Grays Harbor PUD lineman returns home after contact with electrical lines

Following an accident involving electrical contact on Thursday afternoon and treatment at Grays Harbor Community Hospital and Harborview Medical Center, Grays Harbor PUD line apprentice Jeff Salazar was able to return home to his family on Friday night.

“It with great happiness and profound relief that I announce that Jeff Salazar has been discharged from the hospital,” said Grays Harbor PUD General Manager Dave Ward.  “Thanks to the quick action of the Hoquiam Fire Department and the staff at Grays Harbor Community Hospital and Harborview Medical Center, Jeff is home with his family and loved ones.”

Salazar was injured in an accident during a PUD maintenance project on the corner of Bay Avenue and 27th Street in Hoquiam on Thursday afternoon.  The PUD withheld the details of the accident while they “continue to investigate,” their press release Friday evening said they continue to investigate the cause of the accident.

Aberdeen standoff ends in arrest, body remains on scene as investigation continues

Detectives are processing the scene today at a home where a 9 hour standoff blocked traffic on Oak street in Aberdeen Friday afternoon. Detective Art Laur tells us they returned to the crime scene early this morning and continued with the processing of the residence located in the 600 Block of Oak St.  Detectives with the Hoquiam Police Department are currently at the scene assisting.

The suspect is identified as Monique L. Preston (a 47 year old Aberdeen resident).  Preston is currently in custody at the Grays Harbor County Jail on the charge of Murder in the Second Degree.  The victim in the crime has been identified but his identity will not be released at this time pending the notification of family.

A source tells us earlier that morning they heard several rapid noises that sounded like shots from a pistol coming from the home. Police Captain John Green said yesterday. “There was a call earlier this morning, people in the neighborhood thought it was shots fired. Officers checked the area, didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. We got another call early afternoon, man down at this residence. Detectives responded along with patrol, there was a male deceased still on scene, outside the residence.”
That body remained on scene Saturday morning, and is being processed by the Grays Harbor County Coroner after it is cleared as part of the crime scene. Laur said family members are being contacted before a name will be released.
The standoff began after that body was discovered by the head medic unit at the Aberdeen Fire Department just after noon Friday. Green said that police made contact with the woman in the home “Officers are familiar with her, we made a phone call in. She made some statements to us, something to the effect that she was armed and not coming out.”

The Regional Crisis Response Unit setup containment around the area, and evacuated people willing to leave their homes in the 3 blocks surrounding the scene. Some chose to stay in the homes, and were later seen on their own porches waiting for the confrontation to come to an end.

Oak Street was blocked, and traffic trying to get to the hospital was left to learn on their own that Basich Boulevard is open behind the hospital, and serves as an alternate route.

The Aberdeen Police Department’s Mine Resistant Amored Personnel Carrier was used to move people onto Oak Street, and out of the line of fire. Officers from Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Montesano, Grays Harbor County, and the Washington State Patrol attempted to make contact with Preston throughout the day. Family members also were heard over a loud speaker system used to blast noises into the home from Oak street.

As the evening progressed police continued to fire gas canisters into the home through broken windows, while the loudspeakers blasted noises into the yard. Around 9 Friday evening police began to enter the home and setup containment in several rooms, where Laur tells us Preston was located in a room and taken into custody without incident. Preston was evaluated by the Aberdeen Fire Department before being taken into custody and transported to the Aberdeen Police Department where she remains held.

The 600 block of Oak St remains closed at this time and will remain closed until the investigation is complete.  The roadway is expected to be open for traffic later this evening.

An autopsy on the victim is expected to be performed later this weekend.  This is an on-going investigation.

Aberdeen standoff on Oak street after police find body on porch

UPDATE: The woman has surrendered and is in custody, the Grays Harbor County Corroner is removing the body discovered this morning. A name is expected to be released in the coming days.

Earlier today police from several agencies barricaded multiple blocks of Cherry Street in Aberdeen after finding a body on the front porch of a home at the corner of Oak and Cherry. Police captain John Green tells us officers responded to a shots fired complaint earlier this morning to find the body of a man on the porch. They made telephone contact with the woman inside the home who told them she was not coming out and that she was armed. Green said they have not recovered the body from the front porch and have not been able to make an identification, they also have not confirmed a weapon or cause of death. A negotiator was called in earlier today and Police have established a command center. Green says officers are familiar with the woman.

Olympia lawmakers looking at levy reform to help fund schools

House budget leaders in Olympia held a work session on a key factor in Washington’s education funding crisis Thursday morning.  Dan Frizzell reports all people may be created equal, but the same can’t be said for all school district tax bases.

House budget chair Ross Hunter, a Democratic representative from Medina, brought together lawmakers, stakeholders, and non-partisan staff to look at levy reform and teacher pay Thursday.  It’s a multi-billion dollar issue, and one that lawmakers are wrestling with as they work to comply with the state Supreme Court’s order to fully fund basic education.  To illustrate the wild disparity in local school funding, Hunter pointed to a pair of districts on opposite sides of the Cascades.

In Bellevue we have a school levy of about a dollar-five for every thousand dollars of house value.  That generates about $2400 per student.  In Yakima, they have a levy of $2.79, almost three times as much, but it only generates $800 per student.  If you use local property taxes, you wind up with very different capacity.

Several competing bills before the Legislature each aim to solve the problem, reduce the bite on at least some local taxpayers, and provide fair compensation for teachers in rich and poor districts alike. In the meantime, lawmakers have one more week to agree on a state operating budget before the the current special session comes to an end.

In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.

Ericka Manwell named Aberdeen Rotary Club Student of the Month for May

The Aberdeen Rotary Club has announced Ericka Manwell as the May Student of the Month. Erica has been a member of the Honor roll for four years and is graduating 10th in her class. She is a 10 year varsity letter winner, ten time scholar athlete, and was Captain of her soccer and basketball teams.

Ericka Manwell

Erica addressed Rotary at their weekly meeting saying, “I’ve participated in the Little Dribblers Basketball Camp for three years. I love the sport and little kids so it was the perfect activity for me. I helped them learn how to dribble, shoot, pass, play defense, and rebound. All of the kids really enjoyed the camp and I would volunteer for any soccer or basketball camp again in a heartbeat”.

 

Ericka was selected CEO of her company for Aberdeen Rotary  Business Week.  She is the daughter of Stephanie and Ricky Manwell and plans to attend the University of Washington.  Her field of interest is in education.

Each year the Rotary Club of Aberdeen honors Aberdeen High School Seniors through the Student of the Month recognition and scholarship program. One senior is recognized each month October through May. Two of these eight students are then selected in June for either the $1000 “Blue” or $2000 “Gold” scholarship to the school of their choice.

Sen. Murray, Army Corps, and Port of Grays Harbor gather to celebrate Grays Harbor Channel Deepening Project

On Tuesday, May 26th, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) will join officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port of Grays Harbor to celebrate the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement, which will allow the Army Corps to move forward with plans to deepen the Grays Harbor Federal Navigation Channel. In August 2014, an Army Corps study recommended the channel be deepened by two feet, from 36 to 38 feet, the federally authorized depth, which will support continued growth, economic development, and job creation at the Port of Grays Harbor. Sen. Murray worked with the Army Corps and Port of Grays Harbor to secure funding to support the channel deepening project.

WHO:             Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Colonel John G. Buck, Commander, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Officials

                        Port of Grays Harbor Officials

WHAT:          Celebrating the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement for the Grays Harbor

Channel Deepening project

                     

WHEN:          TUESDAY, May 26th, 2015

                        3:30 PM PST

 

WHERE:       Seattle District Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters

4735 E. Marginal Way South

Seattle, WA 98134

Olympic National Park Roads, Campgrounds Open for Holiday Weekend

Enchanted Valley Remains Closed to Camping

Revealing a silver lining of this winter’s record low snowpack, high elevation roads in Olympic National Park will open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, a full month earlier than typical.

 

High Elevation Roads

The nine-mile Deer Park Road will open Friday, along with the 14-site Deer Park Campground.

Visitors are advised to use caution while driving this winding gravel road.  The campground provides a primitive camping experience, with vault toilets and no drinking water.

 

The Hurricane Hill Road (the 1.5 mile of road that leads past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to the Hurricane Ridge picnic area and Hurricane Hill trailhead) is already open.

 

The first three miles of Obstruction Point Road are open, providing vehicle access to the Waterhole area. The remaining five miles, leading from Waterhole to the road’s terminus at Obstruction Point, will open this Saturday, May 23.

 

Low Elevation Roads and Campgrounds
Most of the park’s low elevation campgrounds are also open including Elwha, Fairholme, Graves Creek, Heart o’the Hills, Hoh, Kalaloch,  Mora, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Sol Duc, South Beach, and Staircase. The Altair Campground in the Elwha Valley remains closed due to winter flood damage.

 

All of the park’s low elevation roads are open, with the exception of the Whiskey Bend Road in the Elwha Valley. This road is closed to vehicles at the Glines Overlook because of a major slide but remains open to foot, bicycle and stock use.

 

Olympic Wilderness, including Enchanted Valley

Enchanted Valley will remain closed to camping through the Memorial Day Weekend as rangers and wildlife biologists will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks.  The area was closed to camping in late April after black bears were observed consuming human food and hikers reported aggressive bear behavior.

 

When Enchanted Valley re-opens to camping, the use of bear cans will be required for all overnight use in the area.

 

Hikers are urged to check the following website for current trail conditions.  http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-trail-conditions.htm

 

For more information on visiting Olympic National Park and current conditions of park roads, campgrounds, trails and other facilities, people should visit the Olympic National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/olym.

Grays Harbor PUD investigating after employee injury

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District continues to investigate an incident of electrical contact involving a PUD employee.

The incident occurred at 12:22PM on Thursday, May 21st on a PUD project at the corner of Bay Ave. and 27th Street in Hoquiam. Crew members on the scene immediately called 911 and the employee was transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital and from there transported to Harborview Medical Center for further treatment. Due to privacy considerations, the PUD is not releasing any information on the employee’s identity.

Enchanted Valley to remain closed to camping due to bear-human interactions

Black bears have approached hikers in Enchanted Valley and have acquired and eaten human food, according to recent visitor reports. Park staff have opted to close some area to camping due to the bear-human interactions.

“Bears that eat human food come to consider people as a food source, and are extremely dangerous,” said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Sadly, bears have gotten into and consumed human food this spring in Enchanted Valley and we have closed the area to camping effective immediately.”

Several visitors have reported having seen at least one bear consuming human food and trash and others have described seeing bears that appear unafraid of people.

The Enchanted Valley area is closed to all camping between Pyrites Creek and the O’Neill Pass trail junction.The six-mile section of trail between these two locations remains open for hiking, but there is no camping above Pyrites Creek or below the O’Neill Pass trail junction.

Hikers walking this section of trail are reminded to stay at least 50 yards away from wildlife and to keep food, trash and all scented items properly stored and out of reach of wildlife at all times.

Enchanted Valley will remain closed to camping for the next 30 days. Rangers and wildlife biologists will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks.

“We will re-open Enchanted Valley to camping as soon as we are able to do so,” said Creachbaum. “When it re-opens, the use of bear cans will be required for all overnight use in the area.”

Proper food storage is vital to maintaining safe distances between bears and humans and is required in all park wilderness and frontcountry areas of Olympic. Information about how to keep food and garbage safe from wildlife is available online at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-food-storage.htm

For information about wilderness hiking and camping, including current trail condition reports, people should visit the online Wilderness Trip Planner or stop by the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC).The WIC located at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and may also be reached by calling 360-565-3100.

Road work scheduled for Highway 101 at Lake Crescent to prep for resurfacing

Minor Traffic Delays Anticipated from May 26 – June 4

Workers with two drill rigs will begin gathering road core samples on Highway 101 at Lake Crescent on Tuesday, May 26. Work is expected to continue daily, including weekend days, through Thursday, June 4.

The core samples are being collected as part of the continuing assessment and preparation for the proposed resurfacing of Highway 101 around Lake Crescent set to begin in 2017.

Highway 101 will remain open throughout the work period.  To accommodate construction equipment and provide for public safety, the roads will be reduced to one lane of traffic through work zones and delays of up to 15 minutes should be expected. Flaggers and pilot cars will guide motorists through the active construction areas. Work will occur daily between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Motorists are advised to slow down, drive with caution, and watch for workers, equipment, and traffic control devices.

Current road information is available by calling Olympic National Park’s recorded information line at 360-565-3131 or online at nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/current-road-conditions.htm.