Debra Vaughn

Debra posted 39 stories to South Whidbey Record.
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Sculpture removed from WhidbeyHealth entrance

An outdoor sculpture that’s greeted visitors to Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville since 1970 was demolished several weeks ago. Officials discovered the sculpture was deteriorating after reviewing a landscaping plan for the front of the hospital, which just changed its name to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center earlier this month, said George Senerth, executive director of Facilities and Plant Engineering.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 11:43pm

WhidbeyHealth unveils new signage in Coupeville

With a few pulls on some strings, a purple sign with the new name of the hospital was revealed Monday morning in Coupeville: WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. WhidbeyHealth is now officially the umbrella name for the hospital and its services and clinics. “Health care is changing and so must we,” Chief Executive Officer Geri Forbes told a small crowd gathered for the unveiling.

  • Jun 20th, 2016 5:15pm

Emergency personnel train for mega disaster

The Deception Pass Bridge is impassable. Ferries can’t dock. Major roads all across Whidbey Island are blocked.

  • Jun 10th, 2016 11:04pm

Relay for Life in Oak Harbor raises more than $100k

Cancer hit Kasi Steimer like a sucker punch. The lump in her breast showed up on a routine mammogram. “I had no clue,” she said.

  • Jun 7th, 2016 9:25pm

Disabled Oak Harbor man turns love of walking into a source of income

A day at the office for Russell Carey looks like this: He’s driven to the intersection of Whidbey Avenue and State Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. He straps on a protective helmet, slips into an orange safety vest and grabs his moneymaker, a sturdy white sign that proclaims: “Carey’s Signs. We will carry your sign!!” A caregiver holds his arm and they stroll up and down the highway. This is his Microsoft. He has a business license from the city. He pays taxes. He keeps what he earns.

  • May 31st, 2016 9:56pm

Navy pilots report extensive air contamination issues

Aviators who fly the F/A-18 Hornet and EA-18G Growler are reporting problems with air contamination as well as loss of oxygen and pressurization during flight, and at least one lawmaker wants the Navy to conduct an independent review of the problem.

  • May 24th, 2016 9:47pm

Jet-noise foes confront the county Board of Health — again

Activists concerned about Navy jet noise decided they weren't done grilling the Island County Board of Health. Members of the Citizens of Ebey's Reserve, or COER, returned in force for the second time Tuesday, bringing a list of actions they think the board should take and some tough words for public officials they say aren't listening to their constituents.

  • May 19th, 2016 8:04pm

Whidbey General Hospital board leader to resign; commissioners to seek replacement

Anne Tarrant, who has for years sat at the helm of the Whidbey Island Public Hospital District board, handed in her letter of resignation Monday citing plans to relocate.

  • May 12th, 2016 3:22pm

Whidbey General name change to take effect next month

Whidbey General Hospital and its clinics will transition to WhidbeyHealth next month. A new sign will be unveiled June 13 at the hospital, which will be known as WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.

  • May 10th, 2016 10:22pm

Hospital to record, post board meetings online

In an effort to improve transparency and community involvement, the hospital board at Whidbey General Hospital plans to videotape and post its meetings on its website. The board also moved the public comment period toward the beginning of its agenda, so the public can comment without staying the entire meeting.

  • Apr 15th, 2016 11:05pm

Homeless youth advocacy group to open new doors

Chris Mangar is just 18 years old, but his youth belies the insight he has gained through firsthand experience, particularly when it comes to the devastating nature of homelessness.

  • Apr 15th, 2016 10:59pm

Whidbey General Hospital work progresses upward

The site that will become a new 60,000-square-foot wing at Whidbey General Hospital is starting to take shape.

  • Apr 5th, 2016 11:19pm

Health care for the soul: Chaplain lending an ear

It’s Friday at Whidbey General Hospital and Dave Engle is making his rounds.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 10:56pm

Name change may cost Whidbey General Hospital $115,000

Whidbey General Hospital spent in the ballpark of $60,000 on consultants to help conceptualize a new name and logo. Officials estimate they may spend between $90,000 to $115,000 more implementing the change, though they say they were going to spend money on signs anyway.

  • Mar 8th, 2016 2:31pm

Navy growth to be focus of public meeting in Freeland

Tom Ewell said he wants to de-escalate confrontations and find middle ground, and he thinks he might be able to do some good when it comes to a discussion about Navy growth.

  • Mar 1st, 2016 10:35pm

Raises, improved leave included in Whidbey hospital, nurses contract; vote coming

Whidbey General Hospital and the nurses’s union reached a tentative contract agreement this week, potentially ending nearly a year of negotiations.

  • Feb 26th, 2016 11:29pm

Nurses’ contract in place with Whidbey hospital district

Whidbey General Hospital and the nurses’s union reached a tentative contract agreement Monday night, potentially ending nearly a year of negotiations.

  • Feb 26th, 2016 3:46pm

Whidbey General Hospital no more; board approves new name

Whidbey General Hospital commissioners voted unanimously Monday to move forward with a plan to rebrand the hospital and its clinics under the umbrella name WhidbeyHealth.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 10:44pm

WhidbeyHealth hospital expansion on time and on budget, officials say

The land south of WhidbeyHealth Medical Center is full of bare soil and busy construction workers.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 4:20pm

Lawmakers speak at League of Women Voters’ annual brunch

State Rep. Dave Hayes would like to see more transparency in campaign finance. Rep. Norma Smith wants more “honest” renewable energy policies that don’t rely on China and leave “a legacy of destruction in someone else’s backyard.”

  • Jan 21st, 2016 2:00am

SEALs may train at Whidbey Island state parks

The Navy is considering using sites around the Puget Sound, including Whidbey Island, to train special forces SEAL teams.

  • Jan 19th, 2016 4:48pm

Hospital to hold January public meetings to learn about new happenings

The public can learn about what’s new at Whidbey General Hospital and ask questions of officials at a series of town hall meetings scheduled for south, central and north areas of the island.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 10:38pm

State designates Whidbey General Hospital as a Level 3 Trauma Center

When Marie Meyers started working at Whidbey General in 1980, the hospital had no emergency room doctor. A nurse assessed patients first, and then contacted a doctor assigned to emergency calls.

  • Jan 8th, 2016 11:47pm

Arsonist strikes Navy homes again; $2,000 award offered for credible tips

Someone is targeting Navy sailors and their families. An arsonist set a military apartment building ablaze Sunday less than a mile from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, damaging four apartments and leaving five families without homes.

  • Dec 30th, 2015 9:13pm

Washington State Patrol car collides with pickup at Oak Harbor intersection

Melissa Alexander and her 2-year-old son were doing of one his favorite activities Wednesday night — watching the traffic zoom by Highway 20 from his bedroom window. That’s when the Oak Harbor woman saw a state trooper heading north in an SUV flip on his lights and attempt to make a U-turn at the intersection of Highway 20 and Whidbey Avenue.

  • Dec 11th, 2015 11:35pm

NAS Whidbey best naval base in the world, Navy says

It’s official: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is the number one naval base in the world. The Navy recognizes the top bases in its annual Installation Excellence Awards, which compares how well each are operated and maintained. Bases compete based on factors such as unit morale, quality of life for junior enlisted sailors, property management, health, safety, and environmental conservation.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 11:44pm

Semi-truck slides off Highway 20, driver OK

The driver of a semi-truck is OK after his rig left State Highway 20 at Dugualla Bay Farms Thursday morning.

  • Nov 14th, 2015 12:19am

Lost A-6E Intruder found: Veteran locates crashed Whidbey jet

Peter Hunt peered into the dark, murky depths of Rosario Strait. It was August and the air was hot and still, the water a flat gray sheet.

  • Nov 12th, 2015 5:59pm

Election Day ballot count indicates Whidbey General Hospital board may remain the same

Voters decisively chose a seasoned insider over a Whidbey General Hospital critic. Initial election results show incumbent Georgia Gardner leading the race for a seat on the hospital board with nearly 60 percent of the vote over critic Rob Born, who pulled in 40 percent.

  • Nov 4th, 2015 6:32pm

Whidbey General Hospital board candidates make one last push for votes

The race for hospital board between incumbent Georgia Gardner and hospital critic Rob Born has led to a sea of campaign signs, lively public debate and heated newspaper letters-to-the-editor.

  • Oct 23rd, 2015 11:31pm

Hospital leaders ponder steady ER visit rise

Emergency room visits are at an all-time high at Whidbey General Hospital, and officials are beginning to talk about how to handle that growth in the future.

  • Sep 8th, 2015 9:37pm

Legal bills surrounding hospital critics cost $250,000, documents confirm

Whidbey General Hospital paid lawyers a quarter-of-a-million dollars to deal with a doctor who publicly criticized the hospital and a citizen journalist who created a critical blog.

  • Aug 20th, 2015 4:13pm

Three vie for Whidbey General Hospital commissioner seat

Voters have three starkly different candidates to choose from in the race for Hospital District Commission position two.

  • Jul 28th, 2015 1:56pm

State stings Whidbey General Hospital for nurse law violation

The state Department of Health cited Whidbey General Hospital for violating a state law designed to ensure nurses and hospitals work together to create nurse staffing plans that keep patients safe.

  • Jul 21st, 2015 10:01pm

Congressman Larsen visits Coupeville to address transportation plans

Roads, bridges, highways, ferries — all are essential for the economic health of the state and Island County, and Congress needs to pass a long-term bill to pay for critical infrastructure, Congressman Rick Larsen told county officials this week.

  • Jul 2nd, 2015 11:32pm

Fireworks will go on as Island County leaders urge restraint, caution

It’s hot and dry on Whidbey Island, so unseasonably Hades-like that the Island County fire marshal issued a countywide burn ban.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:50pm

Fireworks displays will go on in Island County, resolution urges limiting personal use to prevent fires

It’s hot and dry on Whidbey Island, so unseasonably Hades-like that the Island County fire marshal issued a countywide burn ban. But there’s one thing he can’t place an emergency ban on, no matter how extreme the weather: fireworks.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 10:18pm

Property clutter poses problems for county regulators

One man’s trash may be another’s treasure. But what happens when a neighbor’s “treasures” become an eyesore or worse — a threat to public health and safety?

  • May 19th, 2015 9:30pm

House fire claims woman’s life

One person was killed and another injured in a house fire early Tuesday morning in the Dugualla Bay Heights neighborhood on North Whidbey.

  • Apr 15th, 2015 10:00pm