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M's Game: Diana Halar Plays "Puget Sound Starts Here" Mascot

Last Saturday, the City of Lakewood's own Diana Halar from Public Works represented local jurisdictions at the Seattle Mariners' game by dressing up as Scoopy Doo!

This was part of the Puget Sound Starts Here campaign,which gives practical ways for people to protect Puget Sound. Diana has been the mascot at the Mariners’ PSSH night the past few years. For more information, visit http://www.pugetsoundstartshere.org/about-us/ .

Great job, Diana! #IamLakewood

Big Lots Cuts Ribbon on Lakewood Store

Today, the new Big Lots at 5401 100th St. SW held its grand opening ceremony, officially cutting the ribbon at its Lakewood store.

Several City of Lakewood officials got a tour of the new store and helped celebrate, including Mayor Don Anderson, Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, Councilmember Marie Bartth and Councilmember Marie Barth. Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar was there, as well as former Mayor and current Pierce County Councilmember Douglas Richardson.

Those who went were treated to a full tour of the store, which offers everything from household goods to seasonal products to stuff for your lawn. It also is one of the few Big Lots in the Tacoma area that offers an entire furniture section.

Thanks again to Big Lots for allowing the City to help celebrate the new store. To view a photo gallery of the opening, visit goo.gl/CtnjgD

Crews Continue Traffic Signal Work in Lakewood

In case you haven’t noticed, a few of the City of Lakewood’s traffic signals have been getting a facelift over the past week, and a few more will be getting work done through the end of this week.

Through the Citywide Safety Improvement project, six signals are getting improvements. The City’s contractor – Totem Electric of Tacoma, Inc. – worked on three intersections last week, including Motor and Whitman Avenues Southwest, as well as Steilacoom Boulevard and Hagness Drive Southwest. Here’s the schedule for this week’s signal work, all of which will take place during the daytime:

  • On Monday, crews began work on the signal at the intersection of Steilacoom Boulevard and Phillips Road Southwest, and the work will continue Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday, crews will focus on the signal at Custer Road and 88th Street Southwest.
  • On Friday, crews will finish up at signals in the Bridgeport and 100th Street/Gravelly Lake Drive area.

City Honors Former Mayor Thomas, Councilmember Gernon

Much like they did throughout their years of public service, former Lakewood Mayor Claudia Thomas and former City Councilmember Andie Gernon walked arm-in-arm Monday night.

But instead of trying to secure funding for a local meals program or convincing kids to become involved in their community, two of Lakewood's founding mothers walked to the Council Chambers podium for a much-deserved special recognition.

The Lakewood City Council honored Thomas and Gernon for their tireless efforts to improve human services and make life better for the City throughout the years.

Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen recognized each with a proclamation and City Coin. In attendance were the likes of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William H. Harrison - Lakewood's first Mayor - as well as former Mayor and current Pierce County Councilmember Douglas Richardson.

Monday night provided more than a reading of Thomas and Gernon's impressive resumes. It was Lakewood's effort to say "Thank you" to two ladies who helped shape the community for the better.

Because of the efforts of Thomas and Gernon, the City dedicates 1 percent of its general fund to pay for human services that help Lakewood residents, making it one of the few cities that dedicates money specifically for human services - and one that hasn't wavered despite tough economic times.

Because of their efforts, Lakewood is a six-time winner of America's Promise "100 Best Communities For Young People." To this day, the promise of Lakewood's youth inspire them, they said Monday night.

Because of their efforts, Lakewood has become a better, safer, more positive place to live since its incorporation 16 years ago.

Both Thomas and Gernon flashed the smiles and wit that made Lakewood residents support them for so many years. They introduced their families and thanked all of the people who helped them along the way, as well.

And in typical, motherly love-fashion, Thomas jokingly warned about the importance of maintaining Lakewood's dedication to helping people: "We'll be watching."

Got it, Mom. Thanks again.

(To view a gallery of photos from the ceremony, visit http://t.co/l7nht6WwGJ )

Video Catches Suspect Vehicle in Fatality Hit-and-Run

The investigation into the fatality hit-and-run that claimed the life of Tauave Seiaute has been ongoing since it occurred on April 20th.

Lakewood Police Department Detectives recently located video from a Transit bus that shows the suspect vehicle westbound on 96th Street Southwest, just moments before the collision. The suspect vehicle appears to be a mini-van that is two-tone in color with a lighter stripe at the bottom of the vehicle. It also appears that the vehicle may have running boards, as described by the witness.

Seiaute, the 19-year-old male victim, had just been involved in a single-car accident where his vehicle had traveled off the main roadway. According to a witness passenger in the victim vehicle, the victim then went into the roadway in what investigators believe was an effort to flag down a passing motorist for assistance. The victim was struck by a vehicle going westbound on 96th Street, which only stopped briefly after the collision. The witness passenger told investigators that he yelled at the driver that he had just hit the victim. The driver then fled the scene without identifying himself or attempting to render aid for the victim.

The witness described the suspect vehicle as a tan or white Ford Windstar-type minivan being driven by a younger-looking white male and reported seeing at least three other occupants in the fleeing vehicle. The suspect vehicle should have front end damage towards the right front fender/wheel area and possibly undercarriage damage too.

If you have information regarding this incident, you are encouraged to contact the Lakewood Police Department.