State loans, grants available for freight rail improvement projects
- Written by Chris Herman, WSDOT freight systems
- Hits: 1365
$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.
Subject Lost Under Glacial Waterflow
- Written by Undersheriff Jason Mathews
- Hits: 979
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.
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.
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.
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.
Methamphetamine Dealer Arrested in Bridgeport
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
- Hits: 913
On 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.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
Overdue Hikers Return After Ordeal on Dragontail Peak
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
- Hits: 1142
Sheriff 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.
- Written by Chief Dave Helvey, CCSO
- Hits: 1052
Sheriff 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.
Sign Up for the Trojan Scramble Golf Tournament
- Written by Scott Ward, Manson School District
- Hits: 1235
On behalf of the players and coaching staff of the Manson High School Football team, I would like to invite you to be a part of our 6th annual “Trojan Scramble Golf Tournament.“ The tournament is scheduled for Memorial Day Monday, May 30, 2016 at the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course at 1:00 PM. The cost of the tournament is $75/player or $300/team. Contribute an additional $25/player or $100/team and have all players included in the “Long Drive” and “Closest to the Pin” competitions as well as receive 4 team mulligans. Additional mulligans can be purchased for $10 each. Winners of the various competitions and raffles will win an assortment of wonderful prizes. The winners of the Low Gross and Low Net categories will both receive a traveling trophy for the year. A tournament signup sheet has been included with this letter.
If you’re not interested in golfing, but would still like to support our program you can sign up to sponsor the tournament. There are three levels of tournament sponsorships; Primary Team and Tournament Sponsor $500 or greater, Tee Box and Hole Sponsor $250-$475, and a Player Sponsor $200. A tournament and player sponsorship signup sheet has also been included with this letter.
The sponsorship funds will be channeled through the Manson Booster Club and will go directly toward the support of our Manson Football Program. The money will be used to offset much of the costs associated with getting our players to camp. Each player will still be responsible for paying $100 of the $305 total cost of the camp. The players will also be responsible for putting in numerous hours throughout the summer providing various community services. The team is planning to provide 2 full days of community service in order to bond as a unit and say thanks for all of the wonderful community support.
The funds generated will be used to go to Eastern Washington University’s football camp which is scheduled for June 22-25. It is an amazing opportunity to receive top notch instruction and at the same time focus on four full days of team building. If you have any questions regarding the tournament or sponsorships please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued support.
Manson High School
Head Football Coach
Plan ahead now for smoother Memorial Day travel
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT communications
- Hits: 989
‘Know before you go’ the key to negotiating holiday traffic
OLYMPIA – With Memorial Day fast approaching, now is the time to start planning ahead to avoid spending the holiday weekend stuck in traffic.
Drivers can use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s traffic volume charts to help time their travel on key routes throughout the weekend. Drivers also can:
- Check out WSDOT’s mobile app, social media sites – such as Twitter and Facebook – and for traffic information and ferry schedules to “know before you go.”
- Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
- Allow extra time for holiday travel and congestion; consider traveling during non-peak hours; stay alert to avoid collisions in congested areas.
To ease congestion, most state highway construction work is suspended during the holiday weekend. Across the Vantage Bridge on Interstate 90, though, eastbound drivers will experience delays due to a round-the-clock single-lane closure. In addition, loads over 14 feet wide are prohibited in both directions.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30:
- The State Route 520 bridge toll will be on holiday rates
- The Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers
Washington State Ferries passengers should expect heavier traffic during the holiday weekend and reservations are strongly recommended for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia and Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry routes.
- Reservations can be made
- Visit the schedules and best travel times website or call 888-808-7977 for more details.
Travelers planning to avoid highway congestion by traveling by train, personal aircraft or bus also should factor the holiday into their plans:
- Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Book now
- WSDOT provides updates on state-operated airports
- Most public transit systems will follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-A-Ride service on holidays.
State officials will not raise I-90 speed limit in eastern Washington
- Written by Al Gilson, WSDOT communications
- Hits: 835
Risks far outweigh benefits of 75 mph limit, according to state’s analysis
SPOKANE – After careful review, analysis and public input, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol and Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced today that, due to safety concerns, they will not increase speed limit on Interstate 90 in eastern Washington.
The partners reviewed increasing the speed limit from 70 to 75 mph along roughly 100 miles of I-90 beginning near George to the Lincoln/Spokane county line. They found the increased risks and costs associated with the proposed change far outweighed the projected time savings.
In particular, analysis of the roadway, crash history, current speeds and other states’ experiences predicted an additional 1.27 fatal or serious crashes annually if the speed limit was raised. A higher speed limit also would bring an estimated $8.3 million in additional annual safety costs, the analysis found.
By comparison, the review found that raising the speed limit to 75 mph would save just an estimated five minutes on a 100-mile trip, with an estimated annual value of $3.6 million in time saved.
“Our top priority as agencies is traffic safety,” said Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “We made this decision through a lens of safety, and it’s notable that all three agencies agreed the increased safety risks were too high.”
“Our state’s Target Zero Plan aims to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2030,” said Darrin Grondel, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director, “We believe this decision supports this goal.”
“The Washington State Patrol stands with two of our many safety partners, the Traffic Safety Commission and the Department of Transportation regarding our goal of Target Zero,” said Chief John R. Batiste. “After careful review of the facts and the comments from the public, I support the decision not to increase the speed limit.”
The review was done at the request of eastern Washington lawmakers who wanted the feasibility of an increased speed limit evaluated. A law passed in 2015 allows for an increase if it’s deemed safe to do so.
The three partnering agencies began their work in August, using careful analysis of available traffic and engineering data as well as input from the public. Two public meetings were held in Ritzville and Moses Lake in April, and comments also were submitted through the WSDOT website. Public input received serious consideration, but safety remained the final, guiding standard, officials said.
State Transportation Commission to adopt toll rates, name portions of state highways
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
- Hits: 1354
OLYMPIA – Toll rate changes for the State Route 520 bridge and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will be among the action items for the Washington State Transportation Commission during its meeting next week in Olympia.
The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17 - 18, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during public comment periods at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. Public comment will be taken on each toll rate proposal prior to commission action on Tuesday afternoon.
At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the commission is scheduled to repeal a 50-cent toll increase, enacted last year for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that would have taken effect July 1. A $2.5 million appropriation from the Legislature, and higher than forecasted bridge traffic, allows current toll levels to remain in place to meet debt obligations. The commission also will act to increase SR 520 bridge tolls in two steps over the next two years, with average 5 percent toll increases each year; that equates to weekday, peak period tolls increasing 20 cents each year. Other tolling topics on the agenda include a review of tolling over the past year, and an update on Interstate 405 operations and performance.
In response to requests from the 2016 Legislature, the commission also will act to name State Route 99 the “William P. Stewart Memorial Highway,” and name a portion of State Route 509 near the Port of Tacoma the “Philip Martin Lelli Memorial Highway.” Stewart lived and farmed in Snohomish County after volunteering as a member of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry regiment during the Civil War. Lelli was a longshoreman and Port Commissioner who led the modernization and diversification of the Port of Tacoma.
On Tuesday afternoon, Washington State Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Roger Millar will talk about the renewed emphasis on highway worker safety and using social media to remind and educate drivers to slow down in work zones.
Other topics on Tuesday and Wednesday include several presentations on future-oriented transportation proposals from both the private and public sectors. On Tuesday, former Gov. Christine Gregoire will brief the commission on the transportation elements of Challenge Seattle, an effort spearheaded by businesses in the region to ensure continued growth and well-being in the Seattle area. And on Wednesday, representatives of the Washington Business Alliance will detail their ideas for leveraging public-private partnerships to improve transportation in the state.
The commission also will hear from Sound Transit and Metro about their long-range plans, from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission about new ways to reduce deaths and serious injuries on highways, and from the Puget Sound Regional Council’s task force about long-range transportation funding recommendations.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/
Fatal Fall At "Bob's Wall" Near Icicle Drainage
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
- Hits: 1088
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of the rock climber killed during a fall on Saturday afternoon in the Icicle River drainage area west of Leavenworth. Zulfiya Dokukina (50 years old) of SeaTac was climbing the “Bob’s Crack” route of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area at the time of the accident. Dokukina had completed one route on the wall, and was not secured to any type of rope or other safety device while transitioning to another route. There are no known eyewitnesses to the actual incident, so the exact cause of the fall remains undetermined at this time.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Saturday May 14th, 2016 at 2:52pm RIVERCOM dispatch was notified of a fallen climber in the vicinity of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area in the Icicle River drainage west of Leavenworth, WA. It was determined a 50 year old female from Seatac, WA had fallen approximately 80 feet while climbing with others in the area.
Rescuers from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and, Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) were training nearby and immediately responded to the accident scene. Cascade Medics and Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue also responded to assist. CPR was being performed on the fallen climber as responders arrived on scene. However, she did not survive her injuries. The exact cause of the fall is under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office is withholding the name of the deceased pending next of kin notification.
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