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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 75 cents

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Fire board battles controversy

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By Dennis Box Editor The political heat that marked the King County Fire District 28 commissioner race in 2013 has continued with little cooling. The current board of commissioners has been seated for about five months and in that time the firefighters union has filed unfair labor practice grievance, there is an allegation of a retaliatory termination of a volunteer firefighters and a board-authorized investigation of a volunteer firefighter and a couple of office staff. The results of the investigation have yet to be resolved by the department. If those hot-stove issues weren’t enough, the board passed a 2014 budget that included laying off two firefighters and two administrative staff following a November failure of a proposed levy increase.

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Weather The forecast calls for sunny skies today, Wednesday, with a high temperature near 80 degrees. Thursday could see the daytime high exceeding 80. Friday should be sunny but not as warm – highs of perhaps 73 – and the weekend calls for mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain showers.

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The disgruntled former students were known troublemakers. There were documented run-ins with the principal during their days at White River and they recently had scrapes with local law

Sparks Fly Commissioner Angela Stubblefield took her seat in November and the political sparring between Commissioner Dave Hannity and Stubblefield began nearly the moment she sat down. At the first meeting it took about 45 minutes for the two members to agree on a time for meetings. Stubblefield wanted the meetings to start at 6 p.m. to allow more public attendance. Stubblefield said, “I was elected on transparency and accountability and fiscal responsibility…. I am not going to start going back on my word.” The sparks between Stubblefield and firefighters flew again at the Dec. 2 meeting when she described firefighters as thugs during the 2013 election. “I don’t find all the firefighters being mafia, thugs and bullies,” Stubblefield said. “But there were a few that actually did creep into that realm.” Stubblefield also said during political campaigns, “Firefighters are supposed to be neutral.”

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First response units from numerous regional agencies converged on White River High Thursday morning, taking part in an “active shooting” exercise. Above, a “wounded” student is transported, accompanied by armed officers. Photo by Kevin Hanson

White River High home to ‘active shooter’ drill By Kevin Hanson Senior Writer

Two former students, perhaps emotionally unstable, enter a school building. Words are exchanged with front-office staff and, moments later, screams are heard as shots ring out. In short order, classroom doors are slammed shut and locked, medical help is called for and local police speed to the scene. Within minutes, special teams of highly-trained law enforcement officers come together, ready to handle the grisly scene of a school shooting. Such incidents can seemingly occur anywhere – a fact painfully clear to residents of small towns

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like Columbine, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. It could even occur in a quiet, rural setting like that of White River High School. With that in mind, more than 230 emergency responders headed to bucolic Buckley Thursday morning for an “active shooter” exercise that was more than a year in the making.

The scenario

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Enumclaw Courier-Herald, April 30, 2014