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Clearing space at the Fairgrounds

Doug Ramsay photo

The bucket of a backhoe pulls down the center section on the north wall of the 400 building at the Evergreen State Fair Park last week. The well-known commercial building at the center of the fairgrounds was nearly 70 years old, having been built in the mid-1950s. It served many functions, including, as a dairy barn, small animal shows, exhibitions, craft shows and as a commercial vendor space. The building was more recently instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic as a storage and distribution facility of PPE items. Once the building's gone, the area will remain open space for the time being as future use of the space is still being determined by fairgrounds staff and park planners.

Decision on religious center's compatibility in rural area comes soon

CLEARVIEW — Will a remodel of a mosque on State Street be deemed compatible enough for its rural Clearview neighborhood?
An answer from Snohomish County Hearing Examiner Peter Camp is expected soon. Neighbors have had plenty to say on the matter.

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Proposal would allow certain development in S. Snohomish UGA and other flood hazard areas

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — An exception that grants a controlled ability to redevelop properties in flood-fringe areas will be advancing to the County Council. In essence, it grandfathers buildings from 1983 and earlier to give a one-time "use it or lose it" development credit. 1983 was when flood insurance maps were developed.

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Hurry to have say on Everett Link alignment

EVERETT — Decisive conversations are happening now on setting the general alignment for Sound Transit's Link light rail line and where rail placement and station placement goes together with the city's urban planning goals such as along Casino Road and downtown. Friday, March 10 is the deadline Sound Transit is taking public feedback about Everett Link.

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Snohomish Fire board to decide on levy lid lift measure at meeting March 14

SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish County Fire District 4 Board of Fire Commissioners will meet March 14 to discuss a resolution to place a fire levy lid lift on the Aug. 1, 2023, primary election ballot. Fire District 4 encourages the community to attend the meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 in the Harvey Room of the Educational Annex, 1525 Ave. D.
The lift would hire more firefighters and "also build a fire station on Pilchuck Avenue and replace one other as funding allows," the district said. The lift would restore the fire levy to $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed property value.

State may peg Paine Field for more airline traffic

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. Public input is being taken through March 22. Details on those in story.

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Next Monroe Schools superintendent’s salary is $273,000

MONROE — Last week the school board inked a three-year job contract with Shawn Woodward for $273,000 a year to start.

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Snohomish gazebo vandal selected his targets

SNOHOMISH — The man who went on an overnight vandalism spree Feb. 8 in town held animosity against most of his targets, from the police report.

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City of Monroe seeks planning input

MONROE — The 2044 Comprehensive Plan helps shape the city's future. More on that here.

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Attrition from school bus drivers retiring creates gap to fill at some districts

SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish School District is doing as best it can with an ongoing driver shortage of about 15 driver vacancies. How come there's a gap, and what is it like to drive a school bus? And, how are other districts doing?

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Snohomish trash bills to rise April 1

SNOHOMISH — Trash bills will be rising come April 1.
Republic Services is invoking a clause in its city contract to adjust trash bill rates to track with nearly 6% inflation. Here's what it means for your bill.

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IHOP coming to Monroe

MONROE — An IHOP will be taking over the closed Denny’s at Kelsey and U.S. 2, and a full BECU bank branch is coming to a spot near the Providence Clinic, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce affirmed.
The BECU will open this fall, the company announced by press release.
The IHOP’s opening date was not known at press time.
There are IHOP restaurants in Lake Stevens, central Everett and south Everett. The Monroe IHOP is owned by a different franchisee than the Lake Stevens restaurant. IHOP debuted as the International House of Pancakes in 1958. Its parent company also owns Applebee’s.
In other news, a Wendy’s franchisee had explored opening in Monroe in the Fred Meyer parking lot. Its planning application hasn’t advanced further as of late last year.

County, sheriff ’s pair up on social worker effort

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — On Feb. 21, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney signed a Partnership Agreement covering the deployment of Snohomish County Human Services Social Workers as they help address homelessness, behavioral health, and public safety concerns with both the Snohomish County Outreach Team (SCOUT) and Office of Neighborhoods (OON) programs.

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Hotel properties county bought are contaminated with meth

EVERETT — Methamphetamine contamination needs to be cleared out of the former Days Inn hotel on Everett Mall Way which the county is converting into a space to temporarily house people who are homeless.

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Community Transit to modify services March 19 to adjust to driver deficit

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Community Transit is pulling back some services March 19 to prevent last-minute cancellations. Affected routes are in story. The agency remains short on drivers amid a national hiring crunch but is working to increase its bus driver headcount. Separately, the agency's employee vaccine mandate may change soon.

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Yep, it’s a whale’s skeleton

Doug Ramsay photo

Four-year-old Duncan Hopkins (left) and five-year-old Aiden Doane examine the rib cage of a gray whale which is part of the Imagine Children’s Museum’s Puget Sound Eco-System gallery. The Everett museum recently opened a three-story addition which features a woodlands adventure gallery, a package distribution simulator, an import-export gallery focusing on the region's seaports, as well as the Eco-System gallery which also features a full-size replica of a newborn gray whale calf.

Sen. Lovick seeks to add more police academy sites to help solve cadet trainee bottleneck

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — State Sen. John Lovick is seeking state funding to solve a police shortage by creating additional law enforcement training centers. One could be placed in Everett.

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Gun used in late evening robbery in Snohomish

SNOHOMISH — Just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, a man pointed a gun and demanded items from a group of four adults on the Riverfront Trail.

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Financial literacy school classes get boost, could soon be taught at younger age levels

SNOHOMISH — Beginning in April, school districts may apply for a one-year grant to train staff in financial literacy education. With additional staff training, districts could expand financial education to elementary schools and strengthen secondary courses to align with state competency standards for financial literacy, and add classes for more students. Here's why this is important.

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Lawsuit against state over ex-cop’s child sex abuse says state worker negligent for not reporting it

MONROE — A tort lawsuit can proceed against the state of Washington that says a social worker who was mandated by law to report child sex abuse failed to do so when it came to Carlos Martinez, a former sergeant with the Monroe Police Department, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Cindy Larsen decided last week.

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Salmon flourished after Pilchuck River Dam’s demolition

SNOHOMISH — Salmon have taken over the waters to create new spawning areas after the city let go of its dam on the Pilchuck River. The dam by Granite Falls was there to divert drinking water for the City of Snohomish. But by the mid-2010s, the city began to get all its water from Everett. The city no longer employed its use.

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Monroe Community Court’s latest graduate celebrated for personal turnaround

MONROE — The Monroe Municipal Court congratulated the latest graduate of the Community Court — a program which gives minor offenders a second chance and resources for success. This is what it meant for her.

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Monroe’s next schools chief seen as energetic community-builder

MONROE — Shawn Woodward, currently the schools superintendent in a district north of Spokane, was selected by the school board last week to be Monroe's next superintendent starting July 1.

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Boeing Everett to have assembly line building 737 MAX

EVERETT — A new, fourth line for the 737 MAX is coming to Boeing’s Everett plant. Boeing confirmed Monday, Jan. 30 that the new line would start in the second half of 2024. To optimistic local officials, it signals a commitment to Snohomish County.

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Snohomish Fire District 4 to look at join-up with bigger Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue

SNOHOMISH — Snohomish Fire District 4’s three board members have directed the chief to approach Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue to have conversations about consolidating services.

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Why Bob McDaniel always gives his all

SNOHOMISH — Bob McDaniel still puts on a vest and goes to work at the hardware and garden store that bears his family's name. How come? An honest day of work never hurt anyone. He just happens to have been at it for nearly 70 years.

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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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