Trials down the line for protesters against coal trains

EVERETT — A battle over coal and oil trains in Everett is moving from the rail yard to the courtroom.

Five protesters taken to jail Tuesday after blocking a stretch of rail line could face more than trespassing charges. They also were booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of obstructing a law enforcement officer and delaying a train.

One was bailed out Tuesday night while the other four spent the night in jail.

“They refused to post bail,” said Delaney Piper, a spokeswoman for the protesters.

The four appeared in Everett District Court on Wednesday morning before being released pending trial, Piper said.

Among the five people arrested were retired Everett teacher Jackie Minchew and Everett cafe owner Mike Lapointe, who lost a congressional bid in the August primary election.

They were among more than two dozen people opposed to oil and coal shipments to demonstrate near a Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard Tuesday morning. Protesters erected an 18-foot-high tripod across the tracks along the Snohomish River in north Everett.

The five people arrested were either on or attached to the tripod. Before the afternoon was over, they were in handcuffs and being driven away in police cars.

The demonstration was announced by the group Rising Tide Seattle to protest shipments of oil, coal and gas by train and proposed shipping terminals in the Northwest.

An increase in the number of trains carrying oil from the northern Great Plains, and the possibility that coal shipments also will increase in years ahead, have raised fears among environmentalists and local officials.

A protest in Anacortes in July targeted the Tesoro refinery where crude oil shipments arrive by rail.

At the same time, there has been a proposal for a coal shipping terminal at Cherry Point.

The protesters also cited safety concerns. Last year, a train carrying oil from North Dakota derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Several cars exploded and 40 buildings were leveled.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Load up: Cheesecake Factory plans Lynnwood location

The chain restaurant is listed as a tenant in new development at Alderwood mall.

Sound Transit funding splits lawmakers trying to cut car tab fees

With the legislative session set to end March 8, pressure is building for action.

What to do when you get pulled over

Don’t forget to be considerate so officers will know you are not a threat to their safety.

Suspected drunk driver crash in Bothell sends two to hospital

The man suspected of causing the Saturday afternoon collision was not injured.

Finalists for EdCC presidency holding campus meetings

A search committee reviewed 19 applicants and recommended three finalists to the Board of Trustees.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Everett coaches reaching out to teens about dating violence

Free training focuses on a known strength of coaches: Being positive role models.

Scattered power outages around region after gusty Saturday

Up to 2 inches of snow could fall in some lowland areas of Snohomish County, forecasters said.

Power outages hit north Snohomish County as snow covers area

There was no timeline for when PUD crews expected to restore power for 5,800 customers.

Most Read