Two new Whatcom deputy sheriffs graduate from academy


Sheriff Bill Elfo reports that two new deputy sheriffs have graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Burien, achieving certification as Washington State peace officers. Here's the press release:

Deputy Scott Mellema is a graduate of Lynden Christian High School and served with the Sheriff's Office for 8 years as a volunteer reserve deputy prior to joining the office full-time. Deputy Mellema distinguished himself at the academy as the top overall graduate and for having the highest academic achievement award. He was selected to serve as a squad leader.

Deputy Nick Weatherby grew up in the Lynden area and graduated from Independence High School in Alger. He is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran and served with the Sheriff's Office for 3 1/2 years as a corrections deputy prior to becoming a law enforcement deputy. Deputy Weatherby received an award for being second overall in his class in firearms proficiency and was selected to serve as a team leader.

Deputy Weatherby and Deputy Mellema will now begin field training with specially trained and experienced field training officers.

Three new corrections deputies graduated from the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission Corrections Academy.

Deputy Nick Sturlaguson, a Ferndale High School graduate, completed the course on Feb. 28. Deputy Tyler DeZeeuw, a Lynden High School graduate, and Bryan Beaulieu, a Bellingham High School graduate and veteran of the United States Army, graduated on April 11. All three received additional training with and experienced training deputy prior to attending the academy.


Appliance Depot honored Dawson Construction with its Sustainability Award on Earth Day, April 22.

Here's the press release:

Dawson Construction is a locally-owned, independent company which strives to improve business practices and benefit the community and our environment. A member of Sustainable Connections, they have constructed over $140 million worth of LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, projects and employ accredited professionals to help customers meet their green goals. They also utilize Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards to safeguard health and safety, increase energy and water efficiency, promote sustainable living, and preserve the environment. They have done work with the Bellingham Housing Authority's Green Communities Program where over 400 toilets being removed from apartments were crushed, made into "poticrete," and poured as sidewalks, preventing the toilets from ending up in a landfill. Dawson Construction generously donated 24 appliances to Appliance Depot in 2013, with a substantial donation of 17 items in the month of September.

"Salvaging materials for reuse isn't always the easiest or the cheapest option, but it is important to us," says Chuck Luttrell, Business Development and Customer Service Representative for Dawson Construction. "Whatcom County is a strong community when it comes to supporting sustainable practices. At Dawson we take pride in our work and are pleased to have the opportunity to assist customers who share our high standards."

Appliance Depot's mission is to promote and support worker training, job creation, and business development opportunities for low-income residents.


Northwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has completed its project to install a much-needed elevator at the Lighthouse Mission Ministries, according to a press release.

With the installation of an elevator, The Lighthouse Mission Ministries will be able to provide access to all levels of the building and allow for expanded programs, enabling the non-profit to serve more clients. Prior to the elevator being installed, people in wheelchairs or those unable to use the stairs had no way to access the dining hall or psychiatric-care lodging in the three story building.

Contributing to the effort were Andrew Krzysiek and Amy Zimmerman of Zervas, Charles Waugh of Wilson Engineering, Daryl Johnson of Summit Engineering and Design, Steve TeVelde of K-Engineers, Richard Mullen of Presentation Art and Wayne Kortlever of Colacurcio Brothers.


The sixth annual "Cups of Hope" fundraiser on March 14 at the 14 Whatcom County Woods Coffee locations raised more than $23,000 for scholarships for Rebound's Ray of Hope summer program for children with behavioral and emotional challenges, according to a press release.

Woods customers donated $5 or more to Rebound of Whatcom County in exchange for a 12-ounce drink. Local businesses were invited to participate by pre-purchasing $5 coupons or sponsoring "Cups of Hope Coffee Breaks" to treat their employees and clients. Rebound of Whatcom County and North Coast Credit Union staff delivered coffee and pastries to more than 30 businesses around Whatcom County. The Woods Coffee's bakery in Lynden provided more than 500 pastries for the coffee breaks.

Event sponsors also included DeWaard & Bode, Moss Adams, Bank of the Pacific, Northwest Propane, Best Western Lakeway Inn and Cascade Radio Group.


Ginger Hansey, Dan Sanford, Marlyn Keller, Khalil Nakano Lori Somday are new board members of Love INC (In the Name of Christ). The group is a partnership of 36 local churches working to help people coping with economic and emotional hardship. This year's officers are Dan Sanford, chair; Nancy Hein, vice-chair; Suzanne Rautiola, secretary; and Kristen Krumdiack, treasurer.

Affiliated with a national organization, Love INC has an office in Bellingham and has been serving Whatcom County since 1989. Kae Unrein is the executive director. For more information online, go to


Frances Snyder, an operating room nurse from Bellingham, was to participate in a ReSurge trip to Vietnam in April to provide surgery for about 70 children and adults with clefts, burn disabilities, hand anomalies and other conditions repairable through reconstructive surgery. Frances has volunteered with ReSurge since 2007, traveling to Bangladesh, Mali, Peru and Vietnam.

ReSurge, an international organization based in California, provides free reconstructive surgery for the poor in developing countries and has performed more than 100,000 free surgeries since its founding at Stanford University in 1969, according to a press release.


-- Father Scott Connolly, pastor of the Church of the Assumption and Assumption Catholic School in Bellingham, will receive the 2014 Distinguished Pastor Award from the National Catholic Educational Association April 22 in Pittsburgh for his dedication, exceptional leadership and commitment to the church.

-- Security Solutions NW, a Bellingham business, donated $2,609 to "Keys for Adoption," a campaign to raise money for a Sumas family seeking to adopt, according to a press release: "Security Solutions pledged to give $1 for each key made during the month of March to help employee Aaron Benner and his wife April adopt their second child. The donation means a lot to the family, who didn't seek financial assistance for their first adoption, and are still paying off debt related to the adoption of their 5-year-old daughter Halle. The cost for an adoption is about $27,000, and most of those fees are due up front." ... Cynthia Singleton, daughter of Ron and Tomoko Singleton and a senior at Squalicum High School, has been awarded a National Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program for her performance on the violin, according to Jane Perkins, her teacher for the past six years.

-- Bellingham Police Lieutenant Mike Johnston and Whatcom County Sheriff's Office Chief Criminal Deputy Doug Chadwick graduated March 28 from the 10-week FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. Courses include police leadership, technical investigative methods and conflict resolution. The majority of fees related to this training are covered by the FBI, according to the police department press release.

-- Nurse Dana Ellis has passed her Certified Registered Nurse of Infusion exam, joining an elite group of 3,400 infusion nurses in the U.S. who hold this certification, according to Chuck Loos, account manger at Infusion Solutions in Bellingham.

-- Earl Cilley of Bellingham reports that his nephew, Thor Hanson, who was born and raised in Bellingham, has won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He plans to devote his Guggenheim Fellowship to his third book, "The Triumph of Seeds," to be published by Basic Books.

-- A team of six Western Washington University students, including Josh Bennett of Bellingham, won $10,000 for their NOVA Solar Window plan at the 6th Annual Environmental Innovation Challenge in Seattle. The challenge requires teams to define an environmental problem, develop a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates the commercial viability of their product, process or service. More than 90 collegiate teams competed in the contest, according to a WWU press release.

Out and About is published Mondays in The Bellingham Herald. Reach Executive Editor Julie Shirley at 360-715-2261 or at .

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