5 Dead IDed in Brinnon Cabin Explosion

Officials are calling the explosion that left a family of five from Monroe dead in Brinnon early Sunday morning a “tragic accident.”

Jefferson County Prosecutor and Coroner Mike Haas identified the parents as Jenny L. Drake and Jerry A. Drake, both 42. They were at the cabin with their three children, ages 11, 8 and 2.

      Tue June 12 News

Brinnon Fire Chief Tim Manly says the family regularly vacationed at the 250-square-foot cabin on the 600 block of Salmon Street in Brinnon and were known in the neighborhood.

He says Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is still investigating the cause of the fire.

5 Dead in Brinnon Cabin Explosion

Five people are confirmed dead in an early Sunday morning explosion that destroyed a rental cabin near Brinnon.

Neighbors reported the explosion and ensuing fire around 1 a.m. on Salmon Street near Canal View Street and Highway 101, adding the hillside was also on fire and the cabin was gone, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

      Mon June 11 News

Firefighters put out the fire and found five bodies in the remnants of the cabin.

There is no word yet what triggered the explosion. Members from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and the ATF are on the scene to aid in the investigation.

None of the victims’ identities have been released.

Officials expect to release more information Monday.

McCleary Case Over, State Supreme Court Lifts Sanctions

The long-running McCleary court case over the adequacy of education funding in Washington state has ended, with the state Supreme Court on Thursday lifting its jurisdiction over the case and dropping daily sanctions.

The court’s unanimous order came in response to lawmakers passing a supplemental budget earlier this year that the justices said was the final step needed to reach compliance with a 2012 state Supreme Court ruling that found that K-12 school funding was inadequate.

      Fri June 8 News

Thomas Ahearne, attorney for the McCleary family, says the legislature has complied with the court ruling.

Washington’s Constitution states that it is the Legislature’s “paramount duty” to fully fund the education system.

Halibut Fishing Resumes Thursday & Saturday on West End

Today and Saturday are the next open days for recreational Halibut fishing.  Anglers caught about 9,000 lbs. of the big fish during the last two day opening in May, leaving about 38,000 lbs of quota left for the season.

      Thu June 7 News

The halibut season dates have been adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). Pacific halibut season dates are dependent on available quota.

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction.  There is a four fish annual bag limit.  Anglers must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card

Marine area open include Neah Bay, La Push and Sekiu.  Halibut fishing will be open every Thursday and Saturday in June, quota permitting.

Ward Sentenced to 26 1/2 years for Death by Abuse

It’s 26 ½ years in prison for the Forks resident and Quileute tribal member who had pleaded guilty to homicide by abuse in the death of a 2½-year-old family member she was caring.

46 year-old Ramona Jean Ward was sentenced Monday to the maximum allowed after Judge Christopher Melly said Ward inflicted too many injuries on baby Isaac Ward Martinez over a period of time for Melly to consider the death a “one-off” event.

      Tue June 5 News

Melly said that Isaac suffered head-to-toe injuries both new and healing at the time of his death I  n Nov of 2016.

A Child Protection Team doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital said the baby’s injuries were evidence of “torture,” according to court records.

The victim was previously referred to as Isaac Ward but was referenced in court-papers as Isaac Ward Martinez.

Ramona Ward confessed she was abusing the child on a regular basis for two months according to her statement to authorities. In a statement she said “I know that I want to apologize,”

Court papers say on Nov. 9, 2016, two days before Isaac died, Ramona twice grabbed him by the throat and pushed him to the floor.

That same day, she pushed him away from her, causing his head to hit an end table, after which he became sluggish, then unresponsive.

Isaac died two days later at Harborview Medical Center.