Westport Winery earns gold in New York Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Westport Winery brought home five medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, New York. This is the competitions 15th year with 73 judges from around the world judging 3708 wines from 27 countries.

2015 Boom FrontDirector of Winemaking, Dana Roberts, earned a gold medal on Boom Runner, a sparkling pomegranate wine that benefits Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. Silver medals were awarded to Smoky Nor’wester Sangiovese, Shorebird Chardonnay, and Elk River Riesling.


Smoky Nor’wester benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips and features grapes from the renowned Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. Shorebird Chardonnay benefits the Grays Harbor Audubon and features grapes from Conner-Lee Vineyard near Othello. Elk River Riesling, also from Red Willow Vineyard, benefits the Twin Harbor Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

2015 Smoky Front

2015 Mercy FrontCidermaker Carrie Roberts earned a silver medal for Mercy, her hard apple cider. Each of Westport ciders (Mercy, Courage, Hope and Grace) benefits Mercy Ships an organization providing surgical care to the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.

2013 Shorebird PosterLaunch spring at the winery’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.



DNR purchase on Olympic Peninsula adds to wildlife habitat and working forest

At its regular monthly public meeting this week, the Board of Natural Resources authorized the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase 1,720 acres of forestland north of the Quinault Indian Reservation on the western Olympic Peninsula. The $5.2 million purchase from The Nature Conservancy will be funded by the proceeds from previous sales and state-funded conservation transfers of under-productive trust lands.


“We’re grateful for the partnership with The Nature Conservancy in purchasing this land,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who chairs the board. “It will benefit future trust beneficiaries and our conservation commitments on the Olympic Peninsula.”


The new purchase will become part of the Olympic State Experimental Forest, which DNR manages under its Habitat Conservation Plan for timber revenue to trust land beneficiaries, including the Common School Trust. About $4 million of the site’s purchase price is represented by its standing timber, the majority of which will be ready for harvest in ten to twenty years.


Park land for eastern King County

The board today also authorized a $3.025 million direct transfer (sale) of just over 122 acres of forestland to King County to include in its Patterson Creek Park Natural Area. The site, located between Sammamish and Issaquah, is nearly surrounded by residential development. DNR will use the sale’s proceeds to purchase forestland better suited for producing revenue for the Common School Trust.


Trust land transfers in Klickitat and Thurston counties

The board also approved two transactions through the legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer program:


  • Eight hundred and nineteen acres of forested Common School Trust property will be transferred to the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The property, which straddles the Yakima-Klickitat county line, is three miles north of Glenwood. The ecologically diverse area includes several rare plants identified as threatened and endangered. The $2.1 million provided by the Trust Land Transfer program for the parcel will support public school construction projects statewide and purchase replacement land better suited for producing natural resources revenue for the Common School Trust.
  • Five hundred and forty-seven acres of forest and wetlands near the town of Elbe in Thurston County will be transferred to Tacoma Public Utilities. The property’s limited road access and isolation from other DNR-managed trust lands make it inefficient to manage for timber harvest revenue. The $4.68 million provided by the Trust Land Transfer program for the parcel will support public school construction projects statewide and purchase replacement land better suited for producing natural resources revenue for the Common School Trust.


DNR… caring for your natural resources
DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools, county services, universities, prisons, and other state institutions. The Board of Natural Resources adopts broad-based policies and approves major commodity sales and all land transactions for state lands.

Registered Sex Offender Working For Carnival at Pacific County Fair Arrested

South Bend, WA. – This morning a registered sex offender identified as Jason A. Miner, age 38, and of Yakima was arrested by Pacific County Sheriff deputies at the Pacific County Jail. Miner was reporting to the Sheriff’s Office to register within our county as required by state law. Miner was in Pacific County working for the company contracting carnival rides and activities at the Pacific County Fair.

Miner was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant out of Yakima County for failing to register as a sex offender. Miner was booked into Pacific County Jail for the warrant. Bail is set at 10,000.00.

WDFW Commission sets waterfowl seasons, discusses elk with hoof disease

With a record number of ducks counted on the northern breeding grounds this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved migratory waterfowl hunting seasons for this fall and winter during a public meeting in Olympia Aug. 8-9.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved a new regulation that requires hunters to leave on site the hooves of any elk taken in southwest Washington to help minimize the spread of a disease that affects the region’s herds.

Under the waterfowl hunting package, most hunting opportunities in Washington will be similar to last year. That includes a statewide duck season that will be open for 107 days, starting Oct. 11-15 and continuing Oct. 18-Jan. 25. A special youth hunting weekend also is scheduled Sept. 20-21.

Limits for mallard, pintail, scaup, redhead, goldeneye, harlequin, scoter and long-tailed duck will remain the same as last season. But the commission reduced the daily bag limit for canvasback to one per day because of decreasing numbers throughout North America.

Goose hunting seasons will vary among management areas across the state, but most open mid-October and run through late January. Limits for most geese did not change, except the commission did increase the daily bag limit for cackling geese in southwest Washington from three to four.

The commission also increased the overall harvest quota for dusky Canada geese in southwest Washington from 45 to 85 birds. As in previous years, hunters are limited to one dusky Canada goose a season in southwest Washington.

The goose and duck hunting seasons approved by the commission are based on state and federal waterfowl population estimates and guidelines. According to those estimates, a record number of ducks – approximately 49 million – were on the breeding grounds this spring in Canada and the United States.

Details on the waterfowl hunting seasons will be available later this week on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

In other action, the commission approved several land transactions, including the purchase of two parcels totaling nearly 2,900 acres of shrub-steppe in Yakima County. The land, located about five miles west of Naches, serves as critical habitat for a variety of wildlife, and is an important connection between summer and winter range for the Yakima elk herd.

The two parcels will be acquired through a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and the state Department of Ecology (DOE). The 2,588-acre property will be purchased for $1.38 million, while a 305-acre property will cost $170,000.

DOE and the Kennewick Irrigation District are providing the funding to acquire the two parcels to mitigate for the loss of shrub-steppe habitat that was converted to agricultural land. The properties will be managed as part of WDFW’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area.

The commission also received a briefing on a scientific panel’s determination that the disease that leaves elk in the St. Helens and Willapa Hills areas of southwest Washington with misshapen hooves likely involves a type of bacterial infection.

Members of the panel, composed of veterinarians and researchers throughout the state, agreed that the disease closely resembles contagious ovine digital dermatitis in sheep. The panel’s diagnosis is consistent with the findings of the USDA National Animal Disease Center and four other independent diagnostic laboratories that have tested samples of elk hooves submitted by WDFW since last year.

For more information on elk hoof disease, see WDFW’s recent news release at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2314a/ and the department’s wildlife health webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/.

In other business, the commission conducted public hearings on the 2015-2021 Game Management Plan and proposed updates to the state Hydraulic Code.

The commission also received briefings on the department’s legislative proposals for 2015, proposed 2015-2017 operating and capital budget requests, and new potential revenue sources.

In addition, the commission was briefed on the impacts of a possible reduction in state General Funds. The potential cuts are in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s directive to state agencies to prioritize their activities and identify reductions totaling 15 percent.

State Update: Fires hold steady as victims get help

The state’s lead fire fighting agencies—the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)andthe State Fire Marshal’s Office of the Washington State Patrol (WSP)—continued to lead state government’s response today to multiple wildfires  in central and eastern Washington today.


Okanogan County: Fires were cooler this morning on the Carlton Complex, but were bad yesterday as 41 homes were destroyed near Alta Lake. County emergency management estimates a total of 150-200 homes have now been destroyed in Okanogan County. The Carlton Complex has burned 299,897 acres. Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, Winthrop and other communities in the county are temporarily powering water systems and sewer services on generator. Two of the four gas stations in Winthrop have power now, making it less of a problem to gasoline and diesel fuel.


While Okanogan County has been the hardest hit due to the sprawling Carlton Complex, wildfires are also burning in Chelan, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Spokane and Yakima counties.

  • The Chiwaukum Complex has burned 11,051 acres and continues to grow.

o   The Mills Canyon Fire, branch of the Chiwaukum, has burned 22,571 acres

  • The Saddle Mountain Fire in Kittitas County has burned 20,200 acres but will demobilize at midnight.
  • The Watermelon Hill Fire in Spokane County has burned 8,000 acres.


Other state activities


The Washington State Department of Transportation is working to keep roads open. The latest on road closures and openings is at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx.

The Department of Commerce’s Energy Office says approximately 7,000 customers of the Okanogan PUD and Okanogan Electric Cooperative are without power. Power for feeders along Interstate and state highways and from there into Pateros and Winthrop is estimated to be restored by the end of week. It is estimated that full restoration along county roads and to individual homes and businesses in Okanogan will take several weeks.


The Washington National Guard has four Blackhawk helicopters, two fuel trucks and 21 personnel deployed to Carlton Complex. There are two Chinook helicopters, two fuel trucks and 17 personnel on the Mills Canyon Complex. An incident communications package staffed by five personnel is setting up at Omak. Having completed pre-mobilization preparations, 100 National Guard soldiers are standing by in Yakima to support Department of Natural Resources fire fighters. Through July 19, Guard helicopters dropped 400,440 gallons of water on fires.


Personnel from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Environment Public Health Division are consulting with wildfire-impacted counties about air quality and water quality issues. DOH and the Department of Ecology are partnering to analyze and monitor how smoke and ash are affecting air quality.


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) deployed two trained crews with a total of 20 youths to support DNR firefighting efforts.DSHS and the American Red Cross are co-leading state-level mass care and emergency assistance efforts with support from FEMA Region 10.


The Department of Enterprise Services is assisting Okanogan County with a liaison to manage donations, and another liaison to support operations in the county’s emergency operations center in Omak.


Gov. Jay Inslee and Maj. Gen, Bret Daugherty from the Washington Military Department toured the Paschal-Sherman Indian Boarding School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs facility on the Colville Indian Reservation. The school is being considered for housing displaced individuals from the Carlton Complex fire, or National Guard and emergency services personnel supporting fire-fighting efforts.


Non-government agencies—The American Red Cross is operating shelters in Chelan, Omak and Winthrop and opening a shelter in Brewster tonight. The Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Services began providing meals in Okanogan County today. The Red Cross is establishing a shelter in Brewster so residents from there will be closer to home. Many Brewster residents are currently using the shelter in the town of Chelan. The Chelan shelter will not close until people are no longer staying there. In coordination with the Red Cross, Okanogan County Health is contacting medical suppliers to ensure that Winthrop residents are able to get replacement oxygen bottles.


State agencies coordinate their support to the wildfire response through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray. The Logistics Section of the State EOC is processing requests for generators from Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop. The three communities are already using back-up generators to power utility services and need more. A liaison from the State EOC’s Operations Section worked with utility officials in Okanogan County today as they assessed power requirements in Twisp and Winthrop.

Elma comes home with 1st, Hoquiam 4th, from State Girls Fastpitch Tournament

The Elma Girls Fastpitch team took first place at the Evergreen League State Tournament in Richland over the weekend. The 1A State Champions shutout Zillah and Seattle Christian for their first two games on Friday, then deafeated Mt Baker to take first place. Mt Baker worked it’s way up the other side of the bracket, defeating the Montesano Bulldogs for their second game, and Hoquiam Grizzlies in their third, Hoquiam hung in to take 4th place at state.

Elma HS Principal Kevin Acuff has called an assembly today to honor the state champions, tweeting on Sunday that “It’s a great day to be an Eagle!”

Then on the 1B bracket, played in Yakima over the weekend, Wishkah Valley lost to [TOO-she] on Friday, the Lady Loggers hung in for two more games in a bid for 3rd, loosing to Almira Coulee-Hartline on Saturday. – The Oakville Acorns lost their first two on Friday.

Grays Harbor Transit among 18 awarded $5.2M in federal grants to improve transit services

More than $5.2 million in newly awarded federal grants for new buses and facility improvements means service improvements are coming to 18 public transportation providers in Washington.

The Washington State Department of Transportation this week announced the Federal Transit Administration grant recipients, each of which will use the funds to purchase or refurbish buses, equipment or transit facilities. The grants leverage $3.5 million in local matching funds from local transit agencies, a testament to WSDOT’s ongoing partnerships with public transportation providers.

Some of the grant recipients (full list below) include:

  • Community Transit in Snohomish County, which will use a $1.7 million grant to help replace two of its signature double-deckers.
  • Island Transit, which will replace five buses with its grant award of more than $677,570.
  • Valley Transit in Walla Walla, which will replace two of its buses with new ones fueled by compressed natural gas.

WSDOT’s Public Transportation Division administers annual and biennial state and federal grant awards for transit agencies and other service providers across the state. But this was WSDOT’s first opportunity to award grant funding from FTA’s new Bus and Bus Facilities Program – Section 5339 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – MAP-21 – Act.

The federal program divided $65.5 among the 50 states, with a requirement of 20 percent local matching funds. WSDOT selected the grant recipients based on the federal program guidelines that recipients are public agencies or private nonprofit organizations that provide fixed-route bus service and special transportation services for people whose options are limited due to their age, income or disability.

MAP-21 Bus and Bus Facilities Program grants awarded in Washington

Small Urban Grant Awards
Community Transit $1.37 million Replace 2 double-decker buses
Intercity Transit $400,000 Replace fuel storage tanks
Kitsap Transit $308,899 Refurbish facility roof and heating/AC
Kitsap Transit $208,874 Replace 3 vehicle lifts
Link $115,873 Passenger shelters, seating, bike amenities
Skagit Transit $191,502 2 additional light-duty buses
Valley Transit $112,000 Replace 2 compressed natural gas-fueled buses
Yakima Transit $400,000 Replace 3 buses for city service

Rural Grant Awards

HopeSource $108,800 Replace 2 medium-duty buses
Island Transit $677,570 Replace 5 buses
Garfield County Transportation $48,000 Replace 1 medium-duty bus
Grant Transit $72,000 1 light-duty bus
Grays Harbor Transit $384,000 1 (35-foot) coach, 1 medium-duty bus
Mason Transit $178,680 Refurbish facility roof
Okanogan County Transit Authority $390,402 3 light-duty buses
Pullman Transit $264,000 2 (40-foot) hybrid-electric buses
Skamania County Senior Services $10,400 Refurbish reserve bus
Spokane Tribe of Indians $59,136 Replace 1 medium-duty bus
Twin Transit $297,840 Replace 2 medium-duty buses


$11 million in grants from Ecology to help prevent flood damage upriver

OLYMPIA – Floods cause more damage than any other natural disasters in Washington. The Department of Ecology has awarded nearly $11 million in grants to recipients across the state to help prevent damage in flood-prone communities.


Grants reach from Silverdale on Kitsap Peninsula east to Yakima County and north from Deming to Skamokawa near the Columbia River and points in between. Projects will reduce flood hazards to people, property, critical facilities and transportation corridors while helping to restore habitat and water quality for fish and wildlife. In all, 13 projects are funded through the competitive flood management grant process.


For instance, in Whatcom County some $1.4 million in state funding will be used to complete construction of a new 800-foot-long levee setback from the Nooksack River to protect the town of Deming, school buildings and sewage lagoon from floodwaters. The levee will replace an earthen berm that frequently overtops from floodwaters.


The city of Auburn will leverage $532,000 in state funding in a $5 million project to improve flood protection along Mill Creek. The project will focus on improving floodplain connectivity to respond to high-flow events and create conditions to restore riparian cover to reduce water temperatures and improve water quality for fish rearing.


In Yakima County, $1.39 million will be used to relocate an existing auto wrecking yard and purchase floodway properties in a flood-prone area along the Naches River known as the Rambler’s Park levee setback project. Improvements, including reducing the size of an existing levee, will increase the floodplain by 9 acres and create channels to improve floodplain functions. Yakima County is also receiving another $1 million for other levee work along the Naches and Yakima rivers.


Using a grant of $1.3 million, the city of Ellensburg will reduce the magnitude and frequency of flood damage to structures in west Ellensburg along the Yakima River with the restoration of floodplain functions to Currier and Reecer creeks. At the same time, new instream spawning and rearing habitat for fish will be created and riparian and floodplain areas will be planted with native vegetation. That work will protect 100 homes and businesses.


Other grant recipients include:

Kitsap County – $2 million for floodplain restoration on Clear Creek in Silverdale

Chelan County – $780,616 for improvements to Nason Creek

Pierce County – $525,000 to acquire property in floodplain for improvement on Ball Creek, Puyallup River

Tulalip Tribe – $464,044 for the Qwuloolt floodplain restoration project along Ebey Slough

City of Yakima – $200,000 for work increasing flood conveyance under two bridges crossing Wide Hollow Creek

Wahkiakum County – $50,000 to dike and address flood hazards at Skamokawa


Wildlife Commission adopts new hunting rules, reduces cost of some special permits

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission took action to expand the number of big-game hunting permits available this year and reduce the cost of several types of permits during a public meeting April 11-12 in Olympia.


The commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved those and other changes while adopting new hunting rules for the upcoming season.


The continued growth of many state deer and elk populations will support increases in the number of hunting permits issued this year, said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager.


“After a five-year stretch of mild winters, surveys show that most big game populations are stable or growing,” Ware said. “That bodes well for hunting opportunities this year.”


The commission approved additional permits in three key areas:


  • Colockum elk herd:  With the herd continuing to exceed population objectives, WDFW will increase the number special permits, primarily for antlerless elk, to 1,016 from 374.


  • Yakima elk herd:  The commission approved 130 additional permits for antlered elk and 1,440 for antlerless elk in response to the herd’s continuing growth in central Washington.


  • Northeast white-tailed deer:  Buck harvest levels have increased as the herd starts to rebound from harsh winters of 2007-08. WDFW will make 120 additional antlerless special permits available this year to youth, senior, and disabled hunters.


The only significant reduction made in special permits this year is in the Mount St. Helens area, where the elk herd has reached WDFW’s management objective after six years of elevated permit levels.

That strategy, designed to bring the herd into balance with available habitat, has reduced the herd by 25 to 30 percent. At WDFW’s request, the commission approved a reduction of 400 permits this year.


The commission also approved a proposal to reduce fees for some special permits and tags, which were raised in 2009. Ware said WDFW proposed those reductions to encourage participation in certain hunts and address concerns raised about the cost of certain permits.


Under the new fee schedule adopted by the commission, the cost of a second-deer tag will be reduced to $43.40 from $68, while the price of a multi-season deer tag drops to $139.10 from $182.


The cost will also be reduced for second-deer “damage tags” used by hunters working with property owners with damage-prevention or kill permits.


Also approved was a proposal to streamline the process for issuing hunters with disabilities special-use permits, which enable them to use modified hunting equipment such as crossbows equipped with a scope.


In other business, the commission approved WDFW’s proposal to acquire 640 acres near Wenatchee to provide a migratory corridor for deer, elk and other wildlife. Working in partnership with Chelan County and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, WDFW secured the property with funding provided by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Other transactions approved by the commission will allow WDFW to:


  • Accept the transfer from the Washington State Department of Transportation of a one-acre inholding to WDFW’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area near Yakima.


  • Exchange three-quarters of an acre with the City of Sumner, which will allow WDFW to construct a parking lot near a water-access site on the Puyallup River.


  • Acquire a pipeline easement to improve the water supply at the Aberdeen Hatchery in Grays Harbor County.


Minutes of the meeting and an audio transcript will be posted on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

State disciplines health care providers

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against health care providers in our state.

The department’s Health Systems Quality Assurance Division works with boards, commissions, and advisory committees to set licensing standards for more than 80 health care professions (e.g., medical doctors, nurses, counselors).

Information about health care providers is on the agency website. Click on “Look up a healthcare provider license” in the “How Do I?” section of the Department of Health website (doh.wa.gov). The site includes information about a health care provider’s license status, the expiration and renewal date of their credential, disciplinary actions and copies of legal documents issued after July 1998. This information is also available by calling 360-236-4700. Consumers who think a health care provider acted unprofessionally are encouraged to call and report their complaint.

Benton County

In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program charged registered nursing assistant Elizabeth Nahleen Messinger (NA60020561) with unprofessional conduct. Charges say a resident at the adult family home where Messinger worked loaned or gave her $500. Messinger allegedly admitted accepting the money but hasn’t repaid it.

Clark County


In February 2014 the Chemical Dependency Professional Program ended probation for chemical dependency professional trainee Christina Ann Gjesvold, also known as Christina Ann Stroup (CO60224108).


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission entered an agreement with registered nurse Brenda Lee Hanson (RN00129197) that reinstates her license and requires her to participate in a substance abuse monitoring program. Hanson admitted diverting controlled substances while working at two Oregon hospitals. Her Oregon license was suspended and then placed on probation for three years before she voluntarily surrendered it, saying she doesn’t plan on working in Oregon.


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program conditionally granted a certified nursing assistant credential to Michelle Shree Gray (NC60356138) and placed her credential on probation for at least five years. She was convicted in Washington of one felony and in Oregon of crimes equivalent to six felonies and five gross misdemeanors between 2000 and 2009.


Cowlitz County


In February 2014 the Chemical Dependency Professional Program ended probation for chemical dependency professional trainee Brandi Michelle Olney (CO60211959).


Grant County


In February 2014 the Respiratory Care Practitioner Program entered an agreement with respiratory care practitioner Colette K. Lancaster (LR00003822) that places her credential on probation for at least two years. Lancaster practiced outside her scope when she discontinued a patient’s oxygen flow without a physician’s order.


King County


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission charged registered nurse Shaun J. Richardson (RN00131344) with unprofessional conduct. Richardson allegedly didn’t comply with a substance abuse monitoring contract.


In February 2014 the Chemical Dependency Professional Program conditionally granted a chemical dependency professional credential to Kimberly Marie Rohwer (CP60229246) and placed it on probation for at least three years. Rohwer, who must enroll in a substance abuse monitoring program, received a chemical dependency professional trainee credential in 2012 that was placed on probation.


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program entered an agreement with certified nursing assistant Alexander Gachie Mbugua (NC60029168) requiring him to enroll in a substance abuse monitoring program. Mbugua was convicted of driving while intoxicated twice in 2010 and once in 2011.


In February 2014 the Medical Assistant Program conditionally granted an interim medical assistant credential to Edrie Roy Caminong (IC60439546) requiring him to continue complying with a substance abuse monitoring contract that he signed when he was granted a health care assistant credential in 2010.


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission charged registered nurse Paulus R. Kutrich (RN00169953) with unprofessional conduct. Allegations are that Kutrich didn’t comply with a substance abuse monitoring contract.


In February 2014 the Unlicensed Practice Program notified Lianhua Li of its intent to issue a cease-and-desist order. Li, who has no massage practitioner credential, allegedly provided massage to a client.


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program ended probation for certified nursing assistant Biniam Beraki Belay (NC60223264).


Kitsap County


In February 2014 the Occupational Therapy Board ended conditions on the credential of occupational therapist Linda S. Baker (OT00000498).


In February 2014 the Chemical Dependency Professional Program ended conditions on the credential of chemical dependency professional trainee Carolyn Rae Bjorkheim (CO60197879).


Pierce County


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission amended a statement of charges against licensed practical nurse Bilinda Hunter (LP00049336) to delete two allegations of inadequate documentation or diversion of narcotic medication.


Snohomish County


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission entered an agreement with registered nurse Cassandra L. Abbott (RN00097911) that places her credential on probation for at least two years, fines her $1,000, and requires her to complete continuing education in ethics, legal issues and professional boundaries. Abbott sent hydrocodone prescriptions to a pharmacy for a patient at least 37 times. The patient was another clinic employee’s husband. Abbott listed a prescribing physician on the prescriptions who wasn’t the patient’s primary care provider. The physician listed didn’t know of or approve the prescriptions.


Spokane County


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program reinstated the certified nursing assistant credential of Denia Caridad Correa (NC10046540). Her credential was suspended in 2011 after she didn’t respond to a Department of Health inquiry about apparent irregularities involving patient medication.


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission reinstated the registered nursing credential of Robin Marie Pena (RN60219122) and ordered her to enroll in a substance abuse monitoring program. Pena’s license was indefinitely suspended in 2013 after she surrendered her Alaska license in connection with allegations of a falsified application, and that she had a chemical dependency.


In February 2014 the Nursing Commission ended probation for registered nurse Linda C. Weinzimmer-Kirk (RN00084119).


In March 2014 the Unlicensed Practice Program notified Melissa R. Hubbard of its intent to issue a cease-and-desist order after she allegedly engaged in massage practice in 2013 even though her massage practitioner credential expired in 2008.



Stevens County


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program charged certified nursing assistant Jennifer L. McKinney (NC10075495) with unprofessional conduct. McKinney allegedly didn’t comply with a substance abuse monitoring contract.


Yakima County


In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program charged certified nursing assistant Elizabeth Hernandez Aldana (NC60299567) with unprofessional conduct. In 2013 Aldana was convicted of third-degree assault — domestic violence.


Out of State


Oregon: In February 2014 the Nursing Assistant Program entered an agreement with certified nursing assistant Guadalupe Gutierrez (NC60151060) requiring her to enroll in a substance abuse monitoring program. In 2012 Gutierrez was convicted in Oregon of driving while intoxicated.


Oregon: In March 2014 the Dental Commission charged dentist Delon Karsten Gilbert (DE60361877) with unprofessional conduct. In 2013 Gilbert pleaded no-contest in Oregon to unlawful possession of cocaine.


Pennsylvania: In February 2014 the Osteopathic Board charged osteopathic physician David Thomas Steves (OP60243088) with unprofessional conduct. Steves allegedly visited an elderly female patient’s home several times without an invitation, and discussed his sexual problems in his marriage with the patient. Charges say Steves acknowledged the allegations and admitted having gone too far in discussing his personal problems with her. The patient allegedly interpreted the comments as a proposition for sex with her.


Note to Editors: Health care providers charged with unprofessional conduct have 20 days to respond to the Department of Health in writing. The case then enters the settlement process. If no disciplinary agreement can be reached, the case will go to a hearing.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.