wsdot logoDIABLO – With the rev of some engines and the swing of the gate, State Route 20/North Cascades Highway has reopened for 2017. Opening for the upcoming summer season not only provides drivers another option to cross the Cascades but reconnects US Bike Route 10 between Skagit and Okanogan counties.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews were able to speed up the projected eight week reopening with a little help from mother nature. Spring rain helped melt some areas of snow and WSDOT crews worked long days to clear more than 45 feet of snow from below Liberty Bell Mountain and more than 20 feet in many other avalanche chute areas.

Today’s 11 a.m. opening allowed crews to do a final sweep of the highway to remove remaining debris. All travelers should be aware that this route is a scenic byway that features jagged glaciated peaks, high elevations, two lanes and sharp turns. All travelers should be prepared for quickly changing conditions and limited facilities between Diablo and Mazama.

Other SR 20 construction

Travelers heading to the North Cascades Highway from Interstate 5 should be prepared for weekday daytime work between Sedro-Woolley and Concrete. Contractor crews from Granite Construction are currently working on repairing cracks, potholes and bridge decks before resurfacing this 20 mile stretch later this summer. This work is expected to last through September.

Drivers and cyclists hoping to use SR 20 between Twisp and Omak will need to add a lengthy detour to their trip via SR 153. SR 20 west of Loup Loup Summit is closed due to washouts, mudslides and road repair work. Crews are working to repair the area, but there is currently no estimate for reopening.

How long will this stretch of highway be open?

WSDOT crews will keep the North Cascades Highway open as long as it is safe to do so. The gates will close at mileposts 134 and 171 when snow starts filling up avalanche chutes, making it unsafe for travelers and crews to be on the road. That usually happens around Thanksgiving.

S10 Flyin 2017

Mermaid

Disney’s The Little Mermaid, a stage musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale most remember from the 1987 animated film, is currently being presented by Okanogan Valley Orchestra & Chorus (OVOC) with remaining shows on May 12, 13, and 14 at the Omak Performing Arts Center.

To accommodate families with young children the show times have been set earlier than usual with curtain at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Some special events have also been planned such as a costume contest.

OVOC has been producing large Broadway style musicals on the Omak stage since the Performing Arts Center was build 27 years ago. The group of dedicated artists is made up completely of community members from around the Okanogan and Chelan Valleys.

The 2017 production tells the story of Ariel, a young mermaid, who is unsatisfied with her life in the sea. Ariel longs to find adventure and love in the world above. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl," and "Part of Your World."

Emily Larsen, a senior at Pateros High School plays Ariel. Larsen is an OVOC musical veteran having participated in many productions. Ariel’s father, King Triton, is played by Zachary Van Brunt, whose first role with OVOC was in 1995 as a young revolutionary in Fiddler on the Roof. The love interest, Prince Eric, is portrayed by Derek Nansen and the evil sea witch aunt, Ursula, is performed by CaraMia Stearns Vance (Omak).

Rounding out the cast as Flounder is Hayden Swartsel (Okanogan) and Sebastian the Crab portrayed by Matthew Sonneman (Brewster).

The show is directed and designed by Judy Johnston (Brewster) and produced by James Craddock and Kim Harriman with music direction by Jonathan McBride (Chelan) and Matt Brown (Chelan).

This production takes a fresh look at the design elements of the classic tail, utilizing a steam-punk theme brought to life by costumer Susan Graves and designer Johnston. Steam punk refers to a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction and the steam-power era.

To include the audience in the steam punk fun, there will be a costume contest during the show on May 12th with prizes.

Tickets for Disney’s The Little Mermaid are $10 for children and $20 for adults. Details about the production and events as well as special group ticket pricing can be found by visiting www.ovocmusic.org.

douglascountysheriff148On 04/30/17 at I:34 AM Douglas County Deputies responded to an assault complaint which occurred at the Douglas Creek camp area about 8 miles south of Hwy. 2.

It was reported that two individuals had been stabbed. They had transported themselves to the hospital, but the suspect was still at the scene.

The investigation revealed that there was a large party at the camp area and there was alcohol involved.  A person at the party suspected another male party goer had inappropriately touched his wife. The person, identified as 36 year old Bobby McCurdy of Soap Lake, reportedly stabbed the other male and a second male who had tried to break up the fight.

The two injured men took a private vehicle to Confluence Hospital. One subject was treated and released for a minor stab wound. The second had to have surgery because the blade had penetrated this abdominal wall.

McCurdy was booked into the Chelan County Jail for two counts of Assault 1st degree.

rock island fire 1

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal reports, "Our fire fighters had a very busy night last evening when this residence at the 3600 Blk. of Penn in Rock Island caught fire. Fire fighters from Douglas and Chelan County are still at the scene [at the time of reporting] . Fortunately no injuries were reported. Deputies were on scene to assist if needed."