- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
UPDATE: The pilots were found deceased at the scene of the crash. They were identified as 48 year old Eric Sarchet of Everett, WA and 70 year old Bonnie Wallace of Central Point, OR. Next of kin have been notified. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.
On 07/01/17 at 1930 hours the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an overdue aircraft which had left the Chelan airport at 0630 hrs. It was thought the aircraft, with two occupants on board, was heading towards north Douglas County or Okanogan County.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office deployed it’s helicopter to search for the aircraft with no success. CCSO renewed its search on 07/02/17 using coordinates from one of the occupants last cell phone signals. At approximately 1030 hrs. CCSO located the wreckage on Windsor Hill about one mile downstream from Wells Dam in Douglas County.
At the time of this report, Douglas County deputies are attempting to reach the wreckage, but the terrain is extremely treacherous. The aircraft is a Northwing ultra-light tandem (two seat) model with a 80 hp engine (northwing.com).
The Douglas and Chelan County Sheriff’s Offices are working closely to get to the scene to determine the fate of the pilots. The names of the pilots are not being disclosed at this time.
- Written by Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation
The Trees are Loaded!
After a long and snowy winter, the Orchard has burst forth in an incredible bloom and a heavy set of fruit!
Warm apple pies, an abundance of applesauce, amazing cider, and the tantalizing taste of the historic Common Delicious, Rome Beauties, and Winesaps will be greatly limited if we don't do our work now.
To ensure an abundant and quality crop, apples must be thinned in June and July. This labor-intensive work involves removing an excess of apples, breaking up clusters, spacing, and eliminating already damaged young apples. (See Field Notes below) The Buckner Orchard is naturally organic and sprays are not used for this purpose as with commercial orchards elsewhere.
With an overabundant set and our June work party limited by weather and other factors, it is important to get out there now, while the apples remain small. Those trees within the two fenced areas are in need of thinning; those not fenced will be stripped of all apples, as they are each year, so as to prevent bear damage to the historic trees.
- Experienced Thinners - If you have thinned at the Orchard previously, you know what to do, and can do so at your convenience. Remember to leave the stems!
- Novice Thinners - Laurie will be returning to the Orchard on July 1. Check in with her as to the how and where.
Your help is needed if we are to enjoy the "fruits of our labor" in the fall!
Benefits - There are a number of benefits to thinning apples.
- Once you thin the apples, the remaining fruit have more space to grow, so you get bigger apples. And, with smaller apples, the core is a larger proportion of the apple.
- More space leads to more air circulation and sunlight, which in turn leads to better fruit flavor and color.
- A common reason for fruit rot on the tree is because the fruits are touching each other closely. The decay occurs where they touch, because the skin couldn't breathe. Thinning reduces the chances of this occurring.
- Less chance of damage to the tree due to overburdened, broken limbs.
- Since the tree can now support the smaller number of fruits, it is not overburdened with supplying nutrition to the fruits.
- An over-production of apples one year can negatively impact the production of fruit the following year in some varieties.
How to Thin - Clicking on the Common Delicious photo below, you can view a very good, short video on how to thin. Though the video does focus on a specific variety of apple, the principles are the same.
- Written by Sheriff Brian Burnett
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on June 30th, 2017 at approximately 1754 hours, deputies responded to a death investigation on Harris Avenue in Manson. Deputies arrived and located 56 year old Maria Ocampo, a Manson resident deceased. A male subject who was on scene identified as 25 year old Rafael Ocampo from Manson was detained and interviewed. He was booked into the Chelan County Regional Jail for the charge of Murder in the 1st Degree and for violating a no contact order.
Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detective Unit are at the address processing the scene. The investigation is on going and more information will be released at a later date. Per Chief Deputy Coroner Earl Crowe, an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday July 5th in the afternoon.
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 06/26/17 at approximately 2:52 PM Douglas County Firefighters responded to a fire burning approximately six miles north of Hwy. 28 on Palisades Road.
Responders found that approximately five fires were started from lightning strikes. Terrain made them difficult if not impossible to access.
Douglas County Deputies and auxiliary members served Level I evacuation notices to about 25 homes. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office mobile command post remains staffed and on scene.
The fire has been burning between MP 4 and MP 8 on Palisades Rd. The size of the fire has not been speculated on as of yet.
There have not been any reports of injury or property damage up to this point. Wind has made fighting the fires difficult.
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
Updated Release 06/25/2017
On Sunday June 25, 2017 at approximately 11:30am, a team of Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members and a Chelan County SAR Deputy recovered the body of Benjamin Gore (19yoa) from Aasgard Pass. Gore disappeared into a crevasse on June 4th while glissading down Aasgard Pass. Initial attempts to locate Gore were unsuccessful due to the snow depth and fast running water. The body has been turned over to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office and the family has been notified.
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
On Thursday June 22, 2017 at approximately 1230hrs, RIVERCOM dispatch received a report of an overdue person in the Chelan area. The caller advised that her son was camping somewhere in the Chelan area and they hadn’t heard from him in two days. The caller also advised that the subject’s two dogs had been located by a hiker on the north side of Chelan Butte but her son was not with them.
The subject was identified as Johnathan M. Taylor (31yoa) of Mount Vernon, WA.
A Chelan County Deputy responded to Chelan Butte and located the subject’s vehicle abandoned at the top of Chelan Butte. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate Taylor. A Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was called in to assist in the search but was also unable to locate Taylor.
On Friday morning, Chelan County Search and Rescue deputies and members of Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue began an extensive ground search of the area. At approximately 1430hrs, searchers located Taylor deceased at the bottom of a steep embankment on the south side of Chelan Butte. It is not known what caused Taylor to fall.
Next of kin has been notified.
- Written by Jan Brincat, Assistant to Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSD
On 6/20/17 at approximately 3:22 pm Chelan County Marine Deputies responded to calls of a possible drowning in the area known as “Three Fingers” on Lake Chelan, within the Chelan City limits. Upon further investigation it was learned that a group had rented a boat and were swimming off the back of the boat towards the middle of the lake in approximately 30-40 feet of water.
While swimming one individual from the group started experiencing difficulties. Others from the group attempted to throw him a personal flotation device but were unsuccessful before the he sank beneath the surface. The group of friends was unable to locate the distressed swimmer.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office responded with multiple vessels along with the aid of rescue swimmers from Chelan Fire, but were unable to locate the missing swimmer who has been identified as 23 year old Donghoon Lee of Seattle. Donghoon was on break from attending the University of Washington on a Student Visa from South Korea. Rescue workers continued to work into the evening but were unsuccessful in locating Donghoon who is presumed to have drowned.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office staff were able to work with staff from the South Korean Consulate and make the emergency notification to Donghoon’ s family.
Search and recovery efforts are scheduled to continue at 10:00 am on Wednesday, June 21. Equipment and personnel include three vessels from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division, two divers from Chelan County, and seven to eight volunteer divers from Steven’s County along with underwater camera equipment from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would use this time as a reminder to stay educated on water safety in order for everyone to have a safe and healthy summer while visiting Chelan County.
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – 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.
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
Valley residents of Douglas County have been the victims of a string of burglaries during the past week.
On 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.