East Grays Harbor County residents asked to report suspicious activity

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department is warning Brady and Satsop residents of an increase in Burglaries, Thefts, and Vehicle Prowls. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us over the past week and a half, there have been four separate incidents in the area including burglaries on the 18th and 25th in Brady, a burglary in Satsop on the 20th, and aparrently someone stole batteries out of vehicles in the 500 block of the Monte Elma Road East of Montesano on Wednesday. Then just before 7 last night, Shumate reports residents in the 300 block of that road – closer to Brady, watched as a white or lighter colored Jeep Cherokee pull into their driveway and turn off it’s headlights. When asked, the occupants claimed to be lost, but sped away when the residents tried to help.

The driver was described as being a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s with a skinny build and bald/shaved head. The Jeep was further described as being “beat up looking”. There was a white female passenger of about the same age who was described as having a bigger build than the male.

Anyone seeing a vehicle matching this description in that area is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-249-3711 or the Grays Harbor Dispatch Center at 360-533-8765.

On 02/18/14 the department investigated a burglary that occurred at a residence in the 100 block of Winkleman Road (Brady). Suspect(s) broke into the residence and stole several items that included a large flat screen TV, a DVD player, a computer and a laptop. The victim also noticed metals had been taken from around his shop. Investigators eventually developed a suspect of the metal theft and he was located and arrested. It is unknown at this time if he was responsible for the burglary to the home. That investigation is ongoing.

On 02/20/14 the department investigated a burglary that occurred in the 1000 block of Monte Elma Road (Satsop). Suspect(s) burglarized a shed and stole items from the carport. Items included a 10 speed bike, a drill press, and miscellaneous tools. It was believed this crime occurred at night.

On 02/25/14 our agency investigated a burglary that occurred to a residence in the 500 block of Monte Elma Road (Brady). The home owners had only been gone a few hours mid day when they returned home and discovered that suspect(s) had forcefully entered their residence and shop and stole numerous items. Some of the stolen items included a flat screen TV, food, clothing, jewelry, and tools. Due to the extent of theft, detectives were called to assist deputies with this investigation. The sheriff’s department K-9 unit was also utilized however it was believed the suspect(s) arrived and left in a vehicle.

On 02/26/14 residents in the 500 block of Monte Elma Road (Montesano) discovered that someone had stolen the batteries out of their vehicles.
Anyone with information on the above referenced crimes are asked to call the sheriff’s department at 360-249-3711. We are also requesting residents in that area to report any unusual or suspicious activity.

Emerson Manor cleanup continues in Hoquiam, re-opening the Senior Center a priority

The clean-up at the Emerson Manor is in full swing with a large work force. Walls, ceilings and ductwork are being cleaned and dried. Work crews continue to inspect damaged areas of the building and are removing wet carpeting in hallways. Much work has been accomplished in the Senior Center as it has been made a priority by the Housing Authority. They are determined to open the Senior Center as soon as possible following test results insuring the safety of all who work and visit the Center.

Grays Harbor County Public Health conducted a meeting today with numerous churches and agencies to develop a plan to continue providing meals to the displaced tenants. Tentative plans have been made for the weekend.

Many agencies continue to work with the displaced tenants ensuring they have necessary health care and assistance. Travelling to multiple locations has made the task much harder, but all agencies are determined to provide the same level of assistance they had prior to the events at the Emerson Manor.

Work continues tomorrow and every day with a goal of an efficient, complete and quick clean-up, and restoration of the Emerson Manor. The safety of the tenants is and has been the top priority of the Housing Authority and all agencies connected with the evacuation.

The task is large and Anchor Bank (who was also displaced in this event,) has been gracious enough to set up a fund to assist the tenants in their time of need. Please visit any Anchor Bank location and make your monetary donation to the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Alleged Hoquiam Bank Robber back in Grays Harbor County Jail

The man wanted for the bank robbery of Twin Star Credit Union in Hoquiam, and an espresso stand in Aberdeen is back in a Grays Harbor jail cell this morning. Hoquiam Detective Sergeant Shane Krohn tells us he and Detective Jeff Weiss flew down to California where 31 year old Jay Randall Gladden was scheduled to be released on time served for charges in Fontana.
Gladden allegedly left a trail of cash from the bank to a carport where he vanished September 17, 2012, police believe he is the same suspect in the robbery of Huckle-Bearies Espresso stand that same month. He fled the state at some point and was arrested March of last year in California on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen property, and resisting arrest.
Jay Randall Gladden

Aberdeen to hire consultant Cary Bozeman for downtown development

Aberdeen has a new consultant to invigorate development of the downtown core. Mayor Bill Simpson said this morning that we might see some changes coming with consultant Cary Bozeman at the helm. “We’ve already seen changes downtown with the theater started, and then the bead shop and Flowers by Pollen, and the antique store and then Waugh’s and that whole block now is full. Across the street is all full, there’s just one block that has some empty ones and that’s going to be part of our target.

The Aberdeen city council approved a report authorizing the Mayor to contract with The Bozeman Group last night. Founder of the group and former mayor of Bremerton and Bellevue, Cary has over 30 years of experience in both public and private sector mine fields.

Simpson said the contract is for 1-year and is in the city’s budget.

Horns & Hooks Grays Harbor Sportsman Show ‘loaded for bear’

The annual Horns & Hooks Grays Harbor Sportsman Show will open for a two-day run March 8-9 at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds. Fair and events supervisor Rod Easton said in addition to vendors, there will be live demonstrations, outdoor products for sale and activity promotions.

There will be a free kids’ trout pond, a 3-D target archery competition and a cowboy fast-draw competition. As well as cast members from the History Channel series “Ax-Men,” Latt Durance from Outdoor TV’s “Best of the West” series and UFC’s Tim Sylvia.

http://visitgraysharbor.com/files/2014/02/sportsmanshow1.jpg

Westport hosts meeting to discuss contract that would replace police force

The city of Westport will hold a Town Hall meeting next week to discuss a contract for police services with the County Sheriff’s Department.
Tim Hill is a commercial fisherman in Westport, he told the city council Monday night “I am ‘for’ having the Sheriff, and the drug task force come into Westport, and try to do something about this drug problem that we’ve got around town because everybody knows it, and it needs to be addressed.”
Mayor Michael Bruce said the meeting run from 6 to 8 PM Monday night at the Ocosta High School, with Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott on hand to talk about the policing services they could offer the city.

Hoquiam raises ambulance rates for non-residents

Ambulance rates are on the rise in Hoquiam, but only if you are a non-resident that needs help within city limits. Finance Director Mike Folkers said Monday “We’ve ran some numbers on the previous runs that we’ve had and if the pay amounts continue, as apposed to the amounts that are written off through medicare, we estimate about [a] $30-thousand increase into the ambulance fund.

Mayor Jack Durney said that the fund was ‘underwater’ about $100-thousand.

City council adopted the ordinance raising the rate 25% higher than what Hoquiam residents pay if they need an ambulance. Hoquiam residents ‘pay it forward’ on their utility bill, with a monthly Ambulance Utility Rate.

Aberdeen looks to approve downtown retail of marijuana

The city of Aberdeen took a step closer to allowing a marijuana store downtown last night, the council adopted a report from the Planning Commission recommending that retail sales be permitted in both General and Downtown Commercial zones.
Councilwoman Margo Short said the report also recommends production, processing, and sale be permitted in both industrial zones, she told the council before adoption of the report “Right now all we’re doing is accepting the report, which if you read carefully, considers four zones.

A public hearing will be held March 12th before an ordinance is brought before the council.

Burglary suspect with multiple felony warrants sought in Mason County

BLAINE WILLIAM “BILLY” WHITEHEAD DOB: 12/26/1963 – 6’-00” – 168 LBS. WHITE MALE – BROWN HAIR – BROWN EYES
BLAINE WILLIAM “BILLY” WHITEHEAD
DOB: 12/26/1963 – 6’-00” – 168 LBS.
WHITE MALE – BROWN HAIR – BROWN EYES

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Blaine Whitehead, 50, who is a burglary suspect and who has multiple bench warrants for his arrest.  Whitehead is known to frequent the north Mason County areas and the south Kitsap County areas.  There are no known associated vehicles.  Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of Blaine Whitehead are requested to call the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at 360-427-7761, or 911.  (Case #13-12785)

Testing and clean-up efforts continue as Emerson Manor in Hoquiam remains closed

The Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency reports residents of the Emerson in Hoquiam have settled in to temporary housing, cleanup efforts continued today. Chuck Wallace said Wednesday afternoon “Mayor Jack Durney and his staff have worked very hard to lend assistance to the Emerson Manor Evacuation events and advised us today, they were able to find space to move some of the tenant property while the clean-up of the individual apartments takes place. This is great news as it helps accomplish the task at hand in a quicker, more efficient manner. They have also been in contact with the Hoquiam Food Bank and with the Elks Club about assisting with the long term care of some of the tenants and assisting in efforts to reopen the Senior Center in a different location while the clean-up continues. The City of Hoquiam efforts help to reinforce their commitment to the welfare of their citizens and to the entire Emerson Manor Evacuation process.

Over 60 residents were evacuated and the building effectively quarantined on Monday after hazardous bacteria levels were found in runoff water from the building’s sprinkler system.

Today, additional testing has taken place to ensure an efficient and complete clean-up of the Emerson Manor Apartments and Senior Center. Drying efforts continue while building plans are being evaluated to be sure every area of the Emerson Manor is inspected and cleaned. The clean-up continues tomorrow with more workers arriving to assist in the efforts.

Wallace added the housed tenants have received lunch at the Immanuel Baptist Church and also were treated to a hot dinner at their location by the Union Gospel Mission. Spirits are as high as can be expected. Jerry Raines from the Housing Authority has expressed his appreciation to the tenants, insisting their cooperation and understanding has helped make the entire process run smoothly.
The work force for this event has scaled back to mostly local efforts with skeleton crews accepting the burden of the work. All are performing admirably and will continue to do so until all tenants return to the Emerson Manor Apartments.
Anchor Bank has set up a fund to assist the residents. Please visit any Anchor Bank location and make your monetary donation to the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund.