Columbia River Drug Task Force asks for outside review of evidence handling in recent investigation
- Written by Jan Brincat, Assistant to Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSO
(Wenatchee) --- The executive board of the Columbia River Drug Task Force has asked for an outside law enforcement review of possible errors in handling evidence related to a recent seizure of cocaine, firearms and cash.
Board chair and Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett has asked the Thurston County Sheriff’s office to handle the investigation to allow for maximum transparency in determining how policies and procedures may not have been followed in accounting for cash seized as a result of the raid earlier in April.
Ten law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation where drugs, firearms and cash were taken into evidence from two locations in the Wenatchee area and two men were arrested on April 3. The original accounting of cash received was thought to have been more than $80,000 but evidence packaged was found to be closer to $68,000.
“If policies and procedures were not followed during the processing of the scene, it is extremely important we find and correct those types of errors as soon as possible,” Burnett said. It is common for law enforcement agencies to ask other departments who were not involved to conduct the investigations.
During the investigation, Sheriff Burnett and other agencies involved will not have comment on the case and will await the final recommendations and findings from Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. No date for completion of the investigation has been established.
The initial investigation and arrests were the result of months-long planning and removed a lot of illegal drugs from possible distribution to the community. The Columbia River Drug Task Force is comprised of detectives from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department and Washington State Patrol. They were assisted by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Homeland Security, Grant County INET Drug Task Force and Chelan County Public Works.
420 Impaired Driving High Visibility Enforcement
- Written by Chief Jason Reinfeld, CCSO
Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan County-Extra patrols will be out statewide on Saturday, April 20, 2019. The patrols will be looking for drunk and other drugged drivers, but will enforce all traffic laws.
While the extra patrols will increase the likelihood that someone driving impaired will be arrested and prosecuted, the goal is not to apprehend impaired drivers but to prevent people from driving impaired in the first place.
The warmer weather brings increased travel for vacations, parties, and other gatherings with family and friends. These gatherings often involve alcohol and/or other drugs. As a result, the season also brings an increased number of drivers who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs on our road.
Whether you smoke, eat, vape or dab marijuana this may lead you to becoming impaired and therefore not able to operate a motor vehicle safely. A person may experience more impairment when they mix marijuana with any other drug including alcohol.
When you’re drunk or high, you have big ideas, but not necessarily good ideas. Driving impaired is dangerous which is why most Washingtonians don’t do it or approve of it. Be prepared, be safe and don’t drive drunk or high. Plan ahead and if you see someone impaired, it’s ok to intervene.
Driving a motor vehicle is probably the biggest responsibility we have every day. Most drivers on our roads do the right thing. Most drivers are sober, wear a seat belt and drive within the safe speed limits. We want to thank those responsible drivers and ask that everyone works together to keep your friends and family from driving after consuming any type of drug.
Skier rescue near Colchuck Lake
- Written by Sgt. Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 29 year old back country skier was rescued Sunday afternoon after being swept off her skis during a snow slide in the area above of Colchuck Lake.
Shanna Hovertsen of Seattle was skiing with friends at around 1:15pm when a small avalanche caused her to tumble down the slope twisting both of her knees. She was assisted by the other three subjects in the group and escorted to a campsite near Colchuck Lake.
Hovertsen could not hike out under her own power. One of the subjects used an inReach satellite communication device to text a request for assistance to the International Emergency Rescue Communication Center in Texas. The message was relayed to the Washington State Emergency Management communication center at Camp Murray, and then to RIVERCOM dispatch.
A Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew was launched from Wenatchee. The helicopter was able to land near the patient.
Hovertsen was flown to the National Fish Hatchery landing pad near Leavenworth by 4:40pm where an ambulance was waiting to transport her to Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth.
Hovertsen is in stable condition.
Tacoma man drowns in Lake Chelan
- Written by Sgt Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 36 year old male drowned in Lake Chelan on Saturday afternoon (04/13/2019) when an inflatable kayak he and another subject were in flipped over. Both subjects were ejected into the cold water. The incident occurred north of the dock area at Lake Chelan State Park.
At 2:49pm, RIVERCOM 911 dispatch began receiving calls reference the two subjects in the water. One of the males had not surfaced. Several boaters who were participating in a fishing derby in the area began actively looking for the missing subject. State Park Rangers, Sheriff’s Deputies (with a marine vessel), Chelan County Fire District #7 (with rescue swimmers) and Lake Chelan EMS responded to assist in the search.
It was determined that Bonventure Gitau 36 years of age of Tacoma, WA had not been wearing a personal floatation device when the two-person inflatable kayak he was in with his friend capsized. Gitau was seen momentarily in the water by witnesses but then disappeared under the surface. His friend, Jackson Njaru 31years if age of Puyallup, WA, made it to a nearby boat and was pulled from the water in fair condition.
Just prior to 4:00pm, Gitau’s body was spotted on the bottom of the lake at a depth of about 30 feet. A diver from Fire District #7 made the recovery. The body was released to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone planning to recreate in lakes and rivers this season, to please utilize personal floatation devices when in any type of vessel.
Manson School District 2019 Dia Del Niño / cultural celebration April 30
- Written by Janice Stewart
All student, staff, parents and community members are invited to join the Manson School District at its cultural celebration on Tuesday, April 30 from 5-8:00 p.m. at Manson High School. Dinner will be served throughout the evening beginning at 5pm.
In conjunction with our annual districtwide Dia del Niño celebration, we invite you to join us in the celebration of our children and embracing cultures from 15 different countries. Many interactive activities will be available for you to participate in. Here is just a sample of what you can do:
Family Photo Booth – for family pictures (free of charge)
Sample homemade food from around the world
Learn how to play games from other countries
Participate in a “World Cup” soccer match on the football field
Hear about student DNA results.
You may also enjoy listening to songs and watch dances being performed by our elementary students from the Swedish Maypole dance to an Irish Folk dance.
This community-wide family event is open to anyone who wants to have some fun and learn about other cultures. Please join us!
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 4-11-19
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi Street, Bumgarner Building, April 11, 2019, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Additions and Deletions
IV. Public Comment
V. Approval of Minutes
a. March 14, 2019 Special meeting minutes
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Leffler Field
b. Director’s Report
Next Regular Meeting: May 9, 2019 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831
Support the Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation
- Written by Herb Sargo
R E M I N D E R
It's never too late if you haven't already helped!
BUCKNER HOMESTEAD HERITAGE FOUNDATION MEMBERSHIPS 2019
Supporting the Orchard - it's Personal
Each time I sit down to find creative ways to encourage each of you to support the historic Buckner Orchard through donations, memberships, and volunteer work, I find it easy to list a variety of reasons why you should be a part of what we do.
In my reflections this year, I've come to the realization that support for the Orchard truly is personal.
For me, its easy; Harry Buckner was my grandfather and we lived in the Buzzard Cabin until I was six. I spent many summers there, including five summers during my college years working for theForest Service on trail crews and fire standby. During that same time, college friends and I would often spend our Christmas break in a wood stove-heated cabin with no insulation when temperatures dropped into the teens and below. Evenings were spent playing Yahtzee with Harry and Lena, once snowshoeing to the Buckner home through 18 inches of fresh snow. Today, retired, my wife, Christine, our two dogs, and I spend as much time as we can volunteering at the Orchard.
We all have our own experiences that make the Buckner Orchard meaningful and personal. Most are as simple as enjoying the location, the peace and tranquility, the history and beauty, or appreciating the wonderful Common Delicious apples.
Please join me today in supporting the Buckner Orchard, helping ensure that we and future generations have the opportunity to create our own personal experiences and memories!
PS - If you missed it, our 2018 Annual Report provides a great picture of what the Foundation does to support the Orchard.
RENEWAL - Your check, made out to the Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation (BHHF), should be mailed to PO Box 184, Manson, WA 98831. As a renewal,
we will have your information on file. Please include your e-mail address, as this is how we receipt and communicate with members in a cost-effective manner. And,
your contribution is tax deductible as allowed by the IRS.
NEW MEMBERSHIP - CLICK HERE to download a membership form to print and mail to PO Box 184, Manson, WA 98831.
Again, be sure to include your e-mail address.
Individual - $25.00 Business - $75.00 Benefactor - $250.00 Sustainer - $1,000.00
Family - $50.00 Patron - $100.00 Steward - $500.00 Donation - $ _____
Another form of support for the Homestead and Orchard is a donation. Monetary donations may be for a specific purpose or as a non-specific donation to the Foundation.
Monday, May 13 - Annual Meeting, Manson
Thursday, June 13 - Orchard Work Party
Saturday, July 13 or 20 (TBD) - Orchard Work Party
Saturday, August 4 - Square Dance at the Orchard
Monday, August 6 - Summer Board Meeting
Friday, October 4 - Orchard Work Party
Valley Music Night
Saturday, October 5 - Harvest Fest at the Orchard
Sunday, October 6 - Poetry Night
WSDOT worker memorial week
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT Communications
Displays in Wenatchee, Ephrata & Okanogan honor North Central Region employees who died on the job
WENATCHEE – Each year WSDOT holds a ceremony to remember the 60 workers we’ve lost on the job since 1950, honor our workers injured on the job and remind everyone about the need for work zone safety awareness.
Last April in Olympia, we placed 60 orange traffic barrels on the Capital Campus along Capitol Way near the WSDOT Headquarters and the Capital Dome.
Each barrel represents one of the 60 WSDOT workers killed on the job since 1950.
The display raised awareness about work zone safety and reminded all travelers that our workers put their lives on the line every day.
This year all the regions are placing individual displays across the state starting Monday, April 8.
North Central Region has three outdoor displays in place through Friday, April 12:
- North Central Region Office, Euclid Ave., Wenatchee
- Area 2 Maintenance Office, SR 28, Ephrata
- Area 3 Maintenance Office, US 97, Okanogan
These displays include an orange Work Zone Safety Banner and four barrels to honor the four employees from our region who died on the job:
- Frank E. Potter, Dec. 1, 1950, North Central Region, Maintenance Laborer. Frank was killed on US 2 when a car skidded into him while trying to slow down in a work zone east of Leavenworth.
- Ray Wittig, Feb. 4, 1952, North Central Region, maintenance lead technician. Ray was killed on US 2 when he was buried in a snowslide while working in Tumwater Canyon, west of Leavenworth.
- Ray T. Collie, Feb. 28, 1970, North Central Region, maintenance technician. Ray died a week after being struck by a truck on US 2 just west of Stevens Pass in a work zone as he was setting cones.
- Gordon Burlingame, July 17, 1992, North Central Region, Avalanche Control Supervisor. “Gordie” was working alone dismantling a 22-foot high radio tower from the roof of a dormitory building at Berne Camp on Stevens Pass when it became unstable and fell on him.
Employees in work zones are husbands, fathers, brothers, wives, mothers, sisters, children and friends – and they all deserve to go home safe at the end of their day. Far too many of them have had close calls, serious injuries and deaths in our work zones. Our workers have had to literally run for their lives and/or jump over guardrails due to speeding, inattentive/distracted drivers, impairment, etc.
By the Numbers
- There’s a collision in a work zone every 5.4 minutes
- About 650 people are killed across the country each year in roadway work zones.
- Washington averages 768 roadway work zone injuries a year.
- In 2018:
- 1,498 reported collisions in a work zone or a related back-up.
- 615 reported injuries.
- 11 fatal crashes.
- Travelers are more at risk in work zones than the workers:
- In 2018:
- 94% of our work zone fatalities and injuries were drivers, passengers or pedestrians
Driving Distracted through work zones
Distracted/inattentive driving is now the leading cause of work zone crashes on state highways.
Last year 539 distracted/inattentive driver citations were issued for state work zone crashes.
Our crews say they regularly see drivers looking at phones or other devices and blowing past our signs to slow down or stop; putting everyone on the road at risk.
Those who are speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and now electronics (E-DUI) also find those citations are even more expensive as traffic fines are doubled in work zones.
- First E-DUI ticket - $136
- Second E-DUI ticket in 5 years - $234
- All E-DUI tickets are reported to insurance companies and can lead to higher rates.
- Other forms of distracted driving (not involving electronic devices) earn a $99 ticket
Work zone crashes are almost-always preventable.
The top three reasons for work zone collisions in 2018 were:
- distracted driving/inattention,
- following too closely,
- excessive speed.
We Need Help
Our crews work where traffic is speeding literally inches away and we need your help keeping both you and them safe:
- Slow Down -- drive the posted speeds, they’re there for your safety.
- Be Kind – our workers are helping to keep you safe and improve the roadways.
- Pay Attention -- both to workers directing you and surrounding traffic.
- Stay Calm -- expect delays, leave early or take an alternate route if possible; no meeting or appointment is worth risking someone’s life.
Both the national and our Washington state Work Zone Awareness events take place during April 8-12.
- The National Work Zone Awareness Week event is April 9, in Washington, DC.
- WSDOT’s Worker Memorial ceremony is April 10, in Olympia.
- April 10 is also national “Wear Orange for Safety Day”.
Three alarm brush fire at Purtteman Gulch Road
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, Chelan Fire and Rescue
On April 4th at 2:55pm Chelan Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to a reported brush fire in the area of Chelan Ranch Road and Purtteman Gulch Road. Arriving crews found a fully engulfed chicken coop threatening adjacent structures with fire that had spread into approximately 2 acres of grass and brush behind the residence on Whitetail Lane. Chelan Fire & Rescue called for a second alarm with notification to CWICC due to the rapid fire spread that was driven by 10 mph winds. A third alarm was called when the fire threatened nearby structures and the eastern fire spread had moved towards Union Valley.
This early season fire was eventually brought under control by Chelan Fire & Rescue with mutual aid assistance from Chelan County Fire District 5 (Manson), Chelan County Fire District 8 (Entiat), Douglas County Fire District 4 (Orondo), US Forestry Service, Department of Natural Resources, and Chelan County Sheriff. Total size for this fire was estimated at 7.5 acres with the only structure loss being the chicken coop. Cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
Chelan Fire & Rescue would like to remind all Fire District residents that the 2019 fire season has started early and we expect a busier than normal fire season due to the low moisture snow pack and the drier than normal grass and shrubs.
Columbia River Drug Task Force seizes approximately two pounds of cocaine in Malaga
- Written by Jason Reinfeld, Chief of Special Operations, CCSO
The Columbia River Drug Task Force reports on April 3rd, 2019 related search warrants were served in the 800 block of Malaga Alcoa Highway and the 1500 block of Cashmere Street in Wenatchee. These search warrants were the result of investigations and controlled drug buys conducted by CRDTF detectives.
The Malaga Alcoa Highway location is approximately nine acres and had several structures on it believed to be occupied which made it a complex area to safely clear and search. It was determined the location would be cleared by SWAT prior to a search conducted by detectives. The Chelan County Regional SWAT team as well as Douglas County SRT were utilized for this beginning at approximately 6:30 am. The teams were also assisted by Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Homeland Security, INET Drug Task Force from the Grant County area, and Chelan County Public Works.
While searching the property, Detectives located and seized approximately two pounds of cocaine, two firearms, packaging material for the distribution of cocaine, and over $80,000 in cash as suspected proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs. The property owner, 52 year old Cesar Mora Sr. of Wenatchee was arrested and booked into CCRJ for Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Cocaine with Intent to Deliver and Alien in Possession of a Firearm. Also arrested for Alien in Possession of a Firearm was 54 year old Rene Rodriguez-Rodriguez.
Upon completion of the search warrant service on Malaga Alcoa Highway an element of the Chelan County Regional SWAT team was relocated to the 1500 block of Cashmere Street to assist Wenatchee Police Department with the service of the related Search Warrant. Fifty-five year old Jose Valadez of Wenatchee was arrested on existing probable cause for four counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
The Columbia River Drug Task Force works diligently to protect our community from illegal narcotics. We believe cases like this do make a significant impact on our community by removing a large amount of illegal drugs which would have been distributed throughout the community.
The Columbia River Drug Task Force is comprised of Detectives from Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department, and Washington State Patrol. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency also supplying a Sergeant and an Analyst.