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.
Plan ahead for hassle-free Christmas travel
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT
Track conditions, slow down and allow for extra travel time
OLYMPIA – What’s the best present travelers can give to themselves and their families this holiday? Planning ahead to ensure safe, smooth travel whether going across town or across the state.
By following these steps, drivers can be celebrating with family and friends, instead of sitting on a freeway:
- Check the Washington State Department of Transportation's best times to travel
- Get informed about WSDOT's , including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
- Visit for traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
- Follow WSDOT's social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
- Carry chains and other winter driving essentials. Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website, highway advisory signs or by calling 5-1-1.
- Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel and drive safe .
Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Dec. 26 – to ease congestion.
In the mountains, the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20), Chinook (State Route 410) and Cayuse (junction of State Routes 123 and 410) passes have closed for the winter. On Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), motorists can now receive texts about any major delays by texting the words “wsdot snoqualmie” to the number 468311.
In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, Dec. 26, on the State Route 520 bridge and the Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on that day as well.
Travelers making a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:
- Anticipate heavy ferry traffic for the holiday and plan accordingly. The longest lines are expected westbound Friday, Dec. 23, and Saturday, Dec. 24, and eastbound Monday, Dec. 26. Check the Washington State Ferries website, , or call toll-free 888-808-7977 for details. Customers can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger, if that is an option.
- Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations. Visit
- For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit
- Check with your local public transit agency for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays
Murder/Suicide Threat at Bridgeport High School
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 12/13/16 at approximately 10:15 AM RiverCom dispatch received a weapons compliant at Bridgeport High School.
The information was that there was a male in the parking lot with a pistol. Deputies arrived and located the suspect vehicle within 11 minutes. There was a single male occupant. Deputies immediately spotted a pistol in the center console. They took custody of it and found it was loaded. The subject was removed from the vehicle and detained without injury or incident.
The school had immediately gone into a lockdown. Investigation revealed that the suspect was 24 year old Armando Morales-Cervantes of Bridgeport. The incident also involved a 17 year old female and a 17 year old male who attended the high school. It appeared that the suspect and the female had been in a dating relationship. The suspect sent the female text messages from his car in the parking indicating he would kill the other male or himself. She reported the messages to school officials who called 9-1-1.
Morales-Cervantes was arrested for Felony Harassment (threats to kill), possessing a firearm on school grounds, and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. He was booked at the Okanogan County Jail. The pistol was a Ruger 9mm and had not been reported stolen.
The Deputies did an excellent job responding to and investigating this incident. I was also impressed at the effective measures the school took to protect their students and staff. Their level of cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office was remarkable.
State Transportation Commission advances a road usage charging pilot project in 2017
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – Drivers will have a chance to “test drive” a proposed system that would charge them by the mile, rather than by the gallon of gas for their road usage. The Washington State Transportation Commission today approved a plan to conduct a Road Usage Charge pilot project in fall 2017 that will simulate how this system might work.
“As the fuel efficiency of vehicles increases, gas consumption decreases and this equates to a reduction in gas tax revenues over time. The gas tax serves as the major source of funding for building and maintaining our state highways and ferries,” said Commission Chairman Jerry Litt. “Under the direction of the state Legislature, the commission has been assessing a road usage charge as a possible replacement for the gas tax in the future.”
The commission’s Executive Director Reema Griffith added, “During the commission’s evaluation over the past four-plus years, we’ve determined a road usage charge is feasible and that it could produce the revenue needed for Washington’s roads well into the future.”
The commission’s next step is to test the concept with the public and see what people think of it based upon actual experience using it. Recruitment will begin in spring 2017, with up to 2,000 volunteers needed from across the state to participate in the year-long test. Individuals who want to learn more about the project and have an interest in participating can visit the Road Use Charge website at www.waroadusagecharge.org.
Pilot project participants will choose different ways to participate and report their vehicle’s mileage. Some options do not involve any technology, such as manually reporting odometer readings; others do involve technology utilizing smartphones or in-vehicle technology. Because this is a simulation, participants will not be charged for any miles driven.
A 25-member steering committee has guided this work since 2012. The steering committee includes representatives from: auto and truck manufacturers, ports, environmental groups, trucking industry, cities, public transportation, business community and state agencies. The committee also includes three transportation commissioners and eight legislators.
A key finding from the work of the steering committee is that the gas tax is becoming more and more inequitable. Under Washington state’s current gas tax system, drivers pay widely different amounts for roadway use, depending on their vehicle’s fuel efficiency; those driving older, less efficient vehicles fill up more often and therefore, pay more in taxes. This inequity is expected to grow each year as vehicle fuel efficiency continues to rise, and as more alternative fuel vehicles that don’t use gas at all come onto the market.
Currently, 14 other states are evaluating a shift from the gas-tax revenue model to a road use charge. Funding for this work stems from a $3.8 million Federal Highway Administration competitive grant received earlier this year.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 12-8-16
- Written by Wai Peterson
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, December 8th, 2016, 4:00pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Deletions and Additions
IV. Public Comment/Questions
V. Approval of Minutes
a. Minutes of the November 10th, 2016 Regular Meeting
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Reports
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Director’s Report
b. Park Improvements
i. Downtown Waterfront: Design Firm Selection
ii. Willow Point Restrooms
iii. Project Priorities (Park & Ride, Right of Way Parks, Singleton Old Mill Trail, Old Mill Day Use Parking)
c. Singleton Drainage
d. 2017 Budget
VIII. New Business
a. Shoreline Watercraft: Request for additional commercial moorage
Next Regular Meeting: January 12th, 2017 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building
Adopt-A-Tree at Buckner Orchard
- Written by Herb Sargo
Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation
GIVE A GIFT OF LOVE AND CARING
A Great Way to support the Orchard!
Looking for a stocking stuffer, a special gift to commemorate a memory or loved one, or to create a sense of caring and nurturing in a young person? Consider giving an adopted tree at the Buckner Orchard for 2017.
If the Buckner Orchard is going to continue as the treasure we know it to be, it must have caretakers now, as well as long into the future. What better way to ensure that future than by giving a child a gift of a tree?
The response of children who received trees is touching. They picked out their trees, wanting "to grow up" with a younger tree, pulling weeds, placing mouse guards, and running water to "their tree". They have become attached to "their" tree and now have a wonderful opportunity to care and help nurture a living thing for many years to come.
TREES ARE NOT ONLY FOR CHILDREN!. Maybe you know someone who doesn't get to Stehekin enough, who has a special memory of the Orchard, or you just want to support the work of the Foundation in caring for the Orchard. The adoption of trees also raises awareness of the Orchard and its care.
Adopt-A-Tree is one way in which you can support the work of the Foundation in caring for the Buckner Orchard. With your support much can be done to protect and conserve the heritage of this national treasure, and to continue its place as an important part of the Stehekin Community.
Adopt a tree for yourself and be a part of the Buckner Orchard!
Adopt-A-Tree funds are used exclusively to support the care and maintenance of the Buckner Orchard and are tax deductible.
How to Adopt-A-Tree
A personal message may be included on the certificate, such as, With love and fond memories, from Grandma Cinda and Uncle Jim. You choose the one-line wording.
Step 2. Mail a check (@$25.00 per tree) to the Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation at PO Box 184, Manson, WA 98831. Because some may be given as Christmas gifts, a certificate will be mailed immediately, trusting that the appropriate payment will be forthcoming.
Certificates can also be sent to you in PDF format via e-mail, ready to print from your computer, name of the recipient included. Let us know your preference.
This is also a great time to renew trees adopted during previous years. Please let us know if a new certificate is needed and follow the directions above.
Adopt-A-Tree is one of three means by which the Foundation raises funds to support the Orchard and Homestead. The other two are memberships and donations. Please help us today and give a gift of love and caring.
The Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created specifically to support and preserve the Buckner Homestead and Orchard in Stehekin, Washington and is registered as such with the State of Washington and the IRS
(Tax ID #452913458)
East Wenatchee Juvenile Arrested for Attempted Murder of her Family
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 12/0216 at approximately 1:47 AM a Washington State Patrol officer contacted what appeared to be a disabled vehicle on Hwy. 28 at about mile post 6. The female, a 14 yea ar old juvenile from East Wenatchee, confided in the state officer that she had set her parents’ house at the 2000 Blk. of Valley View Blvd. near East Wenatchee on fire before she left. WSP contacted Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies who rushed to the house and found the suspects parents asleep in their beds. There was no fire at the time but a 12” by 4” section of carpet had been burned. It appeared an unignited trail of lighter fluid, possibly barbeque lighter fluid had been poured up the stairs to the room occupied by the suspect’s mother and father. The door to their room had been blocked by an ottoman from the outside. Accelerant also let to the room of her 4 year old brother.
During an interview with Deputies, the juvenile female suspect admitted she attempted to set her parents’ house on fire, steal their car, and run away. She admitted squirting lighter fluid on carpets, curtains, and windowsills to make sure no one could get out. She created a trail of accelerant from the bedrooms, down the stairway, to the bottom step. There she lit the fire and watched it grow until she thought it was “pretty nice”. She then left.
The suspect had preloaded the vehicle with items she felt she needed for the trip. She planned to escape to Canada, Arizona, or Mexico. The suspect said she expected her entire family to die from smoke inhalation.
The suspected was arrested for three counts of attempted first degree murder, arson in the first degree, and theft of a motor vehicle.
This case is chilling and shocking to the senses. I am grateful to the WSP officer who first contacted the suspect and the Douglas County investigators who did such a thorough job unraveling the facts of this case. I am eternally grateful no one was hurt or killed.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
Free Snowmobile Safety Course Dec 10th
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
WENATCHEE, WA – The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, is offering a free Snowmobile Safety Certification Class to young snowmobilers in December.
The free class is designed for youth ages 12 to 16 but is open to new riders of all ages. The class is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10th at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, 14400 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Leavenworth, WA. Lunch will be provided for the participants by the Lake Wenatchee Rec. Club.
The key to safe snowmobiling lies in the operator’s knowledge, capabilities, limitations and understanding of the machine. It is recommended that snowmobilers be aware of weather and trail conditions and the safety of other winter sports enthusiasts, while respecting wildlife and the environment. The snowmobile safety course training includes:
- Basic snowmobile maintenance.
- Survival skills and dealing with emergencies, including avalanche awareness.
- The proper clothing and equipment for winter weather.
- Hand signals while riding and other basic skills.
- Properly preparing for a ride.
- Riding skills test