wsdot logo$12M available for two programs; applications due to WSDOT July 15

OLYMPIA – Applications are now being accepted for state-funded grants and loans for projects that improve freight rail services in Washington. Funds will be available in July 2017.

Railroads, port districts, rail districts, private companies and local governments are eligible to apply for part of $12.04 million in grants and loans available through two programs administered through the Washington State Department of Transportation. The programs help freight rail systems that create family-wage jobs as well as improve overall freight mobility.The Freight Rail Investment Bank provides loans to small public projects. The investment bank has $5 million available in loans. Meanwhile, the Freight Rail Assistance Program provides grants to both public and private projects, specifically projects strategically important to local communities and the state. This program has $7.04 million available for grants, a portion of which comes from the Connecting Washington revenue package passed by the state Legislature. Projects selected for funding will best demonstrate how freight rail shipping eases congestion on busy highways, reduces wear and tear on state roads, strengthens the state’s economy through domestic and international trade, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.Applications for both programs are due Friday, July 15.

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Update 6/8/16 at 1015 hours

     Sheriff Burnett has identified the missing Aasgard hiker as 24 year old Qi He. Mr. He is a Chinese citizen who was living and working as a Student/Intern in the Seattle area. With assistance from local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, the Chinese Embassy and Mr. He’s employer, his family was notified of the incident.

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Update 6/7/16 at 1100 hours

     The active search for the missing hiker on Aasgard Pass has been suspended for now. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit will monitor the weather conditions and snowpack levels with the intention to resume an organized recovery effort in the future.

     The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing hiker as a 24 year old male from the Seattle area. The release of his name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

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Update 6/6/16 at 1300 hours

     As of 1:00 p.m. today Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has suspended their search efforts to locate the missing hiker. Ground units located the waterfall hole were the missing hiker entered. Search crews entered approximately 40 feet into the hole, but the missing hiker was not located. The area searched is filled with fast moving water and is covered by several feet of snow and ice. Search crews could not check beyond the 40 feet because of the hazardous conditions and safety concerns. Ground crews believe the hiker was swept a lengthy distance downstream from the location he entered. The stream ultimately enters into Colchuck Lake.    

   Chelan County Search and Rescue crews and Chelan County Detectives are still trying to identify the missing hiker. We currently do not have any updated information on his identity.

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On June 5 shortly before 10:00pm Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a group of individuals were glissading down the snow on Asgaard Pass. One of the subjects, who was in front of the others, slid over the edge of a waterfall hole and into rushing water. The current water flow is heavy and leads underneath the snow. The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, who provide a helicopter with FLIR capabilities to search for the individual. The Navy searched without success and then returned to their base. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit is currently inserting ground rescue members in an attempt to locate the individual.

The Sheriff’s Office only has a first name of the missing subject, which has not been verified. The only confirmed information we currently have is the missing subject is a male and approximately 24 years of age. The group had just met each other the previous day.

“Glissading” is described as sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice with the support of an ice axe.

Additional information will be released as it is gathered.

douglascountysheriff148On 06/03/16 Douglas County Deputies worked with the Brewster Police Department to develop information regarding a suspected methamphetamine dealer who lived in Bridgeport.  Deputies applied for and were granted a search warrant for a residence in a trailer court at 929 Maple St. 

Deputies discovered approximately 9.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine which appeared to be packaged for sale.  Also seized was a scale typically used for that type of criminal endeavor. 

Deputies arrested 36 year old Nabor Navarrete of Bridgeport for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver.  He was transported and booked at the Okanogan County Jail without incident or injury.

Great work by the Deputies and BPD officer.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports two overdue climbers were located late Thursday evening near the base of Asgaard Pass in the Colchuck Lake area of west Chelan County. At 3:00pm on Thursday Search & Rescue coordinators received information from family members that a 17 year old male and 19 year old male were overdue returning to the Seattle area after a planned climb of Dragontail Peak. The subjects had driven to the Stuart Lake trailhead late Tuesday evening and planned to camp near Colchuck Lake and then summit the peak on Wednesday. They were expected to return home by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Family, friends, and employers had not heard from either subject.

A vehicle belonging to the 17 year old was located at the Stuart Lake trailhead Thursday afternoon. A two-man search team consisting of one Sheriff¡¦s Office SAR deputy and one Chelan County Mountain Rescue member deployed from the trailhead to Colchuck Lake on Thursday evening to conduct an initial check of the area for the subjects. At 11:14pm SAR command was advised by the search team that they had located the two subjects descending Asgaard Pass (which runs between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail).

Christian Junkar (19yoa) and his 17 year old friend (both from Seattle) advised they experienced complications in their climb shortly after beginning the ascent along the "Backbone" route of Dragontail Peak Wednesday morning. At one point, a climbing pack containing food, water, hiking boots and other survival essentials had fallen off rope and was lost. As the subjects continued their climb on Wednesday afternoon, they encountered rain, sleet, cold temperatures, and strong winds further hampered their effort. Both became hypothermic and had little ability to establish a shelter on the mountain. Eventually, the subjects were able to descend down to Asgaard Pass on Thursday morning and eventually make it back to Colchuck Lake where they were contacted by the rescuers that evening. Junkar had minimal feeling in both of his feet due to hypothermia and initial stages of frostbite. He had to descend the mountain in the snow only wearing light climbing shoes due to his boots being in the pack that was lost Wednesday morning. The 17 year old suffered initial frostbite to the fingers on both hands. Both subjects were dehydrated, cold and hungry.

The search and rescue team stabilized the subjects at Colchuck Lake and established a camp with them Thursday night while requesting a helicopter extraction for both on Friday. The Chelan County Sheriff¡¦s Office helicopter "AIR-30" responded early Friday morning and transported both subjects to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery helipad. They were then taken to Cascade Medical Center via ambulance. Both subjects were treated and released on Friday.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on 05/31/2016 a Middle School Student reported being contacted by a suspicious male while walking home from school. The male was described as being a Caucasian man between 50 and 60 years old, balding with hair on the sides of his head. The male was driving a small teal colored SUV. The male asked the student if he needed a ride home. The student declined and the male drove away.

The student’s decision to decline the male’s offer may well have prevented a tragedy. We encourage parents to talk with their children and whenever possible have them walk with others and never approach a vehicle they do not recognize. Children should be encouraged to report any suspicious contacts to their parents, school officials, or law enforcement.

Editor note:  When I was a kid we had a special password in case there really was a reason for a stranger to come and get you.