Colleen Smith

Colleen posted 158 stories to The Journal of the San Juan Islands.
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Former teacher convicted of sexual misconduct has been granted a new trial

Judge Donald Eaton has granted former Orcas High School teacher Gerald Grellet-Tinner a new trial after a lead investigator on the case was accused of misconduct. A new trial is scheduled for Dec. 5. The defendant was released from custody on Sept. 20 after Judge Eaton announced his ruling.

  • Sep 21st, 2016 3:41am

Motion filed to dismiss Grellet-Tinner conviction after lead detective accused of sexual relationship with victim | Judge to announce decision on Sept. 20

A motion to dismiss the conviction of former Orcas High School teacher Gerald Grellet-Tinner has been filed after allegations of misconduct from a lead investigator on the case. Judge Donald Eaton will announce his decision on the motion on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m.

  • Sep 17th, 2016 12:07am

Kevin Taylor to be charged with second degree murder

[WARNING: The following story may contain details too graphic for some of our readers.]

  • Sep 9th, 2016 12:05am

San Juan Island woman allegedly murdered by husband

A San Juan Island woman was murdered in her home in the early morning hours of Sept. 3. Her husband is in custody and is expected to be charged with her homicide in San Juan County Superior Court next week.

  • Sep 4th, 2016 3:46am

Heroin and its reach on the islands

Whether injected, snorted or smoked, heroin is rapidly delivered to the brain. The euphoria is immediate, and after just a few times of using, people can become addicted. Washington state is experiencing an opioid abuse and overdose crisis, and the San Juan Islands are not immune.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 4:48pm

Finding forgotten relics: American Pickers hoping to visit San Juans

American Pickers' quest for hidden treasure is taking them all the way to the San Juan Islands.

  • Aug 13th, 2016 8:30am

Joshua Treleven pleads guilty to burglary

by Colleen Smith Armstrong

  • Aug 7th, 2016 8:30am

Tullock pleads guilty to theft, forgery and trafficking

Orcas resident Patricia J. Tullock, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of theft in the first degree, three counts of forgery and two counts of trafficking in stolen property.

  • Jul 16th, 2016 8:30am

Researchers ask the public to report river otter sightings

They are charming and carnivorous, and can let humans know about environmental decline.

  • Jul 12th, 2016 4:15pm

Grellet-Tinner found guilty

UPDATE: Gerald Grillet-Tinner has been found guilty for both counts.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 10:46pm

Tullock, Barnes and Jefferson face theft and forgery charges

Three Orcas Island residents have been charged with felony counts of theft and forgery stemming from a series of incidents in 2015.

  • May 4th, 2016 6:44pm

Impressed with sheriff’s statement

When a mistake is made, the best thing to do is take full responsibility, look at why it happened and implement changes to prevent it from occurring again.

  • Mar 2nd, 2016 2:00pm

When caregivers need support

I've seen what Alzheimer’s can do to a family. The constant monitoring, the sadness and frustration over forgotten memories, the danger of self-harm – it weighs on caregivers in a way that is sometimes hard to express.

  • Feb 24th, 2016 12:20am

Friday Harbor Wolverines beat Vikings 48 to 42

An away game on Tuesday, Jan. 26 on Orcas Island saw the Wolverines as the winners.

  • Jan 29th, 2016 12:19am

Shoreline update long overdue | Editorial

As island communities, preserving our 400 miles of coastline is critical for our way of life today, and more importantly, future generations.

  • Jan 26th, 2016 9:35pm

Trial of Grellet-Tinner moved from January to March

The trial of Gerald Grellet-Tinner, 59, an Orcas High School teacher who pled not guilty to having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student of his, has been moved to March 7.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 8:56pm

How Christmas as we know it came to be | Editorial

By Cali Bagby

  • Dec 23rd, 2015 4:00pm

Women in the news industry, changing times | Women in Business

Women have been integral to the development of printing and journalism in North America since the earliest settlers landed in the New World.

  • Oct 23rd, 2015 12:20am

Celebrating women’s history | Women in Business

I take it for granted that I can vote, achieve my goals, survive on my own income, choose whether or not to start a family. I can dress how I please, I can voice my opinion, I can file for divorce.

  • Oct 23rd, 2015 12:14am

Raising local awareness on domestic violence is key to stopping it

In honor of domestic violence awareness month this October, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of the San Juan Islands is presenting events and raising awareness through outreach.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 11:48pm

Help change the statistics | Editorial

It is difficult for many of us to accept that domestic violence and sexual assault occur in our special, safe island communities.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 10:38pm

Rural driving isn’t an excuse for bad driving habits — be aware of road safety | Editorial

Driving on our rural roads has unique dangers – like deer waiting to leap in front of you and bicycle riders weaving into traffic.

  • Sep 21st, 2015 5:00pm

Magician Matthew Laslo comes to San Juan Island

Laslo is an award-winning magician and illusionist who fell in love with the art of magic at seven years old when his grandfather gave him a magic kit for Christmas.

  • Jul 13th, 2015 3:32pm

San Juan men take lead role in campaign against domestic violence

Getting men involved in the violence against women discussion has become a national trend. Groups like A Call to Men, Coaching Boys Into Men, Men Can Stop Rape and MenEngage promote building relationships based on respect and equality.

  • May 23rd, 2015 10:53pm

Frustration looms large at power co-op candidate forum

"OPALCO bought a market competitor and is subsidizing it with the co-op," Orcas Island's Dennis King said. "You say it's a community co-op but you are driving other local internet service providers out of business."

  • Apr 14th, 2015 10:06pm

County should allow cannabis production | Colleen Armstrong

Here at the Journal, we are disappointed with the direction that San Juan County is taking in regards to cannabis farming.

  • Jan 22nd, 2015 2:01am

Sexual assault, it can happen here

Officials warn about danger of drugs, date rape. While the cases are currently at a stand still because of victims’ reluctance to testify, the need to educate the public has become apparent.

  • Nov 5th, 2014 5:43pm

Off-duty deputy rescues two from smoke-filled home

“I felt a little naked because I didn’t have any gear, but it was a small space with easy access – if things went sideways I could have gotten out,” deputy Doug Maya recalls of the rescue of two people from a mobile home filling up fast with toxic smoke.

  • Sep 23rd, 2014 1:49am

A major wake-up for San Juan Island communities | Colleen Armstrong

We applaud the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission for recommending CenturyLink be fined more than $170,000 for the 10-day communications outage last November that created an upheaval in the San Juans

  • Aug 27th, 2014 11:03pm

Mysterious, good, bad? Bats unveiled

Mouse-eared bats look similar from a distance and use the same frequencies to navigate and target their prey, but they vary somewhat in body proportions and behavior. Two of our mouse-eared species are actually quite rare.

  • Aug 20th, 2014 6:03pm

Do you have a big heart but limited time? Try fostering instead

Shelters can be high stress environments for animals – strangers coming to visit and being in a kennel can cause anxiety. One solution is placing the cat or dog in a temporary home until a permanent adopter comes forward.

  • May 29th, 2014 3:10pm

A place for victims in their time of need

Crime Victims Center offers support, expertise when it matters most

  • Apr 16th, 2013 1:25am

Distler ascends to 2nd in command at Sheriff’s office

As undersheriff, Bruce Distler is considered second in command of the Sheriff’s Office. He will supervise sergeants, detectives, corrections officers and the traffic officer. The position of sergeant on Orcas and Lopez will be announced in mid-January.

  • Jan 15th, 2013 7:01pm

Sales up, dollars down; 2011 real estate market delivers mixed results

Last year’s median price for sales of single family homes and condos was $235,000. In 2010 it was $262,000. For the 21 counties included in the MLS report, the median price ranged from $120,000 in Grays Harbor County, to $387,500 in San Juan County.

  • Jan 28th, 2012 7:06pm

Greater girth means fewer berths onboard WSF

The average American weighs more and passenger vessels are feeling the impact. The Coast Guard’s new boat stability rules, which took effect nationwide on Dec. 1., raise the estimated weight of a typical adult passenger to 185 pounds from the previous 160 pounds. As a result, a handful of vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet have had weight capacities reduced.

  • Jan 7th, 2012 1:17am

Three weeks of ferry woes bring up bigger questions

Washington State Ferries have been experiencing broken boats, replacement vessels, missed runs and overloads. For ferry riders, especially inter-island commuters, the last three weeks have been a little strange.

  • Nov 2nd, 2011 6:04pm

Orcas sparks with trash fire

Illegal burning gets out of hand on the island

  • Apr 19th, 2011 3:11am

Lopez resident Tom Cowan appointed to state transportation commission

The San Juans won't be left behind in the wake of ferry…

  • Feb 9th, 2011 11:48pm