Ferry County Top Stories
Community music in the early days PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dick Slagle   
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:37

The town band was a community fixture of the days before radio and television when, if you wanted to enjoy music, you had to do it yourself. The band was always available to perform for celebrations, parades, and special occasions; and sometimes just to have music.

This poem was written by J.C. “Jack” Fenn in 1930 to honor his old friend J.E. Ritter, cornet player.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:39
Fire flying PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Starkey   
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:31

As a series of thunderstorms moved over Ferry County July 14, there were numerous reports of lightning strikes and fires ranging from single burning trees to incidents of several acres. In addition to numerous Department of Natural Resources, Colville National Forest and local fire district resources on the ground, other assets joined the battle from the skies.

One of the first mentions of aircraft was of a plane that had just dropped a team of smokejumpers on the four-acre Twin Sisters Fire on the Three Rivers Ranger District in northeastern Ferry County. The fire was reported to the Northeast Washington Interagency Communications Center at 4:15 p.m. It was deemed controlled the next day at 10:30 a.m.

Photographer John Foster Fanning snapped some shots of an Aero-Flite CL-415 Tanker 260 scooping water off Lake Roosevelt with Ferry County in the background.

Stroke of good fortune PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Chamberlin   
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:26

Dan Zimmerman has an extraordinary story and an incredible dream. I recently talked with Zimmerman as he rested in Republic five days into a 5,200-mile journey from Anacortes, Wash. to Key West, Fla. on a recumbent trike. Since Ferry County is on an official “U.S. Bicycle Route,” hundreds of bicyclists pass through every summer, many traveling coast-to-coast. Such a trip is daunting, requiring an immense amount of physical effort and mental resolve, even for an experienced bicyclist. To make his dream a reality, however, Zimmerman has had to overcome challenges the average cross-country bicyclist cannot even imagine.


After grounding, Republic Fly-In back in the air PDF Print E-mail
Written by Keith Bell   
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:27

The Wings over Republic Fly-In started in 2000. A group of pilots from Tonasket flew over the hill for an afternoon barbecue hosted by local pilots Justin Smith and Rudy Ohland. Since that time ours has become one of the premiere events in Ferry County and a favorite fly-in for regional pilots with approximately 150 planes attending from as far away as Palm Springs, Calif. and activities that span three days.

Smith and his wife Carol have been the driving force behind the fly-in since it began. Justin, who is the local airport manager and pilots a 1956 Cessna 172, is the president of the Wings Over Republic club. He presides over meetings and works year-around planning and organizing the event and attending to airport issues. During fly-ins he is at the airport full-time, looking after even the smallest details starting with site preparation and setup to final teardown. In the past Carol has focused on managing inventory and bookkeeping and handing ticket and merchandise sales. Justin and Carol both had serious health issues that resulted in the cancellation of the annual fly-in last year. This year, 2014, Justin is back in the saddle and working hard at his normal duties without skipping a beat. Carol is doing much better and attends fly-in meetings offering encouragement and input but is unable to provide the level of service she has in the past. Debra Hurst has assumed the responsibility for merchandise and ticket sales. As controller for Ferry County Public Hospital District she brings a variety of talents that benefit the club and the fly-in.

Think college is not an option? Think again. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lisa McCullough   
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:24

I have had conversations recently with students who have ruled out college as an option. They think that college is too expensive, too hard, or not something they can do—even though they would like to attend. In the discussion, I discovered they had a lot of misinformation, or were coming to wrong conclusions about their options.

According to information gathered by the The Lumina Foundation, 43% of Washington adults age 25-65 have earned an associate's or bachelor's degree. In Ferry County, that number is much lower—only 28%. We can draw all kinds of conclusions from these numbers. On the one hand, we have half the rate of college degrees and twice the poverty level compared to the state as a whole. On the other, we have a lot of hard-working, creative, successful people making a great living here without a college degree. After my recent conversations, however, I have simply concluded that there aren't a lot of parents in Ferry County who have college degrees, so it would follow that their children don't know how college works.


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