November 8, 2016
Meeting was called to order at 7:30am. Guest speaker, Mark Nichols, led the flag salute.
Jack Glaubert moved to accept minutes pointing out that Cherie Kidd’s first name should have two “r”. Sam Phillips seconded motion with the correction. Motion carried.
(Note: Cherie prefers to spell her first name with one “r”)
President Brewer presented Edward Upthank with a membership certificate.
Kaj Ahlburg and Jon Fager, members of the Port Angeles School Advisory Committee, said the subjects of McCleary Decision and Rankings of Schools will be discussed at meetings.
Harry Bell reported the North Olympic Professional Foresters Association will meet on Friday, at Joshua’s, 6pm. Dr. Boreman will be the speaker.
Kevin Hoult said he attended the PADA meeting where they reported that not only had the number of events gone up, but the attendance at the events had also gone up.
Mark Nichols, Prosecuting Attorney, and Ex-Officio Coroner, presented a power point on the hiring and use of coroners. “In each county with a population of less than forty thousand no coroner shall be elected and the prosecuting attorney shall be ex officio coroner”. Even though counties of over 40,000 must have an elected coroner, Clallam County’s Charter (Article !V, Section 4.2) allows for an uncompensated one.
A medical examiner is not required until county population is over 250,000. “The coroner has jurisdiction to investigate cases where death is unexpected, involves suspicious circumstances, or suspected foul play. A funeral home, that has an examination room can be called to pick up the body and perform an autopsy if necessary. Once the manner and cause of death are known, a death certificate can be issued.
All death certificates are maintained by the Washington State Vital Records Office. In the event of a large scale disaster resulting in multiple deaths, all funeral homes can be called upon to store bodies.
Q & A
George B: Number his office handles each year.
Unknown at this time. Most deaths do not require a coroner and very few require an autopsy.
Kaj: Large scale disaster?
Sheriff’s office has a mobile unit in case the EOC is damaged.
Sam P: Storage or preservation of bodies in time of large scale event?
Storage in snow banks or bunkers at Salt Creek if during cool weather. In warm weather, bodies would be wrapped and buried to be dug up later.
Harry B: Accidents at Sea?
Determine jurisdiction. Keep track of bodies washed ashore. Work with Federal Government. Charge for expenses if necessary.
Jim McE: Jurisdictions?
Work with Military, Tribes, State, County, City, etc. Respect Tribal beliefs and practices. “You do what needs to be done.”
Jon F: Births, Still borns?
Age and condition of fetus. Most work is done in King County where there are specialists who are trained to handle infant deaths. Babies alive when leaving the county and who die while airborne, are listed as dying outside of Clallam County.
Andrew M: Why is Coroner, in Clallam County, not paid?
Probably a cost saving measure and seemed like a good thing at the time. Charter review and election would have to change that. There is very little money for training staff to handle death duties, but grant monies are starting to come in to send staff for training. A full time Coroner would require a building with cold rooms, parking lot, staff, equipment, etc.
Dave N: Work with Jefferson County?
Population still not at 250,000.
Cold cases do exist and modern forensics are helping to determine cause of death.
Guest Speaker – Nov 15: Kevin Russell, President of the North Peninsula Building Association.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:31am.