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Patrick Hunstiger, a dispatcher of almost 9 years, takes a call at the Snohomish County 911 dispatch center Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

In new program, nurses help 911 callers who don’t need an ambulance

Nurse Navigation could redirect thousands of 911 calls to less-urgent care in Snohomish County — saving ambulance crews precious time.

Patrick Hunstiger, a dispatcher of almost 9 years, takes a call at the Snohomish County 911 dispatch center Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Ken Collins poses for a photo in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

After fleeting NFL career, Lake Stevens educator, coach found his niche

Retiring superintendent Ken Collins built a sterling reputation in 34 years in the district, with a decade coaching football at Lake Stevens High.

Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Ken Collins poses for a photo in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Bartender Kevin Taylor throws together a few drinks while working behind the bar at The Colby Club on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett speakeasy offers old-fashioned charm (and charming Old Fashioneds)

Step into a Prohibition-era fantasy at the Colby Club, the latest addition to downtown Everett’s growing craft cocktail scene.

Bartender Kevin Taylor throws together a few drinks while working behind the bar at The Colby Club on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Heather White smiles while students raise their hands to answer a question on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024 in Camano Island, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

In child care desert, Camano’s pioneering forest school faces shutdown

Island County Public Works abruptly banned a school from a nature preserve, its cofounders said. Parents are outraged and aghast.

Heather White smiles while students raise their hands to answer a question on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024 in Camano Island, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A figure known as the Lake Stevens Bigfoot sits among trees and along a stream on Lundeen Parkway in Lake Stevens, Washington on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Sasquatch of Lake Stevens is legendary as hometown hero Chris Pratt

Two mossy and mysterious figures in the woods of Lundeen Parkway turn heads and lighten up a gloomy day.

A figure known as the Lake Stevens Bigfoot sits among trees and along a stream on Lundeen Parkway in Lake Stevens, Washington on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Larry and Jack O’Donnell reminisce about the area around the Bond Street underpass on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, in the Port Gardner neighborhood of Everett, Washington. The underpass used to serve as a public and commercial access to the waterfront but is now blocked off. Nearby Forgotten Creek Park and Trail have deteriorated since the closure of the underpass. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

‘An iron curtain’: For a seaside city, beach access is sparse in Everett

Everett boasts 25 miles of shoreline. But only pockets of that are open to the public. Try getting to Pigeon Creek Beach, for example.

Larry and Jack O’Donnell reminisce about the area around the Bond Street underpass on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, in the Port Gardner neighborhood of Everett, Washington. The underpass used to serve as a public and commercial access to the waterfront but is now blocked off. Nearby Forgotten Creek Park and Trail have deteriorated since the closure of the underpass. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Noemie Leibov, 8, pauses reading aloud to pet Strummer during Tails and Tales at the Mukilteo Library on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Here to listen’: Mukilteo therapy dogs help kids conquer reading fears

Strummer is a regular at Tails and Tales, where kids read aloud to pups at the library. Talking to a dog, kids are often “just more comfortable.”

Noemie Leibov, 8, pauses reading aloud to pet Strummer during Tails and Tales at the Mukilteo Library on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Bill Iffrig. Photo provided by Doug Beyerlein.

Running champion and national symbol Bill Iffrig dies at 89

The longtime Lake Stevens resident and masters national champion became the symbol of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Bill Iffrig. Photo provided by Doug Beyerlein.
Ducks sit on a piece of wood at Spencer Island in Everett, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)

In Everett wetlands, hunters and birdwatchers navigate a shared space

Restricted recreation areas can sometimes cause conflict. “We’re all birders,” said Tom Elliott, a Washington Waterfowl Association member.

Ducks sit on a piece of wood at Spencer Island in Everett, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
A person shovels snow away from their car tires as snow falls on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

How to stop your pipes from freezing

Tips and tricks from the American Red Cross on how to prevent and thaw frozen pipes as freezing conditions hit Snohomish County.

A person shovels snow away from their car tires as snow falls on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jeanne Willard, the executive director for college and career readiness at Everett Public Schools, on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Funding at risk for program that keeps Everett ninth graders on track

Doing well in ninth grade is often a predictor of success. But a program shown to keep students on track to graduate is in limbo.

Jeanne Willard, the executive director for college and career readiness at Everett Public Schools, on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community Health Center of Snohomish County’s new student health clinic that will open in Mountlake Terrace High School on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Clinic to offer free care for Mountlake Terrace High students

The county’s second school-based clinic will provide primary care, dental and mental health services.

Community Health Center of Snohomish County’s new student health clinic that will open in Mountlake Terrace High School on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A person crosses Hoyt Avenue in downtown Everett on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Scared to sleep’: Everett’s crime crackdown comes at a cost

City leaders have turned to stiffer laws for nonviolent offenses. Arrests for drug-related crimes have skyrocketed.

A person crosses Hoyt Avenue in downtown Everett on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jake Hitchner, left, and Caitlin Hitchner, right, pose for a photo with their son Boston, eight-days-old, at their home in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Edmonds mom: ‘That’s the story of how I gave birth in the car at 12:56 am.’

The couple’s fourth son was born en route to the hospital, in the front seat. “You can’t stop a baby who wants to come out.”

Jake Hitchner, left, and Caitlin Hitchner, right, pose for a photo with their son Boston, eight-days-old, at their home in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Andrea Ancich frosts University of Washington themed cookies for her flight to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Texas on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

It’s a dawg’s life: Local Huskies fans howl with excitement for big game

UW fans will find camaraderie wherever they go: Bars, arenas and couches. Or a showing at the Historic Everett Theatre.

Andrea Ancich frosts University of Washington themed cookies for her flight to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Texas on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County sheriff Susanna Johnson swears in colleagues during the ceremonial oath of office at the PUD auditorium in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

‘Good to be home’: Johnson is first woman to be Snohomish County sheriff

Susanna Johnson worked for the sheriff’s office for decades. After unseating the incumbent, she was sworn in as sheriff Tuesday.

Snohomish County sheriff Susanna Johnson swears in colleagues during the ceremonial oath of office at the PUD auditorium in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ivar’s Mystery Painting seen through porthole window on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

What’s a fish tale worth? Ivar’s for a year

A mystery painting is on display at the Mukilteo Ivar’s. The deadline to solve it, or at least take a good guess, is Jan. 15.

Ivar’s Mystery Painting seen through porthole window on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Kaisa Gifford walks slowly with Manny at the Gifford Horses barn in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Manny is able to walk longer periods of time and is regaining some of his lost body weight. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Herald’s most share-worthy social content of 2023

From collective mourning to community celebration, these 10 social posts hit home with Daily Herald readers.

Kaisa Gifford walks slowly with Manny at the Gifford Horses barn in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Manny is able to walk longer periods of time and is regaining some of his lost body weight. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
A derelict boat seen in Union Slough on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘My river’: Locals take it upon themselves to clean up the Snohomish

Pollution in the Snohomish River isn’t new. But out of love for the waterway, residents and rowers serve as environmental stewards.

A derelict boat seen in Union Slough on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Shorewood senior midfielder Amelia Severn is photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Herald’s 2023 Girls Soccer Player of the Year: Amelia Severn

The University of Gonzaga-bound senior netted 24 goals and 23 assists for 3A district champion Shorewood.

Shorewood senior midfielder Amelia Severn is photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)