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. 

Cariboo Restaurant on Queen Street

OKANOGAN — Diana Oestreich, owner of the Cariboo Restaurant in Okanogan, opened normally last Thursday, ignoring the governor’s new order shutting down indoor dining. She presented it as a “peaceful protest” and served a small number of regular customers who came in to support her. She said she did so in a safe manner, following all recommended guidelines, and the spacious restaurant - with its 5.5 foot high booths - lends itself to providing more than adequate distance between patrons. Staff usually includes only herself and one cook, further limiting exposure.

Friday morning, Oestreich had a visit from Okanogan County Public Health inspector Patrick Dunn. He said that the restaurant had to close down, and remaining open for such a protest wasn’t permitted. He admitted that the multiple restaurants located at the 12 Tribes Casino only three miles away were allowed to be open for indoor seating, as they are under tribal jurisdiction. She refused to close and kick out the handful of supporters currently there, and said that her 100% marks on her most recent health department inspections means that she runs a clean and safe establishment.