State Patrol goes undercover to crack down on DUI | Whidbey News Briefs

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Troopers are party poopers

Partyers, be warned. Troopers with the Washington State Patrol will be patrolling the highways and byways of Whidbey Island in patrol cars, unmarked vehicles and even an airplane.

Extra troopers will be working “DUI overtime” Friday and Saturday nights in the district that includes Island County. They will focus their efforts on violations know to cause most fatalities, such as impaired drivers, speeding, and aggressive driving.

In addition, troopers will keep an eye out for illegal fireworks.

“We know this time of year many people get together to celebrate Independence Day. Unfortunately, people under the influence of drugs and alcohol will head out onto our highways,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “Our troopers are dedicated to reducing the number of collisions and fatality collisions caused by drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.”

Parade closes Maui gate

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s Maui gate will be closed part of the day Friday for the annual Fourth of July Parade on Pioneer Way.

The gate will not be accessible as the Navy is assisting with the staging of the parade lineup.

The gate is located on the Seaplane Base near the Oak Harbor Marina and Yacht Club. It will be closed Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. People are asked to use the gate on Torpedo Road during the closure.

County seeks attractions

Island County has money to hand out to projects that attract visitors.

The county commissioners will begin accepting applications on July 15 for 2009 funding. The money comes from a 2 percent tax on overnight lodging.

The purpose of the hotel-motel lodging tax program is to support projects which attract visitors and encourage tourism expansion in the county. Island County receives a share of taxes collected on hotel and motel room rentals.

John Dean, chairman of the board of commissioners, said the funds will be allocated to projects which provide a general benefit to the county as a whole and which are expected to result in an economic benefit and return on investment to the county.

A lodging tax advisory committee will evaluate the projects and make recommendations to the board on how these funds should be used. Applications must be received in the commissioners’ office by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31. Call 679-7354 for an application questions.

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