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Negligence a role in Island County Jail inmate’s death, investigation concludes

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 6:00AM updated at 10:04PM

“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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Transit’s service of mobility-impaired is admirable

  • Jun 19, 2015 at 6:00PM

Editor, Paratransit deserves a gold medal for their outstanding service. They are to be commended in that they serve 250 to 300 people per day, aiding the elderly and disabled to live a more independent life style. Drivers are always helpful, considerate and caring. They deal daily with elderly people, wheelchair patients, dialysis patients and disabled people. Securing them in their various seats and showing respect for them and their needs.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | WSDOT should not influence Island Transit’s future

  • Jun 19, 2015 at 4:49PM

Editor, Allow me to understand the following: Ken Graska, interim director of Island Transit, has asked the Washington Department of Transporation (or WSDOT) to conduct an analysis in regard to Island Transit continuing with their current fare-free model. Lawmakers have passed a bill that would provide $1 million to the Everett Connector which would reinstate the route connecting Camano Island with Everett. This offer would require all Island Transit, including Whidbey Island to begin charging bus fares on all routes. This money would not benefit Whidbey Island one iota.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 6:00PM

Editor, “In the wilderness is the preservation of the World,” — Henry Thoreau. Any of us who have traveled the backcountry of this beautiful and treasured Pacific Northwest know how its spirit touches our soul. That the Navy would take the Olympic Peninsula and parade Growler aircraft overshadowing this beauty is an abomination not to be ignored.

Community, farm leadership face a pivotal moment

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 10:00AM

The Port of Coupeville, Island County, and Washington State University (or WSU) say they are merely tossing around ideas… have made no decisions… aren’t looking at anything in particular. The challenge for the tenants of Greenbank Farm is that they are currently on month-to-month leases. While they are in no danger of losing these leases in 2015, everything changes on Jan. 1, 2016. At this point in time, no one, not even the Greenbank Farm Management Group, has any assurance of continuing on — at least not yet. For tenants who have persisted throughout one of the toughest economic challenges of my lifetime, who have poured their heart and soul and financial resources into creating a livelihood with their locally-owned, small business peers here, well, that is a terrifying situation to be in.

EDITORIAL | Jail tragedy must not go unanswered

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 6:00AM

Keaton Farris should not have died. At age 25, he should be hanging out with his friends on Lopez Island or in Coupeville. He should be teasing his sisters or traveling the world. Keaton and his family deserve answers — and justice.

South Whidbey students earn Skagit Valley College accolades

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 8:00AM

Four South Whidbey students were celebrated by the Skagit Valley College’s Honors Reception on June 5.

ArtsWA leaders to visit Langley luncheon

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 2:00PM

Langley’s next quarterly economic development luncheon will feature the communications manager of ArtsWA, the state’s arts commission.

South Whidbey boys make all-league baseball lists

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 12:00PM

Strong batting and solid defense landed a trio of South Whidbey baseball players on the all-Cascade Conference first and second teams this season. Voted on by the league’s coaches, senior to-be Ricky Muzzy and just-graduated sluggers Brent Piehler and Mo Hamsa represented the Falcons on the honorary lists. Muzzy was the lone Falcon on the first team, and was one of four players considered for the league’s most valuable player, which went to Cedarcrest’s hurler Adam Davenport.

Define Clinton's role in Island County Comp Plan update

  • Jun 20, 2015 at 12:00PM

Clinton’s future as determined by the Island County Comprehensive Plan update will be a main topic of discussion at the next Community Council meeting. The non-elected board of the Clinton Community Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, June 22 at the Clinton Community Hall. Its members have met monthly for more than a year with the goal of creating a unified voice to represent the unincorporated area to the county, state and other agencies that impact its growth and economy.

Port of Coupeville, WSU talks raise alarm at Greenbank Farm

  • Jun 19, 2015 at 4:22PM

Rumors about a future partnership between the Port of Coupeville and Washington State University may turn out to be true. After being directly questioned by a member of the public, port Commissioner Marshall Bronson confirmed at a meeting last week that he’s been having ongoing conversations about the possibility of WSU coming to the port-owned Greenbank Farm. He also said WSU would like to hold a public meeting about the idea.

Clinton ferry stop favorite Shirley’s Kitchen claimed by fire

  • Jun 19, 2015 at 4:16PM

Shirley’s Kitchen, a longtime food stand located next to the Clinton Ferry Terminal, was destroyed by an unexplained fire late Thursday.

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

  • Jun 18, 2015 at 4:34PM

"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.

Charges pending for fatal South Whidbey Valentine’s Day crash

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 8:00AM updated Jun 18, 2015 at 8:11AM

The South Whidbey woman involved in a fatal two-car collision on South Whidbey in February was drunk, according to documents released by the Washington State Patrol. Blood samples taken from Michelle Nichols, 46, several hours after the crash revealed her blood-alcohol content was .11, which just exceeds the state limit of .08. And while aspects of the investigation are still wrapping up, authorities say there is enough evidence for a vehicular homicide case.

Island County fire marshal announces modified burn restrictions

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 4:12PM

A modified burn ban will take effect at 8 a.m., June 23, according to a notice from the Island County Sheriff's Office. The notice cites atmospheric conditions of reduced moisture levels, low humidity and warm weather which may heighten the risk of fire within the county.

Langley officials back off long-term marina access plans to identify community need

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 6:00AM updated at 1:39PM

Heeding public comments from an April charrette in Langley, city leaders are once again taking a step back on plans to improve access the marina. Specifically, Langley Director of Community Planning Michael Davolio said this week that a need must be identified before the city can decided on a longterm and permanent solution. Davolio presented his report to the council with the understanding that he’s asking the planning advisory board to forward a similar recommendation to the council.

Whidbey Island Garden Tour blooms this weekend

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 11:30AM

The 20th Annual Whidbey Island Garden Tour is this weekend. The event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20 and is located at gardens across South Whidbey. This year's tour will include a photo contest, with the winning image being featured on the organization's website. The winner will also receive two tickets to the 2016 tour.

July 3rd Fireworks in Freeland needs financial support

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 4:00PM

The 21st Celebrate America is just around the corner and organizers are looking for community support to help throw Freeland's biggest annual event. Bouncy toys for kids have been reserved, the barge is set, food vendors are ready to serve but fireworks are only partially paid for. Financial support is still needed to cover the $35,000 event budget, organizers announced in a recent news release.

Fundraiser brings in $45,000 for South Whidbey man in need of kidney transplant

  • Jun 16, 2015 at 3:42PM

It took members of the Brager family less than a second to start rattling off descriptions of what happened at a fundraiser Saturday for one of their own. Just a few: “Huge,” “Awesome,” “Overwhelming.”

Holistic ‘nedicine’ doctor sues state, Oak Harbor

  • Jun 16, 2015 at 4:00PM

A holistic practitioner who was arrested by Oak Harbor police in March is suing the state Department of Health for $25 million. C. Hugh Jonson filed the lawsuit in federal court in Seattle last month claiming that he should be able to practice “nedicine” — not to be confused with medicine — under a federal trademark. Jonson and the organization that issued his license are fighting on a national level to retain their right to practice their own brand of natural medicine.

Delve into gaming culture issues, lessons at Langley Library

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 6:00AM

Scholar and pop culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller will present “Using Their Powers for Good: Geektivists, Geek Grrls, and Gaymers” at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 20 at Langley Library, 104 Second St. Stuller is a Seattle writer, scholar and pop culture historian. Her talk, presented by Langley Library and Humanities Washington, is free and open to the public.

South Whidbey Trash & Treasure yields loot

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 12:00PM

This year’s annual St. Augustine’s Trash & Treasure Sale raised $4,800 for island charities. The Mobile Turkey Unit, Youth Ministry Christian Formation, Hope Therapeutic Riding Program and House of Hope all received checks for $1,200, sale organizers recently announced.

Langley Masonic Lodge awards student scholarships

  • Jun 17, 2015 at 10:00AM

The Langley Masonic Lodge recently presented scholarships to five deserving South Whidbey High School juniors. Iona Rohan and Chandler Hagglund were each awarded a $1,000 educational grant, Joseph Ballestrasse and Anna Lynch were awarded a $500 education grant and Hannah Nielson was awarded a $250 educational grant.

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