*** UPDATE JUNE 23rd, 2023 2:00 PM ***
Sheriff Mike Morrison reports the body of Yun Park, a 66-year-old male from Palisades Park New Jersey was recovered near the base of Colchuck Peak. Park was one of three climbers who was killed by an avalanche while attempting to climb Colchuck Peak on February 19th, 2023.
A hiker located Mr. Park’s body on the afternoon of June 22nd. She reported the find to Chelan County Sheriff’s Office during the evening of June 22nd. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Rescue Team was contacted for a hoist capable helicopter and accepted the mission. Snohomish HRT responded in the morning of June 23rd and recovered Mr. Park’s body at approximately 11:15 am. The body was turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s office.
Mr. Park was the last of the three climbers to be recovered. All of the members of the climbing group have now been recovered.
*** UPDATE MAY 30th, 2023 10:30 AM ***
Sheriff Mike Morrison reports on May 29th, 2023 the body of Jeannie Lee, a 60-year-old Climber from Bayside, New York was recovered from the base of Colchuck Peak. Lee was killed in an avalanche on Sunday February 19th along with two other climbers (see original release below). A Chelan County Mountain Rescue volunteer was in the area on a personal trip when he located Lee’s body. Snow has melted significantly with the warm weather recently. He hiked to the top of Colchuck Glacier where he made a call to RiverCom dispatch.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office was notified and deployed the CCSO helicopter. Two additional Chelan County Mountain Rescue volunteers were transported to the scene to assist with the recovery. Lee’s body was transported to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery at approximately 4:30 pm and turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office. The rescuers did not locate the
additional missing climber, Yun Park of Palisades Park New Jersey.
Conditions still are not safe to conduct a thorough search of the area.
# # #
Sheriff Mike Morrison reports on February 20th, 2023 Deputies were contacted at the CCSO Leavenworth substation about an avalanche that occurred near Colchuck Lake the previous day. The reporting party, a 53-year-old Maryland man reported the group he was with had attempted to climb Colchuck Peak on Sunday February 19th. There were six climbers in that group and the reporting party had stayed at their base camp that day. The lead climber triggered an avalanche while attempting to climb the Northeast Couloir of Colchuck Peak. Four of the climbers were swept down the couloir approximately 500 feet.
Three of the climbers died as a result of trauma sustained in the fall. They were a 60-year-old female from New York, a 66-year-old male from New Jersey, and a 53-year-old male from Connecticut. The fourth climber, a 56 year old male form New York sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was able to hike back to base camp with the remaining two. They were a 50-year-old male from New York and a 36-year-old male from New Jersey. When they arrived at camp, they sent the reporting party for help.
When Deputies took the report, A SAR coordinator started gathering resources. A total of 22 rescuers responded to the trailhead to assist with this effort. They were from Chelan County Mounty Rescue, Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue and ORV unit, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, and Yakima Mountain Rescue. A group of four from Chelan County Mountain Rescue responded to the lake driven part of the way by the CCVSAR ORV unit. They reached the base camp at approximately 1:30 pm. They were able to determine avalanche conditions were too hazardous to continue to the deceased climbers. They escorted the surviving climbers back to the trailhead.
Rescuers were not sent back in to the scene today due to hazardous conditions. CCSO continues to work with Northwest Avalanche Center to assist in a recover plan.
Colchuck Peak sits at the South end of Colchuck Lake approximately 8 miles South of Leavenworth, WA.
On 06/20/23 at around 5:45 pm, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to Rock Island WA, to a report of a missing person. Margaret Ann Tilley reported her 25-year-old autistic son, Jesse Robert Cadenas, was last seen at their home in Rock Island, on 06/19/23 at around 10 pm when she went to bed. The family noticed he was not at home at 8 am on 06/20/23. It is believed Jesse left on his charcoal gray GIANT mountain bicycle, however, he left his cell phone and wallet at home. Jesse has been described as verbal but reluctant to speak to strangers.
Since Jesse was reported missing the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, and local Search and Rescue volunteers have conducted searches in the city of Rock Island and the surrounding areas. This includes utilizing FLIR thermal cameras, and drones, in vehicles and on foot. Additional searches were conducted along the Apple Capital Recreational Loop
Trail and the shoreline of the Columbia River with the Chelan County Marine Patrol.
The Chelan County PUD has reviewed their Loop Trail camera system and their parks employees have been provided flyers of Jesse. Local Rock Island residences and businesses have been checking their security camera systems for Jesse. LINK bus drivers have been provided flyers and are providing assistance. Detectives have also met with Jesse’s family to review any
information that can help find him.
While we continue to search for Jesse, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance. If you have information about Jesse please contact RiverCom Dispatch at (509) 663-9911.
The public can comment on proposed fare increases through July 30
OLYMPA – The Washington State Transportation Commission has released its proposal to increase ferry fares over the next two years to meet revenue requirements set by the Legislature. Ferry riders and members of the public are invited to weigh in and can submit their comments through July 30.
The proposed fare changes are informed by significant public input gathered through recent community meetings hosted by Washington State Ferries and an online survey hosted by the commission. The proposed fare increase must raise $418.6 million in operating revenue between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2025, as required in the recently enacted two-year transportation budget for ferry operations.
The commission’s proposal is based upon a recommendation from WSF leadership and supported by the Ferry Advisory Committee on Tariff.
The fare proposal would:
Comments on the commission’s ferry fare proposal can be made through Friday, July 30, by email to
The commission will hold its final hearing on this issue at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 10, at the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Board Room, 1011 Western Ave., Suite 500, Seattle. The commission is expected to vote on the final fare proposal at this hearing. Public comment will be accepted at the hearing, and virtual attendance will be available. To learn more about the ferry fare-setting process, visit the commission’s website at wstc.wa.gov.
OLYMPIA – June 22, 2023 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) asks everyone who is planning a Fourth of July celebration at a park or on the beach to be safe and protect their friends, neighbors, public lands and wildlife.
Parks sees a dramatic increase in visitation during Independence Day celebrations, particularly on its beaches. The increase in traffic also increases the amount of trash left behind. Last year, volunteers collected more than 35,000 pounds of garbage from ocean beaches during Parks’ annual July 5 beach cleanup. That’s equivalent to the combined weight of four adult orca whales.
To reduce the amount of trash left behind, it is important that visitors plan ahead, follow all beach safety rules and pack out everything they pack in. Any litter left behind on the beach threatens the safety and future of beach wildlife and can be unsafe for people and pets.
Consuming or getting entangled in pieces of trash can disrupt an animal’s ability to hunt, escape predators or provide for their young. Trash also threatens the safety of pets who are at risk of hurting themselves or ingesting it. High tides the night of July 4 to the morning of July 5 can cause litter to wash out into the ocean, harming marine animals as well.
Given the threat that trash poses to everyone on the beach, it is crucial for everyone to do their part and pick up all their trash.
Parks beach safety rules
Fireworks are illegal on all state park lands, including the beaches in front of state parks. Discharging fireworks on state park lands can result in a $99 ticket.
Although it is legal to drive onto some areas of the beach, where allowed, all rules of the road apply. Due to increased traffic and people on the beach during holiday weekends, drivers are encouraged to be hyper-vigilant, drive slowly and watch out for children and pets.
Visitors should be mindful and stay out of areas on the beach designated to protect wildlife and marine habitat. Additionally, campfires must be at least 100 feet from the dunes, no more than four feet in diameter and no more than four feet high. No fires are allowed on any shellfish beds.
July 4 & 5 beach cleanup
In partnership with Washington CoastSavers, Parks puts on three beach cleanup volunteer events a year, including a cleanup on July 4 and 5. Visit CoastSavers.org to view a list of participating beaches and where to check in on the day of the event. Pre-registration is not necessary – just show up and help.
Volunteers should dress for variable weather conditions, wear sturdy footwear and pack a lunch with plenty of water. Upon check-in, participants will receive supplies to help them pick up debris; however, volunteers are encouraged to bring reusable gloves. The check-in station also serves as the dumpster location for marine debris after collection.
Honoring fallen CCSO Deputy Saul Gallegos with the 18th and final Memorial Run.
June 26th 2003 at 1813 hours, an unidentified voice transmitted across Deputy Gallegos’ radio, “Officer Down.” A witness watched Deputy Gallegos physically struggle with a suspect who he had stopped for driving with a suspended license. The suspect was able to disarm Deputy Gallegos and end his life. The suspect then left the scene, armed with his handgun, fleeing to avoid capture. The witness went to help Saul and used his radio to expedite resources.
What transpired over the next 4 days would be one of the largest manhunts Chelan County has ever seen.
Saul had joined the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office on January 1st, 2003 after serving the citizens of the City of Chelan for over 8 years. He was a decorated Officer with the City of Chelan as he had been honored with Officer of the Year, promoted to Patrol Corporal, recognized as Citizen of the Year, received a Life Saving award, and accumulated multiple Letters of Commendation. Saul also received multiple Army Achievement Awards as he served his country as an Army Reserve for 6 years.
It was an easy transition for Saul to start with the Sheriff’s Office as he was stationed in the Chelan area. Saul had already established himself as an extremely competent Law Enforcement Official and established a family in the community.
Saul talked about his family with pride. He was the Father of 4 young boys and the husband to a wonderful wife. He talked about the challenges of raising 4 kids, but was excited to share stories about them. Saul started to remodel his home shortly after transferring to the Sheriff’s Office – it was a job he would not finish.
The night of his death, the surrounding Law Enforcement Community began searching for the suspect. Outside agencies flooded the region with help. The local community had heard of the horrific news and tips started to pour into dispatch. The suspect had been identified quickly and a multi-agency task force was closing in on him. On June 30th, the search led to Connell, WA where the suspect was taken into custody.
After an incredible memorial service at Chelan High School, that included more than 1,600 officers from around the world, Saul was transported back home to Mexico and laid to rest. The suspect would later be sentenced to life in prison. There was a huge void within the Chelan community knowing that Saul’s wife was left raising 4 young boys. While the family was grieving the loss of her husband out of the country, a community effort started at the Gallegos house. With the help of the Lake Chelan Building Supply, a full addition and remodel took place at the family home. For the next few months, hours of volunteer help constructed more bedrooms, bathrooms, a family room, and finished the remodel that Saul had started. It was amazing to watch the community support the Gallegos Family.
When the family returned home, the community stood outside the newly remodeled house to welcome them home. In 2005 members of the Sheriff’s Office, with the help of the community, started the Saul Gallegos Memorial Run. The intent was to raise money for a college fund for Saul’s children and to remember what a great person, husband, and father that Saul was. This year, 2023, marks the last year of the run. Saul’s children continue to lead very successful lives, lives that would make Saul extremely proud of the person each of them has become.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is honored to have had Saul serve in his capacity as a Sheriff’s Deputy and we are very grateful for the sacrifices and support his family has made throughout their lives. In honor of Saul, CCSO retired his radio number, K20, to forever hold his place with the Office.
In order to honor Saul, we invite and encourage the community to sign up, donate, and participate in celebrating and honoring Saul at the final Deputy Saul Gallegos Memorial Run. The run will be held on Saturday June 24, 2023 at 8 am at Singleton Park in Manson, WA.
The Regional Port Authority (CDRPA) is conducting a feasibility study to determine the potential interest of building a regional sports complex in the area. In June, consulting firm BerryDunn held several stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and two community open houses to gather input on community needs and ideas for a future facility.
“Around 200 people attended one of these opportunities to provide feedback on a regional sportsplex. It was great to see so many diverse interests from court sports like tennis to basketball, field sports such as soccer and futsal, and water sports and activities like competitive swimming and therapy aquatics. Our communities are passionate about sports!” said East Wenatchee Mayor and Regional Sportsplex Committee chair, Jerrilea Crawford.
While BerryDunn explores the region’s current facilities, they continue to request feedback and ideas from the community and invite residents to participate in an online “social pinpoint” forum. The online information gathering allows participants to comment on current facilities and to post suggestions on an “idea wall”. The online public interest survey is part of phase 1 and will continue through September.
The online survey can be found on the Regional Port Authority’s website: https://www.cdrpa.org/regional-sports-complex or at https://berrydunn.mysocialpinpoint.com/chelan-douglas-regional-sports-complex
After completing all phases of their analysis to include existing facility conditions, market analysis, economic impact, and facility options, programs, and capital costs, BerryDunn will present their findings to the Wenatchee Valley in early February.
The Manson School Board of Directors will be holding a Special Board Meeting on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. until 8: 45p.m in the Manson School District for the purpose of taking part in superintendent finalist activities.
They will hold an executive session from 3:30p.m. until 6:30p.m. for the purpose of evaluating the qualification of candidates for employment.
No Action will be taken.
JC Baldwin will begin her term on the seven-member board on July 1
OYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Janet “JC” Baldwin of Wenatchee to fill an open seat on the Washington State Transportation Commission. Baldwin is a small business owner and longtime elected port commissioner, serving on the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority since 2005.
Baldwin, whose six-year term starts on July 1, brings to the commission the expertise of working in the tech sector as chief executive officer and co-founder of GTC Technical Support in Wenatchee. In addition to her experience as a business owner and elected official, Baldwin brings to the commission extensive experience in the areas of public infrastructure and economic development, amassed from service on a range of boards including the state Community Aviation Revitalization Board, the state Public Works Board and the Washington Public Ports Association Executive Committee.
Baldwin said her service with the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority, combined with the other roles she has served in, gives her a unique perspective and valuable insights that will support the development of statewide transportation policy. Among its responsibilities, the commission advises the state Legislature and the governor on transportation policy matters. This summer, it will begin the work of updating the Washington State Transportation Plan, an endeavor taken on every four years.
“Ports serve a critical role in our state’s economy, and the linkage between transportation and ports is undeniable,” Baldwin said. “An efficient and accessible transportation system is vital to enabling the movement of freight and goods in and out of ports and will be a priority of mine as I work with my fellow commissioners in authoring the update of our state’s 20-year transportation plan.”
The commission also serves as the state tolling authority, setting toll rates and ferry fares, and provides annual guidance to lawmakers on statewide funding and fiscal matters.
“I look forward to supporting the advancement of viable approaches to creating long-term, sustainable funding for transportation so that our entire statewide system is able to carry our state into the future and meet the diversified needs of our citizens,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin replaces Commissioner Jerry Litt of Grant County, who served two terms on the commission for a total of 12 years. She will be one of three commissioners appointed from east of the Cascade Mountains. The other four are from the west of the mountains, per requirements in state law.
(This article may contain biased opinion)
Wenatchee Petroleum of Wenatchee, WA is seeking a permit to install two 30,000-gallon propane storage tanks at 20 Chestnut Street, Chelan Falls. The property in quesƟon, while zoned industrial, is a narrow (330 foot) strip situated at the confluence of the Chelan and Columbia Rivers and is approximately 500 feet from an established residential neighborhood.
The sliver of property is also sandwiched between two beloved Chelan PUD parks, Powerhouse and Chelan Falls. The parks feature picnic areas and shelters, tennis courts, soccer fields, swimming areas, a children’s play structure, a boat launch, and basketball courts. They are frequented by picnicking families, soccer teams, parents and children, dog owners exercising their canine companions, and numerous waterfowl. The beaches are sometimes used by local churches to conduct baptisms. A prized fishing hole is located approximately 300 feet from the property on which the propane tanks would be located. The children’s play structure in Chelan Falls Park is less than 700 feet away.
While propane is non-toxic, according to Dr. Brian Paterson, PhD, the risk to the adjacent properties and those who live in or frequent them is from the potential of an explosion. While a rare occurrence, an explosion in this particular area could have devastating consequences. According to Dr. Paterson, because of the proximity of residences and persons visiting the two parks, “this is a terrible location for such an operation.”
The official public comment period on this proposal is closed. Nonetheless, if you wish to express your concerns, or otherwise comment, please contact the Chelan County Community Development Department:
While a public hearing will be held, it has not yet been scheduled.