Vehicle of missing Seattle woman found abandoned near Neilton

The vehicle of a missing Seattle woman was located last week in the Olympic National Forest, 33 year old Donna Van Zandt was not. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells KBKW last Friday evening, United States Forrest Service notified the Sheriff’s Department of an abandoned 2000 Honda Civic that had been located by hunters scouting an area near Neilton. The location was a very remote logging road approximately 5 miles in on Quinault Ridge Road. A deputy was eventually able to make his way to the vehicle and determined the car most likely had been at the location for several months due to the vegetation that had grown up around the car. The keys to the vehicle were still inside in addition to camping and hiking gear. There was no other obvious information to indicate what may have happened to the driver/occupants.

Donna Van Zandt

The vehicle was registered to Donna Van Zandt, a 33 year old female from Seattle. On Saturday investigators worked on locating family and friends of Van Zandt. At this point, it appears the last family contact was in April of 2014. Family members did explain that in January of this year, Van Zandt’s father was apparently murdered in New York, and April was the 2nd anniversary of her mother’s passing.

On Sunday, numerous search and rescue members searched the area where Van Zandt’s vehicle was located. Van Zandt was not located on that day.

Here is the vehicle that was located, in addition to a picture of Van Zandt.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Van Zandt is asked to call Detective Keith Peterson of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office at 360-249-3711.

Donna Van Zandt car

Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. CEO Tim Gibbs resigns

Tim Gibbs, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc., tendered his resignation to the board at last night’s meeting, citing his need to be closer to his family in Kentucky.

“It has been a great privilege to lead this organization,” Gibbs said. “This is not a choice I made lightly, and I will miss Grays Harbor.”

Gibbs has been CEO of GGHI since it began in January of 2012; before that he was the executive director of the Grays Harbor Economic Development Council, which, along with the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce, formed the single organization.

Gibbs leaves GGHI in a position of strength, with growing membership and collaborative partnerships with local governments, businesses and non-profits.

“Tim’s work has set Greater Grays Harbor up for success. He has worked tirelessly, building relationships with so many partners for economic development in our area,” said Larry Kahl, Past Chair of the board and COO at Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

Mike O’Dell, Board Chair, noted that last year the board underwent a strategic planning process, identifying goals for GGHI.

“We know what the challenges are that lie ahead, and we have a plan to meet those challenges,” O’Dell said. “Tim was a steady guide in the days when the merger was new, but now, we’re a mature organization that is equipped to go forward into the future, and that’s in no small part due to his leadership skills these first few years.”

At the meeting, the board formed a search committee to look for Gibbs’ replacement. The board agreed that it will be a nationwide search.

“Tim set a really high bar, and we want to find someone who can lead this organization and all of Grays Harbor,” said Donna Rosi, Vice Chair and General Manager at Grays Harbor Radio.

GGHI events and everyday operations will continue as usual, Kahl emphasized.

“Tim was a great find, and we’ll miss his talent and skills. He helped us move the bar forward, and left us in a better position than we were. He helped us become a better organization, combining a Chamber and and EDC into a financially strong organization with influence in the community ,” said Randy Ross, Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Bank of the Pacific, and former Board Chair. “Although we are saddened by his departure, we know it’s the right thing for him. We’ve learned a lot from him. Now it’s time to move into the next chapter, and we will find someone who can move us to the next level.”

15th Annual United Way Gala a Success for Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

The 15th Annual United Way Gala was a huge success thanks to the support and generosity of the community.  There were well over the 300 people at the event. “The Gala raised over $75,000 for programs that reach thousands of people throughout Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties each year”, said Nora LeBlanc, Executive Director.  “We were honored to have so many special guests including President Fawn Sharp, Congressman Derek Kilmer and our speaker Coach Dana LeDuc.”


Every dollar that is raised is used for local people to help our children succeed and thrive, meet basic needs and ensure that people are safe. United Way invests in twenty-two programs that helps people as they strive for a better life.


“It was a fantastic turnout and we are so grateful to everyone that came to support United Way,” said Donna Rosi, President of the United Way Boards of Directors.  “And we want to thank all the sponsors of this year’s Gala, Presenting sponsors Rich Hartman’s Five Star Dealerships, Jodesha Broadcasting; Platinum Sponsor; The Quinault Indian Nation; Silver Sponsor, Timberland Bank and the table sponsors Coastal Women’s Health, Harbor Pacific, Westport Properties, Coca-Cola, Behavioral Health Resources, Comcast & Comcast Spotlight, Hanner Enterprises, Bank of the Pacific Real Estate Division, Masco Petroleum, Robert Torgerson, the Daily World, Grays Harbor Radio and Pasha Automotive.”


The annual Gala and Auction is the largest fundraising event for United Way. United Way of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties is funded solely through private donations from individuals, businesses and workplace campaigns.

Washington health exchange ready to launch – regardless of federal government shutdown

SEATTLE (AP) – Politicians and administrators launching Washington’s new health care exchange on Tuesday say nothing will stop the state from signing people up for health insurance.

They’re not concerned about technical glitches or being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls and web traffic. They are prepared to take comments and complaints from the public. And they say the debate in the other Washington won’t affect Washington Healthplanfinder, even if there is a federal government shutdown.

State Sen. Karen Keiser says the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and nothing that happens in Washington, D.C., this week will change that. She doesn’t expect protests to disrupt the launch. She adds, however, that the first open enrollment period will last six months, so early protests will not stop what she calls this landmark in history.


Associated Press

Starting today, uninsured residents in Grays Harbor County can enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by calling or visiting Coverage begins on January 1, 2014.

Olympic National Forest to Begin Prescribed Fires

Following is a list of the proposed treatments.

Hood Canal Ranger District (east side of the Olympic Peninsula)
Lilly Prescribed Pile Burn – Melbourne Creek, 161 acres, logging slash
Rixon Prescribed Pile Burn – Snow Creek, 77acres, logging slash
Cougar Prescribed Pile Burn – Gold Creek, 3.5 acres, site maintenance
Dennie Ahl Prescribed Pile Burn – Dennie Ahl Hill, 2 acres, site maintenance
Quilcene Administrative Site Prescribed Burn – Village of Quilcene, 1 acre, site maintenance

Pacific Ranger District (west side of the Olympic Peninsula)
Tom Creek Prescribed Pile Burn – Upper Sol Duc River, 3.5 acres, site maintenance
Snider Work Center Prescribed Pile Burn – Sol Duc Valley, 1 acre, site maintenance
Boulder Pit Prescribed Pile Burn – Boulder Creek, 1 acre, site maintenance
Quinault Administrative Site – South Shore Lake Quinault, 1 acre, site maintenance

If you have general questions about fire management or prescribed fire, please contact Donna Nemeth at 360-956-2274.  If you have questions about a specific prescribed fire listed above, please contact Don Svetich at 360-765-2225.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.  For general information on the Olympic National Forest, visit

Hoquiam Celebrates Art About and the Rain Festival

These Hoquiam businesses personally invite you: 

Alexander’s Grill- featuring Deborah Ivey-Boone
Timberland Bank- featuring Carrie Larson and photos by Ellen Pickell
Ken Schoenfeld Furniture- Gwen and Shela Dery
Silver Pony Antiques- Lee Staley and Ron Westman
US Bank- Branda Peterson
7-Eleven- Robin Moore
Hoquiam Senior Center- Mary Lou Gregory watercolors, Donna Miller paintings and art offerings of Ian Crittenden
Six Rivers GAllery- Robin Harlow and David Quamme
Levee Lumber- artwork by Barbara Schillinger
Durney Insurance- watercolors by Kathleen Graddy
Hoquiam Swansons- art of Patty Kudel
Ace Electric- Elizabeth Bolton
Anchor Bank- art of Corinna Luyken
Bank of the Pacific- Susan La Midrid
Sweet Shoppe space- Bailey Kessler and Connie Boyer
QD Uniforms- artwork of Richard Cherry

County Commissioners to Go Live Soon

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners on Monday approved the purchase of an audio and video recording system for the Commissioner meeting room, County Commissioners’ Administrative Assistant Donna Caton is quoted in the attached audio.

A subscription fee will cost the county $340 per month, plus a $5,571 camera installation fee, which includes software, and support, as well as the webspace and storage fees associated. The letter seeking authorization also states that funds are available through the Facilities Improvement Fund.