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Articles from the 'Year In Review 2023' series


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  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - JANUARY

    Dec 28, 2023

    JANUARY 2023 The Shelton City Council on Jan. 3 made a preliminary move to buy land on Olympic Highway North for a new sewer lift station. The council voted unanimously to purchase parcels by two landowners at Olympic Highway North and A Street for $405,000. The council can make the move official at its Jan. 17 meeting. The North Division Sewer Life Station would redirect most of the wastewater flow in the northwest sections of the city and pump to the membrane treatment plant near Sanderson Field. According to the report from the city’s p...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - FEBRUARY

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    FEBRUARY 2023 A profile on an anti-government and law enforcement extremist set to air on NBC's "Dateline" on Feb. 4 featured the recollections of his former wife, a longtime Shelton resident, and his son, a 2002 Shelton High School graduate. Lloyd Barrus is serving three concurrent life sentences without parole in a Billings, Montana prison. He was in the driver's seat when he and his now deceased son Marshall Barrus lured Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore into chasing them, and Marshall...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - MARCH

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    MARCH 2023 Shelton City Manager Jeff Niten will leave his position to be the new city manager of Mountlake Terrace. Niten made the announcement March 7 at the Shelton City Council meeting. His last day is March 31. Niten prefaced his remarks by saying his departure was in "the rumor mill." "It's bittersweet," he said. "I really enjoyed my time here and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with council to address the issues we wanted to address." Niten said he will set...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - APRIL

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    APRIL 2023 The Shelton City Council gave final approval for the annexation of 40-acres of land, known as “Meadows Edge,” into the city at the April 4 meeting. According to the background information, the city of Shelton received notice in February of intent to petition for annexation. The property being annexed is in the Shelton urban growth area and is north of the Shelton Springs subdivision and south of Island Lake. The property is owned by one person and is the subject of a 36-lot subdivision, which is under review by Mason County staff. Th...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - MAY

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    MAY 2023 Lance Gibbon, a former superintendent of the Oak Harbor and Snoqualmie Valley school districts, will be the new superintendent of the Hood Canal School District, pending a contract agreement. On May 1, the Hood Canal School Board voted unanimously to hire Gibbon. He replaces Jose-de-Jesus Melendez, who resigned in February after seven months on the job to return to his family in Oregon. According to the district at the time, he was to complete the remainder of his contract on...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - JUNE

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    JUNE 2023 A former Shelton High School freshman counselor was arrested June 2 at his Shelton 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...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - JULY

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    JULY 2023 A brush fire about 4 miles northeast of Shelton forced the evacuation of 200 structures July 4. The fire, driven by wind, began at 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 is flat and accessible terrain. "The crews did an outstanding job of protecting life and structures,"...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - AUGUST

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    AUGUST 2023 George Blush and Tristen Smith will compete for a seat on the Shelton City Council in the November general election, and voters solidly support increasing the size of the Mason County Fire District 5 board of commissioners from three to five. Those are among the preliminary results of the Aug. 1 primary election posted at 8 p.m. The initial voter turnout was 28.17%. The results are scheduled to be certified Aug. 15. In the contest to whittle the Shelton City Council member No. 1 seat race from three candidates to two, Blush...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - SEPTEMBER

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    SEPTEMBER 2023 Chris Kostad, who has worked for the Shelton Police Department since 2002, will be the city's new police chief starting in November. The city in early September announced that Kostad will replace Carole Beason, who recently announced her intention to retire. She has served in that position since January 2021. Kostad is currently serving as a captain, a position he has held since 2021. He has also served in the department as a corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. A news release from...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - OCTOBER

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    OCTOBER 2023 After more than 40 years of prodding and mandating by Mason County and the state, the City of Shelton signed off on the final cleanup of the toxic C Street landfill. The Shelton City Council on Oct. 3 voted unanimously to close out the contract on the construction part of the cleanup of the 17-acre landfill west of downtown Shelton and U.S. Highway 101, which was completed in June. "Staff does not expect any additional action on the City's part pertaining to this project and can be...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - NOVEMBER

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    NOVEMBER 2023 In three Shelton City Council races on Nov. 7's ballot, the longest-serving member was handily defeated by a fellow lifelong Shelton resident, a downtown businessman was elected after losing a council race two years ago by five votes, and a third contest was too close to call on the initial count. Melissa Stearns, a local Realtor and lifelong resident Shelton, defeated eight-year incumbent Kathy McDowell for a four-year term as council member 2. On the first ballot count, Stearns...

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2023 - DECEMBER

    Staff report|Dec 28, 2023

    DECEMBER 2023 An “atmospheric river” of torrential rain over several days caused the Skokomish River to crest at its second-highest recorded point Dec. 5 and flooded and closed roads throughout Mason County. The National Weather Service on Dec. 5 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. Dec. 5. Other roads closed that day included Skokom...

  • THE YEAR IN PICTURES

    Dec 28, 2023

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  • 2023 IN REVIEW - BELFAIR HERALD

    Journal Staff|Dec 28, 2023

    JANUARY The state Department of Transportation in early January used a blog post to update North Mason on the state Route 3 freight corridor project, pushing back the expected construction year to 2026 instead of 2024 as it had been projected. According to the blog post, the Move Ahead Washington funding package included two more roundabouts for the project, which are located at the intersection or state Route 3 and state Route 302 near North Mason High School. The connections of the roundabouts will allow new local roads to be built by Mason...