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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012

VOL. 18, NO. 15

Two people Island time charged in Ebey Bowl burglary By Jessie Stensland Staff Reporter

Two Oak Harbor residents have been charged in the Memorial Day burglary of Ebey Bowl in Coupeville. Prosecutors charged 34-year-old Jason M. Bowen in Island County Superior Court Oct. 18 with burglary in the second degree and theft in the second degree. He pleaded not guilty Oct. 18. Jasmine Seaward, 23, was charged Oct. 19 with burglary in the second degree and theft in the second degree. Her bail was set at $10,000 Nov. 5. Siblings Matt Iverson and Mimi Johnson, the co-owners of Ebey Bowl, said they were surprised this week to find out that the suspects had been charged. They were both happy with the prospects of the alleged burglars being held accountable. “It wasn’t a huge loss, but it was enough to set a business back,” Iverson said. The burglary at the bowling alley on Terry Road was reported on May 29 by a Coupeville man who has a key to the building, according to court documents. A deputy arrived and found that a back door had been forced open. Stolen items included beer, liquor, candy, a laptop computer and hundreds of dollars. The two suspects were identified from security video taken at Ebey Bowl and the Country Store in Coupeville, according to Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives identified Bowen as a suspect a few days after the burglary and sent out a press release asking the public for help locating him. He was found shortly afterward in Snohomish County jail, where he was being held on suspicion of an attempted burglary in Lynnwood, according to the Sheriff’s Office. If convicted of the charges against him, Bowen could face more than five years in prison under the standard sentencing range. His criminal history increases the standard sentencing range. Bowen was sent to prison four years ago after he stole a credit card from a former deputy prosecutor and, in a separate case, was dealing cocaine. Seaward would face from three to eight months in jail if convicted of the charges against her. She identifies herself as Bowen’s girlfriend on her Facebook page.

Elisabeth Murray photo

Seals enjoy the afternoon sunshine as they lounge on a floating platform at the mussel farm operated by Penn Cove Shellfish. According to owner Ian Jefferds, the seals chow down on the fish in the area and don’t bother the mussels. The platforms give the seals a nice, safe place to haul out and rest.

Flashing speed signs aid in safety By Elisabeth Murray Staff Reporter

When Lee James, a longtime resident of Coupeville, hears a loud bang, he knows right away what it is: a car accident has occurred on Highway 20 just north of Coupeville. A recent speed-limit sign upgrade near his home might help reduce these costly – and sometimes fatal – traffic encounters. The solar-powered flashing LED speedlimit signs are designed to alert motorists to the reduction in speed from 55 miles per hour to 44 miles per hour as they near the Coupeville town limits, said Dustin Terpening of the Washington State Department of Transportation. It is a new traffic tool to bring more attention to the speed-limit sign, he said. The northbound and southbound lanes both received the same upgrade. “I am glad to see it up and working,” said James, a longtime advocate for improving traffic safety in the area.

Walkers, bikers and drivers all try to cross Highway 20 to get from South Ebey Road to N.W. Broadway Street to get downtown and back again, said James. This is often hard to cross, making it a dangerous intersection, he said. The south-bound flashing speed limit sign was installed near this intersection. Last November, Coupeville resident Toni Chapman, 61, was struck and killed as she was walking in the southbound lane near the intersection after dark. It is believed the woman was trying to cross Highway 20 at the time.

Chapman was the second pedestrian killed in two years. There is no pedestrian crosswalk at this intersection and the nearest one is three-tenths of a mile away at the Main Street and Highway 20 intersection. James said he has witnessed an increase in traffic over the years, and he recognizes that government officials face a real dilemma about improving safety and traffic flow. “This area is not rural anymore,” James See SIGNS, page 5


Whidbey Examiner, November 15, 2012