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  • Two killed in 101 crash

    June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    A horrific crash on U.S. Highway 101 at the intersection of Lynch Road 6 miles south of Shelton killed two Kitsap County residents and injured a Washington State Patrol trooper. Charles Ferree, 72, and Deolia Blandford, 49, both of Ollala, died at the scene of the accident when their vehicle collided with a southbound WSP patrol vehicle en route to an emergency April 6, according a WSP news release. The patrol vehicle was traveling south on U.S. 101 and had activated lights and siren at the time of the collision, Mason County Sheriff’s O...

  • Shooting at casino

    June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    Three suspects in a shooting at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton on April 3 led multiple law enforcement agency officers on a high-speed chase, ending with their arrest in Thurston County. Roberto Evans, 22, Austin McCord, 19, and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested in connection with the shooting that happened in the casino’s parking garage, wounding Damien Castellane, 21, and Roger Allen Turner Ford, 27, according to a Mason County Sheriff’s Office probable cause document. A third person, Malique Eckstein, 20, was “scared but uninj...

  • Schmit steps down from council

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 11, 2024

    Shelton Deputy Mayor Joe Schmit said he is resigning from the Shelton City Council halfway through his second term because he wanted to work on long-term city policies and plans while most of the other council members, and the community, do not. "Instead of trying to resist or get frustrated, I felt it was time to step aside," Schmit said Tuesday in an interview with the Journal. He said he feels he is "at the crossroads" after six years on the City Council. "It's not so much a frustration, but...

  • Legislators give session wrap-up

    June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    8th District Reps. Travis Couture and Dan Griffey, both Republicans from Allyn, and state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, discussed the legislative session that ended March 7 at a breakfast hosted by the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce. At the April 5 event, at the Shelton Civic Center, Chamber President and CEO Diedre Peterson thanked the representatives for being “cognizant of the needs of our businesses and our communities.” MacEwen opened the wrap-up, saying it was a “contentious” session. The passage of HB 1589 “will affect th...

  • Shelton flower company owes workers, feds say

    June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    A Shelton floral company will pay workers back wages and fines of $1.85 million after the U.S. Department of Labor sued on behalf of the workers March 21 in US District Court, Western Washington. Shelton business Continental Floral LLC, known as Continental Floral Greens, owner Jim Milgard, Jr. and Pacific Northwest General Manager Scott Schauer agreed to a consent judgment March 26 and will not contest claims they didn’t pay migrant workers overtime wages, failed to provide the workers safe transportation and safe housing, and did not d...

  • Crime & Courts

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    Three convicted in murder cases with Mason County ties After a five-month trial, a jury in Kitsap County on Friday convicted three men of murdering a Seabeck family, including the father whose body was discovered on a tree farm on Northeast Dewatto-Holly Road, south of Forest Springs Road, in Mason County. The family, John Careaga, 43, his wife Christale Careaga, 37, and her 16-year-old son Johnathon Higgins and 16-year-old stepson Hunter Schapp were all killed in January 2017. The mother and sons were found inside their burned-out home near...

  • New commodore at Shelton Yacht Club

    Staff report|Apr 11, 2024

    Terry Mehl is this year's Shelton Yacht Club commodore. Mehl chose the theme for this year's cruise schedule: "Doing More in 24." He and his wife, Donna, cruise in a Bayliner 3688 motor yacht, named Weather Wizard in homage to Mehl's Marine Corps career. They travel with a Shih Tzu, Rocky, and an African grey, Merlin. After graduating from Redmond High School in 1972, Mehl joined the Marine Corps and married Donna after boot camp. The couple moved to Lakehurst, New Jersey, for Mehl's schooling....

  • Legislature approves funding for U.S. 101 barrier design

    June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    Installation of Jersey barriers along U.S. Highway 101 from the intersection of Wallace Kneeland Boulevard to state Route 3 in Shelton is one step closer after $2 million in legislative funding was approved March 7 for engineering. Additional funding will be needed for construction, according to Doug Adamson with the state Department of Transportation. A WSDOT project document shows the design has been funded but work hasn’t started. “Barriers are not placed with the assumption that the system will restrain or redirect all vehicles in all con...

  • Commission Briefs

    Compiled by reporter June Williams|Apr 11, 2024

    Bigfoot protection on agenda At a briefing April 8, Mason County commissioners unanimously agreed to put a resolution on the next meeting’s agenda “declaring Mason County a sasquatch protection and refuge area” after Grays Harbor County elementary school students wrote in asking for protection of the cryptid. “We are the students of Miss Andrews class in 5th grade at Lincoln Elementary school in Hoquiam, Washington. The reason we are writing this letter to you is because we believe that Mason County should have laws to protect Bigfoot...

  • Skyline Drive house fire

    Staff report|Apr 11, 2024

    Around 12:30 a.m. April 5, Central Mason Fire & EMS responded a house fire in the Shorecrest area. Crews arrived to find a fire in the attic. During firefighting efforts, a section of the home's ceiling collapsed striking firefighters and one firefighter was transported by ambulance to Mason General Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The homeowner along with firefighters were able to rescue a mother cat and several kittens from the home. Crews remained on scene for several hours...

  • Scholarships

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Apr 11, 2024

    Yesteryear Car Club The Yesteryear Car Club is offering a scholarship to any Mason County high school senior graduating in 2024 who plans to pursue a vocational/technical school education in automotive trades. May 1 is the deadline to apply. Selection will not be based on grade point average. Applicants are required to write a statement about themselves, their choice of vocation or trade, activities in school and the community, volunteer work, hobbies, work experience and plans. They must also include two letters of recommendations, and the...

  • North Mason parents sue school district

    June Williams|Apr 4, 2024

    Editor’s note: The Journal does not identify minor victims of sexual crimes or their families. The parents of a 5-year-old kindergartner have sued North Mason School District after video footage showed the child being “sexually and physically abused” by a fifth grade student during a bus ride home, according to the complaint filed April 1 in Mason County Superior Court. The complaint states the child has developmental and speech delays and attended kindergarten in the North Mason School District. The district provided door-to-door trans...

  • Public defender's office changes

    June Williams|Apr 4, 2024

    Mason County Chief Public Defender Peter Jones told commissioners his office is about to be “hit by a train” thanks to updated Washington State Bar standards that “drastically” change attorney caseloads, which will affect how the county prosecutes and defends criminal cases. At a March 24 briefing, Jones requested commissioners immediately form a committee to study the problem and begin implementing changes to the county’s criminal justice system. “I think we need to start putting together a committee right now that figures out how to minimize...

  • Creating safer routes for students

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 4, 2024

    Evergreen Elementary and Shelton High School students will soon have a safer path walking and biking to school. Crews on March 27 began construction on three Safe to School projects. The city is creating crosswalks and other improvements on Shelton Springs Road at Shelton High School and the Huff'n'Puff Trail; Seventh and Franklin streets, across the street from Evergreen Elementary School; and two blocks away near Safeway, at Ninth and Franklin streets. Construction is expected to continue...

  • Joe Schmit, city deputy mayor, announces resignation

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 4, 2024

    Shelton Deputy Mayor Joe Schmit announced he is resigning from the Shelton City Council. His resignation was announced Tuesday evening at the council’s regular meeting. Schmit did not attend the meeting. Shelton Mayor Eric Onisko told the Journal the city has 90 days to pick a replacement for Schmit. Schmit did not give a reason for his resignation, Onikso said. The city is accepting applications for the position. Schmit’s term expires Dec. 31, 2025, so the seat will up for grabs in the November 2025 election. Schmit did not immediately res...

  • Water improvements coming to Angleside

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 4, 2024

    Better water pressure and storage in the Angleside area is on its way after the Shelton City Council on Tuesday accepted a $1.8 million grant from the state Department of Commerce. The council voted to give preliminary approval at its March 19 meeting. The money will be used to design and construct water infrastructure improvements in the Angleside pressure zone. According to the city report, the city last year became aware of some potential deficiencies in water pressure and storage issues...

  • Eclectic mix at new Marmo Caffé & Gallery

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 4, 2024

    The new Marmo Caffé & Gallery at 217 W. Cota St. in downtown Shelton offers an eclectic mix of visual arts, books, coffee, jewelry, baked goods and performances. The business drew a large crowd for a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 28 hosted by the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce. The current exhibition, "New Seasons Fantasy," is on display through May 4. The group exhibition features works by Greg Bartol and Carol Orr, Carrie Brennan, Maria Bressler, Arrington Dionyso, Lauren Kim,...

  • Mason County alleged car thief in custody

    June Williams|Apr 4, 2024

    A Port Orchard man has been arrested for stealing a car in Mason County and leading deputies on a high-speed chase down state Route 106. Joseph Hubbard, 22, of Port Orchard, was arrested on felony charges of eluding police and possession of a stolen vehicle March 26. A Mason County Transit employee called MACECOM on March 11 to report a man trying to break into parked cars at Northeast Log Yard Road in Belfair, according to a Mason County Sheriff incident report. While the caller was on the phone, he said the suspect had entered a gray Nissan...

  • Suit over defender appointments continues

    June Williams|Apr 4, 2024

    A Seattle attorney suing Mason County District Court and Judge George Steele for appointing him to defend a local man charged with DUI wants the suit to proceed even though he’s been removed as the man’s counsel. Jonathan Lewis, who has a legal practice in Seattle, filed a writ of mandamus in Mason County Superior Court on Feb. 27. The writ is used when government officials have allegedly taken a legally prohibited action. Lewis says Steele improperly appointed him to defend Martin Andres Alonzo, who is being charged with DUI for the third tim...

  • Shelton football coach resigns

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 28, 2024

    The Shelton School Board on Tuesday evening accepted the resignation of Mark Smith, the Shelton High School head football coach, who is also the district’s K-8 athletic and activities director. Smith, a 1987 Shelton High School graduate, coached the team for four seasons. His resignation was effective March 13. Smith did not immediately reply to a request for comments from the Journal. The Shelton School District is investigating the injuries that five Shelton High School students sustained Jan. 31 during a weight training class. Smith and a...

  • Union owner disputes bulkhead fine

    June Williams|Mar 28, 2024

    Union property owner Philip Bayley is challenging $250,000 in fines and $33,492 in mitigation fees assessed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for an illegal bulkhead. Bayley told the Journal the EPA’s news release about the judgment is “slanderous” because he still has motions before U.S. District Judge David Estudillo, who ruled on the case. The EPA sued Bayley, his mother, Joan, and their business Big D’s Beach Cabin LLC in 2020 for Clean Water Act violations related to a bulkhead that he says had all required permits. “Althou...

  • Fire 12 has contentious meeting

    June Williams|Mar 28, 2024
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    Fire District 12 Commissioner Nick Jones requested at the March 19 commission meeting that any “members or commissioners” in the district who are under investigation be immediately suspended until the inquiry is complete. Fire 12 covers western Mason County, including Matlock and some areas of eastern Grays Harbor County. “It was stated at the last meeting by Mason County Sheriff’s Office that members of the district are under investigation. We should work with the sheriff’s office to determine the names of the members or commissio...

  • Beben running for county commission

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 28, 2024

    Tom Beben, owner the High Steel Beer Co. in downtown Shelton, this week announced he will seek a seat on the Mason County Commission. Commissioner Kevin Shutty last month announced he will not seek another term in the fall representing District 2. Richard Beckman, owner of Richard Beckman Realty Group in downtown Shelton, has also announced he is running for the seat as a Republican. Commissioner Randy Neatherlin hasn't responded to the Journal's inquiries about whether he's tossing his hat...

  • City makes moves to help preserve its past

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 28, 2024

    The City of Shelton last week made a move to help preserve its past. The Shelton City Council assured the Mason County Historical Society it will help the nonprofit group pursue a state historical grant to add storage space to its museum at 427 W. Railroad Ave. The structure was first the city hall, then the city library, and it's owned by the city. "It's a perfect location, I think, for the museum," Liz Arbaugh, the group's executive director, told the Shelton City Council at its March 19 meeti...

  • Scholarships

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Mar 28, 2024

    Shelton and Skookum Rotary clubs April 5 is the deadline to apply for scholarships from the Shelton and Skookum Rotary clubs. Scholarships are available in the categories of academic education, continuing education and vocational/trades education. The Robert Burns scholarship is awarded to applicants going into the performing arts, the Janis Byrd scholarship for business art, the Mary Penny scholarship for the medical arts and the Bryson Finlay scholarship for the computer arts. The scholarship amounts range from $1,500 to $3,000. Information,...

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