instead of sitting on a freeway:

  • Check the Washington State Department of Transportation's best times to travel 
  • Get informed about WSDOT's , including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit  for traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
  • Follow WSDOT's social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Carry chains and other winter driving essentials. Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website, highway advisory signs or by calling 5-1-1.
  • Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel and drive safe .

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Dec. 26 – to ease congestion.

In the mountains, the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20), Chinook (State Route 410) and Cayuse (junction of State Routes 123 and 410) passes have closed for the winter. On Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), motorists can now receive texts about any major delays by texting the words “wsdot snoqualmie” to the number 468311.

In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, Dec. 26, on the State Route 520 bridge and the Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on that day as well.

Travelers making a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:

  • Anticipate heavy ferry traffic for the holiday and plan accordingly. The longest lines are expected westbound Friday, Dec. 23, and Saturday, Dec. 24, and eastbound Monday, Dec. 26. Check the Washington State Ferries website, , or call toll-free 888-808-7977 for details. Customers can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger, if that is an option.
  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations. Visit 
  • For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit 
  • Check with your local public transit agency for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays

douglascountysheriff148On 12/13/16 at approximately 10:15 AM RiverCom dispatch received a weapons compliant at Bridgeport High School. 

The information was that there was a male in the parking lot with a pistol.  Deputies arrived and located the suspect vehicle within 11 minutes.  There was a single male occupant.  Deputies immediately spotted a pistol in the center console.  They took custody of it and found it was loaded.  The subject was removed from the vehicle and detained without injury or incident.  

The school had immediately gone into a lockdown.   Investigation revealed that the suspect was 24 year old Armando Morales-Cervantes of Bridgeport.  The incident also involved  a 17 year old female and a 17 year old male who attended the high school.  It appeared that the suspect and the female had been in a dating relationship.  The suspect sent the female text messages from his car in the parking indicating he would kill the other male or himself.   She reported the messages to school officials who called 9-1-1. 

Morales-Cervantes was arrested for Felony Harassment (threats to  kill), possessing a firearm on school grounds, and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.  He was booked at the Okanogan County Jail.  The pistol was a Ruger 9mm and had not been reported stolen.

The Deputies did an excellent job responding to and investigating this incident.  I was also impressed at the effective measures the school took to protect their students and staff.  Their level of cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office was remarkable.

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OLYMPIA – Drivers will have a chance to “test drive” a proposed system that would charge them by the mile, rather than by the gallon of gas for their road usage. The Washington State Transportation Commission today approved a plan to conduct a Road Usage Charge pilot project in fall 2017 that will simulate how this system might work.

 “As the fuel efficiency of vehicles increases, gas consumption decreases and this equates to a reduction in gas tax revenues over time. The gas tax serves as the major source of funding for building and maintaining our state highways and ferries,” said Commission Chairman Jerry Litt.  “Under the direction of the state Legislature, the commission has been assessing a road usage charge as a possible replacement for the gas tax in the future.”

 The commission’s Executive Director Reema Griffith added, “During the commission’s evaluation over the past four-plus years, we’ve determined a road usage charge is feasible and that it could produce the revenue needed for Washington’s roads well into the future.”

 The commission’s next step is to test the concept with the public and see what people think of it based upon actual experience using it. Recruitment will begin in spring 2017, with up to 2,000 volunteers needed from across the state to participate in the year-long test. Individuals who want to learn more about the project and have an interest in participating can visit the Road Use Charge website at www.waroadusagecharge.org

 Pilot project participants will choose different ways to participate and report their vehicle’s mileage. Some options do not involve any technology, such as manually reporting odometer readings; others do involve technology utilizing smartphones or in-vehicle technology. Because this is a simulation, participants will not be charged for any miles driven.

 A 25-member steering committee has guided this work since 2012. The steering committee includes representatives from:  auto and truck manufacturers, ports, environmental groups, trucking industry, cities, public transportation, business community and state agencies. The committee also includes three transportation commissioners and eight legislators.

 A key finding from the work of the steering committee is that the gas tax is becoming more and more inequitable. Under Washington state’s current gas tax system, drivers pay widely different amounts for roadway use, depending on their vehicle’s fuel efficiency; those driving older, less efficient vehicles fill up more often and therefore, pay more in taxes. This inequity is expected to grow each year as vehicle fuel efficiency continues to rise, and as more alternative fuel vehicles that don’t use gas at all come onto the market.  

 Currently, 14 other states are evaluating a shift from the gas-tax revenue model to a road use charge. Funding for this work stems from a $3.8 million Federal Highway Administration competitive grant received earlier this year.

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