Barbara Adams, Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary President, and Dottie Dudley, Treasurer, present a $2500 check to Harry Lewis (center), Respiratory Therapy Manager for the hospital. The money will be used for the purchase of a CO-Oximeter device, which is used to measure blood oxygen levels and check for carbon monoxide poisoning. The auxiliary raises money all year to help support hospital and long term care needs. Money is raised through the hospital gift shop sales, membership dues, and seasonal sales such as the Christmas Bazaar coming up this Friday, Dec. 7 at the hospital where there will be baked goods for sale along with a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. (See the ad on Page 4 for details) “The auxiliary has helped us out many times. They are a great group of ladies,” Lewis said. Jared Arnold photo
Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.
A young girl talks to Santa Claus at the Chewelah Craft Fair on Dec. 1: Santa will be coming back to town on Friday, Dec. 7 for the Santa Social sponsored by Community Celebrations. Santa arrives at 6 p.m. but Gess Choir starts performing at 5:45 p.m. at the Chewelah Civic Center. Santa will also be at Sety’s Ace Hardware on Dec. 8 for taking pictures with pets at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Santa visits Providence St. Joseph’s: Santa made an unexpected visit to Providence St Joseph Administration team this week. NO Santa did not want to know what the team wanted for Christmas. Santa wanted to ask for a little help this year with families in Stevens County. Every year staff at PSJH sponsor families with gifts and a Christmas dinner. Santa just stopped by to drop off his list and thank everyone for the help. Pictured with Santa (l-r): Chris Hargis, Mindy Siroky, Bob Campbell and Michelle Wasco.
Submitted by Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital
I would like to congragulate Wes McCart for his recent election as a Commissioner, District 1, Stevens County.
Although I did not vote for him, I live in his District, and of course I live in Stevens County, so he will now be my County Commissioner.
I would like him to succeed as one of our Commissioners since our County is in terrible shape. I will do everything I can to help him succeed, as all he needs to do is ask.
Wes had the full backing and support of almost all the Republican elected officials and the Stevens County Republican Party, however, he barely won the election by a little over 1,000 votes. That in itself, is a mystery to me, although I have my own personal opinions on the matter.
I want Wes to succeed, The people have spoken and Wes will become one of our Commissioners. Besides myself, all of us need to do everything to help Wes succeed. We need an effective leader to represent District 1.
Mike Brunson, Capt., USAF (Ret)
Letter to the Editor:
My friend, Pam Wester and I attended the Seven Brides performance at the High School on Saturday.
What a joy!!
We laughed so hard and enjoyed the entire play.
Janet McLaughlin and her staff should be commended for their talent and creativity.
The actors were tremendous. Loved the choreography and singing. Hope this performance creates some interest in music and dancing for the future.
The Chewelah City Council has repealed the resolution from June 1988 that started the process of designating Richmond Lane at Chewelah North as an aircraft taxiway in addition to a city roadway.
The resolution from June 7, 1988, which reconvened June 21, 1989, declared the council’s intent to create an ordinance to allow homeowners at Richmond Lane direct access to the Chewelah Airport by aircraft but that ordinance was never completed.
Nevertheless, it has been used as a taxiway since the resolution was first passed.
The current city council revoked the resolution at the Nov. 21, 2012 regular meeting because the city’s insurance will not insure any roadway that allows aviation operation. Furthermore, attorney Charles Schuerman said the city had exceeded its authority to determine it as a taxiway in the first place. It must be brought to an authorized aviation agency, he said.
Schuerman also said the city is working toward other options to authorize it as a taxiway, including the creation of the Richmond Lane Airport Homeowners Association. Currently, anything can be towed on the roadway but planes cannot be operated on Richmond Lane.
The resolution repeal was the first step in formally dedicating all roads and easements within the Chewelah Golf and Country Club (that are part of the annexed city limits) to the city. The deed for the roads was never formally accepted even though the city has maintained them for years.
Ordinance No. 849, introduced at the Nov. 21 meeting, reads as follows: Providing for the acceptance from the Chewelah Golf and Country Club Association of the Deed for Conveyance and Dedication of all roads and easements within said golf and country club plans which are currently within the annexed city limits with specific requirements for potential conditional dual use of Richmond Lane as an Aircraft Taxiway as well as for automobile traffic.
City resident Tim Schwantz questioned the council on who would be paying for the roads newly dedicated to the city. City Administrator Mike Frizzell said that it is just a formality and will not cost the city any additional money since it concerns roads that the city already maintains.
The city council voted unanimously at the Nov. 21 meeting to amend the Chewelah Municipal Code to increase water and sewer taxes from 15 to 17 percent and implement a garbage tax at 17 percent (adoption of Ordinance No. 847). The tax increases have been initiated as a way to help make up for a $250,000 loss in the general fund for Fiscal Year 2013. They will take effect in December to be reflected in the January 2013 billing cycle.
Ordinance No. 850 was also introduced at the Nov. 21 council meeting declaring the intent of the city to join and be annexed into the Stevens County Rural Library District, requesting the concurrence of the district board of trustees, and requesting the county commissioners to call an election for the purpose of submitting the annexation to the voters of the city.
If approved by all three parties, the ballot proposition, intended for the April 2013 special election and only asked to city residents, would read: Proposition No. 1 “Shall the City of Chewelah be annexed to and be part of the Stevens County Rural Library District?”
Since the council has removed library funding from the 2013 proposed budget, which will be voted on at the Dec. 5 meeting, the ballot proposition gives voters a choice on whether or not to annex into the library district and allow Libraries of Stevens County to solely provide those services to the city.
Annexing would add another layer of taxation for city residents. County library patrons currently pay nearly 39 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
If the proposition does not pass, Chewelah residents would not be permitted to use any library in Stevens County according to district by-laws.
The city is in the process of creating an interlocal agreement with the library district to keep the library open part-time in 2013 if the city puts annexation on the election ballot and allows the district use of the existing library building for three years.
Putting the question to the voters will cost the city approximately $5,000.
The council held a public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant program available through the state on a competitive basis.
About $12 million is available through CDBG that provides funds for public facilities, community facilities, affordable housing, public services and planning projects that principally benefit low and moderate income persons.
Frizzell is working to help put a plan together and apply for funding on two Chewelah development projects eligible for possible CDBG grant money. Applications are due by Jan. 31.
Chewelah is eligible to apply for $950,000 to complete Segment B of Main Avenue to upgrade elements such as the asphalt, sidewalks, streetlights and curbing. The city is also eligible to apply for $123,950 to add new sidewalks along Lincoln Avenue to make it safer for students walking to and from school.
To be eligible for the grants, the council must hold public hearings to encourage input on determining the priorities of community members regarding improvements that are most needed in Chewelah.
Community members and council members made suggestions such as the need for new police patrol cars, waterline and fire hydrant upgrades, and pool facility funding.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is still investigating a case from October involving wolf activity in the Smackout Pack area where the cause of death for an adult cow remains unknown.
In an Oct. 9 press release, the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association reported that the remains of a year-old cow had been discovered near Rocky Creek about 20 miles Northeast of Colville with indication that wolves had been in the area. The cow was part of the all-natural beef herd raised by Olsen Farms.
“According to reports from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Department, the cow had been dead for several days and pieces of the carcass had been ripped off and dragged 10 to 20 yards from the kill site…wolf tracks and scat were both found at the location,” stated the SCCA press release.
However, WDFW Wildlife Biologist Jay Shepherd (Colville) said evidence is not conclusive as to whether a wolf killed the cow or had just scavenged on the carcass after the cow had already died.
“This is not the first time the Smackout wolf pack has scavenged on a cow carcass. This occurred in Smackout Meadows last year,” Shepherd said. “The cow did not die from an attack of any kind and several pictures of that cow were taken that indicate a complete carcass. The Smackout pack was later observed scavenging that carcass.”
Regarding the cow found near Rocky Creek, Shepherd said it was apparent that it had been dead for at least one week, but possibly as many as three weeks, prior to the initial investigation in early October. The carcass was clean of meat, the bones were dry and birds, such as turkey vultures that had been present in the area, were gone to signify that the carcass had been there a while.
The two radio-collared wolves in the Smackout Pack were present in the Rocky Creek area two to three days prior to the investigation according to signals sent to satellites that track their location. However, Shepherd said they were only there for about 24 hours. At the probable time of death during the previous weeks, the radio-collared wolves were recorded much farther away in a remote location of the Colville National Forest.
Radio collars send signals to satellites up to four times a day to help track wolf location. They are then followed using a computer mapping program.
“WDFW cannot say that wolves other than the radio-collared wolves did not kill and consume the cow but that the radio-collared wolves only scavenged on the old remains of the carcass,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd also said wolves do not normally attack adult cows if there are young ones in the area, which there were at the time. There was also no sign of a struggle.
The WDFW conducts intensive investigations regarding wolf cases but cannot always find conclusive evidence on the exact cause of death for livestock based on so many variables and circumstantial evidence. They take each case seriously, Shepherd said, as the consequences are significant.
“WDFW cannot confirm wolf attacks on livestock based on evidence that indicates a scavenging event,” he said. “The results of our investigations, which are not immediate…have consequences such as potential wolf removal, financial compensation, as well as the increased work load of non-lethal, proactive measures.”
The death in the Smackout area occurred soon after the WDFW eliminated the Wedge Pack in September following multiple livestock attacks at the Diamond M Ranch this summer. They killed seven after 10 calves had died and eight others were injured.
The Grey Wolf remains on the Washington State endangered species list as the WDFW works to carry out the state’s wolf management plan. Shepherd said the WDFW works closely with ranchers and alerts them when wolves are in an area their livestock is grazing.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
Electric Department helps replace seasonal banners: Chewelah electric department employee Nathan Anderson replaces the Chewelah Chamber of Commerce-sponsored street banners with the new winter design on Monday, Nov. 26. Anderson was assisted on the ground by JC Olson. The banner replacement is part of the city’s semi-annual light pole maintenance and inspection program. The banners, designed and created by Stickit Signs of Chewelah, are funded by chamber member businesses as a way to help beautify and decorate the city for each season. Jared Arnold photo
Work has been completed on bus stop shelters for Kettle Falls, Chewelah and Deer Park funded through the Washington State Department of Transportation. The funding also included Travel Washington Gold Line signs in Colville, Arden, Addy and Loon Lake.
In Chewelah, the bus stop was relocated from the Chamber of Commerce office to a new bus shelter located next to the Safeway Store parking lot on Highway 395 (see photo).
In Kettle Falls, the bus shelter was erected across from the Kettle Falls Visitors Center. In Deer Park, the bus stop was relocated from Yoke’s NE parking lot to the Bus Shelter in Yoke’s SW parking lot near the new the Fresenius Medical – Panorama Dialysis Center.
In Colville, a bus sign was placed on the Rural Resources building and in Arden, Addy and Loon Lake, bus stop signs were located near the current stops at the Arden “One Stop”, the “Old School House” in Addy, and the Lakeside Motel in Loon Lake
The new signs and shelters improve Gold Line visibility and provide added comfort for passengers.
-From Staff Reports
In This Photo: The new Chewelah Bus Shelter, funded by the WSDOT, is ready to serve passengers on the Gold Line service between Kettle Falls and Spokane.
It was a short turnaround for the Chewelah Cougar basketball team who played their last football game on Saturday and started basketball practice the following Monday.
After two weeks in the gym, Coach Rocky Verbeck has his 31 players divided into three teams for the quickly approaching 2012-13 season.
Likewise, the Lady Cougars have gotten in two full weeks of practice with 23 girls divided by Coach Tom Skok into two teams to prepare for their opener here this Saturday. The Lady Cougars will not have a C squad team this winter.
The Cougars hoopsters will begin this season with three home games. The first will be against St. George’s this Saturday, December 1. Next, the Deer Park Stags will come here for another non-league encounter on Tuesday, December 4. The girls will play first at 5:15, with the boys following at 7:30.
Then, on Saturday, December 8, Northwest Christian will be here. Those games will begin an hour earlier, with the girls starting at 4:15 and the boys playing at 6:30.
The Cougar wrestlers will also face their first competition this weekend when they battle for medals at the Deer Park Invitational.
Coach Verbeck has placed nine seniors on his varsity squad. All are veteran players and half were members of last year’s varsity team. Returning starters are Derek Smith, Brandon Smith, and Ben Johnstone, along with Caleb Wiebe who was the first player off the bench as sixth man. Joining them are Tommy Norman, Brady Flanagan, Cordell Bean, Springdale transfer Deylin Peone, and German foreign exchange student Lars Berger.
There are 11 players on the junior varsity team and 11 on the C squad.
“With just a couple of exceptions, everyone on the team is about 6’2″ tall,” said Verbeck. “They’re like a row of fence posts.”
With the loss of 6’7″ Andrew Pugh to graduation, there are no players with height in the lineup this season for the Cougar boys.
“We have had good practices,” continued Verbeck. “The kids have come to practice with their football attitude, so they are highly competitive. They like each other, but they also get mad at each other on the floor because they are so competitive. Then, they become friends again after practice.”
Coach Verbeck believes each of the three teams will have a good blend of players. The JV and C squad teams will be made up of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.
The Lady Cougars will return five varsity starters. They are seniors Ryann Richmond, Mikaela Hopkins, Katelyn Garner, and Brittney Wuesthoff, along with junior Sydney Katzer.
Every starter, with the exception of Lavonne Smith, is back.
Also wearing varsity uniforms will be senior Shiloh Schneider, junior Patty Hernandez and sophomores Amanda Pugh, Kaitlin Krouse, and Kara Frederick.
Coach Tom Skok is blessed with guards. He returns three senior guards and a couple of underclassmen. In the front court he has returning varsity players Katzer, Krouse, and Pugh.
“Practices have been very competitive because the younger kids have been challenging the older girls to work harder,” said Coach Skok. “If we can get some fire from these girls, we should be competitive within our league this year. Our second team is competing hard with the first team. I’d even say the second team is pushing the first team. That has made practices very competitive.
“The girls made a lot of progress over the summer, and the younger kids got a lot better playing summer ball. We played Colville twice over the summer and we got a lot better between those two games.
“We will have lots of outside shooters this season. Brittney was our best shooter last year until she got injured. Ryann has been shooting a lot better like she did at the end of the summer. So, we will have kids who can score from the perimeter.
“We will also have some size inside with Kaitlin and Sidney, so we hope to build our inside game this season. Kaitlin is 5’11”. She will make opponents adjust their inside shooting to get over the top of her. She is so much stronger and quicker, and her footwork is a lot smoother. She’s going to make a difference for us on the inside this season.”
With three home games in a row to begin their season, playing in front of a standing room only home crowd would help get this season off to a good start for both varsity basketball teams.
Three state tournament veterans give Coach Patrick Mitchell a nucleus of experienced wrestlers to build a team around this winter. Russell Smith and Adam Collins return as state medalists. Josh Hanley begins this new season as a state competitor.
Smith brought home a fifth place medal from the Tacoma Dome. Collins came home with a seventh medal.
Hanley, Dustin Olson, James Gilreath, and Kyle Connall bring regional level experience to the mat for the Cougars.
The big question going into the season for the Cougars is: Will they be able to fill enough weight classes to be competitive on the scoreboard in league matches?
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff