Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Articles from the November 2, 2023 edition


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  • Shelton man, 43, charged with murder

    June Williams|Nov 2, 2023

    Shelton resident Jerry T. Upson, 43, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kenneth D. Simmons, 68, after Upson was seen on surveillance video with a handgun entering and leaving the victim’s home numerous times Oct. 27, according to the probable cause document filed by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Simmons’ brother Martin called police Oct. 28 after driving to Simmons’ house at 990 E. Mikkelsen Road and finding him on the couch “cold to the touch, with an apparent gun shot wound to the head,” the document states. Simmon...

  • Wilderness survival

    June Williams|Nov 2, 2023

    Shelton hunter Roger Norris, 55, has new respect for the rugged Hamma Hamma area in Olympic National Forest and the rescuers who helped bring him out of the wilderness alive. Search teams found Norris on Oct. 7, almost a week after he lost his way back to camp and suffered injuries in a fall. "We thought it was going to be a recovery," Mason County Search and Rescue President Keenan Kealy said. "They just don't know me very well," Norris laughed, while recounting his ordeal. The outdoorsman...

  • Missing Public Works money investigated

    June Williams|Nov 2, 2023

    Mason County Public Works Department “immediately strengthened internal controls” and implemented new procedures to deal with cash after the state Auditor’s Office found almost $50,000 went missing in 2021, according to an investigation report released Oct. 19. In September 2021, the county discovered money in a deposit bag from one of the landfill stations was not properly deposited after a customer called to ask why a check payment made a month earlier hadn’t cleared. When the county investigated, it found money from several deposit bags we...

  • Legislators plan town hall to discuss Route 3 bypass

    Journal Staff|Nov 2, 2023

    State lawmakers from the 35th District will have a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at The Hub, 111 Northeast Old Belfair Highway in Belfair to discuss the Belfair bypass project. Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, Reps. Dan Griffey and Travis Couture, both R-Allyn, and state Department of Transportation officials will discuss the project route and timeline and answer questions. The Highway 3 Freight Corridor project will skirt Belfair, creating an alternative route for traffic. "We know how vital...

  • Bruce Cowan

    Nov 2, 2023

    Bruce Cowan was born January 6, 1944, in Shelton, WA. He lived all his life in the Shelton-Union area and attended Shelton High School graduating in 1962. Bruce was an avid hunter and trap shooter, but most of all he loved his black labs, especially his dog Rock. Bruce served in the United States Air Force from 1964-1969. He was a disabled Vietnam Veteran. Bruce worked several jobs including the Union Garage, and as a welder supervisor at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. He also had a small welding... Full story

  • Cecelia Marie Fink (Wolf) ~ March 7, 1952 – September 24, 2023

    Nov 2, 2023

    Cecelia Fink, also known as Chee Chee, passed away peacefully in her home from natural causes on September 24, 2023, at the age of 71. She was born to Edward and Ruth Wolf and grew up primarily in Renton, WA on her parent's farm. Chee Chee was a loving, kind, hard working, beautiful lady who had a heart of gold, who was always helping others. She had many gifts and talents in the area of sewing and crafts, which she would give away or sell to people in the local community, such as wreaths,... Full story

  • Charles William "Bill" Mason

    Nov 2, 2023

    Charles William "Bill" Mason was born in Santa Cruz, California on August 1, 1927, to Anna Margaret Anderson and Stephen Cortez Mason. When Bill was three, his family moved to False Bay on San Juan Island. In 1945, Bill graduated early from Friday Harbor High School and joined the U.S. Navy, anxious to help his country's World War II effort. Leaving the Navy, he made the United States Coast Guard his career which culminated in Alaska as the captain of a buoy tender. After retiring from the... Full story

  • Christopher John Willey

    Nov 2, 2023

    Christopher John Willey of Elma, Washington, fought a strong and courageous battle against cancer. His battle ended on October 2, 2023 at the age of 60, surrounded by loved ones. Chris was born June 3, 1963, to John Lincoln Willey and Julie Ann Willey (Burg) in Portland Oregon. Chris grew up in St. Helens and Scappoose, Oregon. Moving to Toledo, Washington for his sophomore year of high school, he attended Toledo High School, Class of 1981 where he met and married his high school sweetheart,... Full story

  • Doris E. DeLong

    Nov 2, 2023

    Doris E. DeLong, a longtime resident of Belfair, WA passed at age 95 on August 17th, 2023, in Tempe, Arizona. Doris was born in Alberta, Canada in 1928, she took beautician training there and then moved to Spokane. While visiting her sister in Bremerton, she met and married Robert "Bob" DeLong. They lived at Sunset Beach on the South Shore of Hood Canal where they had two children, Pamela and Duane. She had one granddaughter, Lauren. Doris succeeded in business and created DeLong's Beauty Salon... Full story

  • Jeffrey Alan Martin

    Nov 2, 2023

    Jeffrey Alan Martin AKA "Stubs". Born June 10, 1965 in Oroville, CA to Audrey and Darrol Martin (both deceased), passed September 23, 2023 in Morton, WA. Stubs graduated from SHS in 1984. He was passionate about music his entire life, and always the life of the party and one-of-a-kind. Survived by brother Curtis Martin (wife Charolette), sister Tamara Bogh (husband Michael), nieces Amber Ranstead and Alana Bogh, nephews Christopher Martin, Cody Martin, Zachary Martin. A service will be held at... Full story

  • Kenneth Simmons, Jr.

    Nov 2, 2023

    Kenneth Simmons, Jr., 68, of Shelton, Washington, passed away on October 27, 2023. Ken, fondly known as Kenny or Papa Kenny, was born to Kenneth (Bud) Simmons, Sr. and Kathryn (Delores) James (née Lynn) in Shelton, WA. He served in the United States Navy as a Seabee, where he learned his skills as a diesel mechanic. He worked for Simpson Timber Company for many years but ended his career working for Serco as a naval contractor repairing, maintaining, and upgrading naval ships around the world... Full story

  • Michael John Smith

    Nov 2, 2023

    Michael John Smith, 67, died peacefully October 18th, 202, with his family by his side. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Michael was born December 28th, 1955, to Billy and Norma Smith in Gilroy, California. His family moved to Shelton, Washington in 1975 when Michael was 19 years old. On July 24th, 1978, he married Lori Ayers in Seattle, Washington. They were married for 26 years and resided in Shelton, Washington where they raised a daughter and a son. Michael attended trade sch... Full story

  • Ralph Lee Anderson

    Nov 2, 2023

    Ralph Lee Anderson, born on November 28, 1943 in Whitefish, Montana to Lester and Oriel Anderson passed away September 18, 2023, at the age of 79, at home with his family in Shelton, Washington. During his earliest years, Ralph lived in Harrington, Washington before moving to Chimacum, Washington. While in Chimacum, Ralph was unofficially adopted into the family of Reverend George and Penelope Poor. After graduating from Chimacum High School in 1962, Ralph moved with the Poor family to... Full story

  • City working to make school crossings safer

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 2, 2023

    It’s 2:10 Monday afternoon, and parents, guardians and friends are parked in the gravel Huff’n’Puff Trail lot, waiting for Shelton High School students to be released for the day across the street. When these drivers pull onto Shelton Springs Road, few will signal which direction they are turning. Across the street, a steady stream of student cars are pulling out of one driveway, a line of buses out of the other. In between is a single crosswalk, in faded white paint without flags or signa...

  • THESE TIMES

    Kirk Ericson|Nov 2, 2023

    Compassion is its own reward. Dave Pierik, the office administrator and the longest-serving employee at the Shelton-Mason County Journal, has been joining us lately in the newsroom, making corrections on pages on Wednesdays, our get-the-paper-out-the-door day. We’ve learned he’s got a quick wit: ■ We were working on a front-page headline about the Shelton homicide suspects who were being sought by police during the first week of October. The A1 headline was “Homicide suspects at large....

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

    Nov 2, 2023

    Editor's note: As a matter of policy, the Journal does not publish original letters regarding candidates in the edition directly preceding an election because it doesn't allow time for a rebuttal or response. A matter of color Editor, the Journal, I read in the Journal where the anti-Taylor Shellfish people are losing the fight against the oyster bags. So, now they are arguing the color now makes a difference. They want the color to be something other than black. I have stayed out of the...

  • City to pressurize water transmission pipeline

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 2, 2023

    The Shelton City Council is slated to award a contract at its Nov. 7 meeting to pressurize the water transmission pipeline from its Well 1 to its High School Reservoir, on the hill above Shelton Timberland Library. The Shelton City Council and staff members discussed the project Oct. 24 at a study session. The city began accepting bids for the project Tuesday. The transmission pipeline is currently guided by gravity. The Well 1 Rebab Project began in 2018 with Gray & Osborne, Inc. initiating...

  • EDUCATION BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Nov 2, 2023

    Shelton School Board honored by state For the sixth consecutive year, the Shelton School Board received the award as a Board of Distinction from the Washington State School Directors’ Association. The recognition celebrates school boards across the state that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to student success. In this year’s program, 34 school boards, including several first-time applicants, received the honor. The 34 school boards range from districts with a couple hundred students to more than 30,000. “Each selec...

  • COUNTY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Nov 2, 2023

    Unemployment rate in county drops The Mason County unemployment rate dropped in September to 4.6%, according to the Washington Employment Security Department. That’s lower than the 5.1% rate in August, but higher than June’s 3.9% and July’s 4.3%. The county’s highest unemployment this year was 8.1% in February. The county numbers are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small, according to the state website. One dead in U.S. 101 collision Shelton resident Elliott Madea, 32, died in a car accident Oct. 26 after attempt...

  • COMMISSION BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Nov 2, 2023

    Cannabis license granted Amazinggardens LLC doing business as The Dab Lab, applied with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for a cannabis license to operate at 160 W. Westfield Court Unit F, Shelton. Deep Well Farms had a cannabis license approved for operation at 340 E. Millwright Road Bldg A, Shelton, according to Mason County commissioners. Green light for veterans Residents and businesses are encouraged by Mason County commissioners to display a green light for veterans Nov. 6-12. At the regular meeting Oct. 24, commissioners...

  • COMMUNITY BRIEFS

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Nov 2, 2023

    Poets read works about salmon Poets whose work is included in the anthology “I Sing the Salmon Home,” edited by former Washington Poet Laureate Rena Priest, will read at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Shelton Timberland Library. Indianola resident Holly Hughes, co-owner of Empty Bowls Press and publisher of “I Sing the Salmon Home,” will emcee the reading. Hughes also writes poems about fish. The readers will also include Katy E. Ellis of Vashon Island, Cynthia Pratt of Lacey, Shelly Kirk-Rudeen of Olympia and Jeanette Barreca, reading the work of the...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Nov 2, 2023

    Thousands of chum salmon are returning to Johns Creek on the Bayshore Preserve to spawn. Learn about their journey when Capitol Land Trust and Puget Sound Estuarium host Salmon Experience from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at the preserve at 3800 state Route 3, 3 miles north of downtown Shelton. Admission is free. Patrons can learn about salmon from knowledgeable volunteer docents, view salmon via underwater cameras and take tours of Bayshore Preserve, the site...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Nov 2, 2023

    I saw "The Bowmakers," by director Ward Serrill and producer Rocky Freidman, as part of the 2019 Port Townsend Film Festival, back when Freidman still co-owned the Rose Theatre. Even as one of 15 films I saw that weekend, "The Bowmakers" stood out for Serrill's deft weaving of multiple nations' cultural histories, its detailed view of workpeople's processes and its idiosyncratic first-person biographies. I shouldn't be surprised to find that same alchemy in Serrill's follow-up collaboration...

  • Bound for Pasco

    Matt Baide, For the Journal|Nov 2, 2023

    Shelton senior Lily Bennett finished in fourth place at the District IV 2A girls cross country championship race Oct. 26 at Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland. Bennett finished the race in 19 minutes, 58 seconds to qualify for the state 2A girls cross country championship race at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Shelton first-year student Alisha Carpenter also qualified for the state race with a 11th place finish in 20:35. Sophomore Madison Lohmeyer finished 29th in 21:55....

  • North Mason, MMK volleyball teams set for districts

    Matt Baide, For the Journal|Nov 2, 2023

    North Mason is ranked No. 13 in the District 2/3 2A volleyball tournament and will play No. 12 seed Franklin Pierce at 4 p.m. on Friday at Sammamish High School in Sammamish. The Bulldogs wrapped up the regular season with a 3-2 win against Kingston on Oct. 24 in Kingston and a 3-0 loss to North Kitsap on Oct. 26 in Belfair. North Kitsap won with set scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-19. North Mason junior libero Alyssa Pomrenke had four aces and eight digs. Sophomore Mari Morris tallied two aces, t...

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