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

9th cat killed: 11-year-old cat found by owners beaten, mutilated in east Olympia

9th cat killed: 11-year-old cat found by owners beaten, mutilated in east Olympia

Another cat was found beaten, mutilated, and with several of it’s organs removed in Olympia this week.

The owners of the 11-year-old “Midnight” noticed she was missing on Sunday and the remains were found by the owners on Monday near the intersection of Lilly Road and Pacific Avenue, according to Joint Animal Services.

A veterinary necropsy was being conducted Tuesday afternoon.

A reward of $21,000 is being offered in the original case, up another $1,000 from Tuesday. If you have any tips, you can call Thurston County Animal Services at (360) 352-2510. You can donate to Pasado’s reward fund here.

photo courtesy Google Maps.

OPD: Investigation ongoing into death of  Yvonne McDonald, detectives looking for info

OPD: Investigation ongoing into death of Yvonne McDonald, detectives looking for info

On August 7, 2018 at about 7 a.m., Olympia Police and the Olympia Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a woman lying in the yard of a private residence in the 900 block of Division Street NW. Fire personnel rendered immediate medical care to the woman, identified as Yvonne McDonald, a 56 year-old Olympia resident. Ms. McDonald was partially clothed at the time she was found. She was transported to St. Peter Hospital where further medical treatment was rendered. Ms. McDonald died at the hospital. Due to the circumstances, the Olympia Police Investigations Division was notified and investigators were immediately assigned to begin an investigation into Ms. McDonald’s death.

As is protocol in death investigations, the Thurston County Coroner’s Office was also notified. A deputy coroner was assigned to this matter as well. An autopsy was conducted on Ms. McDonald. A forensic pathologist conducted that exam. The results are currently listed as pending. No official ruling on Ms. McDonald’s cause and/or manner of death has been made at this time. Toxicology results, which may shed some light on Ms. McDonald’s death, will not be available for some time. These results sometimes take months.

The Olympia Police Department, like our community, is very concerned about the circumstances surrounding Yvonne McDonald’s death. A full and thorough investigation has been undertaken and is still very much open. Detectives with OPD and the assigned deputy coroner have been in close contact with Ms. McDonald’s family since shortly after she died.

As with all investigations, Olympia Police Department staff are keeping an open mind while seeking facts to establish whether a crime has been committed or whether Ms. McDonald died of another cause. In order to respect Ms. McDonald’s medical privacy, some of those details will not be available right now. Investigators are currently assigned to this matter and are actively engaged in seeking clarity surrounding this unfortunate situation. Those investigators are seeking the public’s assistance. If you have information that may be useful, please contact Olympia Police Detective Al Weinnig at (360)753-8300 or aweinnig@ci.olympia.wa.us.

Fire at Kingdom Hall in Lacey caused by malfunctioning fan

Fire at Kingdom Hall in Lacey caused by malfunctioning fan

LACEY, WA – Firefighters with Lacey Fire District #3 were dispatched at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon to a report of smoke seen from the building at the Kingdom Hall for Jehovah’s Witnesses on 6th Ave SE.

The fire immediately drew suspicion because Kingdom Halls in Thurston County have been a target for attacks over the last 6 months. In March, the Halls in Olympia and Tumwater were attacked by an arsonist but those fires were put out before they could cause much damage.

In Yelm, a Kingdom Hall was shot at. Bullets pierced glass, chairs, and walls. The building was unoccupied at the time. Then, on July 3rd, the Olympia location was set on fire again at 3:00 in the morning – this time it was destroyed.

Thankfully, today’s fire was determined to be caused by a malfunctioning ceiling fan. The fire was in a closet and was quickly knocked down, thanks to quick detection and the calling of 911, according to the Lacey Fire Department.

 

Boeing 737 fuselage on a trailer makes its way through Thurston County

Boeing 737 fuselage on a trailer makes its way through Thurston County

A 125 foot long Boeing plane fuselage (and that doesn’t even include the truck and trailer) made its way through Yelm, Tumwater, Rochester, and rural Thurston County on its way to southern California early Friday morning.

The fuselage was taken from Yelm, down Yelm Hwy to Henderson Boulevard, through several roundabouts and tight turns. It then turned onto Old Hwy 99, 88th Ave, and Littlerock Road until it got to Rochester, where it continued south on Old 99.

Traffic was slightly affected, and the only damage done was one slightly bent sign at a roundabout on Yelm Hwy.

The State Patrol, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Thurston County Roads, and Tumwater Public Works assisted with this event.

photo credit: Kyle Fievez