Selection for the Manson Apple Blossom Royalty will take place Saturday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the manson High School Gym.

The theme for this year's Apple Blossom Festival is "The First Harvest."

Here are this year's candidates:


MAB KATELYN 200Katelyn April Stocker - Katelyn April Stocker is the 18 year old daughter of Frank and Kathy Stocker. She has a younger sister, Kimberly.

Katelyn was on the honor roll. She played on the volleyball team and the golf team for Manson. She helped with the concessions, food drive, blood drive, and is a volunteer at the Habitat Thrift Store.

Since childhood, Katelyn’s interests and hobbies have been swimming, hiking, camping, golfing, traveling, sewing, singing, volleyball, and American Sign Language. Her after school activities include dance, gymnastics, karate, jump roping, and choir.

Katelyn says "I would really appreciate the opportunity to be on the Manson Apple Blossom Royalty because I would enjoy the new experiences and challenges. I could also be an example for people who are shy like me to show you can overcome personal obstacles. I hope to increase my own self confidence and learn how to enhance my own natural beauty."

Katelyn would like to attend college at George Fox University, WSU, or North West College of Art and Design. Her goal is to become a special effects artist, American Sign Language interpreter, or a vocal performer.

Katelyn's favorite TV shows are Psych and Quantum Leap and her favorite novels are Distant Waves and The Running Dream.


MAB AYLEE 200Aylee Willow Neff - Aylee Willow Neff is the eighteen year old daughter of Greg and Sue Neff. She has 3 older brothers: Aaron, Kyle, and Schuyler, and 2 older sisters: Megan and Keisha.

Aylee is a member of FFA, was a State Creed Speaker in 9th grade, was treasurer in 10th grade, and was president 11th and 12th grade. She has been a member of National Honor Society for 3 yrs.

Aylee was Class President in 10th grade. In her junior year she was both the “Washington Aerospace Scholar” and a“Joint Science Educational Project Semifinalist” as well as Chelan County Fair Ambassador.

Aylee has been on the High Honor Roll grades 9-12. She has participated in concert, marching and pep bands all throughout her high school career.

Aylee played basketball grades 9 and 10, volleyball grades 9-12, and track and field grades 9-12. She qualified for the State 2B track championship meet for the last three years.

Aylee enjoys spending time with family, volunteering at the community library, reading, baking, sewing, and drawing.

Aylee says "Becoming Manson Apple Blossom royalty stands for more than just a crown; it represents a desire to give back to the community I love and be a part of the community celebration that focuses on bringing people together. I firmly believe in those values at the festival."

Aylee's future plans are to attend the University of Washington to major in Biochemical Engineering.

Her favorite TV show is Bones and favorite book is Miss Rumphius.


MAB JANA 200Jana Russell - Jana Leigh Russell is the seventeen year-old daughter of Julie Russell. She has an older brother, Jesse, and his fiancé, Andrea Rainey, who are both attending the University of Washington.

Jana is a member of Honor Society, has been on the Knowledge Bowl state team her junior year, and in FFA for 4 years where she served as photographer, sentinel, treasurer, and state participant her junior year.

Jana was the treasurer for her junior class and currently her senior class, ASB representative/treasurer, and senior representative to the local association of student councils.

Jana played volleyball 4 years, was captain her senior year, has played basketball 4 years, and track 3 years. She was captain of the track team her junior year.

Jana is an avid reader, has been snowmobiling for 5 years, swims, babysits, and enjoys holiday baking.

Jana says " Along with serving and representing the Manson community, I want to be Apple Blossom Royalty to prove to myself, the community, and every shy little girl out there, that with a little hard work, dedication, and of course, a smile, dreams really can come true."

Future plans for Jana include attending a four-year university such as the University of Washington or Stanford. She wants to major in Biochemistry and then work at a cancer research center.

Jana's favorite TV shows are Glee and America's Got Talent and her favorite novels are the Harry Potter series.


MAB KRISTEN 200Kristen Adrienne Gibson - Kristen Adrienne Gibson is the seventeen year-old daughter of Brock and Tanya Gibson. She has 2 older brothers, Adam and Bret.

Kristen has been on the high honor roll and earned Academic letters throughout her high school years.

She lettered in volleyball and softball, serving as captain of both teams, and received the Most Consistent Server her Junior year. She was voted “Most Inspirational Cheerleader” for the Basketball season her freshman year, and "Most Inspirational" in volleyball her senior year.

Kristen was a member of FFA as a Freshman, has been in Knowledge Bowl all 4 years, has been in the National Honor Society for 2 yrs, and FBLA for 2 yrs, where she currently serves as the Vice-President.

Kristen was ASB Secretary her senior year and Assistant Secretary during her junior year.

Kristen was chosen to attend the Washington State Legislative Conference in her junior year and the Washington Student Leaders Conference in her senior year. She also received Best of Show in the regional art show, for a sculpture she created with two partners.

Kristen has enjoyed skiing her whole life. She also enjoys volleyball, kayaking, hiking, Cross Fit, watching football, and spending time at her Grandma Hobbie's boat shop in the summer.

Kristen says. "There are not enough words to express the love I have for this community. I have deep roots here and I cannot imagine loving any town as much as I love Manson. To represent my community as Apple Blossom royalty and to be a role model for little girls, as past royalty were for me, would be the greatest honor and a dream come true."

Future plans for Kristen include attending the University of Washington to earn a degree in Communications and Business Administration. Her dream is to become a sideline reporter for the National Football League.

Her favorite TV show is Hart of Dixie and the Harry Potter series are her favorite novels.


MAB KENDRA 200Kendra Lynn Ellsworth - Kendra Lynn Ellsworth is the eighteen year old daughter of Mike and Diana Ellsworth. She has two older sisters, Sierra and Hailey.

Kendra is currently ASB Vice-President and previously served as Secretary and Assistant Secretary. She has attended Chewelah Peak Leadership Camp and was an ASB delegate to WASC. She has served as Class President for two years.

Kendra participated in Knowledge Bowl for two years, FFA for 4 years and was an officer for 3 of those years. She raised the Grand Champion Market Hog in 2013 as well as receiving a Reserve Champion ribbon for Showmanship.

Kendra lettered in varsity volleyball 3 years receiving the "Top Offensive Player" award and was chosen as the "First Team All -League". She has lettered in varsity basketball all 4 years, receiving the "Captains Award" and "Most Inspirational" award. Kendra has lettered in varsity softball for 2 years and received the "Team Captain" and "MVP" awards and was chosen as the "First Team All-League" last year.

Kendra enjoys fishing with her Dad, spending time with her family, and playing with their huge chocolate lab, Oakley. She also enjoys Cross Fit, scrapbooking, and trying new Pinterest projects. She loves to sing, but doesn't call it one of her talents.

Kendra says "Manson Apple Blossom is a wonderful tradition that I have always known I wanted to be a part of. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of the royalty that represents our community and shares with others the beauty of our small town."

The future plans for Kendra are to attend Central Washington University where she will major in Elementary Education.

Her favorite TV show is The Walking Dead, and favorite novels are the House of Nights Series.

pudCritical habitat destroyed by beavers in Entiat and Wenatchee river front parks

WENATCHEE – Beavers are destroying newly planted trees and shrubs in Entiat Park (currently closed – except for the boat ramp area), as well as destroying important shoreline vegetation in Walla Walla Point, Confluence and Riverfront parks. As a result, the PUD is expanding its existing contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Nuisance Bird & Animal Control Services to trap, remove and destroy the beaver.

The PUD attempted to divert the beaver by putting cages and/or using sand-infused paint around the base of the trees in Entiat Park, but the beaver continued to destroy the trees and shrubs.

Under its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license, the PUD is responsible for providing for and maintaining critical river shoreline habitat. The beaver activity is in direct conflict with the PUD’s license requirements.

At this time of year, the only alternative is to remove and eliminate the beaver, since relocation wouldn’t be viable during the winter because the beaver would be unable to rebuild their dens. If the beaver remain a problem in the spring, the PUD will work with Okanogan County officials to relocate the beaver in an area where their dam-building could be a beneficial erosion control method in fire-destroyed areas.

USDA will put signs in the areas where active trapping is taking place so that the public will keep their pets out of danger. The trapping will cease when the vegetation destruction stops. The USDA will trap on PUD property only.

nps logo smChelan—Early season snow grooming operations have begun at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area on the Chelan Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Ski area personnel are working to establish a good snow base for future grooming operations.  Skiers should expect typical early season conditions with varying snow depths, soft snow, and the possibility of bare spots as temperatures warm up later in the week. 

Grooming will occur on an intermittent basis.  Fees will not be charged over the Thanksgiving weekend due to the thin snow cover and variable ski conditions. Ski area personnel will continue to monitor ski conditions and determine when the fee season will begin.

In conjunction with the start of snow grooming at Echo Ridge, beginning today Purtteman Gulch Road No. 8010 will be closed to wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles to provide for Nordic grooming activities. 

When fees are charged, ski passes are required for both ski and snowshoe trail use.  Day passes are available on-site for $10 per adult, with no charge for skiers or snowshoers age 17 and under.  Season passes are available for $70 at the Chelan Ranger District office. 

All trailheads in the Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area are plowed and open for parking.  Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area is located 10 miles outside of the city of Chelan and is managed as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club.

For current grooming information go online to www.lakecheleannordic.org or contact the Chelan Ranger District office at (509) 682-4900.  The Chelan Ranger District office is located at 428 West Woodin Avenue in Chelan with office hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

waspThe Washington State Patrol (WSP) is seeking the opportunity to speak with anyone who may have information about an overpass that was struck by an oversize load on I-90 at milepost 63.

On November 25, 2014 just before 2 pm an unknown vehicle struck the underside of the Stampede Pass overpass and the large sign that was mounted to the side of the structure causing it and cement debris to fall to the roadway below.

WSP is requesting anyone who may have observed the collision, any oversize load vehicles in the area prior to the collision, or oversize loads travelling through Cle Elum or South Cle Elum shortly after 2 pm, to please call WSP Trooper Darren Wright at 509-679-6228.

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11/12/14 - Tasula and Len Berggren of Coquitlam, BC with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 - Repeat customer Dean Williams, Casey McAfee, Parker Williams and Miles Kendrick of Monroe, WA with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 our very own Jeff Witkowski with a nice holdover rainbow caught in Mill Bay on Lake Chelan.
We have made it through our first big cold snap of the winter and now we are getting our first significant snow fall, but our early winter pattern of trolling the Barrens and the Trench for Mackinaw on Lake Chelan continues hot. Also continuing hot is bank fishing and trolling for planter Rainbow Trout on Lake Chelan. The occasional holdover triploid rainbow is a bonus. Roses Lake has received it’s winter rainbow trout plant and is providing hot action for planter sized rainbows. The Upper Columbia River has been providing fair action for steelhead and other fish in the early fall.

We troll for these mostly eating sized Lakers from 220 to 245 feet deep. Fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around .8 to 1.3 mph. Glow in the dark Smile Blades from Mack’s Lure continue to be the go to attractor here on Lake Chelan. Put those in front of a 4 inch needlefish squid rig by Silver Horde, bait them with a piece of Northern Pikeminnow and scent everything with Pautzke’s Krill Juice to keep yourself consistently into the fish. These fish are completely jammed full of Mysis shrimp. This in turn makes the meat especially delectable.   While we find those mysids in our Lakers all year, this late fall / early winter time really concentrates that feed in the lower basin to fatten up our fish.

Rainbow trout on Lake Chelan can be caught by a variety of methods. Catch them from shoreline locations with Pautzke’s Firebait in American Wildfire using a 30” leader on a slip sinker rig. You can also catch them trolling using Mack’s Lure Mini Cha Cha Squidders behind a Mack’s Lure 0000 Double D Dodger. Bait those mini cha cha’s with a piece of worm or a small nugget of Pautzke’s Fire Bait.

Pautzke’s Fire Bait will also work well from the shore on Roses Lake for planter sized Rainbow Trout. WDFW planted approximately 16,000 fish that were 2.4 fish to the pound. Those are about 9” fish. So far, Roses hasn’t frozen over and shore anglers are limiting in less than an hour.

Your fishing tip of the week is to take a page out of the tournament anglers strategy book and prepare plans A, B, C and maybe even D to make efficient use of your precious “on the water” time. This could mean rigging trolling gear and lining up lures so that if plan A’s presentation you can work through your progressions without having to search and then tie knots with chilly fingers. If you are going to switch from still fishing to casting, have those rigs prepared and ready to put into action. This requires thinking ahead and preparing at home. Keeping your presentation in a prime location in an attractive way will make you more successful. It’s only logical.

I will dispense with normal format for my first post Veteran’s Day Report to share my thoughts and feelings before moving on in future reports. I believe the best thing that we can do to honor our war dead is live well and joyously.   However, I think it is occasionally necessary to reflect and appreciate their sacrifices. My friend, Terry Gilden was killed in the Beirut Embassy bombing of 1983 by Hezbollah militants. The mission there was to bring the bloody civil war in Lebanon to an end. In 1993, my friend, Randy Shugart was killed by militants of a Somalian warlord. The mission there was to clear the way for food supplies to reach hundreds of thousands of starving civilians in rural Somalia. While critical thinking is necessary and skepticism can be useful, make no mistake.   Flawed as we might be, we are the good guys because men like my friends answer the call and do their best to implement our national will. George Orwell said it best: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Just reflect for a moment about the lifestyle we enjoy and give thanks for these men.