wasp(Olympia)-- This just in….

Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste did not issue a warning today about an increase in motorcycle crashes with the coming good weather. Batiste did not order troopers to crack down on dangerous riding behavior. He did not exhort them to greater effort in preventing the kind of riding behavior that frequently results in tragedy.

Each spring with the arrival of good weather the State Patrol sees a jump in rider fatalities. Why would Batiste not tell his troopers to get busy?

“What order could I give that would be more powerful than their own experience investigating these completely preventable tragedies?” Batiste asked. “Troopers see these crashes first-hand. They help load injured riders in ambulances, and frequently have to make death notifications to stunned families.”

In other words, you can bet troopers will be cracking down on irresponsible riding behavior.

“I just don’t need to issue an order,” Batiste said. “Our troopers have their own personal and sometimes heartbreaking reasons for taking strong action.”

In 2013, 73 riders were killed in motorcycle collisions.  In the majority of motorcycle fatalities, the rider is the causing driver. In about half, there’s not even another vehicle involved.

“This isn’t about clueless drivers pulling out of their driveways in front of motorcycles. Riders themselves have the power to change this horrible statistic,” Batiste said.

Just as with autos, speed and impaired driving are the biggest causes of death for riders. In particular, the desire to swoop through corners at high speed leads to riders losing control and leaving the roadway.

Inexperience is often significant contributing factor. Younger riders on sport bikes, and older first-time riders on big cruising bikes seem to be most at risk for losing control and crashing.

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waspSuspect a long time police officer for the city of Lynden

(Whatcom County)  – Detectives from the Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force (MECTF) arrested a former Lynden police officer today on child pornography charges. 

Donald Glunt, 57, of Lynden, was taken into custody without incident.  Glunt had very recently resigned his position with the Lynden Police Department.

The investigation originated after officials with Lynden PD discovered images on Glunt’s city owned cell phone while conducting an internal administrative investigation. On Wednesday, Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster asked WSP to conduct a criminal investigation into the matter.

The investigation was assigned to detectives from MECTF.  They reviewed digital evidence and interviewed the suspect, which led to his arrest today. The investigation revealed the suspect was trading images with a 16 year-old girl in Texas. Law enforcement authorities in Texas assisted detectives by interviewing the underage victim. Additional forensic review of various digital media devices seized as evidence is ongoing.

Glunt was booked into the Skagit County Jail on charges of Dealing and Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct and Viewing of Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.  Additional charges are possible pending the forensic analysis of the digital media devices.

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Barnard250The Washington State Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division has been assisting Minnesota’s Pine County Sheriff’s Office in attempts to locate a subject charged with 59 felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct involving two young females.

On April 11, the Pine County Attorney’s Office issued a criminal complaint against Barnard. The charges result from a multi-year investigation by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office into Barnard’s behavior while he was ministering to a religious group in Northern Pine County.

Later that same day, the Pine County Sheriff issued a nationwide warrant for Barnard, who was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash. area. The Pine County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating with the State of Washington and Homeland Security for the apprehension of Barnard.  

Anyone who may have information as to the whereabouts of Victor Barnard, please call WSP Detective Ryan Spangler at (509) 227-6644 or the Pine County SO tip line at (320) 629-8342.

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pudStaff proposes revised measurements now that initial targets have been met

WENATCHEE – Now that Chelan County PUD has achieved the financial targets set during strategic planning in 2010, commissioners are looking ahead to future measurements to make sure District finances remain sound through 2019 and beyond.   

Chief Financial/Risk Officer Kelly Boyd, Treasurer Debbie Litchfield and Mark O’Bryan,  strategic financial planning director,  talked with PUD commissioners Tuesday about revised targets for the key financial measurements of liquidity, rate of return, debt ratio and debt coverage.

Reducing long-term debt remains a high priority, both for PUD customer-owners and because it improves three of the four financial measurements, Litchfield said, while maintaining strong reserves.

“Debt reduction benefits current customers by helping to maintain low electric rates,” she said, adding that the value of a $1 million drop in interest costs is roughly equal to a 2-percent rate impact.

The District accelerated debt reduction in 2013 by paying off $27 million more than the $41 million that was budgeted.  Plans are to reduce long-term debt by about $80 million this year.

Litchfield said the District’s strong reserves (measured as “liquidity”) offer the continued opportunity to pay down debt ahead of forecasts in the next five years and beyond.  Benefits of this approach include helping to maintain low electric rates, while offering flexibility in paying for ongoing operation costs, she said.

O’Bryan said discussions on the proposed changes to the financial policies are scheduled to continue at the April 21 board meeting. Plans are to ask commissioners to set revised measurements at the May 19 meeting.  

In other business Tuesday commissioners:

  • Received an update from General Manager Steve Wright on the Salmon Passage Forum hosted with Grant County PUD on Monday. Representatives from 15 state, federal and Canadian agencies and tribes came to see the work being done to make sure there is safe passage for the record number of adults expected to migrate up the Columbia River this spring despite the impacts on river levels from the spillway fracture at Wanapum Dam.  Attendees toured Grant PUD’s Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams and heard their plans to trap spring Chinook at Priest Rapids and truck them upriver while modifications are made to the fish ladders at Wanapum Dam. They also toured Chelan PUD’s Rock Island Dam to see the work being done to extend three fish ladder entrances to make them accessible during varying water levels and flows. A roundtable discussion to share information and concerns followed the tours. Wright said the forum was valuable in “building relationships with people we will be working with extensively over the next few months.” There is a need for great communication, he added, which will be aided by the relationships forged Monday. “In that regard, the day was really a great success,” Wright said.
  •  Heard from Commissioner Norm Gutzwiler that he will not seek re-election for a third, six-year term on the PUD board.  Gutzwiler joined the board in 2003 and was re-elected to represent District 1 in 2008. He will complete his current term by serving through the end of the year. (Commissioner Gutzwiler’s picture is available in the PUD’s online photo gallery.)

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wasp(Olympia)— On any given day, in any given situation, any Washington State trooper may be confronted with an aggressive subject. Verbal de-escalation is always the goal, but is not always successful. This is why troopers are given a number of other tools to defend themselves should the need arise. One of those tools is the Taser.   

In the latest edition of our “Good to Know” series, Sergeant Shannon Bendiksen and Corporal Paul Cagle briefly describe the Taser’s function and show you some of the training trooper cadets have to endure.   

“The short time that they’re incapacitated is just what’s needed to apply the ‘cuffs, and at that point most suspects stop fighting,” Bendiksen said.

The Washington State Patrol video can be viewed here.

Trooper cadets are exposed to the effects of the Taser for three main reasons. It builds confidence in their equipment, allows them to realize the strengths and limitations of the device, and gives them practice handcuffing a subject after the Taser was fired. 

Any display or actual use of the Taser by a WSP trooper must be reported to their supervisor for review.  

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waspTroopers conducted seatbelt emphases throughout District 6 during the month of March. As a result of the emphases, 220 citations were issued to those who were not wearing a seatbelt, or failed to wear a seatbelt properly. During the month of March, there were no fatalities involving unrestrained motorists in District 6, which is a trend the State Patrol hopes continues. Troopers will continue to be watching for motorists that fail to properly wear a seatbelt in an effort to prevent any further tragedies.

To be considered properly worn, the belt must be fastened and adjusted across the body as designed. Wearing a seatbelt fastened, but moved under the arm or behind the back, is considered improperly worn, and in addition to being unsafe, is subject to a $124 citation. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all children are properly restrained in a car seat, booster seat or seatbelt appropriate to the child. Drivers are also asked to remind all passengers in their vehicle to buckle up, before moving the vehicle.

A properly worn vehicle restraint gives motorists the best chance to survive a collision. Please Buckle Up!

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portchelancountyThe Board of Commissioners of the Port of Chelan County will meet in regular session on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:00 am in the conference room at the Port of Chelan County located at 238 Olds Station Rd. Suite A, Wenatchee, WA 98801. The meeting agenda is below.

NOTE: Regularly scheduled meeting agendas are subject to change. The Commission reserves the right to move agenda items as needed, even during the meeting. Port of Chelan County Commission meeting agendas and minutes are available on the port website: www.portofchelancounty.com

PORT OF CHELAN COUNTY
Board of Commissioners
Preliminary Meeting Agenda
238 Olds Station Road, Suite A, Wenatchee, WA 98801
April 3rd, 2014
9:00 am

Open Pangborn Memorial Airport Governing Board meeting
PANGBORN MEMORIAL AIRPORT GOVERNING BOARD
A. Air Service Consultant Selection-SCASD Grant
B. Update
Adjourn Pangborn Memorial Airport Governing Board meeting
CONSENT AGENDA
A. Minutes of the February 20, 2014 regularly scheduled commission meeting
PUBLIC COMMENT
A.
PROPERTY & FACILITIES
A. IB#6 Daycare Lease
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS CONSULTANT REPORT
CAPITAL PROJECTS
A. Pybus Pedestrian Access Project Update
B. Olds Station Sidewalk Project Update
C. Cashmere Mill Site Project Call for Bids
CONFLUENCE TECHNOLOGY CENTER
A. Update
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
A. CERB Grant
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
A. Update
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
A. TEDx Wenatchee Valley event (Commissioner Johnston-Rodriguez)
B. Washington DC visit (Commissioner Baldwin)
DIRECTOR’S REPORT
A. Peshastin Mill Site Marketing Activity
B. Government Affairs Consultant Scope of Work
EXECUTIVE SESSION
To discuss real estate matters pursuant to RCW 42.30.110 (b and c). Final action on
selling or leasing public property shall be taken in a meeting open to the public.

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manson school4/7 - 4/13 What's Happening at Manson Middle School/High School????
Mar 27, 2014
Submitted by Krisy Nelson. Spring Break is this next week.
Click here for the complete story.

Dr. Roberto Dansie Provided Professional Development Opportunity to Chelan and Manson Staff
Mar 27, 2014
Award Winning Speaker, Trainer and Clinical Psychologist. Submitted by Adelina Velasco.
Click here for the complete story.

Memories from Manson Options Program Production of My Son, Pinocchio Jr.
Mar 27, 2014
Huge photo album shared by Michelle Rogge. Video clip by Heidi Neal. Congratulations to all the student actors and staff! Bravo!
Click here for the complete story.

Sport Update
Mar 27, 2014
3/26 BB - Lk. Rose. & Sports a Look Ahead.
Click here for the complete story.

Manson High School Seeking Backpacking Equipment for Summer Course Offerings
Mar 26, 2014
Manson is offering an opportunity to experience firsthand the beauty of the wilderness areas of our state while earning credits towards graduation.
Click here for the complete story.

Manson Students Attend We Day touchdown in Seattle
Mar 26, 2014
53 Manson students earned their ticket to We Day through service projects during the year.
Click here for the complete story.

5th Annual Live and Silent Auction fundraising event on April 26, 2014
Mar 25, 2014
Manson Elementary Parent Teacher Committee and Trojan Booster Club are in the process of collecting donations and merchandise for the auction.
Click here for the complete story.

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wasp(Olympia)—The Washington State Patrol is reminding drivers that state law requires them to slow down, and move left if safe, when passing emergency vehicles stopped beside the roadway.

Emergency vehicles include police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles with emergency lights activated.

The law went into effect in 2011, after a series of incidents involving not only police cars, but other emergency vehicles and the death of a tow truck driver.

“This law couldn’t be easier to comply with,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “All you have to do is ease off the gas and, if it’s safe, ease to the left.”

Batiste added a caution, however, about sudden maneuvers intended to comply with the law. He stressed that simply slowing down and easing left is sufficient.

“We don’t want people making sudden maneuvers that could be even more dangerous,” he said.

Since the law went into effect, State Troopers have contacted more than 10,000 violators using a mix of education and enforcement to win compliance. Troopers report that most drivers understand the reason for the law once it’s explained to them.

Although failure to move left is a traffic violation, if the behavior is egregious enough to endanger emergency workers the conduct becomes criminal, and can result in a jail sentence.

Over the next few weeks, troopers statewide will be making an extra effort to contact violators they might observe in the course of other routine work.

“We’ve asked them to keep a watchful eye on their fellow emergency workers, and take action when they observe a violation,” Batiste said.

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pudRiver and trail users cautioned to stay away from exposed banks; be alert to fluctuating water levels

WENATCHEE – With safety as the top priority, Chelan County PUD continues to respond to rapid changes in river conditions as water levels are lowered in response to conditions downstream at Grant PUD’s Wanapum Dam.

 On Sunday, Chelan PUD activated the Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for Rock Island and Rocky Reach dams as a means to alert emergency responders to the much lower water levels and to limited river access in the reservoirs behind its two dams. Chelan PUD’s top priority is protecting public and employee health and safety.

In addition, power generation is being adjusted at both dams to protect the reliability of equipment as river conditions fluctuate and to ensure the safety of PUD employees. Analysis by PUD engineers has determined its dams are safe and stable.   

Chelan PUD staff is closely coordinating with counterparts at Douglas and Grant PUDs on response issues arising from lower river levels. 

Water levels at Rock Island Dam, about 15 miles south of Wenatchee, could be as much as 10 feet below normal operating levels. The river level behind Rocky Reach Dam, seven miles north of Wenatchee, could be as much as 5 feet lower than normal.

Chelan PUD is taking this action  in response to the Columbia River being lowered downstream by Grant County PUD to relieve pressure on the impacted section of Wanapum Dam and to allow Grant PUD to inspect the damage. Wanapum Dam is south of the Interstate 90 bridge that crosses  the Columbia River near Vantage.  

To ensure public safety, Chelan PUD has closed boat ramps in all its parks on the Rock Island reservoir between Rock Island Dam and Rocky Reach.  The PUD is evaluating the need to close boat ramps along the Rocky Reach reservoir.

Chelan PUD also urges people to stay away from riverbanks and mud flats because of concerns about the stability of the exposed areas as the water recedes.  There may be impacts to private docks above Rock Island Dam and below Rocky Reach Dam.  Property owners should use caution.  These historically low conditions leave shoreline areas exposed.  All recreationists need to exercise prudence and caution to avoid hazards and rapidly changing river levels.

Chelan PUD Natural Resources staff is analyzing potential environmental impacts associated with adult and juvenile fish passage at the projects due to these unusual river conditions. Staff is coordinating closely with natural resource agencies and with tribes.

Chelan PUD will provide updates as new information becomes available. Information is being posted on the home page of the PUD’s website, chelanpud.org, under “Spotlight” in the top right hand corner.

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