Page 1

Record South Whidbey

SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2012 | Vol. 88, No. 54 | | 75¢

INSIDE: Fireworks light up the Fourth, A10

Notorious South End murder case goes to trial By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

File photo

Children’s activities are some of the fun available at Choochokam.

Choochokam: The schedule Saturday, July 7 Main Stage 11-11:45 a.m.: Bahia, jazz Noon-12:45 p.m.: Ruzivo, world/ marimba 1-1:45 p.m.: Wild Snohomians, Americana 2-2:45 p.m.: The Highlife, reggae 3-3:45 p.m.: Late Night Transit, pop 4-4:45 p.m.: Brian Ledford, Americana/country 5-5:45 p.m.: Will West & The Friendly Strangers, Americana Street Dance 6-7:30 p.m.: Cascadia 10, Afrobeat 8-9:30 p.m.: The New Iberians Blues & Zydeco Band, blues and Zydeco Useless Bay Pavilion 11-11:45 a.m.: The McG's, Celtic Noon-12:45 p.m.: Quinn Fitzpatrick, acoustic guitar 1-1:45 p.m.: Joyfield, alternative 2-2:45 p.m.: Science Acoustic, folk 3-3:45 p.m.: Steady Skys, pop 4-4:45 p.m.: The Rallies, pop 5-5:45 p.m.: The Fatons, country 6-6:45 p.m.: Perry Acker, rock Sunday, July 8 Main Stage 11 a.m.-noon: Marathon awards Noon-12:45 p.m.: Ron Rigoni, jazz 1-1:45 p.m.: The Crucialites, reggae 2-2:45 p.m.: Ryan Purcell, southern rock 3-3:45 p.m.: Luc & The Lovingtons, world Sunday Street Dance 4-5 p.m.: Slower Loris, alternative rock Useless Bay Pavilion 11-11:45 p.m.: Dan Weber, Americana Noon-12:45 p.m.: Hijera, world 1-1:45 p.m.: Gina & Justin, singer/ songwriter 2-2:45 p.m.: Ayron Jones & The Way, blues 3-3:45 p.m.: Boys Without Toys, pop 4-4:45 p.m.: Blvd. Park, southern rock Arts and food booths: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Langley Running Festival: Run/ walk start at 8:30 a.m.

One of two people charged in a South Whidbey murder case that’s received national attention will go on trial next week. James Huden, 55, is accused of first-degree murder in the 2003 Christmastime shooting death of Russel Douglas, a 31-yearold father of two. The trial is set to start with jury selection on Tuesday, July 10. Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks has been spending endless hours getting ready for the complex trial, which is scheduled to extend over three weeks. “It’s big,” he said. “It’s big for me. There’s a lot of witnesses. There’s a lot of logistics. People are coming in from all over the country.” Huden is accused of shooting Douglas in the head with a .380 caliber pistol after Huden’s mistress,

Peggy Sue Thomas

James Huden

Peggy Sue Thomas, lured him to a rural area of South Whidbey with the promise of a gift, according to the police report. Douglas’ body was found in the front seat of his 2002 Chevrolet Tracker next to a wooded driveway on Wahl

Road. Thomas, a Langley hairdresser and former beauty queen, has also been charged with first-degree murder. She worked for Douglas’ estranged wife at a Langley hair salon, which is apparently the

link between the victim and the alleged killers. She’s scheduled to go to trial in November. Huden was a fugitive for six years, but was finally arrested by a U.S. Marshal’s Service in Mexico last June. Thomas was arrested about a month later in New Mexico, where she had been living in a half-million dollar houseboat called “Off the Hook.” Banks said Thomas won’t testify at Huden’s trial. But he said her trial will likely be a replay of the Huden case, with one big difference. Huden’s wife can’t testify against her husband because of the state’s marital disqualification law, but she will be able to testify against Thomas. Among the many news organization that have been following the story is Dateline. Banks said the producers from the news show will likely be following the trial closely.

Holmes Harbor may get clean bill of health after five years By JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter

Holmes Harbor could be reopened for shellfish harvesting in just a few months, according to state regulators. Island County Public Health recently submitted years of testing data to the state Department of Health. The agency is in the process of reviewing the information and is expected to make a decision by the end of the month on whether or not to change the current “prohibited” classification to one that would allow harvesting to resume. “From what I’ve seen, it looks like they have done a lot of work in there,” said Jule Schultz, the restoration lead at the department’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection. “It seems water quality is better. The question is, is it good enough.” Shellfish harvesting in Holmes Harbor has been closed since 2006 when water quality samples revealed unacceptable levels of fecal coliform bacteria. Along with placing a ban on harvesting, the state required the Island County commissioners to form See Holmes, A6

Justin Burnett / The Record

Kathleen Parvin, an environmental health specialist with Island County Public Health, pulls a water sample from Holmes Harbor. State regulators are expected to decide later this month whether to take action that would reopen the area for shellfish harvesting.

South Whidbey Record, July 07, 2012  

July 07, 2012 edition of the South Whidbey Record

South Whidbey Record, July 07, 2012  

July 07, 2012 edition of the South Whidbey Record