One home run and many bunts

From the collection of true stories, titled: “Stories from the Journey,” due for publication in mid-2018.

By Bruce A. Smith

When I was ten, I hit a home run in a Little League baseball game. It was a solid shot, soaring over the pitcher’s head and arcing towards center field.

I didn’t watch its full flight because my father, who was also my coach, told me not to look at the ball after I hit it but only to run to first base. “When you’re there, turn your head and see where the ball has gone,” he instructed. “If it’s still in play and you think you can make it, run towards second base.”

So when I reached first, I looked up and saw that the ball was still rolling away from the center fielder into the outfield of the adjoining baseball field. I pivoted and headed towards second. On the way I saw the umpire running out from home plate and swinging his arm in the air, signaling a home run. Okay, home run, I thought.

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Posted in Book reviews, Folk tales and stories, Moth Stories, Stories from the Jounrey | 6 Comments

Local Democrats seek to “Flip the 8th”

By Bruce A. Smith

Local Democratic Party activists are working diligently to “Flip the 8th” Congressional District (CD) from Republican to Democratic control. Currently, Republican Dave Reichert is the congressman representing the 8th CD, but he is retiring, and a replacement will be determined in the November 8, 2018 general election.

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Posted in Bethel News, Events, Frederickson, Politics, Resistance and Justice | 1 Comment

Two charged in the death of Sheriff’s deputy killed in Frederickson

By Bruce A. Smith

Update, 6 pm, Thursday, 1. 11. 18

Special to the Mountain News-WA:

Two Charged in Death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy

Today, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Frank William Pawul, 32, and Brenda Kaye Troyer, 52, with murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree. Pawul was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.“

I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of detectives in the Sheriff’s Department under these difficult circumstances,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This is an ongoing investigation and we will hold accountable everyone who is responsible for the murder of Deputy Dan McCartney.”

On January 7, 2018 at 11:24 p.m., residents at 20012 45th Ave. Ct. E. reported to 911 dispatch that there were intruders in their home. Three adults and two children were present when the intrusion occurred. Residents reported that two suspects broke into the home and demanded money. Both were wearing masks and armed with handguns and “bowie” style knives.

The residents were taken to the master bedroom and held at gunpoint while the intruders searched the house. One resident escaped through a window and called 911.

At 11:30 p.m., Deputy Daniel McCartney notified dispatch that he had arrived in the area. Approximately 3 minutes later, Deputy McCartney notified dispatch that he was in foot pursuit of the suspects. A short time later, he called out “shots fired.” No further transmissions were made.

Other deputies responded to the area and found Deputy McCartney unresponsive. Deputy McCartney was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, and was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.

Deputies also located the body of Henry Carden, also unresponsive. Carden (the second robbery suspect) sustained several gunshot wounds, including a gunshot wound to the head. He died from his wounds.

The search of the area led to recovery of a safe and backpack stolen from the residence. A bear spray canister was located in the area where Deputy McCartney’s body was found.

Officers secured the area to locate the other suspect. At approximately 8:10 the next morning, an officer reported a male matching the description of the second suspect walked to his traffic control point. That person was later identified as Frank Pawul. Pawul was taken into custody. He was wearing a bear spray holster on his hip and had knife in his front pocket.

Pawul told officers that he was walking from his girlfriend’s house and nodded toward the northwest. Officers were able to identify the woman Pawul referred to as Brenda Troyer.

The investigation revealed text messages between Pawul and Troyer about Troyer picking him up, the police containment, and the shooting of Deputy McCartney and Carden.

Detectives traced the path of Pawul’s phone near the incident residence at the time of the break in until the approximate time Deputy McCartney reported his foot pursuit.

Cell phone data obtained by detectives shows Troyer’s phone remained in the area where she reported dropping off Pawul and Carden, until approximately the time Deputy McCartney reported he was in the area. Her phone then moved quickly away from the area of the home invasion.

Bail for Pawul was set at $5,000,000. Bail for Troyer was set at $2,000,000.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Update, at 4:45 pm Monday

The second suspect in the fatal shooting of Sheriff’s deputy Daniel A. McCartney early this morning has been apprehended, according to Sgt. Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Troyer made his announcement to area media at 4 pm.

Sgt Troyer also said that the suspect had been arrested by a Washington State Patrol trooper stationed at an area road block during the manhunt. The suspect was taken into custody on outstanding criminal warrants from Shelton, and later was identified as part of the Frederickson shooting. Troyer said this suspect will be arraigned tomorrow on first-degree murder charges.

The photograph below is of Deputy McCartney, provided by the PCSD.

PCSD, Daniel A. McCartney, deputy killed, 1. 8. 18


12:00 pm News:

A Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed while chasing burglars in Frederickson Sunday night.

County residents awoke to a county-wide phone message activated through the emergency network informing everyone that the suspect, a male believed to be wearing dark clothing, was still at large. The incident occurred in the 200th St and 45th Ave. area of Frederickson.

If anyone sees anything suspicious they are encouraged to call a confidential tip line:

855 – 798 – 8477. Continue reading

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North to Chibougamou – a true tale of young adventure

By Bruce A. Smith

Editor’s Note: For only the second time in the past 48 years, I’ve crossed paths with someone who has been to Chibougamou, Quebec. His name is “Georger,” and we are associates in DB Cooper investigation. He was in this small mining town in northern Canada in pursuit of his professional scientific endeavors, and for me it was an adventure of the spirit. The following is my account of my visit to this remote outpost, and is part of a collection of personal stories titled: Stories from the Journey – Becoming Greater than What We Have Been, which will be published in 2018.


North to Chibougamou

The road north from New York City ends 750 miles later in the upper reaches of Quebec Canada, at a mining town called Chibougamou. It’s a gritty place, and when I traveled there in the late 1960s the final 150-mile stretch was an unpaved gravel highway. But in some ways Chibougamou is even further away from Long Island than the miles.

In 1969, I was full of adventure and only slightly curious to see if Canada might be a place to live. Certainly I was aware that guys were dogging the draft in Canada, and I was twenty so the notion of moving to Canada to avoid Vietnam was swirling around in the back of my head. Plus, I had just dropped out of college so my draft deferment had evaporated, and there were other pressures, too. My father had been a captain in WWII, and even though he wasn’t a gung-ho kind of guy he wasn’t a man who bucked the system, either. He never said anything to me directly about going to Canada, but I knew he expected me to go in the army.

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Posted in Back East, Campfire Tales, Stories from the Jounrey | 4 Comments

Amtrak passenger train derails near JBLM – 6 reported killed, over 70 injured

By Bruce A. Smith

An Amtrak “Cascades” passenger train enroute to Portland, Oregon derailed this morning just north of the Nisqually River near DuPont, Washington.

Six people were killed according to reports published by the Tacoma News Tribune, with almost all 77 passengers on board injured according to the New York Times. The majority of the injured were taken to St Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma and other nearby Franciscan Medical facilities. About 20 injured individuals were also treated at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Continue reading

Posted in Cops and courts, Events, Nisqually River, Yelm News | 3 Comments

DB Cooper and the FBI – video on the Citizen Sleuths now on YouTube

By Bruce A. Smith

The Citizen Sleuths segment of the DB Cooper and the FBI video series is now available for viewing on YouTube. Link is below.

The Citizen Sleuths are a group of private citizens recruited by the FBI in 2009 to assist in the analysis of evidence pertaining to the DB Cooper skyjacking, the only unsolved case of its kind in the United States.

Although the FBI officially closed the case in 2016, the Citizen Sleuths and other researchers are still investigating. In particular, the Travel Channel’s host of the “Expedition Unknown” series, Josh Gates, supplied monies to the Citizen Sleuths to advance their examination of particles found on the tie left behind by DB Cooper. In the January 2017 broadcast of “Expedition Unknown,” these sleuths – in conjunction with McCrone Laboratories – revealed that over 100,000 particles have been discovered, including such rarities as pure titanium, rare earth minerals, and stainless steel. Continue reading

Posted in DB Cooper | 8 Comments