Jessie Stensland

Inmates battle over shoes, trial delayed

A 32-year-old Snohomish man in Island County jail on felony domestic-violence charges assaulted a fellow inmate during a fight over shoes, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Veterans get more help from county

A program aimed at providing emergency assistance to indigent Island County veterans and their dependents recently got a makeover that should make the process quicker, easier and altogether better.

Alleged truck thief left cell phone

A 22-year-old Navy airman who allegedly stole a truck was caught after he left his cell phone inside the abandoned vehicle, court documents indicate. Michael Hodge of Oak Harbor pleaded not guilty in Island County Superior Court June 22 to a single charge of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree.

Young molester to be sentenced

A 19-year-old Oak Harbor man accused of sexually assaulting a neighbor boy years ago will likely be sentenced under a special program that emphasizes treatment over incarceration. The man pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court June 22 to child molestation in the second degree.

Oak Harbor firefighter Conor Ching holds some of the illegal fireworks the department confiscated last year.

Fireworks stands open Sunday

Legal Independence Day celebrations will begin with a bang this Sunday as fireworks stands open and it becomes lawful to light Roman candles, sparklers, spinners, cones, fountains and the rest of the safe-and-sane pyrotechnics.

Oak Harbor firefighter Conor Ching holds some of the illegal fireworks the department confiscated last year.
Police in Vermont released this photo of Donald Shepherd.

Police worry there may be more victims

Police in Vermont are investigating whether a male nanny who may have worked in Oak Harbor and Coupeville sexually assaulted the children he once cared for. Donald Shepherd, 23, was recently charged with molesting a 10-year-old boy in Vermont. The boy’s mother said she hired Shepherd over the Internet as a nanny, the Associated Press reported.

Police in Vermont released this photo of Donald Shepherd.

County spreads the stimulus asphalt

Island County officials have decided to share federal stimulus money the county received for roadway preservation. Joe Araucto, Island County traffic engineer, said the county will use funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to replace pavement on roads in Langley and Coupeville, as well as a chip seal project in Oak Harbor.

Man lights fire, trashes house, police allege

A 45-year-old Bellingham man is accused of lighting a fire inside the Oak Harbor home of his estranged wife and children June 14, court documents state. Prosecutors charged Fred Redling in Island County Superior Court June 17 with first-degree arson, malicious mischief in the first degree and harassment (threats to kill). All the charges are domestic-violence related.

Condo suffers from smoking

Discarded cigarettes apparently started a fire that caused about $20,000 damage to an Oak Harbor condominium Saturday afternoon, according to the Oak Harbor Fire Department. Battalion Chief Ray Merrill said the residents of a duplex condo on NW Falls Creek Loop noticed smoke coming out from under their home just about the time the smoke alarms went off. They called 911 just after 3 p.m.

Swim coach investigated in Oak Harbor is charged in California

A former coach of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club who mysteriously resigned amid complaints more than a decade ago has been charged in California with molesting young female swimmers, according to Santa Clara County Deputy Prosecutor Ray Mendoza. The deputy prosecutor said 61-year-old Andrew “Andy” King was charged in May with 20 counts related to child molestation. If convicted, King will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

Nellie Williams was a proofreader for the newspaper.

100-year-old proofreader passes away

Nellie Williams, the Whidbey News-Times’ beloved and world-famous proofreader, passed away peacefully at her Oak Harbor home Wednesday night. She was 100 and a half years old.

Nellie Williams was a proofreader for the newspaper.
Firefighters open up a storage shed in Northgate Terrace Monday to douse a fire.

Three blazes doused, damage contained

Firefighters on North Whidbey handled three fires in three days, beginning early Saturday morning. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

Firefighters open up a storage shed in Northgate Terrace Monday to douse a fire.

Wallace saga continues with lawsuit against county

Jay Wallace’s feud with Island County continues as the former deputy followed his $500,000 claim of damages with a formal lawsuit.

Planning director finalists not named

Four finalists for the Island County planning director position will be grilled during a closed-door, executive session June 18. Larry Larsen, the county human resources director, said the commissioners originally picked six applications to go through the interview process, but two dropped out.

Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock considers a bust of former United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. He received the bust for 20 years on the bench.

Judge judged superior by peers

Through the window of his chambers, Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock can see a small, red house that once was known as Polly Harpole’s Maternity Home. He was born there on a cold winter day 58 years ago.

Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock considers a bust of former United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. He received the bust for 20 years on the bench.

Sock hops, streaker busted

A 16-year-old student at Oak Harbor High School was arrested Thursday for streaking through Parker Hall during lunchtime. Capt. Rick Wallace with the Oak Harbor Police said the boy was wearing a sock on his genitals and a sign on his buttocks that said "censored."

Fewer county planning tasks expected

The Island County Planning Commission will probably tackle fewer issues this year as a result of the slow-healing economy. Island County Commissioner Angie Homola suggested at a meeting Monday that a couple of items be removed from the planning commission’s “docket” of tasks for the year. Specifically, she said updates to the parks plan and affordable housing element of the Comprehensive Plan could wait for another year.

Fire costs more soon

People who want to light big fires in Island County will have to pay more and burn faster beginning Oct. 1. Island County Commissioners approved a resolution Monday that raised fees for burn permits and lowers the burning duration in unincorporated Island County.

Krieg wins county job with second lowest bid

The Island County commissioners didn’t award the county’s first project funded by federal stimulus dollars to the lowest bidder because of a technicality of bidding rules. Instead, Krieg Construction of Oak Harbor, the second-lowest bidder, won the contract to widen Ault Field Road and interconnect two signals lights. They bid $893,301 for the project.

Drugstore robber gets 6-year sentence

Stephen Allen robbed Walgreens at gunpoint while visiting Oak Harbor with a friend March 15. The 23-year-old Kirkland resident agreed to a plea bargain last month that means six years behind bars. Although there were no legal shockers at the recent sentencing hearing, attorneys on both sides of the aisle agreed that it was an unusually melancholy scene for everyone involved.