KPQ News

Help stamp out hunger food drive

Posted Tuesday, 05-05-15

You can help "Stamp Out Hunger" Saturday during the annual Postal Carrier food drive. Letter carriers are dropping off yellow bags this week, and are asking people to fill them with non-perishable food. The food will go to Serve Wenatchee Valley and the Community Action Council's food banks. Pastor Bob Shepard with Serve Wenatchee Valley says it's very timely as their cupboard is bare.

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Last year more than 35,000 pounds of food was donated.

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Farmworker Housing Open House

Posted Tuesday, 05-05-15

An open house is set for Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a new seasonal farmworker housing facility in Cashmere. Jesse Lane, Housing Program Manager with the Washington Growers League says the six million dollar Department of Commerce funded farmworker housing complex will offer apartment style housing to about 200 workers, including families, from the months of April to November. Lane says each floor of the six two-story buildings is comprised of four bedrooms containing three to four bunk beds. Each floor has an expanded kitchen, bathrooms, and showers. Migrant seasonal agricultural workers will pay $8 a night, unless growers choose the convenience of reserving space at $9 a night. The open house runs from 11a.m. to two p.m. at the housing complex, located at 5693 Sunset Highway.

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Grand Opening Slated for Newly Redeveloped Entiat Riverfront Park

Posted 5/5/15 From Chelan County PUD News Release
 
Chelan County PUD and the city of Entiat are opening the gates and inviting the community for the unveiling of the completely rebuilt Entiat Park on Saturday, May 16.
 
Text Box: Statue of Chief Chilcosahaskt in Entiat ParkStatue and flowers.JPGThe celebration opens with a three-mile run/walk along the trail that connects the Entiat River to the park and to the city’s riverfront redevelopment, followed by a dedication ceremony and a hotdog picnic lunch. The free event comes a week before the popular Columbia River campground reopens to the public for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 
 
The free festivities begin with the walk/run from 8-9:30 a.m. No registration is required. The dedication ceremony follows at 10 a.m. at the picnic shelter near the boat launch. The audience will want to look skyward to see the flag delivered by skydivers and raised on the new flagpole by the local Boy Scouts.
 
The program includes a blessing of the life-size statue of Chief Chilcosahaskt of the Entiat Tribe. This prominent feature of the park is visible from the highway. Lunch will follow the ceremony.
 
The celebration honors the more than a decade of planning and cooperation between the city of Entiat and Chelan PUD that resulted in the park renovations.  Construction of the $7-million project began in September 2013, and the park is opening as scheduled on May 22.
 
“It’s a wonderful day,” said Keith Truscott, Natural Resources director as he summarized for PUD commissioners at their meeting Monday the more than a decade of planning and collaboration that has gone into the project. “It was a vision that started so many years ago, moved closer when we started construction in 2013… and now we look forward to reopening the park.”
 
Entiat Mayor Keith Vradenburg thanked PUD staff and commissioners for seeing the project through. “I want to thank everyone for all the work they’ve done. The community is so excited, they can’t wait,” he said.
 
PUD Commissioner Randy Smith echoed the excitement adding, “We’re tickled to death to be at this point.”
 
Hurst Construction of East Wenatchee has worked for more than a year rebuilding the campground, picnic areas and boat launch from the ground up and on the new Entiatqua Trail to connect the Columbia Riverfront park to the Entiat River and recreation opportunities in the Entiat Valley. 
 
The original Entiat Park combined the existing Silico Saska and Will Risk Memorial parks in 1978. It was the first park built by the PUD on the Rocky Reach reservoir. Funding for the improvements was in the renewed federal license for Rocky Reach Dam issued in 2009.
 
On Monday, PUD commissioners finalized the park operating agreement with the city of Entiat. The agreement is one year by design to provide city crews and the PUD time to get familiar with the duties and budget required to maintain the new park. The PUD’s contractor will maintain the landscaping under warranty, and the PUD will loan the city essential equipment for maintenance if needed. The PUD also agreed to cover operating costs that exceed park revenue up to $75,000, and other documented costs up to a total of $100,000.
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Two WPD officers hurt making arrest

Posted Monday, 05-04-15

Two Wenatchee police officers were expected to be released from Central Washington Hospital Monday night, after they were injured subduing a suspect earlier that afternoon. Captain John Kruse with the Wenatchee Police Department says around 3-30p.m. the officers responded to a report of a break in at a vacant house in the 400 block of South Chelan Avenue. When they got there  they found that the back door had been kicked in.

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Kruse describes the altercation as a real "knock down" and says it was a close call that the officers weren't more seriously injured.

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The suspect, who has ties to the Wenatchee Valley, was not injured in the scuffle. Kruse says he was charged with residential burglary and felony assault. A charge of attempting to disarm an officer is pending.

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Student expelled after making threats

Posted Monday, 05-04-15

As a precaution, Wenatchee police officers stood guard at Wenatchee High School and the Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center Monday morning. Captain John Kruse with the Wenatchee Police Department says a teenager who attends both schools, reportedly made threats to kill a school administrator and an official with the Wenatchee Super Oval Race Track over the weekend.

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Kruse adds that both people named in the threats were contacted and confirmed they had previous run-ins with the 18 year old and believed his threats to harm them were credible. The suspect did not have any weapons in his immediate possession at the time of his arrest. Kruse says search warrants are being prepared to determine if the suspect had access to any weapons he could have used to carry out his threats. Kruse says the teen, charged with two counts of felony harassment, threats to kill, has been expelled from the schools.

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Cosmic Crisp Apple Passes Taste Test

Posted 5/4/15
 
KPQ News Director Steve Hair participated in a special taste testing at the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research Center Friday  morning.
 
The event was an opportunity for area growers to sample the new Cosmic Crisp apple. . . 
 
The new Cosmic Crisp apple appears to have passed the taste test for area growers as well . .
 
Friday's event featured apples that were grown in the Quincy and Prosser areas.
 
Cosmic Crisp, or WA-38, was developed by crossing Enterprise and Honeycrisp in 1997. 
 
Tori Schmidt with the Tree Fruit Research Commission  .. 
 
Cosmic Crisp apples will not be widely available to consumers until 2019.
 
 
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Wenatchee wages lower than national avg.

Posted Saturday, 05-02-15

Wenatchee area workers last year earned 12% less than the national average. That according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS economist Todd Johnson says the latest report for last year shows the average worker in the Wenatchee metropolitan area earned $19.89 an hour. The U.S. average was $22.71. Part of that was due to the large number of workers in sectors that are traditionally lower paying, such as agriculture and leisure and hospitality.

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He says some occupations were closer to the national average than others.

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Johnson says management occupations in our area were the highest paid, at $45.14 an hour, followed by healthcare practitioner and technical occupations at $38.80 an hour.

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Senator Murray Wage Bill

Posted Saturday, 05-02-15

U.S. Senator Patty Murray recently  introduced the Raise the Wage Act, legislation the Washington Democrat says would increase to minimum wage to $12 by 2020. The Act would also index the federal minimum wage to the median wage, and gradually eliminate the sub-minimum tipped wage.

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Murray says the legislation would raise wages for nearly 38 million American workers.

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