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Mason County Sheriff’s Office welcomes first ever female Corporal

July 14, 2014 Comments off

In the history of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office established in 1854, there has never been the rank and position of Corporal. On Friday, Tammy Filyaw was promoted to the rank of Corporal by Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury. Corporal Filyaw is also the very first female Corporal in the history of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Salisbury stated that both the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens that they serve are fortunate to have such a high caliber of Deputies and Officers to be promoted to positions of leadership. This speaks well of the entire Sheriff’s Office, and he is proud to continue the legacy of professionalism by promoting personnel such as Corporal Filyaw.

Corporal Tammy Filyaw is the first of four Corporals to be promoted from Jail Officers and the fifth Corporal overall to be promoted in the Sheriff’s Office. Corporal Filyaw is a resident of Shelton and has worked for the Mason County Sheriff’s Office for approximately three and a half years.

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Categories: Northwest News

Public input needed on state transportation routes

June 5, 2014 Comments off

$37 million of freight moves on Washington roadways every hour of every day, and state wants that number to increase safely.

A new plan to ensure safe, reliable and efficient movement of goods through the state is now ready for public review and comment.

Once finalized, the Washington State Freight Mobility Plan will shape the future of Washington’s freight transportation network, this includes the Puget Sound and Pacific railway and travel into Grays Harbor from the ocean.

“Preserving and improving freight corridors remains vital to the state economy,” said Barbara Ivanov, Director of WSDOT’s Freight Systems Division. “We must put a priority on getting our goods to markets, both here in Washington and throughout the world.”

The main objectives of the Washington State Freight Mobility Plan are to:
1. guide state and federal investments in Washington state freight corridors
2. prioritize freight system improvement strategies
3. address multimodal freight issues in a single state freight plan

Public comment will be taken at meetings in Seattle and Spokane. WSDOT will also accept comments via email at freight@wsdot.wa.gov through Aug. 8.

Meeting schedule:
10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, July 24 at the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, 221 W 1st Ave #310, Spokane.
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1 at the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Council, 1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle.

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2013WaterwayEconomicCorridors

Categories: Northwest News

Crude oil shipment data should be confidential says railroad companies

June 5, 2014 Comments off

Two railroad companies want to prevent the public from getting ahold of details about oil shipments through Washington, a disclosure the federal government ordered be given to state emergency managers in the wake of several oil train accidents.

But restricting that information violates the state’s public records law, so the state has not signed documents from the rail companies seeking confidentiality, said Mark Stewart, a spokesman for the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order last month requiring railroads to notify state officials about the volume, frequency and county-by-county routes of trains carrying 1 million or more gallons of crude oil.

Federal transportation officials said they expected the states “to treat this data as confidential, providing it only to those with a need-to-know, and with the understanding that recipients of the data will continue to treat it as confidential.” That includes emergency workers who need access to the information to form response plans.

BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad last Friday sent confidentiality agreements to the state aiming to restrict the information to emergency response groups for planning purposes only. The companies called it “security sensitive.”

Stewart said the state Emergency Response Commission sought legal advice and determined that those agreements “require us to withhold the information in a manner that’s not consistent with the state public records act.”

The commission presented alternative agreements to the railroads, noting that the information may be subject to disclosure. That proposal said a state official would notify the railroads if the public sought the information so the companies could seek a protective order or other remedy.

Courtney Wallace, a spokeswoman for BNSF Railway, said Wednesday that the railway is reviewing that proposal.

She said the company would comply with the federal order but believes the information is “considered security sensitive and confidential, intended for people who have ‘a need to know’ for such information, such as first responders and emergency planners.”

The state commission last month approved a plan to post the information online. But Stewart said Wednesday that the data would be posted only after any legal issues from a disclosure request are resolved.

The federal order applies to railroad carriers with trains carrying roughly 35 tank cars or more of oil.

Late Tuesday, Union Pacific Railroad told the state it does not transport enough Bakken crude oil trains to meet the new reporting threshold. Company spokesman Aaron Hunt said Union Pacific moves 163,000 carloads of crude oil across its national network, and less than 1 percent comes through Washington.

In Washington, crude oil shipments went from zero in 2011 to 17 million barrels in 2013, according to rough state estimates. Those numbers are likely to increase if proposed oil terminals at the ports of Grays Harbor and Vancouver and at the state’s refineries get built.

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Categories: Northwest News

Mason County man reported missing, carrying machete

June 4, 2014 Comments off

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is looking for 41 year old Steven Daniel Lawrence who was reported missing by family members.

On Tuesday afternoon around 3:56 pm, Steven left his home in Lilliwaup, north of Shelton. Steven was on foot, took $150 cash, some food and possibly carrying a machete.

Steven left a note stating that he “is not committing suicide”, that he is “in a constant battle in his head”, and that he is “going to Milwaukie to have a face-to-face with the director of the FBI”.

Family members said that they believe that he may have some mental issues since he hears voices in his head.

He was seen wearing blue jeans, blue t-shirt, brown leather shoes, and a black Carhartt jacket.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Steven Lawrence, please contact the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, 360-427-7761, case # 14-07136.

Steven Daniel Lawrence

Categories: Northwest News

Olympia teen dies in rollover accident inside Capitol Forest

June 3, 2014 Comments off

An 18-year-old Olympia man who was standing up through the sun roof of a SUV was killed when it crashed in a gravel pit in Capitol State Forest.

The Washington State Patrol says Alistair G. Martz was killed Monday night as the car rolled over.

There were three other young men in the SUV who were not injured. The patrol is recommending the driver be charged with vehicular homicide.

Capitol Forest Rollover

Categories: Northwest News

Officials warn of rip-offs by mudslide charity scams

March 26, 2014 Comments off

As donors consider contributing to relief efforts for the Snohomish County mudslide tragedy, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are urging consumers to be on guard against scam artists who try to take advantage of the situation.

The officials joined forces with the Better Business Bureau in reminding consumers that rip-off artists follow news coverage of natural disasters like this one and swoop in under the guise of helping victims, but end up victimizing the well-intended donors.

“All of us in Washington and around the country have deep sympathy for the victims and their loved ones and friends at this tragic time,” Ferguson said.

“It is a natural instinct to want to provide assistance right away, but Secretary Wyman, the BBB and I advise potential donors to exercise caution and make sure their hard-earned dollars go for the purpose intended, not to line the pockets of scam-artists.”

Wyman added: “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this horrific mudslide. So much was lost by so many. I’m heartened that many Washingtonians have a strong impulse to be a part of the relief effort, at least financially, and to help the victims of this tragedy. I support that, obviously.

“But as the Attorney General and I continue to emphasize in times like these, sadly there always seem to be rip-off artists who take advantage of people. It is shameful, but some so-called charities take advantage of our generous nature. I want people to donate to charities they know and trust, if that’s their desire, and I want no one’s money used to simply line some con-artist’s pocket.”

BBB joined in the consumer alert.

“We are saddened at the loss of life and devastation caused by the mudslides in Oso,” said Tyler Andrew, CEO of Better Business Bureau, serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “We know helping those in need is a top priority, but people must be proactive and careful to ensure that gifts are effectively used for making a difference in the community.”

The BBB, Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Secretary of State’s charities program offered these tips for prudent gift-giving:

• Be suspicious of solicitors requesting immediate donations. Don’t rush decisions and consider contributing at give.org, a website run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
• Make sure that charities are qualified to provide the type of disaster relief that is necessary.
• Avoid cash donations. Write a check directly to the charity, not the fundraiser.
• Never give out credit card numbers over the phone.
• Be wary of “new” charities with unverifiable background information.
• Watch out for solicitations from fake “victim” or memorial social media accounts.
• Don’t be fooled by a name. Be watchful of charities that use sympathetic sounding names or names similar to well-known legitimate charities.

The Better Business Bureau, the Washington Attorney General and Secretary of State advise consumers to contact potential charities directly. For more information on finding charities, visit BBB’s charity review or the SOS charity lookup. Consumers can also visit the SOS web site for tips on giving wisely.

Image from NBC.com

Image from NBC.com

Quinault River overtaking Enchanted Valley Chalet

March 25, 2014 Comments off

The Olympic National Park reports that as of last week, a four-foot section of the Enchanted Valley Chalet is now hanging over the bank of the upper Quinault River. Officials say that winter storms and high flows have shifted the Quinault by at least 15 feet in the past three months.

Park officials said there is little they can do to protect the 84-year-old structure against the forces of nature because of its remote location.

“Within what is technically and economically feasible, we continue to do our very best to protect the area’s natural and cultural resources and its wilderness character,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum, “Our options are limited, however, given the size and force of the river and the valley’s remote location within the Olympic wilderness.”

A crew assessed and documented the Chalet’s condition and removed equipment, supplies and any hazardous materials. The building’s windows were also removed to both prevent glass from impacting the river and downstream natural resources and to preserve elements of the historic building.

“We understand that the Chalet occupies an important place in the history of this area, and we know that people hold deep regard and affection for the building,” said Creachbaum. “We invite anyone who’d like to share photos or memories of the Chalet to post them on our Olympic National Park Facebook page.”

“It’s a very difficult situation because it’s a beautiful old building,” park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said in an interview to the Peninsula Daily News.

Park officials say it’s not simple to just move the building.

“What we’ve learned is there aren’t any ways that are technically or economically feasible to protect the chalet in the long term,” Maynes said.

“If there was unlimited funding, and if we were talking about a building that was in a road access area, then we’d have a greater number of options.”

Reinforcing the river bank or redirecting the main channel would be problematic, too, because of the impacts to fish habitat and natural resources, Maynes said.

Jeff Monroe, owner of Carlsborg-based Monroe House Moving, has reached out to park officials about moving the chalet, saying that it would take about $40,000 plus six helicopter trips to accomplish the feat in one week, he said.

Located 13 miles up trail from the Graves Creek trailhead in Quinault Valley, the chalet was build by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park. It served as a lodge for hikers and horse riders until the early 1940s.

Chalet Hang

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