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Articles written by Justin Johnson


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  • Shelton athlete cited for assault

    Justin Johnson|Feb 8, 2024
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    A Shelton High girls basketball player was cited by Shelton Police for assault in the fourth degree, a gross misdemeanor, on Jan. 31 after a fight broke out during the Climbers game with Aberdeen at Terry Gregg Court at the Shelton Mini-Dome. With 3:35 remaining in the third quarter of the contest, Aberdeen’s Jaylynn Phimmasone — identified by the Bobcats’ roster — collected a rebound and under tight defense from Shelton’s Jasmine Rivera slipped on the floor near the baseline. Video of the incident shows Phimmasone appear to swing...

  • Climbers move up

    Justin Johnson|Jan 25, 2024

    Meet the new leagues, same as the old leagues. As Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s quadrennial process of reclassification of its member schools came to a close over the weekend, not much changed on the surface for Mason County’s three sports-playing high schools. After four years in 2A as a member of the Evergreen Conference, Shelton High School was returned to 3A despite an appeal to remain at the lower level, but the change will only affect the Highclimbers when postseason rolls around. Shelton will remain a member of...

  • COMMUNITY BRIEFS

    Compiled by Gordon Weeks and Justin Johnson|Jan 25, 2024

    Woody Guthrie subject of Northwest lecture Sunday on Harstine Island Olympia actor/teacher/musician/historian Joel Underwood brings the singer and the times to life with "That Ribbon of Highway: Woody Guthrie in the Pacific Northwest" at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Harstine Island Community Hall, 3371 E. Harstine Island Road North. The Harstine Island Community Club, in association with Humanities Washington, hosts the Inquiring Minds series. Admission is free. To get to the hall, turn left off the...

  • SPORTS & OUTDOORS

    Justin Johnson|Jan 25, 2024

    The Bulldogs cast a wide net in their search for a new football coach, but it turns out the answer was just across the parking lot. North Mason High School officially made John Fullington its head football coach after the school board approved the move at its Monday meeting. Fullington has been a physical education teacher and football coach at Hawkins Middle School since 2018. "I'm very excited about this hire," North Mason athletic director Ray Bonnell wrote in an email. "We spread the net...

  • Kilmer won't seek House reelection

    Justin Johnson|Nov 16, 2023

    U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, announced Nov. 9 that he won’t see reelection to Washington’s 6th Congressional District in 2024. The Port Angeles native, who was a member of the state Legislature before being elected to Congress in 2012, said, “I’m excited to start a new chapter when my term is complete.” He also cited a desire to spend more time with his children. The announcement by Kilmer, 49, set off ripples across Washington’s political landscape, most notably Hilary Franz, the state’s Public Lands commissioner,...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by editor Justin Johnson|Sep 28, 2023

    League hosts school candidate discussion The League of Women Voters of Mason County is hosting an informational panel discussion on the work of school boards while at the same time providing the opportunity to learn about 2023 school director incumbents and new candidates. Candidates from North Mason, Grapeview, Hood Canal and Elma school districts have been invited to participate in a Zoom panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4. The public is invited to attend. The Zoom link to the meeting can be found at www.masoncountylwv.org or by contacting...

  • SR3 changes in Belfair

    Justin Johnson|Sep 21, 2023

    People using state Route 3 will soon see a pair of changes while traveling through Belfair. Beginning Monday, left-hand turns from Northeast Ridgepoint Boulevard onto Route 3 will be restricted. Drivers will need to use the roundabout at Log Yard Road in order to travel south. The state Department of Transportation plans to install signs on the roadways Monday. Also, beginning in October, the speed limit on Route 3 from mileposts 25.4 to 26.9 will be reduced to 30 mph. A release from the state says the reduced speed limit is enforcable as soon...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by editor Justin Johnson|Sep 14, 2023

    League hosting schools discussion The League of Women Voters of Mason County is hosting a panel discussion on the governance role of school directors at noon Tuesday at Olympic College Shelton library, located at 937 Alpine Way. Representatives from the Washington State School Directors Association and Washington Association of School Administrators will be joined by six school directors and superintendents from across Washington. This civics education program is designed to increase the understanding of the roles and responsibilities of...

  • Local Sports

    Justin Johnson|Aug 24, 2023

    The 25th annual Fuddpuckers Draft softball tournament will be Saturday and Sunday at Callanan Park in Shelton. The tournament, which generally celebrates the end of summer co-ed softball in Shelton, starts at 9 a.m. both days. It will run until 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Six teams, each named after tournament sponsors, will battle it out over five games to crown a winner. Seventy-two players will compete this year after being “drafted” this year to complete each team’s roster. Scotti Crump, whose daughters Kacy Fladager and Che...

  • Love & Thunder

    Justin Johnson|Aug 17, 2023

    The greater Shelton area co-ed softball tournament remembered one of its own over the weekend, while also raising awareness for that which took his life. The Thor Dobson Memorial co-ed softball tournament took place Saturday and Sunday at Callanan Field in Shelton in honor of Thor Dobson, who died April 26 from an overdose. Dobson's family organized the tournament to raise money to donate to local businesses raising awareness of and helping people with addiction. An online obituary from Hoquiam-...

  • OPINION

    Justin Johnson|Aug 10, 2023

    Ours is to question. Ink-stained wretches at weekly newspapers like this one were at one time content to put out the best newspaper they could muster, once a week. If something really big happened, like downtown burning to the ground, they’d put out a special edition, usually called an “Extra.” Our big-city cousins, often faced with a cross-town rival, would do the same but for the most part, people who wanted to know the latest news turned to their favorite radio station at the top of the hour. In the 1990s, that all began to change with...

  • GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

    Justin Johnson|Jul 20, 2023

    A senior-year transfer to Shelton High School sparked a resurgence for Olivia Henry's love of sports. "All in all, I was really burned out my junior year on sports. I didn't have any coaching and Capital (High School) was very toxic and very what can you do for me, where at Shelton, they just want to build you as a person; they want to feed into your life; they don't care what you give them, they just want you to be your best and so that really helped spark my fire again and want to just play...

  • Wildfire hits central county

    Justin Johnson|Jul 6, 2023

    A brush fire about 4 miles northeast of Shelton forced the mandatory evacuation of 200 structures, including homes and businesses, July 4. The mandatory order was downgraded to voluntary at noon Wednesday. The fire, driven by wind, began about 2 p.m., just west of the Rainbow Lake community near the intersection of East McEwan Prairie Road and East Mason Lake Road. According to a news release from Central Mason Fire & EMS, the fire is burning on industrial timberland and private land that's...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by Justin Johnson and Matt Baide|Jun 29, 2023

    City Council candidates debate at forum Mary Eagleson, Tristen Smith and George Blush, who are vying for a position on the Shelton City Council, took part in a candidate forum at the Shelton Civic Center on Monday. The forum, sponsored by the Mason County Republican Party, was moderated by Jeff Slakey. It can be viewed on www.MasonWebTV.com. The candidates answered prepared questions, as well as questions from the audience, on a range of topics including taxes, homelessness, business...

  • Former counselor accused of child rape

    Justin Johnson and Matt Baide|Jun 8, 2023

    A former Shelton High School freshman counselor was arrested Friday at his Shelton-area residence by Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputies after a two-month investigation. Samuel Martin Caffey, 29, faces charges of child rape, child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of child pornography. Caffey was booked into Mason County Jail on Friday afternoon and made his initial court appearance Monday in Mason County Superior Court, where Superior Court Judge Monty Cobb set bail at...

  • EDITOR'S CHAIR

    Justin Johnson, Editor|Jun 1, 2023

    When I took over as editor of the Shelton-Mason County Journal in the second half of 2020, it wasn't a role I'd ever had before. Nearly all of my journalism career had been spent as a sports reporter and page designer, and I'm not sure I ever saw myself taking over the top job in a newsroom. When the position opened that year, I decided that if I was ever going to take a shot at it, it was the time and place to do it. I was fortunate to have a supportive owner in Tom Mullen and publisher in John Lester. They offered support and guidance when...

  • 'Lift as you climb'

    Justin Johnson|May 25, 2023

    From the moment she was born, Erin Ranney has been surrounded by the outdoors. Whether it was exploring her family's Mason County tree farm or tagging along on a fishing trip to Alaska before she could walk, Ranney has always heard the call of the wild. "I was surrounded by wildlife," Ranney said. "And I was always really excited by wildlife." Building upon that love and passion for the outdoors, Ranney has carved out a career as a wildlife cinematographer that has taken her around the globe. Ra...

  • Miracle on Montlake

    Justin Johnson|May 25, 2023

    The torrent of emotion on Sami Reynolds’ face was unmistakable. It didn’t matter if you were sitting under the light drizzle of rain at Husky Softball Stadium or, as I was, sitting comfortably at home watching on television. Reynolds stood safely on second base, hands on her face, eyes glistening, as she looked back at the dugout and roared “LET’S GO!” Just moments before, Reynolds and her University of Washington softball team looked dead in the water. The Huskies, who hadn’t scored in 16 straight innings, trailed McNeese State...

  • Highclimber, Bulldog athletes battle at Shelton Invite

    Justin Johnson|May 4, 2023

    After a spring filled with cold, rainy days, organizers couldn’t have planned for a more picturesque afternoon for the 63rd annual Shelton Invitational track and field meet. The event, long considered one of the state’s most prestigious track meets, has occurred every track season in Washington since 1960. “Thanks to all the coaches, athletes and officials for making this one of the best Shelton Invitationals on record, and the big man upstairs gave us one of the best weather days ever that I can remember,” meet co-director Mike Fox...

  • How much government is too much, too little

    Justin Johnson|Mar 16, 2023

    How much government is too much? How much is too little? The answer to that probably depends on whom you ask. I’m of the mind that efficiency is much more important than size. A few weeks ago, Island Lake Fire — formally known as Mason County Fire Protection District 11 — submitted a ballot measure that, if approved by the district’s voters, would see Island Lake merge with and be absorbed by Central Mason Fire & EMS. Personally, I really hope it passes. Why? Well for one, there are too many micro districts here in Mason County. Prior...

  • Opening dogfight

    Justin Johnson|Mar 16, 2023

    Wild doesn't quite cover it. After three hours, 10 minutes on a frigid, prespring Monday evening, the North Mason High School softball team defeated Mason County rival Shelton 15-14 in an offensive shootout at Bulldog Field in Belfair. It could have gone even longer. Shelton led 19-15 with two on and two outs in the top of the 7th inning before the game was called on account of darkness. Because North Mason was unable to bat in its half of the inning, by rule the final score reverted to the end...

  • News Briefs

    Compiled by Justin Johnson and Matt Baide|Mar 2, 2023

    Shelton officers find 21-year-old man shot to death Shelton Police are investigating a homicide that occurred Tuesday evening on the 2300 block of Jefferson Street. According to a news release, a male had been reportedly shot and when police arrived, officers found a dead 21-year-old man. Shelton Police and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office are investigating and are asking the public to call MACECOM at 360-426-4441 with any information. Mason County Sheriff’s Office assists arrest The Mason County Sheriff’s Office helped in an...

  • Mat Classic

    Justin Johnson|Feb 23, 2023

    It was a good day to be odd. Six of the 12 wrestlers representing Mason County high schools at Mat Classic XXXIV on Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome earned odd-number state placings, signifying they won their final match of the tournament. Shelton High School's EliBeth Cervantes and North Mason High School's Sadie Evans bounced back from singular defeats to finish with the bronze medal. The Bulldogs' Jake Mathews and Pedro Salvador finished fifth and Shelton's Logan Peach and Mario Boxley...

  • Regional champion

    Justin Johnson|Feb 16, 2023

    She held it in as long as she could. In the seconds after EliBeth Cervantes became the first girls wrestler from Shelton High School to win a regional title in 14 years, she danced her way through congratulatory fist bumps and short hugs from her teammates and coaches until she reached her father, Henry. As father and daughter embraced, the emotion flowed. A dream realized, but a tale not quite finished. "It feels great; Being able to feel like I've accomplished more and that I'm being a better...

  • Climbers bow out of districts

    Justin Johnson|Feb 16, 2023

    The Shelton High School boys basketball season saw its season end with a 65-49 loss to Columbia River on Feb. 9 in a 2A District IV Pigtail game at Terry Gregg Court in Shelton. Mason Goos led Shelton with 17 points, while Weetly Cordova added 11 for the Climbers, who finished their season 11-9 overall. Shelton went 11-4 in its final 15 games after starting the season 0-5....

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Mason Health Cardiology Haroon Yousaf MD
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