Jessie Stensland

Impending recreational pot business in Island County off to a hazy start

The recreational marijuana business is getting off to a rocky start on North Whidbey. Mark Calim, the owner of Mark’s Auto Repair on Goldie Road, said he and two fellow businesses are effectively being kicked out to make way for pot-related businesses. And they aren’t happy about it.

Clinton man charged with child pornography crimes

A Clinton man is facing criminal charges in federal court after agents found 13,400 images and videos of alleged child pornography on his computer, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court last month. Among the images and videos of young girls are some that the man surreptitiously took at his home and in a hotel over a period of at least five years, according to a report by a detective with the Bellingham Police Department.

Island Transit to charge fees on 412 route

For the first time in Island Transit’s 29-year history, the agency will begin charging fees this summer — but only on one route. Island Transit board members unanimously voted Monday to reestablish the 412 route and to charge a $2 fare; riders 8 years old and younger will ride free. The 412 route, which is part of the Everett connector, runs from Camano Island to Everett. It was cut in 2014 after state funding for the route dried up, but the funding was reestablished for the current biennium.

Judge hears Whidbey OLF noise complaint against Navy

The U.S. Department of Justice and an attorney representing a group of Central Whidbey residents squared off in federal court last week in a battle over jet noise.

Alleged Greenbank murderer goes to trial

A “secret obsession” with a female friend from Antarctica compelled Robert “Al” Baker to brutally murder his wife at their Greenbank home last summer, prosecutors claim.

Whidbey hospital CEO grilled in court, prosecutor questions testimony

Two administrators at Whidbey General Hospital gave conflicting testimony under oath during a court hearing Tuesday over how they handled an assault allegation against a fellow administrator.

Coupeville girl killed in morning crash

An 18-year-old Coupeville woman injured in a possible DUI-related accident Monday morning later died that day at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the Washington State Patrol reported. She was identified as Keesha M. Harden.

Violent history of alleged Greenbank kidnapper, rapist revealed

Documents from a protection order hearing allege that 22-year-old Greenbank resident George Downey perpetrated a pattern of domestic and sexual violence long before he kidnapped and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and their 4-year-old son on March 16.

Memorial today for Oak Harbor twins killed in Halloween car crash

The community is invited to a memorial service today, Nov. 16, at Oak Harbor High School for the Goheen twins. Janesah Danae Goheen, 17, passed away Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She succumbed to injuries sustained in a Oct. 31 car crash in Skagit County.

Island County, Oak Harbor team up to tackle low-income housing

Two elected officials want to put the “task” back in task force. Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson and Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns decided that the dire need for affordable housing on North Whidbey is well documented and people have had plenty of discussions about the topic.

Negligence a role in inmate’s death, according to Island County Sheriff’s investigation

"Catastrophic systemic failures" at the Island County Jail led to a 25-year-old man's death from dehydration April 8, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said. An exhaustive investigation by Detective Ed Wallace offers an unblinking look at how negligence and errors by both corrections deputies and jail administration contributed to Keaton Farris' tragic death. The report was released today.

Oops, federal funding may not cover Island Transit gazebo bills

For critics of Island Transit, two gazebos have become a symbol of a boondoggle. The two picturesque but seldom-used structures are reminders of the lavish spending on the new transit facility near Coupeville. Over-spending on the project was connected to a financial scandal that resulted in employee layoffs, route cuts and the ouster of the director last year.

Cop accused of sexual harassment may get job back

A detective who sexually harassed a colleague while she was training him to handle sexual assault cases may be getting his job back.

Greenbank man left paralyzed after burglary, assault

Detectives with the Island County Sheriff’s Office traveled to the border Thursday to pick up a suspect in a July 27 burglary and assault that left a Greenbank man paralyzed, according to Detective Ed Wallace.

Feds OK Snohomish PUD underwater turbine pilot

Plans to install the first tidal turbines in the sea floor off Whidbey Island passed an important regulatory hurdle this week.

Thomas trial draws national news coverage

Peggy Sue Thomas will be sentenced Friday morning for her role in a 2003 murder on South Whidbey.

Judge keeps Freeland kidnapping suspect in jail

A 22-year-old Greenbank man accused of kidnapping and rape likely won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon.

Island Transit board OKs $15 million budget, preps for 2016 fares

The Island Transit board of directors adopted a $15 million budget this week that is significantly healthier than last year, when officials were forced to borrow money, lay off staff and cut routes to make ends meet.

Island County Community Health keeping tabs on travelers

Some Island County residents are currently in West Africa and will return under scrutiny for possible Ebola exposure, according to Keith Higman, the county’s public health director.

Retired dentist dies in unexplained fire

A former Coupeville dentist was killed in a fire at his Central Whidbey Island home early Saturday morning.