Pierce County Juvenile Court wins Annie E. Casey grant

Pierce County Juvenile Court has won a highly competitive grant aimed at reducing criminal behavior by elevating the voice of families in the Juvenile Justice system, improving the services and support to youth on probation and connecting youth with their community.“This is really exciting for our community. It was a very competitive grant,” said TJ Bohl, Pierce County Juvenile Court Administrator. “We’re extremely proud that the great work in our county is being recognized and a major national foundation like Annie E. Casey is eager to support our efforts to keep improving.” [Read more…]

County issues statement regarding reversal of conviction in killing of armored car guard

Pierce County has issued the following statement in response to the recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling that overturned the conviction in the killing of an armored car guard in Lakewood:

In 2011, a Pierce County jury convicted Odies Walker of aggravated murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, solicitation to commit robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree based on the following evidence. [Read more…]

Weekend events offer free help for health insurance enrollment

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is co-hosting two free events this weekend to help uninsured county residents enroll in health insurance plans.The first event is Saturday, Jan. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Macy’s Court at Tacoma Mall, 4502 S Steele Street. As part of a statewide effort using the online Washington Healthplanfinder tool, trained enrollment experts will be on hand to help people without health insurance understand the health plans and financial help that are now available. In fact, eighty-five percent of people who have enrolled through Washington Healthplanfinder received financial assistance. [Read more…]

Library CFO named finalist for financial exec of the year

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Pierce County Library System Director of Finance and Business Operations Cliff Jo is a finalist for the 2015 Financial Executives of the Year program produced by the Business Examiner Media Group. Fourteen finalists will be honored at a Feb. 10, 2015, recognition luncheon at the Museum of Glass, where the top financial executive in each of three categories will be announced. Jo, a University Place resident, is competing in the Government category. The award program is sponsored by Heritage Bank and Moss Adams LLP. See the full list of finalists. [Read more…]

County to expand parking at Chambers Creek Regional Park playground

Pierce County will start construction Feb. 2 to more than double the number of parking spaces at the popular North Meadow area of Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place to help meet high demand.

A new parking area with approximately 50 spaces will be added to the North Meadow area, which currently has 39 spaces. The area is home to Playground by the Sound, one of the largest playgrounds in the community, and serves as the main access point for the Grandview and Soundview walking trails. Chambers Creek Regional Park, located adjacent to Grandview Drive West, is part of the 930-acre Chambers Creek Properties. [Read more…]

Urban search and rescue dogs face final test

Canine heroes-in-waiting from around the nation will converge this weekend on a Puyallup gravel pit for their final trial. For those that pass the test, they’ll receive coveted certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue program.

Dogs like these spent weeks sniffing through the rubble of the World Trade Center looking first for survivors, then for human remains. More recently, FEMA-certified dogs and their handlers who have been through the rigorous US&R Canine Search Specialist Certification program were deployed to the devastating SR530 Landslide in Snohomish County. [Read more…]

Dance Theatre Northwest holds auditions

Photo by Maks Zakharov

By Melanie Kirk Stauffer

Experienced dancers with classical training are needed for upcoming performances of Arts Are Education, Art Inspires Art, and other Community Arts Performances. Positions are open for Company members, Jr Dance Ensemble Members and Guest Performers. Some artist stipends available for professionals. Call (253) 778-6534 for an application and audition appointment or send DVD or VHS audition and resume to: DTN, 2811 Bridgeport Way West #24, University Place/Tacoma, WA 98466. [Read more…]

Edible Gardens workshop series teaches gardening from seed to table

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Pierce County residents can learn how to grow their own food during the 2015 Edible Gardens workshop series, which runs from February through November. The free series of monthly workshops, which are sponsored by Pierce County and the Pierce Conservation District, teach beginning gardeners how to plan a garden, prepare the soil, plant seeds, and harvest the food they’ve grown. [Read more…]