WSDOT secretary announces new head of ferries
- Written by lars Erickson, WSDOT
OLYMPIA – Today, Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), announced the appointment of Amy Scarton as assistant secretary for the Washington State Ferries Division.
She officially begins her leadership role next month with responsibilities including, guiding the ferries management team and all ferries employees to meet safety, operational and budgetary goals; and collaborating effectively with community and labor partners as well as other WSDOT divisions.
“I am very pleased Amy will be leading our strong team at Washington State Ferries,” said Secretary of Transportation Millar. “Amy’s national experience managing programs and projects across all transportation modes, combined with the top-notch crews, will help ensure the ferry division remains on course.”
Scarton currently serves as the WSDOT assistant secretary for Community and Economic Development. She is replacing Lynne Griffith, who is retiring on Jan., 31. Amy has worked in the transportation industry both in Washington State and Washington DC. Highlights of her background include: senior roles in both the Obama and Bush administrations at U.S. Department of Transportation; legal counsel to former Chairman James Oberstar of the U.S. House of Representatives Highway and Transit Subcommittee; and managing the WSDOT offices that support the agencies’ rail, freight, aviation, local programs, planning, and public transportation activities.
“I’m excited to join the crew of Washington State Ferries,” said Scarton. “First, I want to acknowledge Lynne Griffith and all WSF crewmembers. They have done remarkable work, from reducing missed sailings to saving the lives of dozens of people every year. I know there will be challenges ahead, and we will keep our focus on maintaining our strong safety record and improving service reliability.”
“As a lifelong user of our iconic ferry system, I know how critical it is to keep the vessels running on time and the challenges of maintaining the fleet,” said Governor Inslee. “I thank Lynne for her capable leadership and helping lead important improvements at WSF, and I am pleased someone with Amy Scarton’s experience can take the helm at ferries and build on the team’s recent successes.”
Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries 24 million people a year through the most majestic scenery in the world.
Warming temperatures, rain could bring flooding and ice jams
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
CHELAN COUNTY- The National Weather Service is forecasting warmer temperatures and possible rain next week – weather conditions that may lead to the formation of hazardous ice jams and flooding along the county’s rivers and streams.
Ice jams are formed as a result of long cold spells that cause portions of rivers and streams to freeze. Fluctuations in temperatures or water levels can break the ice into chunks, which then can jam at obstructions, including bridges or culverts, as they move downstream. Such jams dam water flows, potentially resulting in flooding upstream. If a jam releases suddenly, it then may cause a surge of flooding downstream.
After several weeks of below-freezing temperatures, some areas of Chelan County are expected next week to see temperatures as high as 40 degrees as well as rain showers. Chelan County officials warn residents living close to rivers and streams to have an emergency plan in place in case of potential flooding. In flooding situations, people may become isolated or have to evacuate their homes quickly.
Citizens are asked to consider the following list of dos and don’ts:
- Be prepared before a flood. Have on hand extra food and water as well as an emergency kit that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlight, candles and waterproof matches.
- Monitor your property near your home to determine if water accumulations are rising.
- If you use a private bridge to access your property, watch for debris and ice buildup at the bridge. If you own a private bridge, you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of that structure.
- Have a copy of your flood insurance policy handy (if applicable) in case you need to contact your insurance company.
- Call your local officials with any questions or to notify them of any hazards you observe. Chelan County Public Works can be reached at 667-6415. In an emergency situation, call 911.
- Do NOT walk or attempt to drive through a flooded area. Water and ice levels may be misleading due to snow accumulations. Follow the rule: Turn Around! Don’t Drown!
- Take precautions to protect your home but do NOT try to remove ice from the river or alter river or stream flows. Attempting to alter water flows may inadvertently damage neighboring homes and property downstream.
Head On Collision on Badger Mt. Road
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 01/10/17 at 11:46 AM Douglas County Deputies responded to Badger Mtn. Rd. approximately 3 miles north of Fancher Hts. to investigate an injury accident. Fire and EMS were also dispatched. Investigation revealed that the driver of a N/B 2008 Nissan pickup crossed the center line and hit a S/B 1992 Ford pickup head on. Both drivers were injured and transported to Confluence Hospital. Their condition is unknown. Traffic was blocked for about an hour until a county snow plow arrived and cleared a shoulder so vehicles could pass.
Douglas County has about 1,600 miles of county roads and 6 state highways. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to use care and stay alert for danger as they travel our roadways.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
Manson School District Replacement Maintenance and Operations Levy Placed on February Ballot
- Written by Janice Stewart
The 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.
Manson Basketball Game Time Change, January 7
- Written by Janice Stewart
Manson 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
Accidental Shooting - Keep the Safety On Unless You are Ready to Fire
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 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.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
WSDOT searching for missing plane in Hood Canal area
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT
OLYMPIA – 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.
Vehicle Slip on Ice Sends Driver into Swimming Pool
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 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.
Nephew Steals Car, Purse and Dog
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff 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.
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