News in Brief

Published on Thu, May 15, 2003
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News in Brief

Peace Arch Post 86 to honor Bill Elfo
The American Legion Peace Arch Post 86 will hold its annual police officer of the year ceremony on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. This year�s honoree is former police chief and current Whatcom County sheriff Bill Elfo. The ceremony will be held at the Peace Arch post and those wishing to attend should call the post at 371-7311. Elfo announced last month that he will seek election for sheriff in November, and was recently endorsed by the Blaine chamber of commerce. He first became a police officer in 1974 and came to the city of Blaine in 1996 as police chief. He took over as county sheriff in January of 2003 after Dale Brandland moved on to the Senate.

Transportation open house set for May 19
In an effort to provide the public with a better understanding about local transportation issues, the Washington state department of transportation, U.S. General Services Administration and the city of Blaine are conducting an open house at the senior center on Monday, May 19 at 7 p.m. The public will be able to meet with organization representatives and discuss projects including truck route (SR 543) improvements, Peace Arch border crossing facilities and an access study looking at future improvements to I-5 interchanges (exits 274 and 276) in Blaine.

Man detained by border patrol kills himself
A man detained by the border patrol on Saturday, May 3 committed suicide in his holding cell at the Blaine sector headquarters on H Street. According to Deputy Chief John Bates, the subject was taken into custody in Blaine on the morning of May 3 and was processed, then placed in a holding cell, where an officer found him unconscious shortly after. �The border patrol feels very confident it did everything to save the life of this individual,� Bates said. �Our guys started CPR right away and placed a call for medical assistance.� The fire department responded and took over the medical situation. The investigation has been turned over to the FBI�s Bellingham office. The name or citizenship of the man has not been released.

White Rock road rally set for May 31
The deadline to enter the White Rock Peace Arch rotary club�s seventh annual road rally is Monday, May 26, and the event is Saturday, May 31. This year�s fun event will be a rock and roll theme car rally featuring a live band. The rally will start and finish at Semiahmoo secondary school, with the silent auction, awards dinner and dance to follow. The entry fee is $150 for car, driver and navigator, and includes dinner for two. Additional dinners are available for $40 per person. Check in time is approximately 1:30 p.m. Over 80 cars were in the 2002 car rally and more than 100 are expected to participate this year. All proceeds from the event go to charities designated by the rotary club. For further information and entry forms, call (604)531-9864 or e-mail

Second cross-border conference to be held
The White Rock and Blaine chambers met last month at Semiahmoo Resort for a cross-border conference to discuss several regional issues including cross-border relations, tourism, the Amtrak stop in White Rock and ferry service on a triangular route from Blaine to White Rock to Semiahmoo. Public officials from both White Rock and Blaine participated, including the mayors, councils, and chamber presidents and members. Following the discussion, Blaine chamber of commerce president Ron Leach and John Choulochas gave White Rock members a tour of Blaine, taking them to Drayton Harbor and the yacht club, the heritage district, city hall, parks and the Loomis Trail Golf and Country Club. Mayor Forster will be hosting a reciprocal meeting in White Rock sometime next month.

Livestock producers eligible for relief program
Livestock producers in Whatcom County that have received a secretarial or presidential primary disaster designation between January 1, 2001 and February 20, 2003 may be eligible to receive benefits from the livestock compensation program, an emergency relief program connected to the agricultural assistance act of 2003. To participate, producers must certify the number of animals owned as of June 1, 2002. The animals must have been owned for 90 days or more with June 1, 2002 falling during the 90-day period. Payments will be available shortly after eligible producers have signed up for the program and are limited to $40,000 per person. For more information, or to apply, call the local farm service agency at 360-354-5658 or visit online at

PFRD, Nooksack file sewer permit appeals
The Partnership for Responsible Development (PFRD) and Nooksack Tribe recently filed independent appeals of the Blaine sewer system permit with the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB). The two organizations, who have no affiliation with one another, both cited environmental factors, as the PFRD is a concerned citizens organization and the Nooksack tribe has fishing rights in local waters.

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