Swakane Canyon rollover fatality
- Written by Jason Reinfeld, Chief of Special Operations, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on April 20th, 2020 at approximately 7:45 am, a rollover collision was reported in the area of Swakane Canyon. The reporting party, who has now been determined to be the passenger said the vehicle, a Toyota Tacoma had rolled over and was on top of the driver. The driver has been identified as 18 year old Meghann Dodge of East Wenatchee. The passenger told RiverCom Ms. Dodge was not breathing and eventually said she was unable to perform CPR due to her position underneath the truck.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and a Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer responded to the scene. They found Ms. Dodge deceased when they arrived. A CCSO collision investigator is investigating the collision with the assistance of a Washington State Patrol Detective for scene diagramming. So far the investigator has determined Ms. Dodge and her passenger drove from Cashmere up Nahahum Canyon Road and started down Swakane Canyon. When they were approximately 7.3 miles from highway 97A, the vehicle left the roadway at a low speed and rolled over on it’s top. Ms. Dodge was partially ejected and the vehicle came to a rest on top of her.
The investigator has not yet determined the cause of the collision. There were no other vehicles involved. The passenger was transported to CWH with minor injuries.
Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority receives over 800 applications for Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant funding
- Written by Sarah Deenik, Communications Coordinator/Finance Specialist, CDRP
The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority has been working with the Washington State Department of Commerce in administering the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program. This program was announced by Governor Inslee on March 18 to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID‐19 outbreak and the response to it. Funding is being provided through the use of $5.0 million from the Governors Strategic Reserve Fund.
Grant funding up to $10,000 per business will be provided to a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties. Applicants must have been in business for at least a year and have no more than 10 full‐time employees. Grant funds can be used for operating expenses including rent, supplies/inventory, utility bills, consulting, marketing, and training. Payroll cannot be reimbursed as part of the grant program.
The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority accepted and processed applications on behalf of the Department of Commerce. The Governor’s Office will make the final small business selections. The Regional Port was flooded with applications once the Department of Commerce website went live on April 7th.
To date, the Regional Port has received over 800 applications from small businesses in Chelan and Douglas Counties with grant requests exceeding $8.0 million. The Regional Port estimates $173,000 will be available for the two county area from the Governors Strategic Reserve Fund. With so many applications and very little money, the Regional Port has requested the maximum grant amount for Chelan and Douglas County small businesses be placed at $5,000 per business. This way more deserving businesses will receive some funding instead of none at all. Grants will be made available to approximately 34 businesses in lieu of 17. Grant award announcements are expected within the next three to four weeks.
The State also requested the Regional Port submit applications for “Aspirational State Funding” in case additional state and/or federal funds could be secured for the program. That amount for the two county region is estimated at $674,000.
Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority Board of Directors President Rory Turner said, “the demand for small business grants in our region has been overwhelming. The board of directors have asked our administrative team to look at other opportunities to secure funding for our impacted small businesses.”
The Regional Port is currently working with several local governmental agencies to determine if Community Development Block Grant funding can be used to assist small businesses impacted by COVID‐19.
Manson food service going strong
- Written by Janice Stewart
The Manson School district has been providing meals in the community for 25 days since the shutdown and has now served over 20,000 meals to kids in our community. A team of 20+ staff works to prepare and deliver meals throughout our community using our existing bus routes. Last week the staff and students took part in dress-up days to show our school spirit. For weekend meal service
THRIVE Chelan Valley is changing their weekend food support for students from a pick up process to a delivery model beginning May 1st. Families need to register by clicking the link below.
Additionally, an anonymous donor has donated $7,500 to the Manson Volunteer Firefighters Association for Manson families in need. Gift cards for use at Manson Bay Market in the amount of $100 will be mailed to 75 families that have had a financial loss due to the COVID 19 Virus
Missing person sought after major structure fire
- Written by Undersheriff Tyler I. Caille, DCSO
On 4-16-2020 at approximately 7:07 PM, Douglas County Deputies responded to assist with a commercial structure fire located in the 100 block of W. Locust Street, Waterville.
Douglas County Fire District #1 personnel were on-scene of the fire, which was reported as being fully involved upon arrival.
Fire District #1 personnel requested a second-alarm fire response which provided additional fire resources from both neighboring Chelan and Douglas County Fire Districts.
Washington State Patrol Troopers also responded to the scene and assisted with traffic control.
During the course of the fire containment, deputies learned one of the subjects reported to be at the location, prior to the start of the fire, is currently unaccounted for.
Douglas County Detectives are currently assisting the Douglas County Fire Marshal with the investigation of the fire and are working to locate the unaccounted subject.
Due to the compromised integrity of the building, US 2 will remain closed past the fire scene and WSDOT has established a detour route for motorists traveling through the Waterville area.
Guidelines on short term rentals and recreational vehicle use in Douglas County during COVID-19
- Written by Tiana Rowland
Effective April 14 2020, the Douglas County Commissioners are limiting the use of Short Term or Vacation Rentals and recreational vehicles until May 4, 2020 or until the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted.
The Douglas County Commissioners find that people coming to Douglas County for recreational purposes avoiding the COVID-19 emergency directive and recommendations in other communities are negatively impacting the public health, safety, and welfare in Douglas County. Additionally, these actions are negligent in complying with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1 by not staying home. An influx of people living in recreational and other vehicles, as well as short term and vacation rentals, creates traffic, sanitation hazards, trespass, and other public safety problems further exhausting law enforcement and first responder resources.
The Douglas County Commissioners are directing all use of recreational vehicles for camping, sleeping or occupancy to cease unless occurring on owner’s own property. Furthermore, all short term/vacation rentals are hereby directed to close, whether compensated or not.
The Douglas County Commissioners are committed to the health and safety of their community and as such strive to ensure the continued operability of all emergency services. The Board believes that limiting the influx of visitor during this emergency will help reduce the strain on community resources and protect Douglas County.
Chelan Fire and Rescue welcomes seasonal firefighters
- Written by Mark R. Donnell, Fire Chief, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Firefighter/EMT Stephanie Preheim and Firefighter/EMT Mitchell Matthews will be joining the Chelan Fire & Rescue Team as seasonal firefighters for the 2020 Fire Season.
The addition of these two seasonal employees will give our community the additional staffing needed to accommodate the seasonal call volume increase during our daily peak operating periods.
Both Stephanie and Mitch are active members within the Chelan Fire & Rescue organization and have been filling available stipend shifts working as a third firefighter over the past several months.
Stephanie and Mitchell also have their IFSAC Firefighter I/II and Hazmat Operations and Wildland Firefighter Type 1 or 2 certifications in addition to being credentialed Washington State Emergency Medical Technicians. These are nationally recognized certifications which are added benefits to the organization and the community we serve.
The seasonal firefighter positions are being funded within our 2020 budget using funds that were allocated for our current firefighter stipend program.
The seasonal firefighters will start May 1st and complement our daily staffing working alongside our career and volunteer members in providing service to the community. Welcome Aboard Firefighters Preheim and Matthews!
Cascadia Conservation District offers free on-site chipping of branches
- Written by Amanda (Levesque) Newell, Education & Outreach Specialist, Cascadia Conservation District
Spring is a great time to get work done around your property, including wildfire preparedness. Consider using our spring chipping program instead of burning debris piles.
Burning your piles can lead to air quality issues and is a safety concern if fires were to get out of control.
Registration is open for our chipping program until May 1 here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GKTNND9.
Chipping will take place in late May. You don’t need to leave your property, just stack your branches on the street or driveway and our contract chipping crew will take care of it!
Chelan County amended COVID-19 response resolution clarifies rules and fines
- Written by Gregory Kennedy
The Chelan County Board of Commissioners have released a new resolution in response to questions from citizens who stated they were not clear about declarations stated in Resolution 2020-38.
Summary of the April 9, 2020 Leadership Response Team conference call
- Written by Mark Donnell, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Summary of the April 9, 2020 Leadership Response Team Conference Call
Submitted by: Mark Donnell, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Kent Sisson, Chelan-Douglas Regional EOC: Kent restated continued frustration from inability to obtain PPE (personal protective equipment) through the State due to changing guidelines and lack of coordination. Chelan county did receive needed ventilators and were able to return 40 back to the state due to lower-than-expected patient counts. Kent stated that he believed our latest PPE order might bring in some needed PPE but that long-term care facilities have been moved into the Tier 1 category which will impact the EOC’s ability to distribute surgical masks which are in low supply numbers.
Kent stated that the Sheriff’s Office was working with property owners regarding the recent declaration from the Chelan County Commissioners regarding vacation rentals and using education strategies before implementing enforcement.
Kent reinforced the need for the community to keep our focus on social distancing and the need for all essential services to focus on those infection control measures as it appears to be having a positive effect in controlling this current outbreak.
Barry Kling, Chelan-Douglas Health District: Answered questions regarding the number of patients testing positive in the Chelan/Manson area and referred to current information posted on the Chelan-Douglas Health District website: https://cdhd.wa.gov/covid-19/#case-count.
Barry was also asked about the drive-through testing process in place at Confluence Health and whether or not patients tested were given instructions about self-isolation until test results were returned. He was able to get an answer from Confluence during the conference call and it was affirmed that patient instructions were being given for those being tested.
Barry also offered to work with Kristi Morris form Columbia Valley Community Health to reach out to the Okanogan County Health District to assist in infection control measures to packing facilities in Okanogan County.
Barry reiterated that even with all of the news coming from Washington State that we may be at or near the top of the infection curve, it is extremely important to keep our social distancing processes in place for our area, as the eastern part of the state is about 1 to 2 weeks behind the curve for the Puget Sound. We need to keep sending the message out to our community about staying home, maintaining social distancing, and practicing effective infection control as these things appear to be working.
Chris Foreman, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office: Reiterated that patrol officers are working more towards educating the public regarding essential businesses and the vacation rental declaration rather than enforcement. Chelan County Sheriff has a dedicated number 509-667-6985 for the community to report violators with one deputy assigned to this task
Kristi Morris, Columbia Valley Community Health: Stated that they currently have 5 patients who have tested positive and 9 patients with results pending.
Kari Grover-Weir, USFS: USFS is starting to staff up for the upcoming fire season while working within the confinements mandated with social distancing. Mike Asher (CCFD #8 – Entiat) inquired whether or not the USFS was moving towards an earlier implementation of the seasonal burn ban similar to those released today by DNR. No decision is in place at this time.
Mike Steele, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce: Gave updates from the business community in regards to unemployment benefits and the business community grant program. Currently over 200 businesses in Chelan County have applied with participation from business owners in the Chelan and Manson communities. Mike also stated that many in the business community are concerned about the recovery of business in our area and the possibility of what social distancing might need to be implemented when this current situation is over.
Mike gave an update on residential construction being an essential service and what the definition and guidelines for this would look like. There are a number of municipalities and counties looking at reviewing this issue and making recommendations for changing the current designation.
Mike also recommended adding the CEO from Chelan Fruit to the Leadership Response Team as a resource for working with the growers in the area, for purposes of educating and enforcing social distancing and infection control measures to safeguard worker health.
Debbie Conwell, Manson Chamber of Commerce: Gave a brief update on the community support program for Manson.
Bob Goedde, City of Chelan: City of Chelan and its citizens must follow this directive the Chelan County Declaration on short term rentals as we are in Chelan County and fall under their jurisdiction on this issue. The city is also seeking clarification on owners of second homes and where to shelter in place. There have been concerns from the community that people who own second homes are travelling back and forth and not sheltering in place as is the intent of the current stay-at-home policy
Mike Asher, Chelan County Fire District 8 (Entiat): CCFD # 8 has sufficient stock of PPE to handle current call volumes. Is concerned about the impact that current social distancing will have on partner agencies’ ability to respond for a potential busier-than-normal fire season. Fire Chief Mark Donnell spoke to the conversation he had with Bob Plumb (Chelan County Fire Marshal) about the possibility of starting the burn ban earlier this year (May 1st). Mr. Plumb indicated that he was working with the county commissioners and fire chiefs in coordination with the County Director of Community Development to put this in place.
Brandon Asher, Chelan Fire & Rescue: Updated team on recently implemented infection control measures put in place at Station 71. PPE stock is sufficient although disposable gowns and surgical masks are at critical lows. EMS call numbers for March are down but CF&R has had 19 fire or fire-related events since March 1st. All predictions are that we will be experiencing a busier-than-normal fire season.