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Empire Taproom opens

The former Empire Alehouse in downtown Mount Vernon has reopened as Empire Taproom.

Bruce Springer owned and operated Empire Alehouse from 2008 to 2015 before selling it.

It closed down in November and was reopened by Springer as Empire Taproom on Feb. 1.

The new business serves 19 rotating beers and limited appetizers.

Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

SaviBank opens new branch

SaviBank opened a full-service branch Monday at 203 Ball Street in Sedro-Woolley.

This is the Burlington-based bank’s seventh full-service branch, according to a SaviBank news release.

The Sedro-Woolley branch is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the drive-through open until 5:30.

Nominees accepted for honor

Nominations are being accepted for the Skagit Change-Maker Award.

The award, inspired by the life of Terry Belcoe, is in its second year.

It was created by the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, United Way of Skagit County, Community Action of Skagit County, North Coast Credit Union and the Skagit Population Health Trust.

Nominees should excel in their professional work area, make significant contributions to the Skagit County community, mentor current and future leaders, tackle important work on behalf of the community, promote collaboration and put service above self.

Nominations are being accepted at

Deadline is 5 p.m. March 30.

Contact David Jefferson for more information at

Viva Farms slates program

Viva Farms is accepting applications for its Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture, a hands-on course in certified organic production practices and small farm business management.

Those who complete the nine-month program are eligible to enter Viva Farms’ incubator program, contingent on staff approval.

The course is accredited in partnership with Skagit Valley College, Seattle Central Community College and Sustainable Agriculture Education.

It runs April through November.

For more information, email or call 360-969-7191 ext. 2.

Farm safety workshop set

The Washington State University Skagit County Extension will hold a farm machinery safety workshop March 18-29.

The workshop will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Extension offices,11768 Westar Lane, Burlington.

A deposit of $25 is required, with an additional $50 due by the end of the course in order to receive a certificate.

For more information, call the Extension at 360-428-4270.

Burlington chamber luncheon slated

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly membership luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 20 at the Burlington Public Library.

Costs are $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. An additional $3 will be charged for those who pay at the door.

To RSVP, call 360-757-0994 or email

Training session planned

The Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host training Wednesday at the chamber offices, 301 W. Kincaid St.

The “Knowledge NOW: Streamlined Third Party Mediation Process for the Workplace,” training will be noon to 1 p.m.

It will be taught by Max Collette of Skagit Valley College.

Costs are $10 for chamber members and $15 for nonmembers. Lunch is included for those who RSVP.

For more information, call 360-428-8547 or email

From staff reports

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