News In Brief
U.S. Customs Officers Arrest Fugitive
With Stolen Car and Weapons Cache
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Arch port of entry apprehended wanted fugitive 22-year-old Aaron Richard Roberts while driving a stolen vehicle on April 10. Roberts, along with 19-year-old Katherine Elizabeth Harris, were picked up after approaching Canadian customs on Interstate 5 last Friday evening, but turned around and re-entered the U.S. After a routine license plate query resulted in a positive match for a stolen vehicle, five CBP officers removed the suspects from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a shotgun in the trunk, a loaded Uzi in their luggage, a loaded .380 pistol in the glove box, and a .40 caliber pistol under the passenger seat.
Roberts has an extensive criminal history along with several outstanding warrants for his arrest. The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department took the two into custody.
Street Residents Voice Their Concerns At City Council
Residents of Adelia Street continued their protest over zoning issues at Monday night’s city council meeting. Though the council listened to the complaints regarding the legality of the rezoning and parking issues, the council told residents the council is out of options at this point and the only possibility for citizens is legal recourse. “The only thing you can do is appeal and go to court. You can keep coming to council for the next year; we are not going to change it,” stated mayor Dieter Schugt. The council agreed the situation wasn’t ideal and hope to rectify it in future zoning issues concerning the area. “We cannot change what happened in the past,” stated Gary Tomsic, Blaine city manager, “but we can deal with what happens in the future.”
Robbery at the Northwoods Motel
On April 9, Blaine police department responded to a report of a robbery in the early hours at the Northwoods Motel. The suspect walked into the motel and met with the manager inquiring about room rates. At that point, he demanded money from the employee, who subsequently provided an undisclosed amount to the man.
Fleeing on foot, the suspect is described as a black male, 6'0"- 6'2", 200-225 lbs, with dreadlocks approximately 5" long. A Blaine PD K9 team tracked the suspect to the Canadian border where an RCMP K9 team picked up the track as it continued north into B.C., but they were unable to locate the suspect. The investigation is continuing with a person of interest being identified in the case.
Yard Waste Pick Up Come to Blaine
Volunteer curbside yard waste pick up is coming to Blaine starting on May 17. The biweekly service provided by Blaine Bay Refuse will only cost customer eight dollars a month per 64 gallon cart on wheels (the pricing and customer count will be analyzed after the first year to see if this cost can be reduced).
Acceptable materials for yard waste pick up includes branches, leaves, grass clippings, and garden trimmings.
For more information, contact Blaine Bay Refuse at 332-5443.
Whatcom Fire and Rescue To Burn Three Houses In Training
Don’t be alarmed if you see three houses burning on Saturday at the 700 block of H Street (the corner of H and Mitchell streets). The houses are being burned to help the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Service train firefighters while also clearing the land so the Blaine school district can build new administrative facilities on the site.
Approximately 25 career and volunteer firefighters will be involved in the training.
Two of houses will be burned to the ground while the third will be used for other training such as ventilation and wall breaching. The training gives new firefighters the opportunity to practice firefighting techniques in realistic conditions and a controlled environment.
Continues For Blaine Airport
The woes continue for Blaine’s troubled airport, according to Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic, reporting Monday night at the city council meeting.
United Helicopters, one of the tenants at the airport, asked to be let out of their lease and will be leaving the facility at the end of the month (a $850 loss of revenue). Meanwhile, the city is trying to secure permits from the department of natural resources to remove trees at the end of the runway and they’re continuing to wrangle with property owners over trees and right of way acquisition issues.
“We’re continuing the saga of our airport’s trees,” stated Tomsic
To make matters worse, “The cost of doing the master plan is exceeding the cost estimate by a considerable amount,” Tomsic declared.
To top it all, the airport is also running into problems with the FAA. “The airport master plan is hung up now with the FAA.” Continued Tomsic, “They are sort of balking at doing a master plan of that scope for a small airport.”