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Greeting the new season

Jim Scolman photo

Karen Clifton and Karen Soltys, on the steps, right, pause to enjoy the caroling from the lit-up Avenue A gazebo above and watch people walking along Snohomish's candelit Riverfront Trail at the annual Winter Solstice Walk on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The solstice marks the formal start of winter, although regional snow made it feel like it was already here.

New record shop in Snohomish is homegrown

SNOHOMISH — Father and son co-owners Derek and Mark Florian of Snohomish have been in the vinyl record collection scene for many years. They recently opened a record shop at Second Street and Avenue C.

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The former Roosevelt Store to be marijuana retail shop

MONROE — A marijuana shop is cleared to open soon in the former Roosevelt Store near Roosevelt and Trombley roads. The Kushery received its license approval from state regulators Friday, Dec. 16. 

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Everett mural brings Jimi Hendrix to life,
and it’s all by spray can

EVERETT — A four-story tall mural of Jimi Hendrix now graces the east wall of the Hodges Building.How did it come to be? Serendipity, maybe.

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News Bites for December 28, 2022

AROUND SNOHOMISH COUNTY — What's being built at Fryelands and U.S. 2? Retirement time for Ken's Camera shop owners. A sexual harassment claimant gets a settlement offer from the City of Everett. Plus: Lynnwood light rail gets millions more in federal money.

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Repairing Blackman Lake:
The next steps to try to curb lake’s decline

SNOHOMISH — Work is being done to begin monitoring blue-green algae blooms (cyanobacteria) in Blackman Lake and recommend ways to manage the toxic flora.

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Everett to have red light cameras in coming year

EVERETT — Red light cameras are coming to Everett. They’ll be activated sometime next year, possibly in the summer.

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Newly minted labor mandate vetoed by mayor as too risky

EVERETT — Mayor Cassie Franklin last week vetoed the council's mandate that the city use a Project Labor Agreement, which involves negotiating wages and safety standards with labor organizations ahead of going to bid, for all projects estimated to run above $5 million. Its supporters reacted.

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City of Snohomish, Fire District 4 working to have joint campus

SNOHOMISH — The city has been working jointly with Fire District 4 to pursue creating a public safety campus that places the Police Department, Fire Department and some city services all in one spot.

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Monroe wants public’s opinion on city re-brand

MONROE — The city aims to have a new brand and marketing tagline by this time next year. Right now, it’s still in development, and the city is soliciting input for what aspects and landmarks best represent Monroe.
Monroe’s current marketing tagline, “The Adventure Starts Here,” was introduced about 10 years ago to position Monroe to tourists as an active place with outdoor experiences.
Mayor Geoffrey Thomas said previously this branding did not speak for residents who already call Monroe home. The new brand would reflect the community using the framework of the “Imagine Monroe” mission statement developed last year.
There’s a survey that can be reached through a link in its “Latest News” section at

Larry Countryman, an artist and politician, dies

SNOHOMISH — Former City Council member and longtime resident Larry Countryman has died. A look at his life.

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Small plane that crashed near Snohomish was doing stall tests

SNOHOMISH — Federal transportation safety investigators on Saturday released the preliminary determination pilots may have been deliberately testing the airplane stall limits of a stock Cessna Grand Caravan at the time it broke up midair Nov. 18 and crashed hard in a field near U.S. 2.

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Snohomish County Courthouse gunman wanted to force judge’s attention, now is held on $1 million bail

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Bail was set for $1 million Tuesday, Dec. 13 in district court on the armed man who caused Monday’s lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Dec. 12.

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First Street tree removals were needed, but replacements won’t be soon

SNOHOMISH — What's to replace the trees removed along First Street, and how?

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Boeing’s final 747 marks end of a grand era

EVERETT — The last Boeing 747, rolled out Dec. 6, is on its way of going into service, and the jumbo jet with the unmistakable hump had a distinct role to play for Boeing.
A story on the goodbye, and what's next for Boeing Everett.

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Maltby neighbors air concerns as development project roars back

MALTBY — A proposed townhome community that’s been revived, currently under county review, is facing strong opposition from area residents.
Snohomish Gardens is a plan for a 196-unit subdivision on 16.91 acres located at 9321 and 9509 Paradise Lake Road, near the intersection at state Route 522.

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Past questions reappear at Harvey Field public meeting

SNOHOMISH — The public has plenty of questions on Harvey Field's proposal to expand its airport footprint, which includes relocating Airport Way farther south.

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Unvaxxed firefighter medics sue SRFR district in federal court for back pay

MONROE — Eight unvaccinated firefighters at Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue who were given just the option to go on an unpaid leave of absence unless they got vaccinated have sued the agency in federal court for back pay during their absence and for discrimination because their religious exemptions were not accommodated with regular testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) instead. The district said the firefighters, by being unvaccinated, posed an unmitigated liability if they were working on public medical calls.

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Monroe searching for cash for north area park

MONROE — It’s now clear Trombley Park isn’t in the running for a $500,000 grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Monroe also applied for a $2 million federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

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Cold weather shelters open when it freezes at night

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — After an abrupt end to a warm early fall, cold weather shelters have been opening up across Snohomish County. The shelters aim to provide comfortable lodging for those who may not have the facilities to withstand the freezing-temperature nights that are becoming more and more frequent. Locations and details inside story.

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Operation Sky Valley’s programs are keeping community fed

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Operation Sky Valley is a grassroots organization that prepares 2,000 ready-to-go meals for children and seniors from Monroe to Gold Bar.

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Get to know your neighbors with a watch group

SNOHOMISH — At a town hall in the Carnegie Building last Thursday, Snohomish residents from the city's public safety commission explained the ins and outs of how to set up a neighborhood watch.

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What’s desired of Monroe’s next schools leader?

MONROE — The search is on for a new permanent superintendent who will start in fall 2023. A public focus group last week asked what qualities Monroe's next superintendent should possess and challenges they will face, and here's what was said.

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Everett Transit to lengthen hours, modify routes starting in March

EVERETT — Eight city bus routes will undergo service changes and a new bus route will be added in March if the City Council approves a current proposal by Everett Transit.

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Everett Police should expand force to fill gaps

EVERETT — Beyond filling current vacancies, the Everett Police Department should have nine more personnel, and use more civilians in some roles, recommends a consultant hired to study the department’s operations.

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Want to work? Program erases barriers, worries for
disabled adults on SSI and SSDI

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — For people depending on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, there's a bog of confusion regarding benefits, how to get back to work, how to map a career path, and what to put on a resume. A free program helps assist people on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance in multiple ways.

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Food banks crunched as economy tightens

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Food banks are facing a new squeeze as they are seeing more clients but have less spending power to buy food with the current situation of inflation. The area's biggest food bank has had to throtte back and ration how often people can visit to get food.

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In Monroe, this house comforts the families of prisoners

MONROE — Matthew House, a nonprofit located near the Monroe prison, ensures families of the incarcerated are taken care of with temporary shelter, food and clothing at the time in their lives when their world's been turned upside down.

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Sultan to use roundabouts to fix U.S. 2 traffic clogs

SULTAN — The city is centering on a plan to gradually widen U.S. 2 to four lanes, and build roundabouts at multiple highway intersections within the city. Three fixes are looking promising in the immediate future. The city will start lobbying Olympia for specific projects in January.

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Paine Field could be designated to grow

EVERETT — A state airports committee is suggesting to either greatly grow services at Everett’s Paine Field in tandem with growth at Sea-Tac Airport or to construct a brand-new airport in either Pierce or Thurston counties. They’re working on deciding which option to put forward to state legislators next year.

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Up for a challenge, a stunt flying duo emerged

ARLINGTON — These two guys are putting on quite a show while doing something they love.

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Religious center’s compatibility debated in Clearview

CLEARVIEW — Dozens of neighbors in Clearview want to have sound controlled from activities at a destination religious assembly facility located on rural land off of State Street. County Hearing Examiner Peter Camp is deciding whether to approve a conditional use permit for the Husaynia Islamic Society of Seattle to upgrade a barn's interior to be a better worship center.

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Legislators will re-file bill to lower state’s drunk-driving limit

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — State Sens. Marko Liias and John Lovick, both of Snohomish County, would like to lower the state’s legal drunk-driving impairment limit to 0.05% blood-alcohol concentration.

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Fentanyl is being added to other drugs more often

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Even drug users who'd never want to touch Fentanyl are being blindsided that somebody blended it in, and a drug testing expert is finding these incidences have skyrocketed.

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Monroe’s drug-sniffing police dog can finally take it easy

MONROE — K-9 Sam's been the department’s narcotics K-9 for five years, paired with Officer Devin Tucker. He could hardly contain himself at his retirement acknowledgement last week.

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City, county will look for sites for new stadium in Everett

EVERETT — A feasibility study began last week for siting a new multipurpose outdoor stadium in Everett.
And if one gets built, the Everett AquaSox minor league baseball team is committing to a 30-year or longer lease to anchor it.

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In a way, he's how Hewitt Avenue got its groove

EVERETT — One could say building rehabilitator Pete Sikov is a secret part of Hewitt Avenue's revival. Through selecting who to rent to, it transformed into a historic arts and culture district. The Hodges Building, smack-dab in the center of downtown, underwent years of restoration after a damaging fire and opened in May. A story of the landowner who has slowly curated whole blocks of downtown.

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Two historic Monroe houses at risk of demolition again

MONROE — The clock is ticking louder today on the historic Buck Houses, and fate will tell if they’re saved.

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Suboxone clinic proposed for downtown Monroe

MONROE — A proposed new site for an addiction clinic in downtown Monroe will also help East County residents with opioid dependence as far away as Index.

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Broadband internet gaps in county to be identified to increase services

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — A countywide survey will dig deeper into internet gaps in rural county. Informal surveys show Machias, Three Lakes, and the outskirts north of Monroe, plus the Highway 9 corridor between Lake Stevens and Arlington, are populated areas have internet speeds below broadband standards. Residents in the most outlying pockets might be buying satellite internet services as no internet lines come to them.

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Fixes for 522 bottlenecks are being designed
today, but actual construction timeline hazy

MONROE — Progress is steadily being made behind the scenes to widen the last part of state Route 522 and completely redo the Maltby Road/Paradise Lake Road intersection to get rid of the stoplight.
Finding money to construct it is a known need.

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