Money spilled out of jar

In the days leading up to Christmas, businesses statewide opened an unwelcome present from state government. A major tax increase. The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) has sent out their end of the year tax rate notices to all businesses statewide, notifying them of their unemployment tax rates for 2021.

Closed - by Tim Mossholder

State employment data shows that a significant number of non-farm Okanogan County jobs have simply gone away this year, as most industries in the county are contracting. Even the government sector has significantly contracted this year – only state and local government positions though, as Federal government jobs only grew this year.

A Fire District 6 training burn in Mazama

Our beautiful Methow winters bring with them the necessity of heating to make our homes habitable through this frigid season. Unfortunately, there are many ways for our heat sources to turn against us and cause house fires, whether it’s the classic chimney fire, malfunctioning thermostat, overloaded wiring or any of a number of other possibilities.

These structure fires are an all hands on deck situation for Okanogan County Fire District 6, usually with volunteer firefighters from every corner of the valley requested to respond. It takes dozens of trained responders about 5 to 8 hours to fight a fully involved structure fire, overhaul the structure and debris to make sure it’s completely out, and then another couple hours to cleanup gear and equipment afterwards so all is ready for the next call.

Restore Washington Logo - Petition Legislation

The intro text from Restore Washington for their proposed Initiative 1114 reads similarly to the list of grievances against King George in the Declaration of Independence, and it’s a very fitting comparison indeed.

"For months now, through constant COVID-19 Emergency Proclamations, Governor Inslee has abused the powers We the People gave him in the existing Emergency Powers Act. He has refused to revoke Proclamations once the emergency it was based on has passed. He has changed the goals of his Proclamations, ensuring they can continue indefinitely."

Public Market Sign - Seattle

OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. — The number of Okanogan County residents filing first-time unemployment benefits claims rose dramatically last week.