Conor Wilson

Healthy Youth Survey shows positive trends in Peninsula schools

Jul 18, 2024

Mental health outcomes for Peninsula District students are comparable to their peers in Pierce County, according to a recent statewide survey. But results also underscore recent concerns from community members about bullying at district high schools. Data from the 2023 Healthy Youth Survey showed positive trends for students across Washington.  The survey is an anonymous

Annual Crime in Washington report shows uptick in drug arrests

Jul 18, 2024

West Sound law enforcement agencies arrested more people for drug and narcotic violations in 2023 than they have in either of the past two years, according to a new state report released this month. The 2023 Crime in Washington Report, an annual tally of arrests compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

Hybrid emergency room, urgent care planned for Port Orchard

Jul 10, 2024

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health announced Tuesday that it plans to open a new hybrid emergency room and urgent care facility at its Port Orchard campus on South Kitsap Boulevard. Currently, VMFH offers only urgent care and other specialty services at the Port Orchard site. Creating the dual-purpose facility, the health care providers say, will vastly

A SAIF place for people struggling with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Jul 08, 2024

A short-term residential facility supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from across Washington is expected to open near Gig Harbor in the coming months. The facility will help its clients avoid institutionalization and return to their home communities. The facility, located along Highway 302 west of Wright Bliss Road, will provide crisis care and

Public safety sales tax revenues would primarily sustain police staffing

Jul 02, 2024

After overwhelmingly rejecting a property tax increase earlier this year, Gig Harbor voters will head to the polls again this summer to vote on a sales tax measure supporting the city’s police department and general fund budget. Revenue from the proposed Public Safety Sales Tax, which will appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot, would

One year after the ‘Blake Fix,’ arrests are up but treatment still lags

Jul 02, 2024

April Kelly spent years in and out of jail because of her addiction. Her health suffered, she lost contact with family and eventually ended up homeless. None of it was enough to make her quit. “They talk about reaching your bottom,” she said, “but it didn’t matter what I lost or how alone I was.

Rehab and physical therapy clinic in Port Orchard closing

Jun 20, 2024

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health confirmed Monday that it will close its outpatient rehabilitation and physical therapy clinic in Port Orchard next month. St. Michael Medical Center President Chad Melton said the clinic is no longer financially viable given current insurance reimbursement rates, especially for Medicaid. The office plans to close July 12. The care of

Pierce County participating in regional evacuation alert system

Jun 13, 2024

Ahead of what could be a busy wildfire season, Pierce and six other Puget Sound-area counties are promoting a regional evacuation alert system. The Ready, Set, Go program creates a standardized three-step evacuation messaging system for most counties bordering Puget Sound, including Pierce, Kitsap, King, Skagit, Thurston, Snohomish and Whatcom. Emergency Management officials are hoping

Lack of crisis stabilization facilities places strain on hospitals

Jun 06, 2024

Across the West Sound, people experiencing a behavioral health crisis often end up in local hospitals. Every month, around 150 people in crisis arrive at the St. Michael Medical Center emergency room in Silverdale. Another 40 or 50 end up at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. Hannah Shockley, program management planner for Kitsap County’s

New state program aims to make Gig Harbor Wildfire Ready

Jun 03, 2024

Wildfire Ready Neighbors, a statewide initiative that helps property owners prepare their homes for wildfires, expanded to Gig Harbor last week.  State Public Land Commissioner Hilary Franz unveiled the new program during a press conference at Fire Station 50 in Gig Harbor on May 31. Officials from the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Gig