- About Us
- Apr 10, 2011 at 10:00AM updated Apr 11, 2013 at 7:49AM
Results from the 2010 Census show that Island County is graying faster than the state or the nation as a whole. While the county’s total population continues to grow — though not at the rate predicted by the state — the number of people under 18 years old decreased significantly over the last decade.
- Apr 13, 2011 at 10:35AM
The state's newest ferry will is expected to start sea trials today in the waters of Puget Sound, according to officials with Washington State Ferries.
- Apr 15, 2011 at 1:00PM updated Apr 16, 2013 at 10:14AM
Two bills aimed at reducing ferry operating costs, generating revenue to build new vessels and improve performance cleared the state Senate Monday.
- Apr 17, 2011 at 7:00AM
Money to pay for a bottling and packaging facility at the Greenbank Farm won’t materialize in 2011.
- Apr 15, 2011 at 3:00PM updated Apr 18, 2013 at 12:58PM
While most Island County officials hope to begin climbing out of a budget hole this year, Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson has other plans. During the commissioners’ first budget-related meeting this year, Emerson proposed cutting taxes. Specifically, she said her goals for this year’s budget process are to suspend the usual 1 percent annual property tax increase, sunset some sales taxes, stop “chasing” grant opportunities, reduce the Conservation Futures tax and possibly sell some county property.
- Apr 22, 2011 at 8:00AM updated at 12:06PM
The Senate approved the state transportation budget this week, and the 2011-13 spending plan includes $32.1 million toward the construction of a new 64-car ferry.
- Apr 23, 2011 at 9:00AM
More than 50 years ago, 20 women formed a guild on North Whidbey with the goal of building the island’s first hospital.
- Apr 23, 2011 at 9:00AM
Even if a proposed $50 million expansion becomes a reality, Whidbey General Hospital is facing stiff competition from nearby hospitals. Several off-island hospitals, which attract a significant number of Whidbey Island patients along with their insurance money, have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into expanding and modernizing facilities.
- Apr 23, 2011 at 9:00AM
Voters will soon decide whether a modernization of Whidbey General Hospital becomes a reality. The Island County Auditor’s office is in the process of mailing out ballots to more than 36,000 voters who will decide whether to approve a $50-million bond that will pay for construction of a new wing at the island’s publicly owned hospital in Coupeville.
- Apr 23, 2011 at 9:00AM updated Apr 25, 2013 at 8:46AM
While a proposed new wing at Whidbey General Hospital will improve and modernize conditions, it won’t do much to increase capacity. If voters give the go-ahead to a $50 million bond, the new wing will house 39 single-patient rooms, which would replace the 34 beds in double rooms currently available at the publicly owned hospital in Coupeville.
- May 4, 2011 at 6:00AM updated at 10:30AM
A private health care company interested in purchasing or otherwise operating Whidbey General Hospital may confuse the $50-million expansion bond election now in progress. Hospital officials see little chance that the facility, beloved by many, will be sold, but worry that the unexpected brouhaha could affect how people vote.
- May 5, 2011 at 7:00AM updated at 10:16AM
John Koster has announced he'll take another shot at winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- May 8, 2011 at 10:00AM
State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s husband is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted his wife’s former campaign manager. The attorney for Basil Badley filed a motion for summary judgment in Island County Superior Court April 22; the motion asks the judge to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. The hearing on the motion is set for May 18.
- May 7, 2011 at 8:00AM
Last November, Oak Harbor police responded to a report that a Navy man was armed with a .40-caliber pistol and had threatened to “blow his own head off,” according to court documents.
- May 9, 2011 at 9:27AM
When Coupeville quilt artist Sharyn Mellors was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2011 American Quilter’s Society’s international Quilt Show and Contest in Peducah, Ky., she didn’t know she should have packed her rubber waders.
- May 10, 2011 at 4:00PM updated May 11, 2013 at 8:56AM
Whidbey Island residents turned in nearly 250 pounds of pills during a one-day, drug take-back program last month. The program, sponsored by the DEA and Whidbey law enforcement agencies, allows people to safely dispose of medication. It’s aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription pills while protecting the environment from potential pollutants.
- May 10, 2011 at 2:57PM
A milestone will be set with this weekend’s celebration of Whidbey Island’s Native American heritage. The Penn Cove Water Festival is marking its 20th consecutive year Saturday, May 14, with activities taking place throughout the Coupeville waterfront.
- May 10, 2011 at 3:00PM updated May 11, 2013 at 8:12AM
Well, at least they wore nice suits. Despite being dressed for success, leaders from Capella Healthcare didn’t have much to celebrate Monday night as the Whidbey General Hospital board of commissioners unanimously rejected a proposal to sell the hospital to the for-profit company. More than 100 skeptical people crammed into the hospital’s conference room and poured out into the hallway to hear the proposal from Capella Healthcare, a company based in Tennessee. The company owns 11 hospitals across the country.
- May 12, 2011 at 10:00AM updated at 1:25PM
No matter how you slice it, the Island County general fund levy is low or the lowest when compared to other counties. Dan Jones, the levy analyst for the county assessor’s office, recently gave the county commissioners a PowerPoint presentation to address misconceptions about property taxes and rate comparisons. He looked at tax rates, taxes per capita and total levy amounts.
- May 14, 2011 at 10:00AM updated at 3:04PM
The Oak Harbor Arts Commission will hold a special meeting Monday in the hopes of shoring up one of its Pioneer Way art recommendations before it’s vetted by the city council Tuesday night. The group will meet with Clinton bronze artist Georgia Gerber in an attempt to hammer out an actual proposal for a piece on Ireland Street. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be held at City Hall.
- May 15, 2011 at 10:00AM
Voters have until Tuesday, May 17, to return their ballots on the $50 million bond proposed to fund expansion Whidbey General Hospital. Hospital officials want to build a new wing comprised of 39 single-bed rooms along with space to expand existing hospital programs. The bond requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass.
- May 15, 2011 at 7:00AM
It will cost to use Whidbey Island’s state parks and other state recreational lands beginning this summer. Gov. Christine Gregoire created a financial lifeline for Washington’s parks by signing the Discover Pass legislation into law May 12.
- May 16, 2011 at 10:47AM
Island County voters are staying true to history: Most voters have not yet mailed in their ballots for Tuesday's special election.
- May 17, 2011 at 8:49PM
The first count of ballots in Tuesday's special election suggests that it may be a relatively close call whether or not the $50-million bond proposal to expand Whidbey General hospital will pass. The majority of voters, just over 55.5 percent, cast ballots in favor of the measure, but it requires a 60-percent supermajority to pass. A total of 8,992 votes were in favor, while 7,208 were against the proposed bond.
- May 18, 2011 at 12:43PM
A large turnout on North Whidbey and in Oak Harbor — and lackluster support on Central Whidbey — appears to have doomed a $50 million expansion measure for Whidbey General Hospital, according to an analysis of early precinct returns in the May 17 special election.