Mirror’s top stories of 2019

Miracles, murders, community building and more make 2019 headlines.

Being part of the Federal Way Mirror team means covering community events, breaking news and goings-on that matter to the residents who call this city home. We are honored to have been able to do that for you again another year, and we are looking forward to keeping that going in 2020.

Here are some of the top stories from 2019:


“Meaningful Navigation for At-Risk Youth” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered the story of Credible Messengers, a group that aims to reduce youth violence and help keep them out of the justice system.


“Stem Team Goes to State” – Reporter Haley Donwerth covered a group of homeschooled students on the Spartans, a stem team headed to the state championships in 2019 to show off their robot-making skills.


“Smoke, Sweat & Saving Lives” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Fire Ops 101 and experienced firsthand the challenges of firefighting.


“Motorcycle Crash Miracle” – Reporters Haley Donwerth and Olivia Sullivan covered the miraculous story of Bernardo Barco who survived a motorcycle crash thanks to the selflessness of eye witnesses and a team of first-responders and doctors. Barco’s heart had to be massaged so it would start beating again, a last-ditch technique that has a very slim success rate.


“Please Not My Son” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan spoke with the mother of Cameron Wilson, a 17-year-old Todd Beamer student, who was murdered by gun violence in Fife. His mother spoke of how kind and intelligent Cameron was, and how he wanted to study computer science when he went to college.


“Grieving Mothers Unite at Healing Circle” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered the event where local youth came together in a healing circle to encourage one another and start to heal their wounds. During the event, several mothers from Federal Way who had lost their children to violence were in attendance and shared their stories.


“Tidying the Tides” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered a Girl Scout troop that spent their day cleaning up the beach at Redondo.


“$1 million worth of cocaine found in banana boxes” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered this breaking news about several shipments of bananas hiding an extra surprise inside at three seperate Safeways in Bellingham, Woodinville and Federal Way.


“That’s Not Justice For Wesley” – Reporter Haley Donwerth spoke with the mother of Wesley Gennings, a Federal Way teen who was shot and killed in a premeditated robbery in 2016. She spoke about how losing her son has affected her life, and how she wants to help other parents in her same situation.


“Community Remembers Murdered Federal Way Teen” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered the remembrance event of Sarah Yarborough, a Federal Way teen who was murdered before school in 1991. After nearly three decades, her killer was finally found and the community came together to mourn and remember Sarah.


“Longtime Fire Chief Celebrates Retirement” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan covered the retirement of South King Fire and Rescue Chief Al Church after his 43 years of service to the community.


“Who is the Elf on 320th Street?” – Reporter Olivia Sullivan spoke with the elf on 320th Street, a Federal Way resident who dresses like an elf and picks up trash along the road for fun, exercise and as a meaningful way to help his community.

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