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  • Primary ballots mailed

    Gordon Weeks|Jul 11, 2024

    Ballots for the Aug. 6 primary election were mailed Monday to Mason County voters. In the two Mason County Commission contests, the two candidates who receive the most votes will square off in the November general election. Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin, an independent, is seeking a fourth four-year term representing District 1 on the commission. He faces two Republican challengers, Ted Jackson and William Harris, both of Allyn. Republicans Richard Beckman and Pat Tarzwell, and Tom Beben, who states no party preference, are seeking...

  • High Steel Bridge fire

    June Williams|Jul 11, 2024

    Fire crews are monitoring the area underneath the High Steel Bridge after a wildfire started there July 4, according to the U.S. Forest Service. No active suppression is happening now because the terrain is too dangerous for firefighters, but the Vincent Creek fire appears to be out, Keith Alholm, public affairs specialist with Olympic National Forest, told the Journal. “There are no active flames or smoke,” Alholm said. A helicopter dumped water on the fire and engines sprayed water down at the flames from the bridge, according to the For...

  • City Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Jul 11, 2024

    City receives zero library project bids No contractors offered bids to repair the Shelton Timberland Library deck. The Shelton City Council was scheduled to give preliminary approval at its July 2 meeting to awarding a contract to install a new waterproof membrane and steel safety railing to meet building and safety codes and "provide a more aesthetically pleasing public space." But City Manager Mark Ziegler announced that the city hadn't received any bids yet for the project. The invitation to...

  • One year later: Remembering the McEwan Prairie Fire

    June Williams|Jul 11, 2024

    Central Mason Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Snyder joined state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz on July 2 at the site of last year's McEwan Fire to talk about fire safety on forest lands. Snyder gave a brief history of the McEwan Fire that started on the Fourth of July last year around 2 p.m. Central Mason was dispatched to a possible brush fire behind Rainbow Lake and units arrived within minutes, he said. The fire was about one-fourth of an acre but there was "rapid fire growth," Snyder...

  • Fourth of July fire

    Jul 11, 2024

  • Elma man charged with manslaughter in woman's death

    June Williams|Jul 11, 2024

    Police have arrested an Elma man in connection with the death of a woman whose decomposing body was found in a ravine near Schafer State Park. Joshua Morris, 43, was seen on video surveillance May 22 leaving the Lucky Dog Casino with Joanna Ruth Saunders, 29, according to court documents. Saunders was later identified as the body found June 11 on West Beerbower Road in Elma, about 1 mile away from the state park. Mason County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Morris on July 3 for manslaughter. Deputies discovered Saunders June 11, after gravel pit em...

  • North Mason grad headed to Olympics

    Justin Johnson|Jul 4, 2024

    CJ Allen, a 2013 graduate of North Mason High School, is headed to the Paris Olympics with Team USA. Competing in the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Team Trials on June 30 in Eugene, Oregon, Allen finished with a time of 47.81 seconds in the event finals, earning second place and qualifying for the Olympics, which begin later this month. “I was 10 years old when I saw the Olympics go off. I said that one day I’d be an Olympian,” Allen said in a YouTube interview with CITIU...

  • City considers car-license cameras

    Gordon Weeks|Jul 4, 2024

    The City of Shelton is considering installing 12 cameras at city entrances that read vehicle license plates and within 20 seconds alert Shelton Police of stolen plates or cars, missing persons or abducted children. At a June 25 study session, the Shelton City Council heard presentations on the system by Flock Safety that is used in 61 locales in the state, including the cities of Olympia, Kent, Marysville, Omak, Centralia and Aberdeen. “One of the biggest things to understand about this is if someone is rolling into our city with a stolen c...

  • Reuniting parents with their children

    Gordon Weeks|Jul 4, 2024

    Shelton native Alicia Otto kicked her addictions to methamphetamine and heroin eight years ago. "At first I fought it tooth and nail," Otto told the audience at the annual Mason County Family Reunification Day gathering June 27 at Kneeland Park in Shelton. But being clean was the only way Otto could regain her four children, now ages 8 to 17. Now she's helping others as the program director for the Recovery Cafe in downtown Shelton. Otto and her children were among the celebrants at the Family...

  • Congressional debate

    Jul 4, 2024

  • Fire merger of Grapeview, Central Mason now complete

    Staff report|Jul 4, 2024

    The voter-approved merger of Grapeview Fire District 3 with Central Mason Fire District 5 happened July 1. The merger easily passed on May's ballot. Both District 3's Chief Patti Graber and District 5's Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Snyder said at the time they were happy with the vote. The main station on Grapeview Loop Road will have increased staff and will eliminate duplicate services, allowing more firefighters and paramedics to respond to calls, the chiefs said in May. "Our new Central Mason team...

  • Potlatch substation maintenance longer than planned

    June Williams|Jul 4, 2024

    Mason PUD 1 customers went longer than expected without power after overnight maintenance on the Potlatch substation June 27. Residents of Union, Lilliwaup and Hoodsport were scheduled to have electricity cut from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. so Bonneville Power Administration could service the substation. Power was restored by 8 a.m. Mason PUD 1 General Manager Kristin Masteller told the Journal in an email that BPA didn’t give a reason for the delay but sometimes work takes longer than anticipated. “After BPA restored power to their sub that feeds our...

  • Programs available to benefit Mason PUD 3 customers

    Staff report|Jul 4, 2024

    Mason PUD 3 customers will benefit from two programs through the state Department of Commerce. The programs are available to low- and moderate-income households, one featuring bill credits and the other providing expended energy efficient incentives. Funding for both programs is limited and available now. Under the qualifications, a family of four in Mason County with an income up to $73,450 a year is considered low income. A family of four with an income up to $137,700 per year is considered moderate income. These programs are funded through...

  • Murder on Skokomish Reservation

    June Williams|Jun 27, 2024

    Mason County Sheriff Deputies arrested Dale Red Hawk LaClair, 40, for murder Tuesday after finding LaClair “shirtless and covered in blood” and Paul William Peterson, Jr., 35, apparently beaten to death on the front lawn of a home on the Skokomish Indian Reservation, according to court documents. MACECOM began receiving calls about a man crying for help around 5 a.m. June 25 and dispatched deputies to North Salish Court on the reservation, according to a probable cause document. “When the initial responding deputies arrived, they conta...

  • New director for Turning Pointe

    Staff report|Jun 27, 2024

    Meg Quinlivan is the new executive director of Turning Pointe Survivor Advocacy Center in Shelton. Quinlivan has been executive director of the YWCA of Kitsap County and Prison Pet Partnership. In a news release, the nonprofit organization noted Quinlivan has more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership, nonprofit management, fundraising and program development. "Meg has held leadership positions in similarly focused organizations, but an order of magnitude larger than Turning Pointe...

  • Between a rock and a hard place

    Jun 27, 2024

  • Matlock Fire 12 appoints final commissioner

    June Williams|Jun 27, 2024

    Fire District 12 commissioners filled the vacant seat 2 position at the June 19 meeting, appointing Matlock resident Steven Ingram. Earlier in the meeting, Commissioners Trina Young and Dave Persell interviewed Ingram and Kenneth Smith, asking the candidates about their experience and how they would approach the commissioner job. Smith, who volunteered with District 12 from 2011 to 2018, said he also worked in fire districts in Spokane and California. Persell asked Smith when he first learned about the “fraud situation” at the district. “Wh...

  • Fixing a leak

    Jun 27, 2024

  • Downtown creative district

    Gordon Weeks|Jun 20, 2024

    Imagine strolling through a downtown creative district in Shelton where you can browse galleries, attend concerts, dine at a restaurant on well-lit streets made friendly for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Shelton City Council discussed creating such a district at a work study session June 11 at the Shelton Civic Center. Jae Hill, the city's community and economic development director, said the city's Downtown Visioning Plan in 2025 envisioned an arts district on Cota Street, but not much has...

  • City looks at stolen shopping carts

    Gordon Weeks|Jun 20, 2024

    Stores in Shelton lose more than 300 shopping carts a year, which end up in alleys, ravines and homeless encampments. It costs the City of Shelton staff time and money to retrieve them from its parks and when they become a nuisance. At a study session on June 11, the members of the Shelton City Council and city staff spent an hour discussing ways to mitigate the problem. Jae Hill, the city's community and economic development director, said he reached out to stores in Shelton about their...

  • Public defender updates

    June Williams|Jun 20, 2024

    Mason County Chief Public Defender Peter Jones briefed commissioners June 17 on how preparations are going for presumed changes to his office. The Washington Supreme Court is accepting comments on updated standards through October, Jones said. It’s the first step in passing the standards and making them mandatory, according to Jones. The new proposed rules have been alarming for Mason and other smaller counties that will have to dramatically increase their budgets for indigent defense. Potentially updated Washington State Bar standards will d...

  • News Briefs

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Jun 20, 2024

    Jackson resigns from United Way United Way of Mason County Executive Director Ted Jackson resigned June 6, the organization said in a news release. "Mr. Jackson has served UWMC with dedication, and the Board of Directors extends its gratitude for his service," according to the statement. UWMC Board President Dani Cook told the Journal in an email the group is "taking time to evaluate the program," and will not currently be seeking a replacement executive director. Jackson was a Port of Allyn commissioner until his resignation Jan. 19. He is...

  • Crime & Courts

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Jun 20, 2024

    Fight outside CHOICE graduation ends with arrests Shelton police arrested three men fighting outside the June 6 CHOICE High School graduation at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center, according to court documents. Damien Castellane, 21, James Elmund, 19, and Malique Ekstein, 20, were arrested for assault and obstructing a law enforcement officer, according to a probable cause document. Shelton Police Officer M. Mullins got called for a “verbal disturbance” at the center at 6:10 p.m. and en route, MACECOM told him it escalated to a “ph...

  • Fjordin Crossin this weekend in Hoodsport

    June Williams|Jun 20, 2024

    A bit of old Norway is coming to Hoodsport this weekend with the Fjordin Crossin festival. The event celebrates a Nordic tradition of “sending a barrel of aquavit in a ship from Norway across the equator and back again,” according to the event’s website. The local version will send a barrel of the Hardware Distillery’s dill aquavit across the Hood Canal and back to Hoodsport. It happens Saturday at the Hoodsport Dock and is sponsored by the Hardware Distillery and Be the Traveler/Hood Canal Events. Starting at 11 a.m., food booths and other v...

  • Busy weeks for Central Mason

    Staff report|Jun 20, 2024

    Crews from Central Mason Fire & EMS responded to several major fires in the past two weeks, including this June 5 fire at a home on the 1900 block of Laurel Street. The fire was reported by a passerby at 7:21 p.m., and units arrived on scene within four minutes to find active fire in the attic of the residence. Crews made entry to conduct a search of the home, and to extinguish the fire. Central Mason also responded to fires on the 200 West block of Seattle Avenue on June 3 and a hopper fire at...

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