US Coast Guard stresses Pacific Northwest boat safety following Labor Day rescue

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to make smart decisions while operating in the Pacific Northwest following the rescue of eight people from an overloaded vessel that capsized near Bainbridge Island over the Labor Day weekend.

“Between the overloading of the vessel, the lack of lifejackets and a water temperature of less than 60 degrees, they are lucky to be alive,” said Daniel Shipman, director of boating safety for the Coast Guard 13th District. “It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you are; the shock of cold water immersion can instantly impair your motor function. A lifejacket may be the only ting keeping you afloat.”

A Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew and good Samaritan rescued seven adults, one child and a dog after their 12-foot skiff capsized in Eagle Harbor, Sunday.

Reportedly only the child was wearing a lifejacket and all eight people were in the water for at least 20 minutes prior to discovery by the good Samaritan. All the passengers were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

View the original press release about the rescue here: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2233162/

Click on the text below to hear and download audio clips of the good Samaritan’s mayday call:

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, issues a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 to Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle to report a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

Seven adults, a 4-year-old child and a dog were in the water for more than 20 minutes after their 12-foot skiff capsized before Meek and his daughter, Grace, heard their cries for help.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle responds to a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 from Sean Meek, a good Samaritan reporting a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

A 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle transferred the eight people and their dog to shore where they were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, counts people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., while issuing a mayday call to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle via VHF-FM channel 16, Aug. 31, 2014. 

Officials believe the overloading of a 12-foot skiff contributed to the eight people and a dog being thrown from the vessel after it capsized around sunset.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.



Washington Primary Election deadline is today

Washington state voters this week will decide who advances to the general election in 10 congressional races including our 6th District, and dozens of legislative races including our 19th and 24th Districts.
Today is the last day to get your ballots in, or postmarked for the state primary.

Locally, 4 are vying for the District 3 County Commissioner seat, 3 for County Assessor, 3 for PUD Commissioner.
Also on ballots of those affected is the question of whether to form a Public Hospital District in Western Grays Harbor County, and which commissioners will make up it’s 7 board members.

There are no statewide offices on the ballot, but the match getting the most attention is the 4th Congressional District race to replace U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who is retiring after two decades in the seat. A dozen candidates crowd that race, though four Republicans appear to be the front-runners.

Under Washington state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in each race advance to the general election, regardless of party.

The Deadline to register for the state’s General Election is October 6th, ballots will be mailed out later that month for the November General.

 

Ballot Drop-Off Locations
If there is an election in the area, ballots may be dropped off at any of the locations listed below from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. – on Election Day only. Locations only accept voted ballots then transport them to the Auditor’s office. Sites do not offer replacement ballots, voting assistance, or other services.

Aberdeen Hoquiam Cosmopolis

YMCA Convention Center
2500 Simpson Ave
Hoquiam, WA 
 

 

Ocean Shores

120 W Chance Ala Mer Ave
Ocean Shores, WA

 

McCleary

VFW 158 Summit Rd
McCleary, WA

 

Oakville

Methodist Church
204 E Harris

Oakville, WA

 

Westport

506 N Montesano St
Westport, WA

 

Montesano

Auditor’s Office
100 W Broadway, Suite 2
Montesano, WA

 

“Swift and Certain” punishment model shines in Hoquiam City Jail

The Hoquiam City Jail is doing well, and after being closed for almost 10 years it could become a showcase for the State Department of Corrections. About 2 years ago, their “Swift and Certain” punishment model needed a jail for quick arrests and convictions of parole violators, instead of lengthy jail and court times. “From the street level, anecdotally I can that I think it works. I think it’s holding people accountable in a way that wasn’t working with the duration it took to get probation violators through the court system.” Police Chief Jeff Myers reported to the city council last night, “now they are proposing to extend the contract, which expires this year, out to 2017 and give us a maximum per diam of $85 per day per inmate.”
The city jail was closed for almost 10 years before Myers was able to re-open it part-time in 2012. Later that year partnering with the DOC, he said the contract saves ratepayers. “The citizens of Hoquiam receive a fulltime functioning city jail for about .20 cents on the dollar because of this DOC contract.” For that Myers thanked Hoquiam Senator Jim Hargrove “Senator Hargrove was the main sponsor, he continues to ‘kick’ the DOC when they need to be ‘kicked’ and make sure things move forward, he’s a big proponent of this.” The “Swift and Certain” model received national attention earlier this year when President Barack Obama announced he wants to expand on similar programs.

Reported drug house in Hoquiam shut down after complaints

Heavy foot and vehicle traffic reported at a suspected drug house turned up a few arrests for Hoquiam Police yesterday. Chief Jeff Myers tells us deputies from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department aided in serving a search warrant in the 200 block of K Street yesterday morning. A 34 year old Hoquiam woman was arrested on methamphetamine charges. A 28 year old Hoquiam man was also arrested on DOC felony warrants.
Myers said the home had no electrical service, and was in such disrepair that the city plans to condemn the building
In the morning hours of June 26, 2014, detectives with the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force, along with officers from the Hoquiam Police Department and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at 211 K Street in Hoquiam pursuant to an investigation regarding small-scale methamphetamine sales.
During the course of the search warrant, the suspect and resident of the premises, a 34-year old Hoquiam woman, was arrested for multiple counts of Violation of the Uniform Substance Act. The female was subsequently booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on pending felony drug charges.
A 28-year old Hoquiam man, who was staying at the home, was arrested on an outstanding DOC felony warrant for probation violations. Suspected methamphetamine was also found on his person. He was booked at the Hoquiam City Jail under the contract with DOC to hold state probation offenders and may face additional felony drug charges.
Other occupants staying at the residence at the time of the search warrant were checked for outstanding wants and released.
This investigation stemmed from numerous neighborhood complaints to the Hoquiam Police Department of heavy foot and vehicle traffic to and from the residence. These complaints were forwarded to the Drug Task Force, which initiated an undercover investigation.
Given the conditions of the residence, including the fact there was no electrical service, the premises will be condemned by the Hoquiam Building Department. Anyone who returns will be arrested for trespassing once the premises is posted “unsafe to occupy”.
A derelict vehicle, also belonging to the female resident, was impounded from the street in front of the house.
“One of our three Department Focus Points is targeting drug dealers and drug locations. The Drug Task Force took on this location based on citizen concerns and developed a case which will hopefully resolve the problem.”

Hoquiam police arrest couple sleeping in their car, recover drugs and gun

Hoquiam police found a couple of people passed out in their car, and recovered a firearm that may have been stolen recently from Aberdeen. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us just after 2 A.M. on May 13th they contacted a suspicious vehicle in the 2100 block alley between Simpson and Sumner Avenue. Officers were attempting to locate a 28-year old Hoquiam man who was wanted on an outstanding felony probation warrant from the state Department of Corrections, last observed running down the alley.

Officers approached this vehicle as they were concerned the suspect was possibly hiding inside. Instead, officers found a male and female lying back in the seats; both appeared to be “passed-out” under the influence of narcotics.

Officers recognized the male occupant as a 29-year old Aberdeen man, who also had a felony probation warrant from the state Department of Corrections, but were not positive as to his identity. When the officers knocked on the window, the occupants came awake and were shocked to see the police.

The female identified herself as a 29-year old female from Central Park. Although there was a purse in the car, she denied it was hers.

In speaking with the male, he denied being the person with the warrant and provided a false name. The male tried several times to reach toward a small black bag on the seat nearby.

Officers detained the male as they were concerned he was reaching for a weapon in the black bag. After reviewing booking photos and tattoo information from the mobile data terminal in the patrol car, officers confirmed the male’s identity and arrested him on the felony warrant (as well as providing false information).

As the male was being placed into the patrol car by an officer, the other officers discovered the small black bag did in fact contain a 9 mm pistol. When the suspect realized officers found the gun, he broke free from getting into the patrol car and ran a very short distance before being tackled and subdued.

Officers impounded the vehicle and applied for a search warrant to recover the firearm. In addition to the felony probation warrant, the male is a convicted felon and cannot possess a firearm.

The next day, officers served the search warrant issued by Grays Harbor District Court. Officers recovered the 9 mm pistol from the black bag which possibly matched one of five firearms stolen in a burglary reported in Aberdeen earlier this month. Officers also recovered suspected methamphetamine from the purse as well as cellular phones and drug paraphernalia.

The male suspect remains in custody at the Hoquiam City Jail on the DOC probation warrant. He and the female will be submitted to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office on several felony charges, including possession of stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm and drug offenses.

“Swift and Certain” proves reliable for Hoquiam City Jail as they celebrate 1 year opening

The Hoquiam Police Department celebrated the one year anniversary of the reopening of the city jail yesterday, April 1, 2014, and Chief Jeff Myers tells us business is booming. “As long as we have the contract with the DOC I have no doubt that we will continue to operate. In fact what we really need to do at this point is expand because there was one point last week where we had 27 inmates – remember we’re only bunked for 14 male 4 female, we were out of mattresses and the DOC was trying to bring in 6 more, which they had to divert to other facilities outside Grays Harbor.
Celebrating with a cake is (left) Chief Jeff Myers, Deputy Chief Don Wertanen, Police Services Officer Jared Spaur and DOC Supervisor Dave Thomson who supervises the community corrections offices in Grays Harbor in Pacific Counties.  And for the record, the prisoners did not partake in the cake.
Celebrating with a cake is (left) Chief Jeff Myers, Deputy Chief Don Wertanen, Police Services Officer Jared Spaur and DOC Supervisor Dave Thomson who supervises the community corrections offices in Grays Harbor in Pacific Counties.
And for the record, the prisoners did not partake in the cake.

Under a contract to hold state probation violators, the city was able to reopen the city jail to full-time 24-7 operation.  Myers added that the swift and certain program appears to be working “What it does tell me is that the system that the state has gone to with community corrections seems to be working. We are holding accountable those that need to be, and you hope that at some point in time it starts to change those folks’ behavior.”

The program focuses on repeated and consistent arrests, instead of court dates and jail time, to curb recidivism. Myers said over the past year, the city has had a close partnership with the department of corrections in holding not only city prisoners but also state probation violators from Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties.
The contract with State DOC has offset 74.8% of the operating expenses to operate the city jail. Myers added “I believe this is been a very successful partnership not only because it allows the city to have a full-time jail again, but it also enhances public safety in all of Grays Harbor by holding offenders accountable.”
The city is currently working to fill one police services officer position, Myers tells us they will also recognize their two newest later this month “Two of our new police services officers are graduating the corrections academy in Burien at the criminal justice training commission on April 11th. And even with those two joining our ranks we’re still trying to hire one more police services officer so we’ll be running another entry-level test, applications are due to city hall by April 28th.” For details visit www.cityofhoquiam.com

Man steals flashlight from fire truck at fireman’s funeral, “Not too bright” says Police Chief

A Hoquiam man stole a flashlight out of a fire truck over the weekend, during funeral services for a Fire District 16 firefighter. The convicted felon is well known to police in Hoquiam and said that he would have gotten away with it too, if they didn’t have a sting operation setup. While there was no official “sting,” the truck was parked for the nearby funeral of 37 year old Michael Webber. Webber’s fully loaded semi drove off of a Forest Service road in the Capitol Forest near Summit Lake two days before Christmas.

"I am not sure how much lower you can get than to steal equipment off of a fire truck parked at a funeral for a fallen firefighter." Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers
“I am not sure how much lower you can get than to steal equipment off of a fire truck parked at a funeral for a fallen firefighter.” Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us Nicolas J. Marll was arrested for an outstanding arrest warrant with the Department of Corrections. He added Second Degree Vehicle Prowl charges after he got into a fire truck parked at 6 Street and K Street around 2:45 the afternoon of January 3rd and removed a flashlight. Witnesses at the nearby funeral services reported seeing the man walking away with the flashlight. Officer Pearson said he still had it when he followed him into McHugh’s Furniture store where he told Officer Pearson that he “would not have caught him if [he] did not have a sting operation set up.” Pearson recovered the light, and just over 20 grams of methamphetamine, Marll remains in Hoquiam Jail on a DOC hold.

Search warrant turns up drugs, cash, and arrests for Mason County Special Operations Group

During the search warrant service, detectives recovered approximately 100 grams of methamphetamine, which has a street value of $5,000.00.  Nearly $3,000.00 in cash was also recovered.

The ongoing partnership that we experience with our local law enforcement agencies, makes for a safer community.  This cooperation has led to the removal of dangerous illegal drugs as well as placed suspects dealing these drugs behind bars. – Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury

Adam said due to an ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time.

Area doctor voices concerns over “meth-heads” in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Aberdeen’s downtown homeless population is apparently migrating up the hill. That’s according to Doctor Carey Martens, he told the city council at last night’s meeting “I live up on Broadway Hill, we’ve seen a huge influx in terms of vagrants, meth-heads, every kind of undesirable that you see downtown – we’ve got up in our neighborhood.”
KBKW On DemandThe Chief of Staff at Community Hospital said he’s often asked questions as he recruits doctors to the area “And they’re asking ‘Doc Carey, where should we buy a house at?’ Oh Wishkah is looking good, just come in and work – get the heck out of [Aberdeen] at night.”
The doctor said he doesn’t feel safe in his own driveway, and warned the council “I can practice medicine anywhere I want, and I chose to come here. People like me are not going to stay here for much longer, unless we get this place cleaned up.”
City Councilwoman Kathy Hoder said she sees similar issues at her business “I pack a gun to work, and I keep it with me at all times.” although her solution might not be for everybody.

U.S. House could vote this week on “Healthy Forests” bill to increase logging of federal forest lands

Earlier this summer Hastings said “Across our country, rural forest communities are struggling for survival.  These communities have depended on the forest for their livelihoods.  Yet in the last three decades, federal forest lands have essentially been shut down due to bureaucratic red tape and lawsuits and these rural communities are paying the price.  The federal government made a commitment over 100 years ago to actively manage our national forests and provide a percentage of revenue from that management to counties containing national forest land. land.  Yet the federal government has failed to uphold that promise,” said Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “These communities cannot afford the status quo.  Police units don’t have the resources to respond to emergency calls, schools districts are laying teachers off, and communities are being left to crumble without funds to pay for infrastructure.  A new approach is needed now. This bill is a long-term solution to put hard-working Americans back to work and to restore the economies of these rural communities.”

At the markup, the Committee approved an amendment in the nature of substitute to H.R. 1526 offered by Chairman Hastings that combined several proposals to address the forest management stalemate on public lands and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildlife. 

“This amendment is a coordinated effort to combine these proposals in the interest of moving forward with a cohesive piece of legislation.  My colleagues on this Committee have put forth a lot of time and effort to develop pieces of legislation to help cut red tape and allow for increased management, and I am pleased that we were able to bring these bills together to restore the health of all our federal forest lands,” said Chairman Hastings.

Specifically, H.R. 1526, as amended, would reestablish the priority of actively managing our forests and promotes responsible timber production on Forest Service commercial timber land; improve forest health and prevent catastrophic wildfires by allowing great state and local involvement; improve forest management by allowing counties to actively manage portions of National Forest land; addresses the forest lands currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Western Oregon, known as “O&C Lands;” and allows for a short-term extension of Secure Rural Schools payments as counties transition back to active forest management.