Published on Thu, Jul 3, 2008 by Tara Nelson

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By Tara Nelson

NEXUS user arrested for ecstasy

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended a Bellingham NEXUS user last week for smuggling into the United States 2.3 pounds of ecstasy worth approximately $10,000.
Megan Smethurst was driving a 2001 Toyota Corolla when she was selected for an intensive examination by CBP officers when she entered the Peace Arch port of entry through a designated NEXUS commuter lane. During the inspection of her purse, a clear vacuum sealed plastic bag was discovered containing a white powdery substance that field tested positive for the presence of methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA). Smethurst was immediately placed under arrest and turned over to agents of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).

Sen. Murray tours Blaine border facilities

Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen met with Customs and Border Protection agencies Wednesday to discuss border issues in advance of the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Border Patrol spokesperson Michael Bermudez said the media were not allowed to attend the tour because of a bill that bars federal agencies from staging partisan political activities.

A spokesperson for Murray’s D.C. office, however, said Murray and Larsen met for a roundtable discussion with CBP officials as well as officials from CBP’s air and marine division.

Sale to benefit Mother Baby Center

A three-day auction beginning July 8 will benefit Mother Baby Center, a Bellingham-based non-profit organization that helps women and men become better parents.

The Tots-To-Teens consignment store in Ferndale has scheduled the benefit sale at their store at 5703 Third Avenue Suite B with 10 percent of all proceeds being donated to the organization.

The store will also sell “Baby Bucks” at the register to those who wish to donate directly while shopping and an on-going consigner account may be arranged for those who wish to donate items to sell.

To donate items in advance or for further details call 383-0919
The Mother Baby Center’s website is

Free birth control in Ferndale

The Mount Baker office of Planned Parenthood and the Washington State Community Service Office has extended their family planning services to the Ferndale Resource Center.

Free condoms, information, pregnancy tests and help getting low-cost birth control will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday at the Ferndale City Hall Annex Building at 5694 Second Avenue.
For more information, call the Washington State Community Service Office at 360/603-7723.

Wait times now available for border crossings

Drivers can choose the border crossing with the shortest lines by taking advantage of new border wait times provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The wait times are displayed on the Web and I-5 roadside signs, helping northbound drivers choose the crossing with the shortest wait times and are available for the following four Whatcom County border crossings:
• I-5 in Blaine
• SR 543 in Blaine
• SR 539 in Lynden
• SR 9 in Sumas

Wait times and 16 traffic cameras can be found on the web at

More detailed information about border crossing locations, hours and documents is available at Drivers can also call 511 on most phones to get real time traffic and weather information, as well as information on statewide construction, mountain pass condition, state ferry information, and toll-free numbers for passenger rail and airlines.

Firefighters union grants Blaine student scholarship

Northwest Whatcom Professional Firefighters Union IAFF Local 3867 awarded scholarships to two local high school graduates at ceremonies in May.

Connor Oldham of Blaine high school received $150 and will be attending Washington State University in August taking pre-medicine courses in preparation for medical school. Connor is the son of James and Debbie Oldham of Blaine and plans to pursue a career as a medical doctor or physical therapist.

The other student – Kevin Assink, of Lynden – received $350 and will be attending Skagit Valley College firefighter program.

Blaine grad completes combat training

A graduate of Blaine high school recently completed basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina.

Army Pvt. Amber Olberg has completed nine weeks of training where she received instruction and practiced in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

She is the daughter of Teresa Tindoll of 9th Street, Blaine and the granddaughter of Wayne and Cheri Tindoll of Okanogan.