Justin Burnett

Trail name suggestions kicked around

An effort to name the new park on Scenic Heights Road that connects to Oak Harbor’s waterfront trail is headed back to the drawing board.

Oak Harbor student is first to graduate in 3 generations

Like many Oak Harbor High School seniors set to graduate next Monday, Ally Tennial is glowing. And she has special reason to be. When she receives her diploma next week, she will become the first person in her family to do so in three generations. Sweetening the occasion is the fact that in the fall she will go on to attend Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Establishing Whidbey Island as a wedding destination

A wedding planner, photographer, florist and a host of other industry vendors and support businesses will have some extra work this winter thanks to the second annual Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour this past weekend.

Ice cream trip turns into rescue

An unplanned trip for ice cream turned two South Whidbey teens into real-life rescuers this week.

Homeowners push to reduce speed on several Whidbey Island roads

Two arterials on Central and South Whidbey may see soon significant speed limit reductions. Last week, the Island County Commissioners gave traffic engineers the green light to conduct detailed speed studies on Patmore Road, located just a few miles southeast of Coupeville, and the eastern half of Classic Road, between Greenbank and Freeland.

Pioneer Way project prompts several financial claims

Harborside Village owner Frank Scelzi is asking for more than $10,600 for property damage he says was sustained during construction on SE Pioneer Way.

South Whidbey port looks at taking over fair property management

Boat launches, marinas and leasing land for a cell tower, but the Island County Fairgrounds? In a surprise move last week, Port of South Whidbey commissioners voted unanimously to consider taking over management of the Langley property, a job currently performed by the Island County Fair Association.

Whidbey man shot; police befuddled

No breakthroughs have been made in a case involving a Whidbey Island man that was shot in Everett Saturday.

Oak Harbor Public Works pitches hopeless wish list

The Oak Harbor Public Works department has come out with its 2011-2012 budget wish list, and among the many capital projects proposed are plans for a $1.2 million upgrade of the RV park and the construction of a $250,000 kids’ “splash park.”

Oak Harbor councilman announces cancer diagnosis

Oak Harbor City Councilman Jim Campbell stunned colleagues and members of the public alike this week with the announcement that he’s been diagnosed with cancer.

Gunman closes West Beach Road

Police have closed a section of West Beach Road for what appears to be a man with a gun barricaded in his apartment. Details are sketchy at this time but radio traffic over emergency channels at about noon Sunday reported that a man had been arguing with a woman at a duplex apartment off West Beach Road when he allegedly pulled out a gun and began pointing it at people.

Oak Harbor police may be alone in pay raises

All eyes will be on the Oak Police Department next week as a vote Monday by members of its employee union will determine whether they are the only city employees to get raises in 2011.

Whidbey Bank sails through rough economy

Washington Banking Company, the holding company of Whidbey Island Bank based in Oak Harbor, will report its end of year earnings later this month. Jack Wagner, president and CEO of Washington Banking Company, said he could not speculate on the results but did say the first three quarters of 2011 were good despite a sluggish economy.

Oak Harbor art plans hit a financial bump in the road

The Oak Harbor Arts Commission said it was willing to pay for public art on Pioneer Way with money from its own coffers and it may just get its wish. In fact, it may end up paying the bulk of the $80,000 project. Early last week, city officials learned that their plan to use Real Estate Excise Tax money, commonly referred to as REET funds, was not a legal option and would likely raise red flags with state regulators.

The house of Fords falls in Oak Harbor

Nothing lasts forever and that includes the old Ford dealership on the corner of Highway 20 and SE Barrington Drive in Oak Harbor. Building owner Dan Berg has received a permit from the city to demolish the 55-year-old structure and, if all goes well, it should be down around the end of the month. The building has been vacant for several years and it’s become clear that its time has come.

Grants will make walk to school safer

Beginning next year, streets leading to a handful of Oak Harbor schools should become a whole lot safer. In a cooperative effort, the school district and the city applied and qualified for a Safe Routes to School grant and the money received will allow significant improvements at eight sidewalks.

Hooked on fishing in Oak Harbor

Bouncing up to the scale with her prize clutched tightly between two tiny hands, Breanna Lewandowski’s ear-to-ear grin was absolutely infectious. The 8-year-old fisherman had just become the first to land a fish at the 33rd annual Kids Fishing Derby in Oak Harbor Saturday and it didn’t matter that her catch was barely three inches long.

Proposed net pen bill sinks in the Washington state Legislature | Corrected

A bill that would have allowed bans of fin-fish net pens has sunk at the state Legislature. The measure died in committee, as did the hopes of environmental activists and Island County decision-makers. “That’s the way it goes,” said Steve Erickson, legal coordinator for the Whidbey Environmental Action Network, or WEAN.

Bones inflate project cost for Oak Harbor

The estimated cost of finding human remains on SE Pioneer Way has passed the half million dollar mark. In a presentation to the city council Tuesday, Project Manager Larry Cort said city officials now estimate the combined cost of the Native American bone drama at about $562,000. That includes $140,000 in unexpected expenses from the contractor, an extra $30,000 for additional survey work and $392,000 for archaeological and related efforts downtown.

Retired Oak Harbor teacher’s body recovered in mountains

The body of a former Oak Harbor school teacher was recovered by a search and rescue team in a Snohomish County Sheriff's Office helicopter Thursday near Mount Larrabee in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Dallas Kloke, a 71-year-old Anacortes resident, was found at an elevation of about 6,600 feet on the Paleiades peaks, according to Deputy George Ratazczak, search and rescue coordinator for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office in a news release. The recovery took place at about 9 a.m. that day and went smoothly, he said.