Posts Tagged ‘Ryan’s House’

Jacob Weigert

Justice for Jake.

That’s what friends and family of Jacob Weigert, a 23-year-old Everett man who died after a pedestrian/vehicle accident Wednesday in Coupeville, are asking the local community to help with.

Weigert was killed after being hit by a vehicle while attempting to cross Highway 20 on foot.

He had come from the Ryan’s House for Youth campus and was going to a bus stop which sits in front of the Island Transit complex.

It’s a fairly short, but often very dangerous trip, crossing a road where the speed limit is 50 MPH and drivers are often picking up speed as they leave Coupeville.

With many of the teens and young adults who are staying at Ryan’s House not having transportation of their own, and Whidbey’s bus system being fare-free, the stop in front of Island Transit is frequently used.

Weigert’s friends and family want Island County to consider placing a sidewalk or crosswalk in the area to make traversing Highway 20 safer and have launched a petition in support of such a move.

A Facebook account for “Justice for Jake” plans to hold a protest in front of the courthouse in Coupeville July 28 at 11 AM.


For more info or to sign the petition, pop over to:



There is also a GoFundMe set up to aid Jacob’s family:


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A vehicle/pedestrian accident claimed the life of a young man Wednesday.

A 23-year-old Everett man died Wednesday after being hit by a vehicle while attempting to cross Highway 20 on foot.

The accident occurred around 9 AM in Coupeville, across from the Ryan’s House for Youth campus.

Jacob Weigert was crossing the road and headed towards a bus stop in front of the Island Transit complex when he was hit by a south-bound Volkswagen Jetta.

The Island County Sheriff’s Department, Central Whidbey Fire, and WhidbeyHealth EMS responded to the accident, with traffic diverted and the highway closed in both directions.

Weigert was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he later died from his injuries.

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Michelle and Reese Cernick. (Submitted photo)

From despair has come hope.

Reese and Michelle Cernick have overcome great hardship, bringing their family to Whidbey in 2013 and, once here, setting themselves up as key contributors in both the sports and business worlds.

The couple coach co-ed teams through the Central Whidbey Soccer Club, with their son Chris, a freshman at CHS, and twin 14-year-old daughters Autumn and Aurora, all having played for their parents.

Michelle is also a frequent volunteer with the local schools and joins up with Lori Taylor to run a Girls Scout troop.

And now, having worked in the field for the past two years, Reese launched Whidbey Pest Control in March.

“I hope that I never take for granted how blessed we are to see such beauty every day,” Michelle said. “We love Coupeville and have met some of the nicest people.

“This is the first place that Reese and I have lived in our 16 and a half years of marriage that has really felt like home,” she added. “Our children love it here and have made some terrific friends.”

The move to Whidbey might never have taken place if a 2008 road rage incident in Nevada, which left Reese severely injured, hadn’t thrown the family into a spiral.

Reese was working as an underground gold miner in Elko (“the middle of nowhere”) when a semi-truck driver intentionally slammed into the back of the vehicle in which he was riding.

Having turned his head right as the impact occurred, he took a severe shot, and had trouble walking after the accident.

Reese endured an endless string of tests, many of them after traveling several hours, with few answers, until a chiropractor in Idaho was able to make a break-through.

The integrity of the muscles in his back were compromised, and while the chiropractor was able to get him walking upright after three weeks, he continued to endure overnight trips to have his back worked on.

With her husband unable to work for some time, Michelle babysat fellow miner’s kids.

“I had kids in my house seven days a week, 24/7, and I still couldn’t get us out of debt.”

Even as his back got better, Reese had to face the reality he would be limited on doing any kind of serious manual labor.

He eventually returned to work at a car dealership, and the couple were working full-time, trying to pull themselves out of the financial hole created by the accident, when they visited Whidbey.

Reese’s mother and grandmother, who both fight severe illness, live on The Rock, and once here, the Cernicks decided the time to relocate was upon them.

“When we were here that summer we had talked about what it would be like to retire to Whidbey one day, but never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine moving here as soon as we did,” Michelle said. “We are so grateful to be living in such a beautiful place.”

Once here, the duo quickly became part of the booming youth soccer scene.

Their daughters wanted to play, CWSC needed volunteers, and a perfect union was formed.

The Cernicks began with a U12 team (Reese coached, Michelle was manager), then they bounced up to create a U14 co-ed squad as their children got older.

“This team had all of our children on it — fun times,” said Michelle. “The co-ed team started out so small and we only had one team from week to week to play out of Oak Harbor, but it has really grown.

“Coupeville now has two full teams and Oak Harbor has three.”

Reese is also on the board of directors for the league, while Michelle does a little bit of everything.

“I don’t have an official title and have never been voted in,” she said with a laugh. “I just do whatever needs to be done.

“I love to be able to contribute my time to these kids.”

Chris made the jump to high school soccer this spring, playing for the Wolf JV, and his sisters will make the same transition in the fall.

That doesn’t mean their parents will desert CWSC.

“This is the last year that we get to coach our girls, but Reese and I fully intend to continue coaching, because we love it,” Michelle said. “We have so many kids on our team that work really hard and it shows in our games.”

Along with soccer, Girl Scouts and school activities, the Cernicks have branched out further in the community by making the decision to open their own business.

Building on the experience he picked up working the bug-hunting biz for another company the last two years, Reese has found his niche.

“We wanted a business with flexible scheduling, because soccer is life, and one that Reese could physically handle,” Michelle said. “We wanted a business where we could work closely with people and treat them fairly.”

They have 60-day warranties on most services, handle about any kind of pest you can name (maybe not blind soccer refs…) and offer free inspections.

Invite them to your home or business, and the Cernicks try and make the experience more than just a quick scan and bid.

“When we come to your house we don’t just inspect, write you a bid, and leave,” Michelle said. “We both greet you with a friendly smile and handshake.

“We tell you a little about ourselves and our company. We explain everything we are going to do before we do it so that you are as comfortable with us as you are the process,” she added. “We don’t want our customers to feel like just another job to us.

“We want them to feel like family.”

That attitude, and the duo’s love of volunteering, led to them donating their services to Ryan’s House, a youth outreach program in Coupeville.

Michelle’s Girl Scouts are joining the effort.

“We have a terrific group of girls and they are are so excited they get to help out,” Michelle said. “Ryan’s House has so many wonderful people that volunteer there and they shouldn’t have to worry about ants or any other critters invading their space.”

Whidbey Pest Control operates 8-5 Mon-Fri and can be reached at (360) 632-9080 or whidbeypestcontrol@gmail.com.


Full Disclosure: Whidbey Pest Control is a supporter of Coupeville Sports, but I would have written this article even if it wasn’t.

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Josh Poole gets ready to fire some heat in his debut as a Wolf pitcher. (Shelli Trumbull photo)

   Josh Poole gets ready to fire some heat in his debut as a Wolf pitcher. (Shelli Trumbull photo)

Some baseball players fret about missing a bunt sign or muffing a grounder.

For Josh Poole, any moment on the baseball field is something to be celebrated. Great play or error, he’s just grateful for the opportunity.

Having come from an abusive home and been homeless, the Coupeville High School senior is embracing his new life.

“I started playing (baseball) because I’ve had a rough past and it feels like I’m part of a family, especially at CHS,” Poole said.

Dumped on the street by a father he says was abusive, Poole eventually got help, for which he is grateful.

“I registered myself into school, because education is number one, with help from Ryan’s House Youth Shelter and a big thanks to Julie Jansen,” Poole said. “Mr. (Tom) Black has helped me through the hard times and keeping my head on straight.”

Baseball has given him an outlet, and while this is his first season as a Wolf, he has found himself welcomed by his new team.

“There is a lot I enjoy about baseball, mostly being a part of a team as great as CHS,” Poole said. “My strengths are mainly my hustle.

“I do need work on my batting at times; my goals for the season are being a great role model and having a winning season.”

A country music fan, he plans to enter the military after graduation.

Poole has already made an impact on his new baseball family, with Coupeville coach Willie Smith taking a strong liking to his newest player.

“He’s been doing a great job in baseball,” Smith said. “He’s worked extremely hard and is a very likable young man.

“It sounds like he’s had a heck of a family life but he’s pretty determined to change the direction he’s headed and I’m impressed by what I’ve seen in his work ethic and attitude, which will go a long ways to get him to where he wants to get to.”

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