Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Articles from the December 7, 2023 edition

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  • City hands wish list to legislators

    Gordon Weeks|Dec 7, 2023

    In a wish list approved by the Shelton City Council on Tuesday, the council asked state 35th District Reps. Travis Couture and Dan Griffey, both R-Allyn, and state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, to pursue $3 million for a multimodal path through Shelton on the former Simpson Timber Railroad right of way and $2 million for a homeless mitigation site during the legislature session that starts in January. The council unanimously gave preliminary approval to the list at its Nov. 21 meeting. The list...

  • 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...

  • Christmas feeling

    Dec 7, 2023


  • 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 Karp...


    Kirk Ericson|Dec 7, 2023

    It’s amazing how technology evolves. I recently learned you can get an at-home prostate test. How could that possible work? Do they just mail you a polyurethane model of your doctor’s finger? The phrase “missing person” is inaccurate. The “missing person” isn’t really missing. He’s just not where everyone has already looked. To really appreciate poetry, being in emotional distress helps. At this moment, you likely have some Tupperware item in your possession that needs to be returned to its righ...


    Dec 7, 2023

    Xinh was an icon Editor, the Journal, To say that Xinh was an icon would be an understatement. I got to know her when I ran the shucking competition with Jef Conklin at OysterFest for 15 years or so. This was during the years when she won her championships. She was a world-class shucker. More importantly, she was a world-class person. Over the years, the shucking competition evolved. There were the locals, old-timers and newcomers, people coming from different parts of the world that made our area their new home. Restaurant people from Seattle...


    C.J. Singh|Dec 7, 2023

    Life involves significant milestones like buying a home, starting a family and planning for your children's education. Amid these, creating a will often is overlooked. Despite its somber nature, a will is crucial for ensuring your wishes are respected and your loved ones are supplied for after you are gone. A will is a legal document detailing how you want your assets distributed posthumously, serving as a guide for your loved ones in managing your estate. It helps avoid the complications of...

  • 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 sho...


    Jan Parker|Dec 7, 2023

    The following story is from the Journal's Mason County Visitor's Guide for 1968. The bright lights on trees from Mason County pop the eyes of boys and girls in 2 million homes every year on Christmas morning. Christmas trees produced here are shipped as far south as Mexico City, east to Kansas and west to the Philippines. California gets 80 percent of the crop. That's why Shelton has earned its unique nickname of "Christmastown U.S.A." This is the place where Santa stops to load his sleigh with...

  • 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 results. If...


    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 i...


    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Dec 7, 2023

    City’s Parks and Recreation Citizen Board opening The City of Shelton seeks a new member for its Parks and Recreation Citizen Advisory Board. The group provides the Shelton City Council with feedback on parks and recreation planning. The committee meets monthly to assist the city in delivering parks and recreation programs to residents and visitors. Applicants must live in Mason County. The committee has one vacancy. To apply, submit a letter of interest to Parks and Recreation Supervisor Jordanne Krumpols at [email protected] o...

  • Christmas town

    Dec 7, 2023



    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Dec 7, 2023

    Holiday events hosted countywide Burger Claim and More hosts photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 5 to 8 p.m. today at 24171 NE state Route 3 in Belfair. Candy canes and hot chocolate will be served. Local artists will also offer their goods for sale, including Sheds and Slabs Handcrafted Woodworks, Heather Reese Photography, Knotty Pine Apothecary, and Twilight Minerals Crystals & More. The second annual Christmas Market is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Oakland Bay Junior High...


    Gordon Weeks|Dec 7, 2023

    Beth Bradley's church's Christmas pageant is predictable every year - the angel choir members wear too much lipstick, shepherds wear their father's bathrobes and the minister's son is always cast as Joseph. But when the authoritative pageant director breaks her leg, Beth's inexperienced mother Grace steps in. That's when the rambunctious Herdman children descend on the production, lured by the promise of free dessert at Sunday school and determined to win all the lead roles. During the frenzy...


    Kirk Boxleitner|Dec 7, 2023

    Too many of my fellow critics of cinema have a long and unfortunate history of refusing to acknowledge the artistic validity of any number of specific genres of film, until they're forced to do so by an emerging popular consensus that proves so broad and strong that it threatens to render their perspectives culturally irrelevant. Once upon a time, gangster flicks were considered as soulless and formulaic, as fine folks such as Martin Scorsese have deemed the majority of modern onscreen superhero...

  • 'Dogs run wild

    Matt Baide, For the Journal|Dec 7, 2023

    North Mason junior Adrianne Tupolo scored 35 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 54-38 win against Shelton in the girls basketball version of the Mason County Cup on Dec. 1 at the Mini-Dome in Shelton. Coming off the Bulldogs' first appearance in districts in more than a decade, North Mason head coach Alex Fitzhugh said the game was "everything we could have asked for." "We've got a bunch of new girls so just keeping the ball rolling from last year's success," Fitzhugh said. "I think this is the...

  • Rivalry showdown

    Dec 7, 2023



    Compiled by Matt Baide|Dec 7, 2023

    North Mason boys basketball North Mason won its opening game 62-59 to Muckleshoot Tribal School on Dec. 1 in Belfair in a nonleague boys basketball game. The Bulldogs lost 58-55 to Evergreen on Dec. 4 in Seattle. North Mason (1-1) hosts Kingston at 7 tonight in Belfair. The Bulldogs will travel to Port Angeles on Dec. 12 to play at 7 p.m. against the Roughriders in an Olympic League game. North Mason girls bowling North Mason lost 6-1 to Sequim on Nov. 30 at Laurel Lanes in Port Angeles in an Olympic League girls bowling match. The Bulldogs...

  • Cristy Knight

    Dec 7, 2023

    Cristy Knight, born March 5th, 1986, in Shelton Washington passed away peacefully on November 28th, 2023, at her home in Shelton, Washington. She leaves behind her husband Robert Knight, son Robert Knight III, daughter MaKenna Knight, parents, Randy and Dorene Wood; brothers Curtis Wood and Jesse Hirzel, sister Colina Hirzel, honorary sister Kandice Clouatre, nephew Michael Hirzel, and Christian Cruz along with nieces Abbie Hirzel, RuthAnne Wood, and Maddison Wood, as well as numerous aunts,... Full story

  • Bill Morton

    Dec 7, 2023

    Bill Morton was born in Birmingham, Alabama to Claude Morton and Norma (Harrell) Morton from Mobile, Alabama. Bill served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1979 and worked as a telephone line construction installer foreman. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Germany Marksman Award M-16 and the Rifle Marksman Badge. He is survived by his wife, Tami Morton. Very important people in Bill’s life include his son, Rich Squire, daughter-in-law Jessey Squire and granddaughters Danyka Squire a... Full story

  • In Loving Memory of Edward Robert Anderson

    Dec 7, 2023

    Edward Robert Anderson, 73, of Shelton, WA, recently passed away. Ed is survived by his wife Lori; his children, Jenny (Robert) and Jeannie (Matias); brother Jim; and 4 grandchildren, Eric, Nolan, Reyna, and Drew. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Bernadette Anderson; and brothers, Tom and Bill. Ed was born in New Jersey in 1950. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he served 4 years during the Vietnam War. He attended Rutgers University... Full story

  • Valjeanne (Jeannie) Louise Sawhill

    Dec 7, 2023

    We are heartbroken to announce the death of Valjeanne (Jeannie) Louise Sawhill. She passed on Friday, November 17, 2023 at the age of 69 in Olympia, Washington. Jeannie is survived by her husband Dennis Sawhill; daughters Christina Delphini and Julyjo Sawhill; her grandchildren Kaivye (8), Kataleya (7), Kyluna (4) and Khavanni (2); her siblings Douglas Kottke Jr, Tim Kottke, Tom Kottke, Judy Boettcher; and her uncle Irwin Weimer. She was preceded in death by her parents Helen and Douglas Kottke... Full story

  • Sherryl Diane Phipps

    Dec 7, 2023

    Sherryl Diane Phipps passed away Thursday November 9, 2023 at Samaritan Community Hospital in Lebanon Oregon. She was companied by her oldest son John and younger sister Cathy. Sherryl Diane Phipps was born on February 25th, 1949, in Brighton Colorado to Calvin Groomer and Bernice Exline. Her father, Calvin, unfortunately died soon after her birth in an automobile accident. From about the age two, she was raised by her stepfather Ethan Exline. She was raised in a loving family as one of the middle children with five other siblings: Bethan,... Full story

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