Body of Mason County man found after child porn arrest

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A body found floating near the Bremerton, Wash., marina has been identified as that of a prominent Mason County man arrested last week for investigation of possessing

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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

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Harbor Manor in Hoquiam among statewide housing purchase

TUKWILLA, Wash. - When a portfolio of nine privately owned Section 8-assisted housing complexes located in five counties scattered across Washington state was offered for sale last spring, the King County Housing Authority spearheaded a collaborative effort to purchase it. The housing authorities of Bremerton, Grays Harbor County, Yakima, and Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee participated in assuring the preservation of a total of 337 homes within the various communities.

“If they lost their housing because it got too expensive, they couldn’t take a second job to pencil it out. Now they can sleep at night in a safe, stable place to live, which is what anybody would want for their mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.”

The unusual collective strategy – which represents the most wide-ranging state initiative to date to preserve existing subsidized housing – was necessary because the seller wanted to dispose of the portfolio as a single sale. Failure to acquire even one of the nine properties would have resulted in failure to preserve any of the properties. The current owner, who was also the initial developer and long-term owner of the properties, worked with the housing authority to try to assure long-term preservation of these apartments as affordable housing.

“Preserving existing subsidized housing is the most cost-effective way to maintain the supply of affordable rental apartments,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. “Working with the state Department of Commerce, King County government and housing authorities across the state, we have been able to protect 337 low-income households, the vast majority of them senior citizens, from being forced from their homes – and at the same time, have preserved for the long-term, crucial local housing resources.”

Mason County Deputy Rescues Woman From Burning House

Tahuya WA - The Mason County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible suicide attempt on May 17, 2012 at 5:51 AM.  While responding to find the victim, Mason County Deputy Sheriff Ruben Castillo found a residence within the 200 block of NE Collins Lake Drive, in Tahuya, fully engulfed in smoke and flames.  Risking his own life, Deputy Castillo ran into the burning structure and pulled out one adult female.  Mason County Fire District #2 responded to the scene and fought the fire.  The woman was airlifted to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle.  Her name and condition is unknown at this time until her family is notified.  Deputy Castillo was taken to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, where he was treated and released for smoke inhalation.  Firefighters on the scene stated that Deputy Castillo saved the woman’s life and that he is a hero.  The Mason County Sheriff’s Office and Mason County Fire District #2 are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Health Insurer to Issue Refunds After Billing Error

BREMERTON, Wash. - KPS Health Plans, a Bremerton-based health insurer, has agreed to refund thousands of dollars to customers who were overcharged due to a billing system error.

Approximately 235 customers are believed to have been billed at incorrect rates. Of those, 61 had the incorrect amount deducted from their bank accounts. Others received incorrect billing statements.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has requested the company issue refunds and notify customers about the problem. KPS has said it will issue refunds right away with letters of apology to customers.

The company has agreed to pay for any insufficient funds charges incurred by customers as a result of these overcharges. KPS will also post on its website a notice to customers about the problem.

Starting in mid-April, Kreidler’s office began receiving complaints from consumers about the overbilling, including one customer who said it amounted to about $100 extra.

“I’m disappointed that we had to hear about this problem first from policyholders, rather than from the company itself,” said Kreidler.

KPS customers with questions can call the company or contact Kreidler’s office at 1-800-562-6900.

Cantwell Announces $37.7M for Washington State Homelessness Programs

SPOKANE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that 68 Washington projects will receive a total of $37,700,917 in grants for the development of Continuum of Care programs from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Continuum of Care programs are coordinated community-based efforts to address homelessness by examining needs and building programs that address those needs. Grants under this program were competitively awarded to applicants across the nation. 

 

“I applaud the Department of Housing for these critical investments towards in addressing homelessness in Washington state,” Senator Cantwell said.  “During hard economic times, it is critical we insure that the neediest in our communities have somewhere to turn.”

 

Programs awarded today include the Supportive Housing Program (SHP) that provides housing in a supportive environment with a service component; the Shelter Plus Care (S+C) program that provides grants for rental assistance for homeless persons with disabilities; and the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program that provides rental assistance on behalf of homeless individuals in connection with moderate rehabilitation of SRO buildings.

Volunteers needed to count bicyclists and pedestrians for annual statewide survey

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Volunteers are needed in communities across the state to help count the number of people who walk or bike to their destinations. The information gathered this fall will be used to track progress toward the state’s goal of increasing bicycling and walking in Washington and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven.

 

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations like FeetFirst and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to count the numbers of people bicycling and walking on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities on Oct. 5, 6 and 7.

 

“We are working on ways to reduce the number of miles we drive each year, and counting bicyclists and pedestrians at specific locations can help us more accurately measure demand and the benefits of existing paths and trails,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The counts also help us identify where future bicycle and pedestrian facilities are needed.”

500 Coke Employees at Six Western Washington Locations Strike

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Approximately 500 Coke employees from 6 Teamster Locals across Western Washington went on strike at 5 P.M. Monday afternoon in response to the Company's surveillance and intimidation of its employees and its refusal to bargain a contract in good faith.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is investigating the company for serious and repeated violations of federal labor law, including "surface bargaining", surveillance of its employees, and threatening to retaliate against workers for engaging in protected activities.

"The last thing we wanted is a strike, but Coke has left us no alternative," said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 117 and lead negotiator for the Union. "The Company's refusal to bargain a contract has resulted in hardship for 500 Coke employees and their families and the disruption of its own operations."

WSP Recaps First Half of 2010 on Grays Harbor Highways

Grays Harbor County – The Washington State Patrol has investigated 12% fewer collisions along Grays Harbor County state routes during the first half of 2010, with a drastic 63% reduction where speed was listed as a contributing factor.

Troopers responded to 14 driver impaired collisions along state routes between January and June 2010, as compared to 18 during that same time period in 2009 – a 22% decrease.

This year, troopers have investigated 63% fewer speed related collisions along state routes, by responding to 18 so far as compared to 48 in 2009.

375 drivers who failed to buckle up were stopped by troopers, and 95% of them were issued a $124 traffic infraction. The percentage of unrestrained motorists who received tickets in 2009 was 88%, which means troopers are choosing to increase enforcement on driver behavior that can result in fatality or disabling injury.