Tag Archive for Grays Harbor County

Grays harbor AHAB sirens triggered, false alarm Tuesday

The Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency reports technicians working on the All Hazard Alert Broadcast system accidentally triggered the monthly test. Deputy Director Chuck Wallace tells us they plan to trigger another test, consisting of the Westminster Chimes and a brief voice message, this coming Monday at noon.

“This morning, Tuesday, Jan 7th @10:30am an AHAB test was activated by accident, while equipment testing was taking place at the county Emergency Operations Center.”


Grays Harbor sirens fail to activate during test

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — Hazard sirens in Grays Harbor County did not activate during a test Monday of the All Hazard Alert Broadcast system…. …read more

From: AP Washington News


Grays Harbor AHAB sirens fail monthly test – testing again January 13

AHAB Siren

The All Hazard Alert Broadcast Siren (AHAB) Test, scheduled for noon on Monday January 6th did not activate the AHAB sirens in Grays Harbor County. The test was initiated by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management, however none of the sirens activated with the Westminster Chimes or the test voice message. Chuck Wallace Deputy Director of the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency said “We believe the problem occurred due to a simultaneous transmission on the same frequency used for activation of the test. Grays Harbor County Emergency Management will activate the AHAB test (Westminster Chimes with a voice message) once again next Monday, January 13th at noon. Members of the Grays Harbor County Radio Shop and Washington State Emergency Management Division will also monitor our test at that time to ensure proper operation of the system.

If this had been a true event where the AHAB activation would have been needed for public safety and notification, Grays Harbor County Emergency Management would have sent multiple activations which they believe would have activated the AHAB Siren system.  Washington State Emergency Management also has the capability to activate all AHAB sirens in Washington.

Montesano man dies in mobile home fire

MONTESANO, Wash. – Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Deputies pulled the body of a 55-year-old Montesano man out of a burning trailer Thursday morning. The Montesano Fire Department was called to the mobile home park off of Poplar road just after 9 a.m. Thursday to find the mobile home fully engulfed in flames. The single resident was pronounced dead at the scene. Crews from Montesano and Fire District 2 kept the flames contained to the single home, a cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Humptulips man arrested for “shooting up the family home”

HUMTULIPS, Wash. – A 59-year-old Humptulips man was arrested last night after the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office reports he was “stressed by the holidays” and “shooting up the family home” with a revolver. Undersheriff Dave Pimentel said the man’s wife, daughter and grandchildren were inside the home on Forbes Lane when he began shooting the television and other household items just after 9 Monday night. No one was injured, Pimentel said the man was arrested for second-degree domestic violence assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents for help dealing with holiday stress, or help any time of year, 24 hours a day, call the Grays Harbor Crisis Clinic at 360-532-4357 or 1-800-685-6556.

Student threat prompts school closure as precaution

Ocosta School District

OCOSTA, Wash. – Classes at the Ocosta School District were closed today after administrators learned that one student allegedly told another earlier this week that “he should wear a protective vest to school.

Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Deputies were at the school this morning, but did not find a valid threat to students. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us the argument between the two 8th grade students apparently started Wednesday over a girlfriend. Shumate said better safe than sorry, and given the initial information, the Ocosta School Administration properly chose to cancel school today as a precautionary measure.

Shumate added “It appears that numerous 8th grade students became involved with this situation and eventually information had been received that one student told another student he should wear a protective vest to school. The mother of the student who supposedly made the threats became aware of the information and spoke to her son about the threats. He adamantly denied making any threats. The mother then contacted school officials and reported this prior to driving her son to the school to speak with school officials and investigating officers. That student has been cooperative throughout this investigation.

Deputies interviewed numerous students and are continuing to speak with them as of the time of this release. At this point in the investigation, it does not appear that there was a valid threat to any students.

Attorney General’s Office responds to request for opinion from interim county prosecutor on Grays Harbor Prosecutor appointment

preferred Bob Ferguson Head Shot

OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office today released an informal opinion that addresses the most time-sensitive part of a four-part request made by Interim Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Gerald Fuller.

The opinion addresses the process for filling the vacancy in the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s office caused by the retirement of former prosecutor, Stew Menefee, in September.

The opinion concludes that the Constitution requires the Grays Harbor County Commissioners to select an appointee from a list of three candidates nominated by the County Central Committee of the same political party as the person who vacated the position.  Article II, section 15 of the Constitution clearly states that “the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be from . . . the same political party as the [person] whose office has been vacated, and shall be one of three persons who shall be nominated by the county central committee of that party.”

How and when the Attorney General issues opinions

The Washington Attorney General, as the chief law officer of the state, provides official opinions on questions of law at the request of designated public officials, such as legislators and prosecutors, on issues arising in the course of their duties.

On Dec. 12, Interim Grays Harbor County Prosecutor, Gerald Fuller, requested an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General related to the process for filling vacancies.


Menefee retired on Sept. 30, 2013. He was an elected Democrat, whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2014. The County Commission appointed Fuller to serve as interim prosecutor.

The Grays Harbor Democratic Party submitted to the Grays Harbor County Commission a list of three nominees to fill the vacancy on Oct. 4, 2013.

On Oct. 24, the county commission selected Montesano attorney Vini Samuel.  Samuel formally declined the position. The party then requested the governor make the appointment from the two remaining nominees.

The chair of the County Commission announced on Dec. 9 that the party must submit a new list of nominees within 10 days or the Commission would select its own Democratic nominee outside the list provided by the party.

Fuller submitted a request for an Attorney General’s opinion on Thursday, December 12, asking:

  1. Is the County board of Commissioners legally and constitutionally entitled to demand a new list of nominees from the local Democratic Party and, if so, what is the source of that authority?
  2. With the expiration of 60 days from the date of Mr. Menefee’s retirement and Ms. Samuel’s declining the board’s Oct. 24 appointment, does the appointment fall to the governor under article II, section 15 of the Washington Constitution, or some other provision of Washington law?
  3. May the County Commissioners pick an individual not on a list supplied by the local county Democratic Party?
  4. If the County Commissioners appoint a person whose name is not on a list submitted by the county Democratic Party, will such a person appointed have legal authority to act as prosecuting attorney?

What is being released today

Because the commission stated it would select its own candidate if the party did not provide a new list within 10 days of Dec. 9,  the Attorney General’s Office is releasing an informal opinion today answering the third question to provide relevant information to county officials before the stated day of action.

The Attorney General’s Office will designate the rest of the request as a formal attorney general’s opinion. Formal opinions take more time and require more rigorous review.

What the informal opinion concludes

In response to Fuller’s question, the Attorney General’s Office informal opinion states that the Grays Harbor County Commissioners may not appoint an individual who is not on the list provided by the local Democratic Party to serve as Grays Harbor County Prosecutor.

The opinion points to Washington’s Constitution, which states that when a vacancy occurs in a partisan, county elective office, the county legislative authority must fill the vacancy with a person of the same political party as the person who vacated the position. The Constitution further says the nominee must be chosen from a list of three provided to the commission by the county political party.

There are no exceptions to these requirements.

The Attorney General’s Office hopes that the opinion will provide helpful guidance to the Grays Harbor County Commission as it seeks to abide by the law in carrying out this important duty.

Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s department warning of stolen mail, credit cards

MONTESANO, Wash. – Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating stolen mail and fradulent credit card charges after a North county resident reported seeing several mailboxes left open on her road this week. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us on Tuesday they received a complaint that mail had been stolen from the mail box in the 400 block of Ocean Beach Road (Hoquiam). The resident advised that she noticed her and her neighbors mailbox had been left open the day prior. The resident later checked her credit card account and discovered that someone had fraudulently charged over $1000.00 within the past 24 hours on her account. The majority of the fraudulent charges occurred at businesses in Aberdeen.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the theft of the mail and the Aberdeen Police Department will be handling the fraudulent credit card charges within their city.

Shumate adds “This would be a good reminder to all residents, particularly those who live in remote areas of the county, to be aware of this type of activity. This time of year we see an increase of mail thefts where suspects hope to find Christmas money, gift cards, or items of value.

Judge approves sale of NewWood Corporation assets to the Port of Grays Harbor

Montesano – The next step for the Port of Grays Harbor in acquiring the assets of former Satsop Business Park tenant NewWood Corporation was achieved on Monday when Superior Court Judge Gordon Godfrey approved the sale of the company’s manufacturing assets in the amount of $1.3 million.
The sale includes the manufacturing equipment that is located in a Port-owned building, as well as the intellectual property on the process of turning scrap plastics into usable building material. New Wood Corporation has been in receivership since November 2012. The sale required that all equipment be free of liens and that personal property taxes owed to Grays Harbor County will be paid from the proceeds of the sale.
The Port of Grays Harbor Commission took action in November to authorize the purchase with the intent to work with companies to find a viable operator for the facility. “We are committed to getting the facility up and running and by purchasing these assets we are in a better position to control our own destiny,” explained Executive Director Gary Nelson.

Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts and Washington’s only deep-water port located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The Port of Grays Harbor operates four deep-water marine terminals, the Westport Marina, Bowerman Airport and numerous industrial and business parks throughout the region. The addition of Satsop Business Park increases the Port’s properties to more than 1,000 acres of industrial properties and an additional 1,300 acres of sustainably managed forestland. Strategically located midway between Seattle and Portland and less than 1 ½ hours from open sea, the Port of Grays Harbor provides businesses a diverse portfolio of facilities. More information on the Port of Grays Harbor’s facilities and operations is available at portofgraysharbor.com.

Commissioner asks for another list to appoint Grays Harbor County Prosecutor

MONTESANO, Wash. – Grays Harbor County Commission Chair Frank Gordon has given the Democratic party a deadline of Dec. 18th “What we would like to have from the Democratic party is a list of three names, of good democrats that would like to take the office for the one year left.
The county has yet to appoint a Prosecutor, after Stew Menefee retired in September. Gordon said yesterday that if they don’t have a list of candidates on the 18th, “we’re going to go for a list of democrats that would be interested in filling this seat without the use of the democratic party if it comes down to that.
The commissioners appointed Vini Samuel from their first list of three supplied by the Democrats, although everyone on that list was asking them to appoint Deputy Prosecutor Katy Svoboda. Samuel later declined the appointment, and spliced opinion on where we go from here, either the Commissioners choose from the remaining two, or they ask for another list.