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Youth games test firefighter skills

Doug Ramsay photo

Snohomish Fire District 4 explorer Tyler McCleod, 16, of Snohomish quickly removes the cap to a hydrant so as to connect the hose to it while competing in an annual Fire Explorer Muster at the Fire District 4’s training facility on Saturday, Nov. 7. Typically, fire explorers throughout the state meet in late spring for a friendly competition, however with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the annual “Muster” moved to November, with several smaller events held at the same time. Each event was connected via a live-stream feed. Saturday’s event in Snohomish had explorers from the Snohomish Dist. 4 post and the Camano Island Fire post. Fire explorer posts are sponsored by fire departments and open to males and females ages 14 to 21. Monroe has one, too.

Renewed restrictions on in-person gatherings, restaurants, bars

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Gov. Jay Inslee announced restrictions Sunday, Nov. 15 that prohibit indoor social gatherings under practically all circumstances. The new rules are not a stay-at-home order like what happened in March, but it prohibits having guests over and closes many functions back down.

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Area food banks prepare for Thanksgiving

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Food banks will most likely serve a larger number of families in a year riddled with challenges. Here is how they are dealing with the challenges and what they need for donations.

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2nd annual Holiday Market is this Saturday

SNOHOMISH — Farmers Market frequenters have one last chance to see their favorite vendors Saturday, Nov. 14 and stock up on farm-fresh produce just in time for the holidays.

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Public freeze shelter is at Fairgrounds because of virus

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Because of COVID-19, many smaller cold shelters in the county, like those based in churches, are not operating this year due to social distancing requirements. Efforts were merged to create a cold weather shelter at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds
4-H Building. COVID-19 precautions are being followed. Shuttles are operating on freezing nights to bring people to the shelter.

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A shelter village for homeless people is planned in Everett’s future

EVERETT — A tiny-shed village may someday spring up in Everett to house homeless individuals. The city came up with the idea using grant money to do so.

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Everett Transit’s Sunday bus services not being restored

EVERETT — Having less service is how the agency can keep a sustainable budget, its leadership said, but it will not be restoring Sunday service and will keep many of its 2020 service reductions for the coming year.

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Painted rocks with messages of kindness to be spread around community

EVERETT — The Kindness Rocks Project has been a national movement since 2014. Dawson Place, for child abuse victims, will be helping spread them for World Kindness Day Friday, Nov. 13.

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Snohomish’s Sammie Davis fights forest fires nationally

SNOHOMISH — Snohomish’s Sammie Davis has spent the last four fire seasons traveling across the country fighting fires, often for weeks at a time. It's important work that's almost taken her life.

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Give them plastic bags, and the city will get a bench

SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish Lions Club is collecting many types of thin plastic, such as plastic bags, that will be recycled into a composite bench for the community at-large. Here's why they're doing it, and how to contribute.

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COVID-19 cases up, and nearing infection levels seen in spring

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — COVID-19’s spread in the community has crept back up, capping a rough October in the fight against the coronavirus.

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Free COVID-19 drive-through testing sites this week
The county health district is conducting free COVID-19 testing at 3900 Broadway, Everett, in the parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium at the following times this week:
Wednesday Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 12 from: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You must register in advance for an appointment. To register, visit or click on the COVID-19 testing link at

Marshall Field open space rezone recommended

MONROE — The planning commission recommended approving the Marshall Field rezone at an Oct. 12 public hearing. A motion to advise the city council to approve the proposed rezone carried 4-3.

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Future building heights along Avenue D discussed

SNOHOMISH — The city’s Midtown District task force were asked to vote on potential building heights along the Avenue D corridor in October.

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Lya Badgley, an advocate for parks, honored

SNOHOMISH — During the Oct. 20 regular city council meeting, Lya Badgley was honored with a key to the city and a plaque showing the city’s appreciation for her many years of service.

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Senior centers continue lunch programs as go-to resource to stay fed

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — For seniors, facilities such as the Snohomish and Monroe senior centers are aiming to make this challenging time easier to bear.

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Snohomish Police Chief writes open letter to community

Norton Playfield housing project for homeless kids denied 4-2 over location

EVERETT — In a 4-2 vote that was clearly tough to make, the City Council last week denied a nonprofit’s rezone request to be able to build a multi-story apartment complex for homeless families in a historic single-family neighborhood.

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Monroe's 2021 proposed budget is no-frills

MONROE — Mayor Geoffrey Thomas released his budget this month, which calls for no property tax increase and aims to stay the course.

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School districts put a pause on the return to school plan

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — The Snohomish Health District sent an email to all Snohomish County school districts on Oct. 12 requesting to pause planning of the return to schools.

Update on Oct. 27: Everett Public Schools will pause on its plans to return students to school

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Prep sports begin Dec. 28, open coaching extended

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — The “second” season of high school sports is around the corner. Basketball, bowling, boys swim and dive, gymnastics and wrestling, are scheduled to begin practice on Dec. 28.

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Sky Valley cold weather shelter available during freezing temperatures

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — As frigid temperatures begin to creep in, the Sky Valley cold weather shelter is available. The shelter is located at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in the 4H building and will be open when below freezing temperatures are expected overnight. The shelter is intended for people who are homeless and in need of a warm place to sleep. The shelter will open its doors at 8:30 p.m. and will be locked from 9:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. COVID-19 precautions are being taken to ensure the health and safety of volunteers and those utilizing the shelter. The Sky Valley cold weather shelter serves the Monroe, Sultan, and Snohomish areas, and tends to operate into March. The address is 14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe, WA 98272. For more information visit


Snohomish’s budget built as conservative for 2021-2022 biennium

SNOHOMISH — Mayor John Kartak released the recommended 2021-2022 budget amounting to $65.4 million.

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Utility assistance relief program reopens for applications until Nov. 13

SNOHOMISH — The city has reopened the application window for utility support and rent relief grant program for residents of Snohomish impacted by COVID-19.

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County Executive’s proposed budget adds SCSO body cameras, avoids layoffs and braces for 2021

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — County Executive Dave Somers’ 2021 budget aims to be resourceful since 2020 left little to work from.
Somers is proposing a $1.05 billion budget, down by $55 million from the budget adopted last year.

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Franklin releases 2021 budget, public hearings in November

EVERETT — Mayor Cassie Frankin’s $411 million budget doesn’t reverse most of the city’s coronavirus-driven cutbacks during 2020, but the message from her office is the city will innovate to get a stronger footing for the future.

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Riders working out their horses

Doug Ramsay photo

Violet Semritc, 3, of Monroe, (right) is watched by Cailyn Espinosa, of Snohomish as the two ride in a warm-up area at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe on Sunday, Nov. 1. Semritc had finished a competing run in the Snohomish County Western Games Association’s monthly competition, while Espinosa was warming up for her run. The games association does pattern racing competitions during the winter, and the riders range in age from 1-year-old on up to over 70.

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