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Wenatchee River Ranger District braces for early fire season

File photo
Fire season is ahead of schedule in the Wenatchee Valley.

Wenatchee River Ranger District braces for early fire season
Due to the increasing fire danger, the Wenatchee River Ranger District implemented campfire restrictions just prior to the July 4 weekend. The hot and windy conditions have dried many of the fire fuels in the area, said Michelle Ellis, fire management officer, Wenatchee River Ranger District.

"We watch the indices that come through our weather and the national fire danger rating system, which is the same system we use to determine what message to put with smokey," Ellis said. "We watch those things and when we reach a certain threshold, we say ok, something like an abandoned campfire outside of a campground, it would escape and start to spread rapidly. Then we need to say, ok, we don't need that extra load as well the potential for lightning fires and things like that."

Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...


Cashmere woman tragically drowns in Wenatchee River
A 29-year-old woman drowned trying to rescue her dog from the waters of the Wenatchee River June 30, according to a police report.

Sabra J. Crafton of Cashmere went with her dog and a male friend to a public fishing hole known as the "Mountain Theater Hole." Playing fetch with her dog, the animal began to struggle in the water, and Crafton jumped in without a personal flotation device.

As Crafton began to struggle in the water, the male friend tried to reach her and almost brought her back to shore before Crafton broke free and tried once again to rescue the dog.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...
Spotters' job more than just guesses
Before you yell at your TV weatherman again for lying to you, remember he or she may be using information that first originated from the eyes and ears of someone you know. Like a neighbor, or a friend.

Weather spotters are the unsung heroes, or villains, depending on how hard you chucked that remote at the screen, of the weather world, and the National Weather Service organized two days of training to teach regular folks how to help the experts keep an eye on both the predictable and the unpredictable weather.

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National Forest campfire restrictions increase in Chelan County
The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has issued a Forest Order prohibiting campfires outside of developed campgrounds on the national forest within Chelan County.

This Forest Order includes the Chelan, Entiat and Wenatchee River Ranger Districts.

The restriction because effective on July 3. Those building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including a fire made from briquettes, are prohibited with certain exceptions. This order is the result of increasing fire danger in national forest areas within Chelan County.

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Cashmere awarded 9/11 memorial statue
The city of Cashmere has been awarded the Spirit of America memorial statue, which honors the victims and survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The statue had originally been meant for Olympia's Capitol Building, but state laws forbid statues not related to Washington state at the stately building. David Lewis, director of the Spirit of America Memorial Foundation pitched the memorial to a number of cities, with varied degrees of interest. While towns like Cashmere showed great interest from early on, authorities in places like Kirkland and Issaquah rejected the statue outright.

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Cashmere woman making donation of storied plate
The plate is empty, but it's full.

Full of art, full of stories, full of memories of fourteen faces, most of whom long gone. Full of remembrance of a friendship forged in fire, with the help of a kiln.

Mamie Campbell, Evelyn Schell, Ellen Ringsrud, Mardie Clark, Norma Ringsrud, Agnes Little, Ethel Clemens, Maude Campbell, Gladys Weiss, Lilla Jones, and Marilyn Weiss.

Names that perdure along the edge of a plate, crowned with apple blossoms on its center and the year 1954 serving as a base for the phrase "Pioneer Neighbors."

"All these ladies lived on Pioneer Avenue," said Ginger Samuels, granddaughter of Maude Campbell.

Some of the names on the plate belonged to people related to one another, like daughter Marilyn and mother Gladys, but for the most part they were just friends. All but a couple are gone.

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Schools & Sports

Cashmere grad Lippert returns to town as Wenatchee coach
Lost in the hoopla of Celebrate Cashmere weekend was the fact that teenagers from all across the state met in Cashmere to play basketball at the annual Bulldog Challenge.

And lost among that parade of unfamiliar hoopsters was a familiar face: Rachel Lippert, who graduated from Cashmere in 2010 and who showed up at her old gym as an assistant coach for Wenatchee High School's girls basketball program.

Lippert, who played for the Bulldogs during her prep career, is an assistant coach with the freshman team at WHS. During this tournament, she served as the assistant coach for Wenatchee's B squad, except on June 29, where the head coach's absence obligated her to take the reins of the team.

Not bad for a lunch lady.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 More...
Agricultural issues team finishes fifth at FFA state
The Agricultural Issues team from Cashmere's Future Farmers of America chapter finished fifth at the state competition last month in Pullman.

The team put on a presentation on the issue of Arctic Apple, a genetically engineered fruit from Canada that does not brown, and whose pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration is and will be the source of much contention among American growers.

"People are afraid of it and they don't know if it's safe," team member Ellie York said. The team's advisor Rusty Finch picked that issue. A reason for the choice is the fact that this apple was created just north of the border in the Okanagan Valley of Canada.

Thursday, June 26, 2014 More...
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