Suspect identified in serial bomb threats made to State offices

Suspect identified in serial bomb threats made to State offices

The Washington State Patrol has identified the suspect in the recent rash of bomb threats that have been phoned in to Washington State offices in the last two months as Dr. Said Farzad, a former psychiatrist in Gig Harbor.

The State Patrol says he is currently not in the United States, and the threats are being phoned in from other countries.

He is suspected in 18 bomb threat cases, 8 of which have occurred in the last month or so. He is suspected of making threats to Idaho State Offices, as well as Molina Healthcare offices several years ago.

The reason behind Farzad’s threats is believed to be that the State of Washington suspended his psychiatry license in 2014 “due to allegations that he is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to consumers by reason of a mental condition.”

Further in his past, Farzad was under investigation in 2013 for crossing physician-patient boundaries in 2013 with two female patients, one of which was an adolescent, according to a KOMO News report from 2014. The reported stated “While health officials believe the relationships were improper, they do not believe they were sexual”

According to the State Patrol, Farzad is now on a watch list that would “flag him for arrest should he attempt to reenter the United States”.

Even though he has been identified as the suspect, the state agencies receiving the threats will continue to take them seriously and staff members at state agencies will also receive additional training on how to deal with these situations.

One taken to hospital after mobile home fire outside of Tumwater

One taken to hospital after mobile home fire outside of Tumwater

Firefighters responded to the Tall Firs Mobile Home Park at 9430 Case Road SW at 10:30 this morning for a report of a mobile home that was on fire. According to the scanner dispatch, neighbors helped move everyone out of the home.

Firefighters arrived to find a fully involved mobile home. One male occupant of the house was transported to the hospital due to smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished within an hour and did not spread to any other homes.

Tumwater Fire Department, West Thurston Fire District #1, and McLane Fire District #9 assisted East Olympia Fire District #6 with this fire.

Historic fire burns Olympia Brewery Complex office building

Historic fire burns Olympia Brewery Complex office building

At 1:56 am, Tumwater Fire Engine T-2 was dispatched for a smoke investigation at the Olympia Brewery, 100 Custer Way SW. According to scanner traffic, a passerby reported heavy gray and white smoke coming from the area of the brewery with no flames seen.

Upon arrival of the first engine, they requested an upgrade for an active commercial structure fire. 6 more engines and a ladder truck were dispatched to the fire.

At 2:12 am, an upgrade for a third-alarm fire was dispatched. This brought mutual aid from all across the county to the scene of the fire, and firefighters quickly moved to defensive, non-interior firefighting operations.

Fire departments that responded to the scene included Tumwater Fire, Olympia Fire, Lacey Fire Dist. 3, East Olympia Fire Dist. 6, McLane-Black Lake Fire Dist. 9, South Bay Fire Dist. 8, West Thurston Fire Dist. 1, and Griffin Fire Dist. 13.

At approximately 2:50 am, our first admin-reporter arrived on scene after reporting he could see the fire from his home on Tumwater Hill. Several other volunteer admin-reporters responded as well. If you are interested in becoming one of our crew, please look for the job application on our Facebook page.

The blaze has been substantially knocked down, but firefighting operations are still taking place as of 9:00 am. Custer Way is shut down from Capitol Blvd to 2nd Avenue and Boston Street is shut down as well.

 

Do you ride the bus? Major service change goes into effect today

Do you ride the bus? Major service change goes into effect today

Intercity Transit has made some major changes to their route structure, and those changes took effect this morning, Sunday, September 23rd. If you ride any of the following routes, you’ll want to check Intercity Transit’s website for specific information on the service change.

Route 12 – instead of serving Tumwater Square, the bus will follow the old 43/44 route to the Courthouse and SPSCC, and continue down Barnes to Linwood and join with the 12 routing that it had before. It no longer serves Capitol Way, Tumwater Square, or 2nd Avenue.

Route 41 – schedule changes only. The peak-hour “every 15 minute” extra buses have been cancelled.

Route 42 – this route will now serve the Olympia Transit Center, continue to the old 43/44 route to the Courthouse and SPSCC, and serve the Jail and Family Court along the old 42 routing and return to SPSCC and OTC. It no longer serves Black Lake Blvd or Cooper Point Road near the Auto Mall.

Routes 43/44 have been discontinued. Refer to routes 12, 42, and 68 for service in their former areas.

Route 45 will now additionally serve the Capital Medical Center, Kaiser Road and Mud Bay Road.

Route 47 will also use Kaiser Road instead of Yauger Way. It will still serve the Capital Medical Center via Capital Mall Drive.

Route 60 no longer serves St. Francis House

Route 62A now serves areas of NE Lacey, including Orion Drive and Willamette Rd. It eliminates westbound service on Martin after Galaxy.

Route 68 no longer serves the Olympia Transit Center. It starts at the Lacey Transit Center and serves Tumwater Square along prior routing, and now serves 2nd Avenue, Tumwater Hill, SPSCC, and the Capital Mall before heading back to Lacey.

Routes 603, 605, 612 have been all combined into Route 612

 

Superior Court reserves ruling on Tumwater teacher strike

Superior Court reserves ruling on Tumwater teacher strike

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese reserved his ruling on the Tumwater School District’s request for an injunction that would order teachers back to work.

Judge Lanese cited his reason for reserving his ruling to be a “lack of evidence of substantial and irrefutable harm” to the school district caused by the strike, but was also very clear that it is illegal for teachers to strike.

Another hearing is set for 9:00 am on Wednesday morning, provided that the district and the teachers’ union have not reached an agreement on a contract by then.

Tumwater students were supposed to start school on Wednesday, September 5.

 

Multiple sightings of black bear near Milepost 90 rest area

Multiple sightings of black bear near Milepost 90 rest area

There have been multiple reports of black bear sightings near the Scatter Creek Rest Area, which is at milepost 90 on I-5 just north of Grand Mound.

According to a Facebook post by a neighbor, the bear was also seen near 176th and Leitner Rd, in the neighborhood behind the rest area to the east of the freeway.

Bears almost never attack people. You’re far more likely to get struck by lightning. “Most negative black bear encounters are caused by surprising the bears or giving them a reason to think you are a threat,” Born Free USA said.

If you do encounter a bear in a populated area, slowly back away, do not approach or threaten the bear, do not try to take a selfie with the bear, and call 911 to report the sighting.

 

Tumwater & Rainier teachers officially on strike, start of school on hold

Tumwater & Rainier teachers officially on strike, start of school on hold

The first day of school has been postponed for Rainier and Tumwater students. North Thurston could be added to the list tomorrow.

Monday night, Labor Day, the Rainier School District teachers announced they were on strike. The district tweeted that schools would be closed for the scheduled first day, Tuesday “due to strike,” after negotiations with the teachers union were unsuccessful.

Tumwater was set to have the first day of classes on Wednesday, September 5, but the district has also officially cancelled school for their first day.

In both districts, all after school activities will take place as scheduled (coaches aren’t part of the teachers’ unions) and both districts will extend the school year (as they would with snow days) to ensure 180 days of instruction is received.

Data shows that Washington has the most teacher strikes of any state in the country. The longest strike on record by an education association was in Marysville in 2003, teachers were ordered back to work by a judge after 50 days.

It’s not legal for teachers, or any public employee, to strike, however these strikes have proven effective. It’s a high-leverage, high-profile, short-term strategy, and it works, accord