April 19, 2024

TCSO and Yelm Police join together at Monarch Children’s Justice fundraiser!

Credit: Thurston County Sheriff’s Office on Instagram.

Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center breakfast fundraiser joined by TCSO & Yelm Police

From the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office on Instagram:

On April 17, TCSO and Yelm Police had a table at the Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center breakfast fundraiser where Support Assistance K9 Astro retired after serving thousands of vulnerable person’s and children during their healing process from traumatic events. These dogs play an active role in comforting children and vulnerable persons on their healing journey.

Monarch is a strong partner with our Sheriff’s Office, as they facilitate the difficult task of forensic interviews with children who have been sexually abused. Learn more about Monarch and the crucial services they provide below. Marshal the Courthouse Facility Dog also made an appearance!

LINK: https://monarchcjac.org

DONATE: https://monarchcjac.org/shop-and-donate/

April 19, 2024

United Way of Thurston’s Shelter Shower – Drive Up & Drop Off Event, April 24th!

Credit: United Way of Thurston County.

You’re Invited! Shelter Shower is on April 24, 2024!

When: April 24, 2024, from 12 pm — 4 pm
Where: United Way of Thurston County, 3525 7th Ave SW Suite 201, Olympia, 
What: Our annual Shelter Shower is here, and we need your help to succeed! Join us in gathering much-needed shelter items for the Family Support Center of South Sound and SafePlace. Our local shelters need diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and more.

Why: Your support means everything. By joining us for this event, you’re directly impacting the lives of individuals and families in need in our community. Every donation, big or small, goes a long way in providing comfort and essentials to those who need it most.

How to Get Involved: Consider joining us by donating as an individual or family, volunteering at the event, or engaging your workplace team in this worthwhile cause. We’ll even send you a kit for the event, complete with detailed instructions, timeline suggestions, posters for print, and social media posts for you to use.

April 18, 2024

Passport Fair this Saturday at Thurston County Offices!

Credit: Office of Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland

Passport Fair April 20th at Thurston County Offices

The Office of Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland and the Thurston County Office of the Auditor are holding a passport acceptance fair for first time applicants or people with expired passports (5+ years). Please bring required documents and fees for entrance to the event.

Read more about obtaining Passports from the Thurston County Auditor.

April 18, 2024

Fatal shooting Tuesday at Tenino area bar!

Bar patrons at the Old Hwy 99 Company Bar & Grill in Tenino restrained a suspect who fatally shot a person during an altercation Tuesday evening. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident at approximately 5:45 p.m., they said in a news release. The Tenino Police Department and Tenino Fire Department also responded to the incident. Credit: Steve Bloom The Olympian.

+ UPDATE: The Olympian via MSN: Judge denies bail for suspect in fatal bar shooting near Tenino. Court records provide details


Sheriff’s deputies respond to fatal shooting at Thurston County bar

The shooting occurred on Tuesday evening at the Old Hwy 99 Bar and Grill.

Excerpt from KING-5 TV:

The deadly shooting of a man at a bar in Tenino was the result of an ongoing confrontation between two groups of people that had flared up earlier in the day, according to court documents.

Police were called to the Old Highway 99 Company Bar and Grill at around 5:44 p.m. on Tuesday to a report of a shooting with a victim. Thurston County sheriff’s deputies were then advised that a man with a firearm had been subdued and was being held to the ground by patrons.

On Wednesday afternoon, Thurston County Judge Chris Lanese ordered the defendant held without bail, calling him a risk to public safety.

KING 5 is not naming the suspect as he has not been formally charged yet. 

The defense attorney for the accused argued his client was attacked by the group of bikers. The judge disagreed, noting the defendant had left the bar, and returned hours later with a gun.

The victim, identified as Gaylord “Travis” Sayers, was found with two gunshot wounds, one to his right side and the other to the center of his abdomen. A third bullet fragment was found lodged amongst the keys in Sayers’ pocket.

Dallas Sayers, the son of the victim, spoke in court Wednesday afternoon.

“I don’t want him to see the light of day,” said Dallas Sayers of the suspect. 

Read more from KING-5 TV.

April 18, 2024

Washington issues statewide drought declaration!

The National Weather Service long-range forecast calls for above-normal spring temperatures across the Pacific Northwest. National Weather Service Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald.

‘Risk of undue hardship:’ Washington issues statewide drought declaration

Excerpt from The Bellingham Herald:

Washington declared a nearly statewide drought emergency Tuesday, citing low snowpack and forecasts of a warm, dry spring.

Limited exceptions were made for the Seattle, Everett and Tacoma areas, according to a statement from the state Department of Ecology.

“As our climate continues to change, we’re increasingly seeing our winters bring more rain and less snow. We depend on that winter snowpack to meet the needs of Washington’s farmers, fish, and communities during the dry summer months. And this year, it’s just not at the level we’re accustomed to and rely on,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.

Drought is declared in Washington when there is less than 75% of normal water supply and “there is the risk of undue hardship,” according to Ecology’s statement.

Declaring a drought emergency allows Ecology to provide grant funding and to process emergency water right permits and transfers.

Ecology is making up to $4.5 million available to qualifying public agencies to respond to the effects of current drought conditions, according to Tuesday’s statement.

“By moving quickly to declare a drought, we can begin delivering financial support to water systems with drought impacts, and work with water users to find solutions to challenges before they become a crisis,” said Laura Watson, Ecology’s director.

According to the National Weather Service, the Northwest is facing three months of below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures in spring. Warmer weather can cause early snowmelt as the region heads into its driest months of the year.

April 17, 2024

Yelm Schools receives WA. Purple Heart for helping military families!

Credit: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

Washington school districts receive Purple Hearts for helping students of military families

Twelve districts in western Washington [including Yelm] are recognized with the new state award.

Yelm Community Schools. Districts were recognized for offering services like expanded child care, military appreciation and recognition events

Excerpt from KING-5 TV News:

The U.S. military awards Purple Hearts to service members wounded in the line of duty and is thought of as a symbol of sacrifice.

The state of Washington is now awarding its version of the Purple Heart to school districts providing assistance to a population that knows something about sacrifice: students from military families.

Twelve districts in the state received the award from the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The school districts are: Bremerton, Central Kitsap, Cheney, Clover Park, Medical Lake, North Mason, North Thurston, Oak Harbor, Peninsula, Steilacoom Historical, Sumner-Bonney Lake, and Yelm Community Schools.

Districts were recognized for offering services like expanded child care, military appreciation and recognition events, and counseling for students dealing with having to move every couple of years.

April 17, 2024

Thurston syphilis cases rise causing Dept. of Health concerns!

Zandt Bryan, Sexual Health and Prevention Program Manager at the Department of Health, underscored the urgent need for heightened awareness and proactive measures to combat the increasing prevalence of STIs, particularly syphilis, during the Thurston’s Board of Health meeting on April 9, 2024. Credit: The JOLT staff photo via YouTube.

State warns against increasing syphilis cases in Thurston County

Over the past six years, reported cases of syphilis have surged by an unprecedented 292%.

Excerpt from The JOLT News:

A representative from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) raised concern about the increasing number of cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), particularly syphilis, in the county during the county’s Board of Health (BOH) meeting on April 9.

Zandt Bryan, Sexual Health and Prevention Program Manager at the Department of Health, underscored the urgent need for heightened awareness and proactive measures to combat the increasing prevalence of STIs, particularly syphilis.

“Many of those affected are among those most in need in our communities, such as people who are unstably housed and affected by substance use disorders,” said Bryan. “This means that Washington State, similar to the rest of the nation, now sees increasing cases of syphilis among cisgender women.”

Bryan drew attention to the alarming statistics regarding syphilis cases in Thurston County. Over the past six years, reported cases of syphilis have surged by an unprecedented 292%, reflecting a concerning trend observed statewide, which saw a 153%-increase.


STI Awareness Month

Thurston’s BOH officially proclaimed April as STI Awareness Month during the same meeting.

The board said its proclamation aims to elevate awareness, diminish stigma, and encourage individuals to prioritize their sexual health through regular testing, diagnosis, and treatment.Thurston seeks to empower residents to prioritize their well-being and that of their partners by fostering open discussions about sexual health and connecting individuals with healthcare providers.

April 16, 2024

Motorcycle – Vehicle Collision on Bald Hill Rd. Results in Airlift Sunday night!

Credit: Local Accident Reports.

Motorcyclist airlifted to area hospital after head-on crash in Yelm Sunday night

From The Olympian via yahoo!news:

A motorcyclist was airlifted to an area hospital Sunday night after a head-on crash in Yelm, according to police. [Editor’s note: One patient is being airlifted to safety from the 7th Day Adventist Church.]

About 8:40 p.m., Yelm police were dispatched to the car vs. motorcycle collision in the 10600 block of Bald Hill Road Southeast, which is near Morris Road and a Tractor Supply Co.

A preliminary investigation shows the driver of the car may have crossed the center line before crashing into the motorcycle, said Assitant Chief Tillman Atkins on Monday.

The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle or a separate trauma center.

A section of Bald Hill Road was closed for several hours during the investigation, according to Atkins.

April 16, 2024

Thurston County Sheriff seeks helicopter, GPS trackers, and more!

Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders, second from the left, said Wednesday he’s close to obtaining a military surplus helicopter for search and rescue efforts. He made a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners. Courtesy of Thurston County via The Olympian.

Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders wants a helicopter, GPS trackers, cameras and nets

Excerpt from The Olympian via The Chronicle:

Thurston County’s Sheriff says he wants a new helicopter, tracking devices, grapple nets and license plate cameras to improve public safety. 

Sheriff Derek Sanders briefed the Board of Commissioners about the requests last week, but it’s still uncertain if the board will approve them soon. 

Contracts for the technology have not been finalized and commissioners are still evaluating their merits. Additionally, Sanders said his office is on a federal waitlist to get the helicopter. The briefings came as the Sheriff’s Office is contending with low staffing and is anticipating changes in state pursuit laws approved earlier this year by the state legislature.

On Wednesday, Sanders gave the board a rundown on the helicopter he wants, specifically a four-seater TH67 helicopter. County documents describe it as a military training helicopter that the county can obtain through a federal program that transfers surplus military property to law enforcement agencies. 

Sanders also updated the board about his requests for GPS tracking devices, grapple nets for vehicles and license plate cameras on Tuesday. He said the first two technologies would be used to de-escalate vehicle pursuits while the cameras would be used to keep track of vehicles of interest on county roadways.

Last month, the state legislature passed an initiative to rollback limits on police pursuits that Democrats passed in recent years. Those changes go into effect in June. 

“I advocated for this law change, but I also don’t want to say, ‘We’re pursuing cars now, so be it,’” Sanders said on Tuesday. “Anything that we can do to mitigate the risk of high-speed chases I want to at least try. That’s been my big thing.”


The JOLT News: Thurston County Sheriff working to procuring helicopter exclusive to search, rescue, and pursuit missions

April 15, 2024

Sea-Tac Airport roadway re-opens after Pro-Palestine protest blocks access!

Photo of pro-Palestinian protestors captured by a driver stuck in traffic on Monday afternoon. Credit: Simone Sutton via KING-5 TV.

Roadway to SEA Airport reopens after pro-Palestine protest; 46 people arrested

The arrivals and departures were fully blocked for nearly three hours Monday afternoon.

Excerpt from KING-5 TV:

A group of protestors blocked the roadway leading to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Monday afternoon.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, all lanes of state Route 518 at Airport Drive were blocked just before 3 p.m. and the roadway reopened at around 6 p.m.

According to Perry Cooper with SEA, 46 protestors were arrested. It is not yet known what they were all charged with, but a spokesperson with the Seattle Police Department said they would likely face some disorderly conduct charges.

According to SEA, as of 5:15 p.m., vehicles that were blocking the roadway were being towed and the expressway to the airport was still blocked. 


Protestors at SEA and around the world held these protests on Tax Day as a symbolic way for them to show their frustration with America sending money to Israel. In Seattle, protesters held signs, tied themselves together and wore white suits covered in red paint.


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