No injuries at Elma Apartment fire that displaces several families

An apartment fire in Elma displaced about a dozen people last night. Fire Chief Dana Smith tells us they were called to the Woodsvilla Apartment complex just after 4 Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported from the blaze that destroyed at least two apartments in one of the six unit buildings, Smith said the other units in that building are un-inhabitable due to damage to the roof and shared attic space. Smith said they know where the fire started, however “the unit the fire started in was so rapidly involved and burned so hot.” it’s not likely they will find a cause of the fire.

The fire burned so hot that crews started their response in a defensive stance, protecting the nearby Microtel motel and other units in the complex from the fire spreading.

The Elma Eagles Lodge brought out dinner for the firefighters and families affected during the response last night, the Red Cross was also contacted to assist the families with housing.

Those looking to aid Harbor families in times of emergencies, can make donations to the American Red Cross. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Grays Harbor Fire District #5 along with firefighters from the City of McCleary, Grays Harbor Fire District #2 and the…

Posted by Grays Harbor Fire District 5 on Friday, April 17, 2015

Sidewalk project temporarily reduces parking at Elma Safety Rest Area

A sidewalk repair project at the Elma Safety Rest Area on State Route 8 will lead to temporary parking changes. From Monday, April 20 through Thursday, April 23, all vehicles will use the semi-truck parking area.

During the maintenance project, the men’s restroom will be closed and portable toilets will be available. The women’s restroom will remain open. The work is occurring in advance of the busy summer travel season.

The Washington State Department of Transportation operates numerous Safety Rest Areas across the state to give travelers a place to rest before continuing on their journey.

Drivers can learn of traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and construction update webpages.

Hyperlinks within the news release:

  • WSDOT Safety Rest Areas

  • Washington State Travel Alerts

Satsop Business Park looking for “big business” to lease 300,000 square foot Turbine Building

If ‘big’ is your business, then the Satsop Business Park’s Turbine Building is the place for you.   The Turbine Building is now available for lease after being occupied the last five years by a tank manufacturing company.

How big is “big”?  The 300,000 square foot facility is well suited for heavy industrial/manufacturing including tank construction, aerospace and large component construction for industrial and energy projects.  The building features three stories with 11 cranes.  The top floor has two 250-ton cranes and the bottom floor has nine cranes ranging from five to ten tons.

Only 30 minutes from Olympia and the I-5 corridor, the Turbine Building at the Satsop Business Park is ready to serve your business’s needs with redundant electrical power, four separate fiber connections coming from different locations and various providers, water, and a newly constructed, state-of-the-art sewer system.

“The Turbine Building is a prime example of the unique infrastructure the Satsop Business Park has to offer to grow your business”, said Alissa Shay, Business Development Manager at Satsop Business Park.  “We are confident there are businesses out there that could benefit from what the Turbine Building has to offer.”

atson Business Park - Turbine Building

The structure is distinctive in that it was originally designed to house steam turbine generators for the twin nuclear plants that were never finished.  With ten acres of laydown area, there is plenty of room for storage and parking.  Additionally, there are 14,300 square feet of flexible office space including cubicles, a kitchen and conference room.

For more information on what the turbine building has to offer, visit

Business Park, a facility of the Port of Grays Harbor, is less than 2 hours southwest of Seattle and 2 hours north of Portland.  Located in scenic Grays Harbor County in Elma, Washington, the 1,800 acre mixed-use business and industrial park is approximately 30 minutes from Olympia and the I-5 Corridor. A part of the Grays Harbor Innovation Partnership Zone, it is home to more than 30 businesses, offers 600 acres of developed, pad-ready land and buildings supported by super-sized infrastructure, surrounded by 1,200 acres of sustainable managed forestland.

Washington State Patrol investigates semi truck accident on U.S. Highway 12

The Washington State Patrol would like to talk to the driver of a 2007 International Tractor with a refrigerated trailer that was found off of U.S. Route 12 near Elma early Saturday morning. The accident report says the semi was Eastbound on 12 at milepost 16 near the Keys Road when it veered right, struck a cement bridge and railing, then a guardrail before coming to rest partially in the ditch some time overnight. The Washington State Department of Transportation said the road was partially blocked for about 2 hours.

The cause, and any charges stemming from the accident are under investigation.

Minor injuries to driver that rear-ends school bus in Shelton

The Washington State Patrol reports non life-threatening injuries to the driver of a car that collided with a school bus in Shelton this morning, no injuries were reported from teenagers on the bus. It happened just before 7:30 Wednesday morning, on U.S. Route 101 at Shelton Springs road. The incident reports states that a 45 year old woman from Elma was driving her 2005 Hyundai too close behind the school bus, and rear-ended the bus while it was stopped at Shelton Springs Road. There were Twenty students on the bus at the time. The driver of the Hyundai was cited for following too close.

Elma barn fire visible from Highway 12 fueled by 300 bales of hay

A barn fire alongside Highway 12 in Elma could smolder for days. Over 300 wrapped-round bales of hay and the barn were reduced to fuel this morning after multiple agencies responded around 1 A.M.. Fire District 5 tells KBKW they plan a controlled-burn for the next couple of days.

Chief Dan Prater said this morning that the fire was visible from Highway 12. The property owner used an excavator to pull the bales of hay apart while fire crews from District 5, Elma, McCleary, as well as Grays Harbor Fire Districts 1 and 2 worked to contain the blaze to the single structure.

Prater said there were no injuries, damage estimates were not available but the hay, the farm equipment inside, and the barn are a total loss.

Elma barn fire Elma Barn Fire

Elma Barn Fire


FEMA to review Grays Harbor County Risk Report at October meeting

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed a detailed risk assessment for Grays Harbor County to include all Cities within the County which has been summarized in a report which can be downloaded here. The risk assessment includes a detailed assessment on every building in each community and determines losses due to flood and earthquake, and also assesses impacts from tsunami and landslides. In addition to the risk assessment, a mitigation action section highlights potential mitigation projects as identified through the risk assessment and also includes an overview of actions in the current mitigation plan for each jurisdiction.

They will be holding a meeting to discuss the report and have a detailed discussion with the community on mitigation and resiliency. The meeting will be held on October 23rd at the Log Pavilion in Aberdeen, WA located at 1401 Sargent Blvd from 1:00-3:30pm.

FEMA will be attending along with various state agencies to include Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Emergency Management Division and Washington Sea Grant.

related article Coastal Flood Hazard Study for Grays Harbor County enters appeal period

Continue reading FEMA to review Grays Harbor County Risk Report at October meeting

Was John Tornow a murderous wildman or a misunderstood loner?

Veteran newsman Bill Lindstrom has pursued the truth about John Tornow for almost 3 decades. Among the several outcomes of his work is a new book, “John Tornow: Villain or Victim?” Lindstrom will discuss the book, the research and the Tornow legend at three Timberland libraries in November:


Saturday, November 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Aberdeen Timberland Library, 121 E. Market Street, (360) 533-2360.

Tuesday, November 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Elma Timberland Library, 119 First Street, (360) 482-3737.

Tuesday, November 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Shelton Timberland Library, 710 W. Alder Street, (360) 426-1362.


This meticulously researched history reads like a blend of mystery and tragedy as it reinterprets the life of an enigmatic man accused of heinous crimes. A veteran news reporter, Lindstrom poured over century-old court documents, transcriptions, contemporary news articles and interviews to produce an authoritative and compassionate account. He brings the Tornow family’s life and times alive, describing the daily routines and personal sorrows that led up to multiple murders, a 19-month manhunt and an enduring Northwest legend.


All programs at Timberland libraries are free and open to the public.


For information, contact the individual library or visit

Elma man arrested on child pornography charges

A 29-year old Elma man has been arrested for possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct first degree on the evening of Friday October 17.

Elma Police tell KBKW they began investigating when they received a complaint that an 8-year old female had been possibly sexually assaulted by her babysitter. The Children’s Advocacy Center assisted in the investigation due to the girl’s age.

Police retrieved a cell phone from the suspect and applied for a search warrant of his phone which was believed to be used to photograph the girl. A search of the phone revealed several hundred images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that had been previously deleted by the suspect. The images were recovered by the Washington State Patrol High Tech Crime Unit using special equipment.

The suspect was booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail with no bail.

The family received support from Beyond Survival throughout the investigation. Beyond Survival is a useful resource center for sexual assault victims in Grays Harbor County.

Elma Police, WSP Bomb Squad recover “sparkler bomb”

The Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad was in Elma over the weekend, after a large sparkler bomb with AWOL written on the side was discovered by Elma police in the 100 block of N. 15th Street just before noon Sunday near the Texaco station.
An Elma officer found it on the ground, and described it as about a foot long, 8 inches in diameter with a green fuse about 2 feet long. The bomb squad collected, then detonated it just outside of town.