UPDATE: Man dies after shooting; deputies searching for killer

July 14th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 5 Comments »

(King County Sheriff’s Office photo)

3:56 AM: A 51-year-old man was shot and killed early this morning near 14th SW/SW 106th, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. “It appears he tried to help another person being robbed and was shot,” KCSO’s media-relations Deputy Stan Seo tweeted. The only description so far: Black male, ski mask, dark hoodie and shorts. Deputies have been searching with K-9 assistance but haven’t found anyone so far. If you have any information, please call 911.

9:08 AM: KCSO now says the victim was 51 years old, so we’ve corrected his age above.

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VIDEO: County’s cannabis crackdown – sheriff, prosecuting attorney tell medical-marijuana dispensaries they’re ‘illegal’

July 8th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 8 Comments »


If you hit “play” on the :15 Instagram clip above, you’ll get an idea of how contentious this morning’s cannabis-crackdown announcement in downtown White Center was. While there was a full turnout of regional media, there also was a notable turnout of people from medical-marijuana establishments, furious about what’s happening.

Speaking outside the King County Sheriff’s Office downtown WC storefront were Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, Sheriff John Urquhart, and Russ Hauge from (what’s about to be renamed) the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. Satterberg wrapped it up with a message to the marijuana establishments: “You might not consider yourself illegal – we do.” A copy was provided of the letter circulated to them (starting at least two days ago, according to what sources told us). While the officials gave conflicting answers as to what kind of “timeline” they expected for stores to shut down, the letter stated flatly in the sixth paragraph, “You will need to cease operations now, even if you plan on applying in the future for a state license …” and when asked, there was one suggestion that if stores aren’t closed within a month, they would “get a visit.” (added) Here’s part of Satterberg’s opening statement:

A printed list also provided to the news media included six White Center/Top Hat establishments:

Herbal Market, 10422 16th SW
White Center Alternative Care, 9839 17th SW
Pacific Coast Natural Medicine, 9817 16th SW
WCC, 9809 16th SW
Northwest Cannabis Market, 9640 16th SW
Herban Legends, 9619 16th SW
WPMC, 11009 1st Ave. S.

After the letter was circulated earlier this week, Herban Legends had this sign on its door:

The county officials referred to the newly opened Bud Nation, a state-licensed recreational-marijuana store in downtown White Center, as an example of what they support, and what they feel is threatened by the unlicensed establishments. They also made it clear that the state was there “in support” of what was their initiative. They pointed out they are doing this under civil measures, not criminal, but also reiterated that they are serious.

The medical-marijuana advocates, meantime, continued to protest that they are offering medicine and that they believe this is just a ploy by the state because of competition – what they make MMJ available for is lower than the state-set prices.

More to come…

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Cannabis crackdown: Sheriff, Prosecuting Attorney coming to White Center tomorrow for media briefing on ‘closing down unlicensed marijuana businesses’

July 7th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Tomorrow morning at the White Center storefront of the King County Sheriff’s Office, County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and King County Sheriff John Urquhart plan to brief the media on what their advisory describes as an “effort aimed at closing down unlicensed marijuana businesses operating in unincorporated King County,” which includes WC. Sources tell us they’ve already been circulating letters to some White Center marijuana outlets. The proliferation of medical-marijuana enterprises in North Highline, particularly White Center, has led to some concern, especially for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, where it’s been a frequent topic at meetings, including one we covered in April. The crackdown follows passage of a new state law requiring medical marijuana to be handled as a sideline in state-licensed recreational-marijuana shops. (White Center’s first recreational-marijuana shop opened recently.) We’ll cover tomorrow’s briefing and will publish an update here.

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Why three White Center-area schools were in lockdown

June 12th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Why three White Center-area schools were in lockdown

1:17 PM: We’ve been getting texts asking why Cascade Middle School, Evergreen Campus, and Mount View Elementary were in what the texters describe as “lockdown.” According to King County Sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Stanley Seo, deputies are searching for a student who was reported to have been seen with a “weapon.” They believe they know who they are looking for, and the search continues; the Guardian One helicopter has been in the area too. Important to stress, no injuries have been reported. And as we finish writing this, Highline Public Schools tweeted that the lockdowns have been lifted.

1:32 PM: New information from Sgt. Seo: The person who was seen may NOT have been a student. No one’s in custody so far. The earlier lockdowns were just precautionary.

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VIDEO: King County Sheriff’s Office, North Highline Fire District, AMR ambulance, other safety specialists visit White Center Heights Elementary

April 29th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

(UPDATED EARLY THURSDAY with more video, photos)

The youngest students at White Center Heights Elementary School got a lesson today that will last their whole lives: Finding out firsthand about public-safety personnel and what they do, during the school’s second annual Emergency Services Day. In our video, above, the star of the show was the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One, which landed right on the school’s playfield after circling a few times. Once it had come to a full stop, the students got to go over for a close-up look:

But the helicopter was not the only visitor. Public-safety vehicles including a North Highline Fire District engine and crew rolled onto the WC Heights playground for show and tell:

Ever wonder how a fire engine works and what equipment’s on board? Listen to the explanation and Q/A for this group of students:

An AMR ambulance was there too, with an EMT who has a special connection to the school – David Sonsteng is WC Heights Elementary’s PTSA president:

And a KCSO Gang Unit detective showed the students a patrol car as well as explaining his gear, from weapons to radio:

The students included WC Heights kindergarteners who had been working on their “community helpers” module, and preschool and Head Start students who were finishing up a “transportation” module. Introducing young children to emergency personnel in a non-emergency situation is helpful in case of a future emergency – firefighters, police and others might look scary with their uniforms and equipment unless a child recalls having learned about who they are and what they do. So all these little ones went home today with stories to tell:

(Here’s our coverage of the first WCH Emergency Services Day last year.)
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EARLIER: Below, the short version of our story, originally published Wednesday afternoon:


During a burst of sunshine between showers, White Center Heights Elementary students greeted special visitors for the school’s 2nd annual Emergency Services DayKing County Sheriff’s Office (including the Guardian One helicopter and a Gang Unit detective), North Highline Fire District, AMR (ambulance), and more. Above, a quick bit of video from right after Guardian One’s landing on the school playfield – we have much more to add later this evening.

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One man to hospital after fight that started at White Center bus stop

April 26th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on One man to hospital after fight that started at White Center bus stop

Thanks to those who texted and called (206-293-6302) about an incident on 16th near 102nd earlier this evening. At the scene, we talked to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who said it started with a fight/argument between two men at a bus stop, and this is where it ended. One was injured and had to be taken to Harborview Medical Center. Deputies were investigating whether a weapon was involved; witnesses and those involved were reported to be telling conflicting stories.

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FOLLOWUP: Suspected drunk driver out of jail

April 6th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Suspected drunk driver out of jail

The 50-year-old driver arrested after hitting a pedestrian in White Center last Thursday is out of jail. We’re not identifying the suspect yet, as she is not yet charged. But the jail register shows that her bail was set at $30,000 and that she got out of jail over the weekend. Court documents say she told a King County Sheriff’s Deputy that she had had three beers before driving; the deputy wrote that her speech was slurred and that she “had difficulty walking.” She also is reported to have said she was sorry for hitting the pedestrian, who was reported to have suffered “severe skull fractures.”

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Recognize these suspects? Let KCSO know!

April 1st, 2015 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Recognize these suspects? Let KCSO know!

No further details but if you recognize either or both of these suspects … King County Sheriff’s Office just put out this alert via Twitter:


And this addition:


P.S. For this month’s update on North Highline crime trends, don’t miss Thursday night’s NHUAC meeting – more info here.

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Update: SWAT standoff over near 14th/116th, suspect in custody

March 13th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

1:25 PM: A person with a warrant out for their arrest is “holed up inside a house near SW 116th/14th SW,” according to the King County Sheriff’s Office, which says SWAT team members and negotiators are there. They don’t believe anyone else is in the house. Streets are blocked off in the area, so avoid for now. More to come.

2:10 PM: We’re just back from the scene, where we talked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. BJ Myers (video added):

He says the person in the house is wanted on warrants relating to drug/weapon cases.

2:18 PM: And we’ve just learned the suspect is out of the house and in custody.

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Suspect in custody after search crosses into county

February 25th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, west seattle, White Center news 1 Comment »

11:53 PM: Still trying to unravel exactly what happened, but Seattle Police tracked a suspect into White Center tonight and have just taken him into custody near Marv’s Broiler in downtown White Center. The call apparently started with a report of a man with a knife in South Delridge; SPD was searching, and then found their suspect, who was reported to have been on a bicycle. King County Sheriff’s Deputies were on the case too. We’ll add anything more that we find out.

12 MIDNIGHT: Photo tweeted by Katt:


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White Center Crime Watch: Bank-robbery attempt

February 12th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for the tip on law-enforcement activity – the King County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were looking for a suspect in an attempted bank robbery in the 9600 block of 17th SW. They used a K-9 team but they weren’t able to track down the suspect. So far, this is all the description information KCSO has released: Black male, dreadlocks, gray hoody. KCSO didn’t identify the bank, but (updated) a reader tells us that KCSO cars were outside the Bank of America.

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What this morning’s search in White Center was about

February 9th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

If you saw the search activity this morning – it even rerouted Metro buses off 15th SW between SW 102nd and SW 106th for a while – here’s what it was about, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates: “There was a domestic violence call; the subject fled on foot and we did an extensive K9 track with us and SPD. He wasn’t located. He was armed with a handgun and was threatening to harm himself.”

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White Center Crime Watch: Zippy’s Giant Burgers break-in

December 22nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Crime Watch: Zippy’s Giant Burgers break-in

This day started a lot earlier than it should have had to for Zippy’s Giant Burgers. And it’s including jobs it shouldn’t have had to include – cleaning up broken glass and buying a new cash register. Zippy’s proprietor Blaine Cook was planning one last full day of business before an early closure Tuesday for the staff party, followed by a holiday break. Instead, he got an early call about one or more burglar(s) breaking a side door to get in, discovered by a family member arriving around 4 am to clean.

The cash register and safe were taken, Cook writes on Facebook). The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating; deputies were just leaving as we arrived. Zippy’s is at 9614 14th SW; you’ll recall the Greenbridge area, several blocks east, had a series of business burglaries last month.

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Video: This month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

December 11th, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Lakewood Park, White Center news 1 Comment »

One week ago tonight, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council heard from King County Sheriff John Urquhart. Above, you can watch our video of his almost-40-minute appearance. His topics included staffing – hopes of increasing it in unincorporated North Highline, for example – and working on diversity. “I have a white male police department right now,” he declared. “I cannot have a successful police department unless I mirror the community … but it’s difficult, it’s difficult recruitment.” Among other things, he talked about changing county policies so that candidates who speak a second language, for example, get more civil-service points.

He talked about the beat cop being the ultimate model of law enforcement, and joined NHUAC in paying tribute to the late Deputy Steve Cox, who was killed eight years ago. Deputy Cox had exemplified the ideal model of law enforcement, the “beat cop,” noted Sheriff Urquhart.

Two members of his force who focus on specific beats spoke next – Joe Winters, who is lead deputy on park patrol, and new White Center storefront Deputy Julian Chivington, who talked about crime stats, including an increase in residential burglary:

One more note – NHUAC members are working on getting a memorial in Lakewood Park in honor of Dick Thurnau, who lived nearby and devoted so many years to advocating for the park’s beleaguered Hicklin Lake. They are even talking to local legislators to see if there’s a chance the park could be renamed in his honor.

Watch the NHUAC website for word of the council’s next meeting and other information between meetings.

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Next North Highline UAC meeting: The sheriff & the deputies

November 26th, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Next North Highline UAC meeting: The sheriff & the deputies

One week from tomorrow, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s December meeting will feature Sheriff John Urquhart (raincheck from last meeting) and Deputies Julian Chivington (new storefront deputy) and Joe Winters (who patrols parks). Here’s the official agenda, from president Barbara Dobkin:

7:00 pm Call to Order – Flag Salute – Roll Call – Approval of Agenda – Approval of Minutes

7:05 pm Public Announcements
7:10 pm Public Comment

King County Sheriff’s Office
7:20 pm Sheriff John Urquhart
7:50 pm Deputy Julian Chivington – White Center Storefront Deputy
8:00 pm Deputy Joe Winters – South End Park Patrol

8:10pm Pat Price and Liz Giba – Discussion regarding Lakewood Park

8:20 pm Bong StoDomingo – King County Community Service Area Liaison – Update on Graffiti in North Highline

8:30 pm Committee Reports

The meeting will be at 7 pm Thursday, December 4th, at the North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th.

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Meet your new storefront deputy at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting Thursday

November 3rd, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Meet your new storefront deputy at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting Thursday

The King County Sheriff’s Office is promising a major presence at Thursday night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, including newly announced Storefront Deputy Julian Chivington. From NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin, the official meeting announcement:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: Thursday – November 6 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station, 1243 SW 112th Street

Mark your calendars and plan on joining NHUAC for an important community discussion with our special guests from the King County Sheriff’s Office – Sheriff John Urquhart, Major Jerrell Wills, and our new White Center Storefront Deputy, Julian Chivington. This is a great opportunity to meet our new storefront deputy and discuss community concerns with KCSO.

We are also pleased to be hosting John Taylor, King County Assistant Director, Water and Land Resources Division, who will provide updates and information on plans for the White Center Bog.

When: Thursday – Nov 6 7pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station 1243 SW 112th Street

All are welcome!!!!
see our website: northhighlineuac.org

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‘Probable homicide’ under investigation in Top Hat

October 23rd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Probable homicide’ under investigation in Top Hat

Few details yet but according to King County Sheriff’s Twitter account, a “probable homicide” is being investigated right now in Top Hat. KCSO says “Major Crimes detectives” are on scene, as is the Medical Examiner, in the 10700 block of 6th Avenue S. (map).


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Julian Chivington announced by King County Sheriff’s Office as new White Center storefront deputy

October 20th, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Julian Chivington announced by King County Sheriff’s Office as new White Center storefront deputy

Three months after Deputy BJ Myers moved to a new role with the King County Sheriff’s Office, his successor as White Center Storefront Deputy has been announced. Just in from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates:

Deputy Julian Chivington has been selected as the new storefront deputy for the White Center community. Deputy Chivington has been with the King County Sheriff’s Office since 2008, and his most recent assignment was with the bicycle unit of our Metro Transit Police unit.

Earlier in his career he worked as a patrol deputy at our north precinct, primarily in the North Bend area. Prior to that, he worked as a patrol deputy assigned to our city of Shoreline contract.

In addition to his duties as the White Center storefront deputy, he is a member of our department’s TAC 30 team.

Deputy Chivington is looking forward to getting to know both the citizens and businesses of the White Center community.

A bit of his background is as follows:

He is originally from a small town in Ohio, leaving there when he joined the military. Deputy Chivington spent six and a half years serving in the U.S. Army, stationed initially at Fort Benning, and later at Fort Lewis. He was deployed to Iraq twice. On one of those deployments he was injured as a result of an IED which resulted in his military career being cut short.

Just two months ago, local leaders voiced concerns that the storefront deputy position might not be filled, and started a petition drive. If you don’t meet Deputy Chivington sooner, we’re told the Sheriff’s Office will be featured prominently at the next North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting (7 pm Thursday, November 6th), so make plans to be there.

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Man stabbed in 1st Avenue SW home

October 17th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on Man stabbed in 1st Avenue SW home

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a stabbing in a home near 1st SW and 108th early today. The victim was taken to a hospital with injuries described as life-threatening; they don’t believe the attack was random. The suspect left in a 1996 Ford Probe, blue with a red bumper, WA license APA0835 – call 911 if you see it.

CORRECTION 10/20: The victim was male, not female as our original headline had said.

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About the motorcycle crash last Sunday morning

September 11th, 2014 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on About the motorcycle crash last Sunday morning

We received a few questions about a motorcycle crash near the Chase Bank in White Center early Sunday. Sorry that it’s taken us so long to get the information, but in case you were still wondering, here’s what King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates is able to tell us:

There was a serious-injury, one-motorcycle collision on 09.07.14 around 2:30 AM at SW 98 and White Center Cutoff Road.

The sole driver (no passenger) was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries but I’ve had no update on his current condition.

The driver was a 34 year old man last known to have a Whatcom County address. Detectives from our Major Accident and Reconstruction Unit responded. It’s believed speed and alcohol and/or drugs were factors. The investigation will take some time to complete.

Thanks to those who asked – you are welcome to text/call us about breaking White Center news any time at our main WSB/WCN number, 206-293-6302 – usually we’ll find out faster, but this time we weren’t able to get out to the scene.

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