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  • Port of Allyn to vote on gazebo rental change

    June Williams|Jan 11, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners were expected to vote on a proposed change to the gazebo rental policy at the Jan. 10 meeting that happened after the Herald went to press. Patty Noel, who was appointed interim executive assistant at the Jan. 1 meeting, proposed changing the current rental schedule that's set at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., to a minimum four-hour rental with an additional hourly charge after four hours. "Right now, the gazebo is only able to be rented twice in one day," Noe...

  • Beekeeper bills county for deaths from pesticides

    June Williams|Jan 11, 2024

    Master Beekeeper Debra Langley-Boyer, a North Mason resident, has filed a claim with the county for reimbursement for the loss of her bees due to herbicide spraying. Langley-Boyer is asking for $4,035.48 and provided the county with an itemized list for the deaths of her bees in 2020 and 2023, including $800 for the loss of queens, $483 for honey lost and “unrecoverable” for native bee loss. “This is the second time (May 2023) Mason County has killed my honeybees and native bees due to spraying herbicides along the Tee Lake county road....

  • COMMISSION BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Jan 4, 2024

    WIC contract extended At the regular Jan. 2 meeting, commissioners extended the performance period of a Women, Infants and Children contract through Feb. 29. The additional time is for continued staff training. The WIC program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk, according to the federal website. WIC will be a three-way partnership with Mason County... Full story

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Jan 4, 2024

    Driver hits pole to avoid deer A driver suffered injuries when his car rolled over and struck a pole on state Route 3 near mile post 18 in the early morning of New Year’s Day as he swerved to avoid a deer, according to the Washington State Patrol. Grapeview resident Caleb Tobin, 22, was taken to Mason General Hospital for treatment. Tobin’s Kia Forte was totaled, police said. Arson suspect pleads not guilty Mason County Judge Daniel Goodell entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Jacob Rivera,44, at Rivera’s initial appearance Jan. 2....

  • Port of Allyn interim director LeAnn Dennis dies

    June Williams|Jan 4, 2024

    Port of Allyn commissioners observed a moment of silence at the regular meeting Jan. 1 for interim Executive Director LeAnn Dennis, age 55, who died Christmas Day. “LeAnn will be greatly missed. She left a big hole,” Commissioner Judy Scott said. Scott read a statement from Dennis’ daughter, Alena Dennis, at the meeting. “Anyone who ever met LeAnn would tell you that their lives changed forever after knowing her. She made everything brighter and gave her whole heart to anyone who showed her kindness and love. Her commitment to caring...

  • Arson suspect to be arraigned

    June Williams|Dec 28, 2023

    Jacob Rivera, 44, will be arraigned Jan. 2 in Mason County Superior Court on charges of first-degree arson in connection with an explosion and house fire in Hoodsport on Dec. 13 and attempting to elude police Dec. 11. Witnesses identified Rivera leaving the scene of the fire, which started at 6:23 a.m., according to the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called to the home in the 200 block of North Mount Washington Drive in Hoodsport by the fire marshal. Deputy J. Cozad said he viewed a neighbor’s video surveillance of the...

  • Rescued puppies have new homes

    June Williams|Dec 28, 2023

    All seven puppies found abandoned in a Walmart bag at the Matlock logging gate Oct. 17 have been adopted. "All of them found great homes," The Humane Society of Mason County Executive Director Katherine Johnson told the Journal. The puppies were less than 2 days old when they were found and taken to HSMC for around-the-clock care. The puppies were spayed and neutered before going to new homes Dec. 13, Johnson said. One of the puppies, Pickles, was the 3000th spay and neuter surgery the group's...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Dec 28, 2023

    Health department closes shellfish areas Several areas in Mason County have been closed for shellfish harvesting due to high levels of biotoxins that cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, according to the state Health Department. Pickering Passage, Peale Passage and Squaxin Passage are closed for all harvesting. Beaches closed for all harvesting are West Dougall Point, Jarrell Cove State Park and Jarrell Cove State Park East, Hope Island State Park and DNR areas 33 and 34 on Harstine Island. Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning causes nausea, vomitin...

  • Suspected Hoodsport arsonist is captured

    June Williams|Dec 21, 2023

    Police have arrested an arson suspect wanted in connection with an explosion in Hoodsport. Jacob Rivera, 44, was arrested by Grays Harbor County deputies Dec. 16, after he allegedly fled the scene of a Dec. 13 explosion and suspicious house fire in the 200 block of North Mount Washington Drive in Hoodsport. Rivera had previously been accused by his girlfriend of making bombs when he was arrested over the summer on domestic violence charges. Witnesses identified Rivera fleeing the scene, “while a female victim sought refuge with a nearby neigh...

  • Soldiers arrested in shooting of excavator in Sherwood Forest

    June Williams|Dec 21, 2023

    Two soldiers have been arrested for first-degree malicious mischief after a man captured them on a trail camera shooting his new excavator in the Sherwood Forest area of Allyn. Judge Monty Cobb found probable cause to arrest Zacharia Miller-Young, 20, and Hanby W. Sykes, 23, but neither one has been charged. Miller-Young and Sykes are soldiers attached to the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Bangor, according to the probable cause document. Jason Wistrand, who owns the excavator, called police Nov. 3 to report vandalism, saying his...

  • Thomas named to North Mason School Board seat

    June Williams|Dec 21, 2023

    The North Mason School Board unanimously voted for Nicholas Thomas to replace retiring District 4 Director John Campbell at a special meeting Dec. 14. During his interview for the position, Thomas said “being a dad” is one of his reasons for applying for the position. He said he really wanted to get involved. “I can only do so much as a Pee Wee football coach,” he said. Thomas has lived in the area for 20 years and works in instructional design for the Navy as a civilian. He told the board he can help improve communication with...

  • Community resource

    June Williams|Dec 14, 2023

    North Mason residents have a new resource for mental health needs. Psychiatric ARNP Kristi Eilers, working through North Mason Regional Fire Authority, offers personalized health plans that address anxiety, depression, addiction and other challenges, and can make home visits. Eilers and NMRFA began offering the services in October under the Mobile Integrated Health Program the fire department already operates. It was started to prevent people from having to go to the emergency room and is run...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Dec 14, 2023

    Driver charged in Grapeview Loop collision A driver who caused a collision while attempting to pass a turning car at state Route 3 and Grapeview Loop Road Dec. 7 has been charged with vehicular assault, according to the Washington State Patrol. Joseph V. Campbell, 67, of Shelton, was driving on Route 3 behind Terry Petersen, 53, of Belfair, when Peterson slowed to turn onto Grapeview Loop Road. Campbell tried to pass on the left and struck Peterson's truck, causing both cars to block the road...

  • BELFAIR HERALD

    June Williams|Dec 14, 2023

    If you're thinking about owning honeybees, Belfair & Beyond Beekeepers group says answer this question: Why? Do you want honey? Do you want beeswax? "What do you actually want to do?" Debra Langley-Boyer, president of the group, asked workshop participants at the North Mason Timberland Library Dec. 9. Secretary Brian Stefanko jumped in with his answer. "I keep bees because they're awesome!" Most people keep bees for honey, Langley-Boyer said, but before you decide, get to know the bees. "Bee...

  • Atmospheric river creates flooding, hazards

    Gordon Weeks and June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    An atmospheric river of torrential rain over several days caused the Skokomish River to crest at its second-highest recorded point Tuesday and flooded and closed roads throughout Mason County. The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued flood warnings in parts of Western Washington, including much of the Olympic Peninsula. Flooding and hazardous conditions prompted the state Department of Transportation to close state Route 106 from U.S. Highway 101 to Alderbrook at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Other...

  • Shelton home contractor accused of fraud

    June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    Shelton contractor Stephen Ates, who operated Family Class Homes, pleaded not guilty Nov. 28 in Mason County Superior Court to charges he stole almost 1 million dollars from clients who paid him to build their dream homes. Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office charged Ates with nine counts of theft in the first degree and eight counts of filing a false tax return. Ates ran his contracting business out of Tahuya from 2012 until 2021, when he declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to charging documents. Family Class Homes specialized in...

  • Lacey woman allegedly aided murder suspect

    June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    A Lacey woman arrested for first-degree rendering criminal assistance for helping two suspects sought for the Shelton shooting death of Janus Afo pleaded not guilty at her initial arraignment Nov. 13 before Judge Monty Cobb in Mason County Superior Court. Katherine Taylor, 42, was arrested Oct. 27 for allegedly helping William Williams, 40, and Kennedy Karpf, 25, evade police and hide in Oregon, according to Mason County Sheriff’s charging documents. Williams has been charged with second-degree murder and felony possession of a firearm and Ka...

  • Regulations for short-term rentals considered

    June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    The Mason County Planning Department wants public input regarding future regulations for short-term vacation rentals. The Planning Advisory Committee and Mason County commissioners are working on drafting regulations, according to the information packet. The department sent postcards to shoreline lot owners requesting their input on the issue through a survey accessed by QR code or a link provided on the county’s website. “The department has received an increasing number of reports from Mason County residents expressing concern over...

  • Search for missing Mason County man suspended

    June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    The Mason County Sheriff’s Office has suspended the search for Brandon Adams, 34, who was last seen in the Brown Creek area in Mason County Oct. 20. His Jeep was found abandoned Nov. 12 on the Simpson 800 line in the Olympic National Forest approximately 4 miles northwest of Dry Bed Lakes and Haven Lake, according to sheriff’s deputies. “MCSO has informed Brandon’s family that they have suspended conventional search efforts as no new leads have arisen and all areas of probability and interest thus far have been checked with negative res...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    PUD 3 rate increase coming Mason PUD 3 is increasing rates starting March 1, 2024. Residential customers will see a 6% energy rate hike. This will mean about $14 more per month, using 2,000 kWh as the average, according to PUD. Small commercial rates will go up 3%, large commercial 1.5%, industrial 3% and cannabis will see a 3% rise in demand rates. All customers will pay an additional 10 cents for daily system charges. PUD said the increase was needed to replace aging infrastructure, and costs for all equipment “have dramatically...

  • NORTH MASON BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Dec 7, 2023

    Grapeview woman dies in Kitsap crash Karen Britz, 62, of Grapeview died Nov. 23 in a collision on state Route 3 just north of Sunnyslope in Kitsap County, according to the Washington State Patrol. Britz was northbound when she crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by John Mors, 26, of Bremerton. Britz’s car then left the road, crashed into a tree and landed in a ditch, according to a WSP news release. Britz died at the scene. Unemployment rises slightly in county Mason County’s October unemployment rate rose to 4.9%, up...

  • Examiner lets Taylor use black oyster bags

    June Williams|Nov 30, 2023

    Taylor Shellfish will not have to use costly blue or green oyster bags but will still need third-party monitoring for environmental impacts of its proposed floating oyster bag farm in Oakland Bay, the Mason County hearing examiner ruled Nov. 21, revising an original decision. The seafood company objected to requirements that the black color of the oyster bags be replaced with blue or green and that it pay for a monitoring plan prepared by a third-party expert and filed a motion for reconsideration after the project was approved Oct. 9. “The...

  • COMMISSION BRIEFS

    June Williams|Nov 30, 2023

    Commissioners place sales tax on ballot Commissioners approved a resolution placing a proposition on the Feb. 13 special election ballot authorizing a sales & use tax rate of 2/10 of 1% sales and use tax for 911 emergency communications operations at a special meeting Nov. 28. MACECOM governance board recommended the tax, saying “additional funding is needed to fund necessary critical infrastructure, increased staffing and operations of the emergency communications center in order to provide vital public safety services to the public,...

  • Port of Allyn to meet about Allyn Carey water system

    June Williams|Nov 30, 2023

    The Port of Allyn was set to vote on the final draft of a purchase and sale agreement for the Allyn Carey water system at a Wednesday special meeting occurring after the Herald’s deadline. Commissioners called a special meeting Nov. 27 to hammer out details of the proposed contract with Jeff Carey’s attorney and the port’s legal team. The port is hoping to use grant money to acquire Carey’s system, including the well and surrounding lots. “A number of moving parts remain,” said port attorney Peter Fraley, of Ogden Murphy Wallace....

  • Examiner set to make decision on bag appeal

    June Williams|Nov 23, 2023

    The Mason County hearing examiner was set to decide on a motion for reconsideration of the approval of Taylor Shellfish’s floating oyster bag farm in Oakland Bay at a meeting Wednesday at the Mason County Commission chambers in Shelton. The meeting occured after the Journal’s holiday deadline. The seafood company welcomed the approval, but objected to requirements that the black color of the oyster bags be replaced with blue or green and that it pay for a monitoring plan prepared by a third-party expert to check for environmental impacts. T...

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