chelan county logoOn March 3, 2019 at approximately 7:05 PM a fire was reported at the Bluebird facility located at 10135 Peshastin Mill Rd. The fire destroyed a 36,000 square foot structure. The structure contained 12 CA rooms, 10 of which contained approximately 250,000 boxes of packed pears. The estimated dollar loss is approximately $9,000,000 for the fruit and approximately $8,000,000 for the structure.

A fire investigation ensued and was a cooperative effort with the Chelan County Department of Fire Prevention and Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) fire investigation section, the Chelan County Sheriff’s office, and fire investigators representing Travelers Insurance.

Through the process of interviews, eye witness reports and investigation of the fire scene the area of origin has been narrowed down to an area outside of the structure where pallets of cardboard and other combustible material used in the packing of fruit was stored under an awning prior to being used. We identified a light in the area of origin as a possible ignition source; however, we were not able to exclude the possibility that the fire was intentionally set. At this time, the fire is classified as undetermined.

The demolition of the building will occur in the next 2 weeks. The interior of the building will continue to smoke and at times open flames will occur as material continues to consume. The county road will remained closed as the road will be used to transfer material out of the rooms. The North wall continues to be unstable and the public is advised to stay out of the area due to the possibility of collapse outward toward the road.

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Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi Street, Bumgarner Building, March 14, 2019, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Additions and Deletions
IV. Public Comment
V. Approval of Minutes
a. February 14, 2018 Regular meeting minutes
b. March 6, 2018 Special meeting minutes
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Leffler Field
i. Executive Session to consider the acquisition of real estate
b. Maintenance vehicle
c. Marina Commercial Contract updates
d. Director’s Report
VIII. New Business
a. Resolution 2019-03 (Surplus of goods)
IX. Adjournment
Next Regular Meeting: April 11, 2019 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831

Citizenship Classes English 2019

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The Port of Chelan County has entered into a lease agreement for its first tenant at the Port’s Cashmere Mill District Business Park. Hurst International, a Chatsworth, California based fruit label printer and labeling equipment manufacturer, has agreed to lease approximately 6,500 square feet. This recruitment success is expected to bring 10 new jobs and private investment exceeding $1,000,000 to Chelan County.

In response to the news, Port of Chelan County Commission President JC Baldwin stated “Recruiting a manufacturer supporting our agricultural industry as the first tenant in Cashmere is a huge win. I couldn’t be more excited about this news.”

The founder of Hurst International, Ari Lichtenberg, stated “We have had a growing presence in the region with our cutting-edge products and processes. Now is the time to add a manufacturing presence to serve our growing list of customers in Washington State.” Current regional customers include Gebbers Farms, Auvil Fruit, and Chelan Fruit.

Chelan County Commission Chairman Kevin Overbay commented that “Chelan County made a financial contribution from its dedicated economic development sales tax fund to assist the Port in constructing the buildings at the Cashmere Mill District Site. It is great to see an immediate return to the citizens of Chelan County.”

In September 2018, the Port started construction on two general-purpose industrial buildings each containing 16,500 square feet. They are expected to be completed in late spring. “

Cashmere is excited to see Hurst join Louws Truss in providing quality jobs in Cashmere. We look forward to more companies and jobs coming to this location. The Port has not even completed the buildings yet and the first tenant has been secured. I would like to thank the Port Commissioners for their forward looking investment in our community,” said Cashmere Mayor Jim Fletcher.

The Port of Chelan County is governed by three elected Port Commissioners: JC Baldwin, Donn Etherington and Rory Turner.

ChelanFireRescueLogo200Fire Commissioner Russ Jones (Chairperson of the Board of Fire Commissioners) announced that Fire Chief Timothy W. Lemon of Chelan Fire and Rescue has stated his intent to retire 12/31/2019. Chief Lemon has spent the last 10 years, of a 40 year career serving as the Fire Chief of Chelan Fire and Rescue.  

Commissioner Jones expressed his sincere appreciation for Chief Lemon’s experience, expertise, dedication and the professionalism that he brought to Chelan Fire and Rescue. “When you look around the department and community you can see the positive impacts that Chief Lemon has made.” said Jones. Improved response times, better trained and educated personnel, increased the number, type and safety of our fire apparatus, built two new fire stations in the outlying areas, improved WSRB fire classification throughout the district and has had a positive impact on all of the fire departments in Chelan Douglas County through his role as the President of the Chelan Douglas County Fire Chief and Commissioners Association for three years.

Chief Lemon has developed a strong professional and dedicated combination fire department that is appreciated by the community and recognized by the fire service community throughout the state. Under the direction of Chief Lemon, the department has earned numerous State Management of Excellence Awards, and has had CFR personnel recognized at the state level for their achievements. The District has brought in over $2.6 million dollars in grant funds under Chief Lemon’s direction.” I hope we will be able to find someone with his qualities, know-how and willingness to go the extra mile.” said Jones.

The department will start the process to find Chief Lemon’s successor later this year.

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – A unique partnership between the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sound Transit and Washington state-based credit unions will help underserved businesses participating in WSDOT’s Capacity Building Mentorship program with alternative financing options.

The mentorship program has been operating successfully since July 2018; however, access to capital continues to be a primary barrier to small businesses and those owned by minorities, veterans and women. Verity Credit Union, BECU and Harborstone Credit Union are making a total of $750,000 in loans available in support of Washington’s diverse business community. Business Impact NW will administer the loans to firms participating in the mentorship program.

“Washington state continues to lead the nation in support of its underserved entrepreneurs,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Ensuring these small businesses have contracting opportunities gives Washington government access to a wider array of business solutions and helps drive innovation. State partnerships with programs such as the Capacity Building Mentorship program supports these initiatives and strengthens our economy.”

“For many small, start-up businesses, getting financing for things such as equipment and other business needs can be a big hurdle, especially for new diverse firms,” said Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “We’re pleased that our local credit unions are stepping up to help these protégé businesses as they work to grow their capacity and experience.”

The Capacity Building Mentorship program pairs small, minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses with successful prime contractors and consultants. These mentors provide technical assistance and business advice to strengthen the protégés’ capacity to work with WSDOT and Sound Transit.  The mentorship program is part of WSDOT’s State Funded Contracts – Diversity Roadmap and one of the highlighted efforts of the Governor’s subcabinet on Business Diversity.

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The Manson School Board recently asked community members for nominations of Manson School District Staff Members who have made a significant contribution to the lives of students and/or the greater Manson community.

Aaron England, owner of England Chiropractic, parent and community member contacted the school district earlier this week and wanted to make a financial contribution to those staff members selected for this award. England Chiropractic will donate $500 to each recipient of the 2019 Blue and White Awards to use in their professional work.

Manson School District would like to thank Aaron for his generous donation and ongoing support of Manson Schools.

Nominations for this award are being accepted until March 18, 2019 at noon. You can submit one classified and one certificated staff member.   Winning nominees will be announced at the Manson School Board meeting on March 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Nominations forms are available online at the school district website www.manson.org, in both English and Spanish. If you should have any questions, please call the Manson School District office at 687-3140.

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On Monday, February 25th, Manson’s Knowledge Bowl team battled against a very tough pool of 2B competition at the North Central Washington Regional Knowledge Bowl Tournament held at Wenatchee High School.

The Manson team competed against four other 2B schools: Liberty Bell, Tonasket, Soap Lake, and Brewster. All of the schools were fighting for one of the three spots that would guarantee a berth to the 37th Annual Washington State Knowledge Bowl Tournament on Saturday, March 23rd at West Valley High School in Yakima, Washington.  Last year, Manson missed going to State by one point to Soap Lake.  This year was a different story.  During the oral rounds, they fought hard and easily defeated Brewster, Tonasket, and Soap Lake.  The toughest competition for Manson was the perennial juggernaut and State Contender Liberty Bell. By the end of the night, Manson (65 points) sent a clear message to Soap Lake (54 points) that they were not going away without the win and hardware.  With their drive and determination, Manson clearly took 2nd place. Liberty Bell achieved top honors, finishing the night with a whopping 116 points. 3rd place went to Soap Lake, Tonasket took 4th with 35 points, and Brewster finished the night with a 5th place finish and earned 26 points.

The six members representing Manson High School Knowledge Bowl team at State are: Tyler Charlton (Captain), Jose Pascasio (Co-Captain), Connor Torgesen, Louis Sanchez, Rowan Evig, and Cody Fitzpatrick.

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When you set your clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time, which is March 11 this year, it is a good time to review the safety checklist.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke AlarmsSmoke alarms save lives – if they are powered by a fresh battery. You should test them every month to make sure they work & replace the battery at least once a year according to the NFPA. If the alarm makes a “chirping” sound, replace it immediately.

Smoke alarms should be located in every bedroom & in the common areas on each floor of a home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, less than 12 inches from the ceiling & away from windows, doors & ducts.

Did you know smoke alarms can be interconnected wirelessly? That means, when one sounds, they all sound. A Consumer Product Safety Commission survey found this is the best way to notify everyone in a home if there is a fire.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide DetectorsCarbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas and it can kill you. Anything in the home that burns fuel can potentially become a source of carbon monoxide. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home. The safety tips for CO detectors mirror those of smoke alarms: change the batteries, test them and interconnect them, if possible. Also, make sure vents for your gas appliances (fireplace, dryer, stove and furnace) are free and clear of snow or debris.

Family Emergency Plan

Family Emergency PlanThe National Safety Council recommends every family have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. Spring is a great time to review that plan with family members to make sure they know what to do.

Have a home and car emergency kit. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says an emergency kit should include one gallon per day of water for each person, at least a three-day supply of food, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, filter mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, and medicines.

The emergency plan also should include:

  • A communications plan to outline how your family members will contact one another if they are not in the same place and where you should meet if it’s safe to go outside.
  • A shelter-in-place plan if outside air is contaminated; FEMA recommends sealing windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting
  • A getaway plan including various routes and destinations in different directions.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on February 22nd, 2019 the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer for the Cashmere School District, Deputy Mutch was advised by school staff of an online post threatening the safety of Cashmere High School. The post was made as a comment on someone else’s YouTube channel. It is believed person who posted the comment was 18 year old Gerardo Tovar-Medina of Wenatchee. The comment said “I was planning on shooting up the school”. Mr. Tovar has not attended Cashmere Schools for several years and never attended Cashmere High School.

The online comments alarmed several students and staff. All schools in the Cashmere School District were placed on a “lockout”. After hearing the incident was reported to law enforcement, Mr. Tovar called the school. He was transferred to Deputy Mutch who kept him on the phone while directing Deputies to his residence in Wenatchee. Mr. Tovar was detained and interviewed. He admitted to posting the comment on YouTube but said his intent was only to scare them.

Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives served a search warrant on Mr. Tovar’s residence. Several drawings and notes were located indicating Mr. Tovar had done research on past mass shootings. There was also indications Mr. Tovar was planning or had a desire to commit a mass shooting at Cashmere High School.

Mr. Tovar was booked into CCRJC for Threats to Bomb or Injure Property.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office takes threats to the safety seriously. The School Resource Officers throughout the county provide a necessary link to the Sheriff’s Office and provide a quick and reliable contact to address threats rapidly as was done in this incident.