Ron Newberry

Coupeville Elementary School children wait to depart school grounds on March 31, 2017. The Coupeville School District is exploring options as it looks at long-range planning for the aging elementary school. One option is to build a new school away from the busy highway. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville eyes possibility of a new elementary school

Long before Dave Ebersole walked the grounds as principal of Coupeville Elementary School, he ran around the same fields as a child. Ebersole, who grew… Continue reading

Coupeville Elementary School children wait to depart school grounds on March 31, 2017. The Coupeville School District is exploring options as it looks at long-range planning for the aging elementary school. One option is to build a new school away from the busy highway. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Jessica Larson, a land steward with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, stands before a split-rail fence Thursday, Aprl 6, 2018 that was installed in March to keep duck hunters and others from parking on the property near Crockett Lake in Central Whidbey. The land trust purchased the 85-acre property from a private landowner in December on the lake’s northeast corner to protect it and its abundant species of birds as part of the 423-acre Crockett Lake Wetland Preserve. The newly acquired property had been a widely used access point and place to park for waterfowl hunters for years. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Duck hunters get the squeeze at Crockett Lake

For decades, residents near Crockett Lake on Central Whidbey have awakened to the sound of shot gun blasts in the predawn hours of fall and… Continue reading

Jessica Larson, a land steward with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, stands before a split-rail fence Thursday, Aprl 6, 2018 that was installed in March to keep duck hunters and others from parking on the property near Crockett Lake in Central Whidbey. The land trust purchased the 85-acre property from a private landowner in December on the lake’s northeast corner to protect it and its abundant species of birds as part of the 423-acre Crockett Lake Wetland Preserve. The newly acquired property had been a widely used access point and place to park for waterfowl hunters for years. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Teenage emcees Hailey Winch, left, Keelie Partridge and Harrison Keating study a script Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Whidbey Playhouse in preparation for the second Whidbey Has Talent competition at Oak Harbor High School Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Kids tune up for Whidbey Has Talent

Even emcees need to rehearse their lines. That experience has been much more fun this year for the teens who’ll be hosting Whidbey Has Talent,… Continue reading

Teenage emcees Hailey Winch, left, Keelie Partridge and Harrison Keating study a script Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the Whidbey Playhouse in preparation for the second Whidbey Has Talent competition at Oak Harbor High School Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
McKenna Somes, left, Jake Jarrell and Morgan Stevens enjoy a game after classes let out on the grounds of Coupeville Middle/High School Friday. The school district is reorganizing its leadership and making other changes to give the middle school its identity back and allow middle school students more time to be kids. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville schools going back to model that lets middle schoolers be kids

During her career as an educator, Glenda Merwine got the opportunity to interact with students of all ages. As a teacher and later as an… Continue reading

McKenna Somes, left, Jake Jarrell and Morgan Stevens enjoy a game after classes let out on the grounds of Coupeville Middle/High School Friday. The school district is reorganizing its leadership and making other changes to give the middle school its identity back and allow middle school students more time to be kids. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville Superintendent Jim Shank was one of three finalists for the Twin Falls (Idaho) School District’s superintendent post. The school district announced Monday that it decided to hire one of its own longtime administrators for the position. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Twin Falls picks one of its own for superintendent post

Members of the Coupeville School Board breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday after the Twin Falls School District in Idaho announced that it was… Continue reading

Coupeville Superintendent Jim Shank was one of three finalists for the Twin Falls (Idaho) School District’s superintendent post. The school district announced Monday that it decided to hire one of its own longtime administrators for the position. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Brett Ginther prepares to embark on a gray whale watching tour aboard his boat with Deception Pass Tours in April, 2016. Ginther is the business owner along with his wife Terica. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Former pipefitter gives family, public a boatload of adventures

He couldn’t shake the image. Brett Ginther would go to sleep at night and have the same dream about an unusual boat. The dream became… Continue reading

Brett Ginther prepares to embark on a gray whale watching tour aboard his boat with Deception Pass Tours in April, 2016. Ginther is the business owner along with his wife Terica. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Seattle’s Ashley Ream is the author of “The 100-year Miracle,” the featured book of Sno-Isle Libraries’ Whidbey Reads program in 2017. Photo provided by Sno-Isle Libraries                                Seattle’s Ashley Ream is the author of “The 100-year Miracle,” the featured book of Sno-Isle Libraries’ Whidbey Reads program in 2017. She will make two presentations on Whidbey Island in June. Photo provided by Sno-Isle Libraries

Whidbey Reads book is set on remote island

The storyline and setting grabbed Jane Lopez-Santillana’s attention. In her mind, the fictitious tale about a scientist studying a rare, mysterious, glowing algae bloom that… Continue reading

Seattle’s Ashley Ream is the author of “The 100-year Miracle,” the featured book of Sno-Isle Libraries’ Whidbey Reads program in 2017. Photo provided by Sno-Isle Libraries                                Seattle’s Ashley Ream is the author of “The 100-year Miracle,” the featured book of Sno-Isle Libraries’ Whidbey Reads program in 2017. She will make two presentations on Whidbey Island in June. Photo provided by Sno-Isle Libraries
Dr. Tim Lawrence, director of Washington State University’s Island County Extension in Coupeville, explains how a meeting room will be used for WSU classes using video-conferencing equipment. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Wazzu on Whidbey thanks to technology

Tim Lawrence admits to having a lot of ideas buzzing around in his head. One of them calls for a glass beehive in the lobby… Continue reading

Dr. Tim Lawrence, director of Washington State University’s Island County Extension in Coupeville, explains how a meeting room will be used for WSU classes using video-conferencing equipment. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville School District Superintendent Jim Shank looks over plans at a school board meeting. Shank is a finalist for the superintendent post in Twin Falls, Idaho. Photo by Ron Newberry

Coupeville superintendent eyes Idaho post

The idea of Jim Shank leaving as superintendent in the Coupeville School District for another job became a shocking reality last week when it was… Continue reading

Coupeville School District Superintendent Jim Shank looks over plans at a school board meeting. Shank is a finalist for the superintendent post in Twin Falls, Idaho. Photo by Ron Newberry

A sign of spring: Farmers market starting Saturday

The arrival of spring came and went rather unceremoniously this month. Prolonged cold, wet weather has a way of doing that. Proof of spring’s emergence… Continue reading

File photo/Whidbey News-Times                                 Gary Wallin, a longtime businessman who was devoted to community service, died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 68.

Oak Harbor loses devoted community leader

When Lance Gibbon thinks about Gary Wallin, he remembers a man with an enormous heart. “I worked with Gary in a lot of different ways,”… Continue reading

File photo/Whidbey News-Times                                 Gary Wallin, a longtime businessman who was devoted to community service, died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 68.
The 44th Oak Harbor St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17, 2017. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Participants let nothing rain on their parade

Maybe the luckiest group at Oak Harbor’s 44th St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the high school drumline. The group got its signals crossed and arrived… Continue reading

The 44th Oak Harbor St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17, 2017. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Kendall Campbell, archaeologist and cultural resource program manager at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, points out features at two of the historic farmhouses near Ault Field that are slated for demolition unless they are moved from the property. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Want a free historic farmhouse? Relocation costs not included

When Lorraine Weatherby was a young girl in the 1930s, she and three siblings lived in a tall white farmhouse on what was then known… Continue reading

Kendall Campbell, archaeologist and cultural resource program manager at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, points out features at two of the historic farmhouses near Ault Field that are slated for demolition unless they are moved from the property. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Staff from Deception Pass State Park works on an amphitheater stage project Thursday. They’re building the foundation for the stage that will serve visitors who come to watch entertainment at the amphitheater this summer. Park manager Jack Hartt, left, listens to details from a staff member. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Busy year in store for Deception Pass State Park

Nothing gets Jack Hartt more flushed than the thought of another toilet backing up at Deception Pass State Park. It’s a problem that dates back… Continue reading

Staff from Deception Pass State Park works on an amphitheater stage project Thursday. They’re building the foundation for the stage that will serve visitors who come to watch entertainment at the amphitheater this summer. Park manager Jack Hartt, left, listens to details from a staff member. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 16-year-old climate change activist who’s spoken before the United Nations on environmental policy, will be one of the speakers at the Climate Action forum on Whidbey Island this month. KC Golden, policy director at Seattle’s Climate Solutions, is the other. The forums will be held March 24 at the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center and March 25 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. Both will start at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Photo provided by Earth Guardians

Climate change ‘rock star’ to speak on Whidbey

Retired Oak Harbor physician Marshall Goldberg likens Xiuhtezcatl Martinez to a rock star. Securing Martinez for two speaking engagements on Whidbey Island was no small… Continue reading

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 16-year-old climate change activist who’s spoken before the United Nations on environmental policy, will be one of the speakers at the Climate Action forum on Whidbey Island this month. KC Golden, policy director at Seattle’s Climate Solutions, is the other. The forums will be held March 24 at the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center and March 25 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. Both will start at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Photo provided by Earth Guardians
The aftermath of the Smith Barn Fire on the morning of Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The first occurred at 8 p.m. Monday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Space heater likely cause of Smith barn fire

An investigation into the fire that burned down the historic Smith Barn in Coupeville revealed that combustibles in front of a space heater was the… Continue reading

The aftermath of the Smith Barn Fire on the morning of Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The first occurred at 8 p.m. Monday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville’s Lindsey Helm attends Oak Harbor’s 2016 St. Patrick’s Day with daughters Finley, center, and Scotlyn. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Break out signs for St. Patrick’s Day parade

The Irish Wildlife Society is trying to kick-start on old tradition during Oak Harbor’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Friday. Clan signs on sticks will be… Continue reading

Coupeville’s Lindsey Helm attends Oak Harbor’s 2016 St. Patrick’s Day with daughters Finley, center, and Scotlyn. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Georgie Smith, Coupeville fourth-generation farmer, speaks to an employee with Skagit Farmers Supply about a soil test that was supposed to be conducted on her farm Wednesday. From her kitchen window, Smith can see the debris pile that remains of the family’s historic barn that burned down Monday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Farmer overwhelmed by community response

Sunshine returned to Ebey’s Prairie Wednesday, and along with it, a smile from Georgie Smith accompanied by some of her quirky humor. It was clear… Continue reading

Georgie Smith, Coupeville fourth-generation farmer, speaks to an employee with Skagit Farmers Supply about a soil test that was supposed to be conducted on her farm Wednesday. From her kitchen window, Smith can see the debris pile that remains of the family’s historic barn that burned down Monday night. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Pastor David Parker gets his first upclose look at the original bell in the belfry at Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church Thursday, March 9, 2017. Parker and his congregation are preparing for Sunday’s celebration of the church’s 125th anniversary. The old bell, the same one used when the church opened in Crescent Harbor in 1891, will be rung 125 times Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor church rings in 125 years

Pastor David Parker’s first trip to the belfry at Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church revealed impeccable timing. Using his cell phone light to guide… Continue reading

Pastor David Parker gets his first upclose look at the original bell in the belfry at Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church Thursday, March 9, 2017. Parker and his congregation are preparing for Sunday’s celebration of the church’s 125th anniversary. The old bell, the same one used when the church opened in Crescent Harbor in 1891, will be rung 125 times Sunday. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Firefighters with Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue look for hot spots Tuesday morning at Willowood Farm on Central Whidbey. A fire Monday night destroyed the historic Smith Barn. As of Tuesday morning, a cause had not been determined. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Iconic Central Whidbey barn burns to ground

Fire took down an iconic Coupeville barn Monday night, turning the historic structure into a twisted heap of metal and charred timber. Firefighters with Central… Continue reading

Firefighters with Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue look for hot spots Tuesday morning at Willowood Farm on Central Whidbey. A fire Monday night destroyed the historic Smith Barn. As of Tuesday morning, a cause had not been determined. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times