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NEWS BRIEFS Dec. 19, 2001

Entire island loses electricity

Island-wide power outages have been rare in recent years, but it happened on Sunday night.

High winds knocked down two large trees near Coupeville, and each treat hit a separate transmission line, thereby cutting all power. “It hit in the center of the island but it kicked back the relays all the way to March Point,” said Karl Kirn, Puget Sound Energy spokesman.

PSE and contractors arrived soon after the lines were hit, but they faced a big job clearing the debris. “It was almost a major logging operation,” Kirn said.

The entire island was without electricity from approximately 11 p.m. Sunday to 4:30 a.m. Monday when the major lines were re-energized. Isolated areas continued to lack power through Monday morning.

Kirn said wind speeds were measured up to 70 mph Sunday night. “Most of the outages were in Whatcom County,” he said. “Its the first time all of Whidbey Island has been out for several years.”

Fire district passes audit

Fire District 2 received a clean financial bill of health from the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

The fire district covers North Whidbey except for Oak Harbor and NAS Whidbey. Its service area is 55 square miles, or about 25 percent of Whidbey Island’ geographic area.

The state auditor’s report dated Dec. 14 covers a two-year period from Jan. 1, 1999 to Dec. 31, 2000. The district was audited for legal compliance with state and local laws, internal monetary controls, and other financial areas.

In conclusion, the audit stated, “The district complied with state laws and its own policies and procedures. We did not find any conditions significant enough to report as findings.”

The district is governed by an elected three-member board. Serving during the audit period were Kenneth Buehn, Bruce Carman, Ronald Muzzall and T.J. Lamont. Fire chiefs are Michael Lamar for the North Division and Marvin Koorn for the South Division.

Three injured in 2-car crash

Three Oak Harbor residents were injured in a rear-end car accident on Highway 20 near Kennedy Road Monday night, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Dianna Steele, 39, of Oak Harbor was driving a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro southbound on Highway 20 and stopped to turn onto Kennedy Road. The Camaro was rear-ended by a 1992 Nissan 240 driven by 18-year-old John Lamre of Oak Harbor.

The accident was reported at 5:35 p.m.

Steele and her two teenaged passengers, ages 16 and 18, were injured and transported to Whidbey General Hospital for treatment. Lamre was not injured. Everyone involved was wearing seatbelts.

Both cars were totalled and towed away by Christians towing.

Save your tree for Boy Scouts

Needles are starting to fall off Christmas trees that have been in living rooms for a week or more, and owners are beginning to wonder what to do with their dried out conifers when the holiday ends.

Boy Scout Troop 53 of Greenbank has an environmentally friendly answer to that question. For a voluntary donation, the boys will pick up old Christmas trees on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 5, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

All trees will be accepted except those with tinsel or flocking, as they can not be recycled. Call 678-3263 or 678-1138 and leave a message with your name and telephone so pick-up can be arranged.

Donations raised by this recycling fund-raiser will help pay the cost of troop members’ attendance at the annual Boy Scout summer camp and other scouting activities.

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