A retired businessman and longtime mayor of Oak Harbor, Al Koetje reflects on some of the events of the past several decades that helped shape the community, including the 1991 base closure threat. Koetje was honored Friday during the annual Whidbey News Group Best of Whidbey Awards.  The 2016 Best of Whidbey results appear in a special section inside today’s edition of the newspaper. - Photo by Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

Mayor who helped shape modern Oak Harbor honored

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THE KEY to Koetje’s success in politics and business in the city, he said, was his support of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. In fact, it’s hard to imagine any other mayor in the nation being a greater booster of a local military base than Koetje, who held the office from 1972 to 1996.

A walk through island history

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National Park Service to offer rare glimpse inside Ferry House on Aug. 20

Intrepid teens use drone to track boat bandits to Whidbey

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Two teens with a drone and sheriff’s deputies thwarted South Whidbey boat bandits out for a joyride Wednesday. The unusual case, complete with a happy ending, made regional and even national TV news this week.

Jail proposes nursing staff that won’t bust budget

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With room for 58 inmates, the Island County Jail is small by most standards, but the responsibility to provide inmates with sufficient medical care is anything but. “We’re a small jail but we still have to define a minimal level of care,” Sheriff Mark Brown said. What that level of care should be was the focus for Brown and other county officials last week.


Island Scanner serves a purpose beyond its entertainment value | In our opinion

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One of the most highly read items in the Whidbey News-Times has historically been “Island Scanner,” which is a collection of 911 calls to either the Island County Sheriff’s Office or Oak Harbor Police Department. We often hear grumbling from loyal readers when one hasn’t published in awhile. Trust us, given the its popularity, we try to run Island Scanner as often as possible. Island residents aren’t the only ones interested in the Whidbey 911 calls. There’s a radio station in Bellingham that reads News-Times’ Scanner items on the air. There was also a Facebook page dedicated to it.

Community Events, July 2016

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