wsdot logoOLYMPIA – Drivers who use the State Route 520 Bridge will see toll rates increase beginning Saturday, July 1. Toll payers will see a 5 percent increase in weekday and weekend toll rates, and nighttime tolling will begin at a flat rate of $1.25 per crossing. Toll revenue is required and on track to generate $1.2 billion to cover a portion of the new bridge’s cost.

These increases were approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission in May 2016, following a public comment period and after public meetings were conducted. The across-the-board 5 percent increase equates to 20 cents for peak period tolls (increasing from $4.10 to $4.30 for Good To Go! pass holders). Overnight travel between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., formerly toll-free, will now cost $1.25 per crossing for those with a Good To Go! pass. The additional $2 per crossing Pay By Mail charge for drivers who do not have a Good To Go! pass has not changed.

The commission, in cooperation with Washington State Department of Transportation leadership, has prioritized keeping toll rates on the SR 520 Bridge as low as possible for all toll payers while still raising the revenue required to help pay for the new bridge.

Valley residents of Douglas County have been the victims of a string of burglaries during the past week. 

douglascountysheriff148On 06/02/17 a resident in the 100 Blk. of 20th St. NE found someone had forced their way in through a back door.  The burglars stole liquor, collectable swords and knives, an i-phone, and two i-pads.  They also vandalized the inside of the house causing thousands of dollars in damage.    

A second nearby residence was also broken into.  Three guns, ammunition, and an i-pad were stolen. 

On 06/09/17 a third burglary occurred in the 2000 Blk. of Ashland where the intruders stole a rifle from an unsecured garage.  

A fourth burglary occurred from an unsecured garage in the 100 Blk. of Wilshire.  The burglars stole medication, carbon fiber motorcycle gloves, and an i-phone charger. 

A fifth burglary occurred on 06/14/17 at Lisa Bee’s fruit stand at the 13000 Blk. of Hwy. 2.  Three cash registers, $1,250 in cash, a Mac laptop computer, and an i-phone 6S were stolen.  There was substantial vandalism inside the business.  A neighbor who lived west of the business said he had seen a suspicious vehicle in the area.  It was a dark or flat black wagon with a very loud exhaust. 

A sixth incident occurred on 06/09/17 at the Grant Missionary Church at the 100 Blk. of S. Kentucky.  A contractor working inside the church saw a grey Z71 pickup backed up to a storage building.  There were two white males near the truck.  When they saw they were being observed they ran to the pickup and fled. 

This spike in burglaries is not usual in Douglas County.  I encourage everyone to be security conscious.  Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.  Try to provide detailed descriptions of suspicious persons or vehicle’s. 

If anyone had information about any of these or other crimes, call the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 884-0941 or, after hours, RiverCom dispatch at 663-9911.

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wsdot logoCommunity leaders meet with commissioners in Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH – Local officials and community leaders from Leavenworth and North Central Washington will meet with the Washington State Transportation Commission next week to share their perspectives on transportation issues, challenges and successes.

The meeting takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, in the Council Chambers, Leavenworth City Hall, 700 US Highway 2. This is a public meeting and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period scheduled for 4:45 p.m.

The meeting features a series of short presentations on transportation topics in the region, including how transportation serves tourism, agriculture and economic development. The agenda includes briefings on the transportation needs in Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee, as well as Chelan and Okanogan counties.

Representatives from the Cascade Loop Association, and the chambers of commerce in Leavenworth, Chelan and the Wenatchee Valley, will describe how transportation is essential to tourism and recreation in North Central Washington. Topics will include congestion, pedestrian safety, passenger train service, and electric charging stations. The commission also will learn about “Revisiting Washington,” an online interactive travel app based on the 1941 Works Progress Administration guidebook that is designed to help promote historic preservation and heritage tourism.

The connections between transportation and economic development begin with the traditional agricultural economy and include new development efforts in the digital economy. Representatives from the agricultural industry, the ports of Chelan and Douglas counties, and the City of Wenatchee will discuss how rail, highway and air transportation are critical to economic vitality. 

The Washington State Transportation Commission holds several meetings throughout the state each year to gain insight from local government, industry and citizens about transportation issues that affect their communities and region. This information helps the commission to develop and implement transportation policies and recommendations to the State Legislature and Governor that reflect the priorities of the people and local governments throughout the State of Washington. In 2017, the commission also will meet in Friday Harbor, Kent, and Spokane Valley.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

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