CDN Special Reports represent our newsroom's deepest dives into single subjects, going beyond daily headlines to focus our reporting, visual journalism and other story-telling tools in enterprising ways on topics of special interest. These are a team effort in CDN's newsroom, which is typically at work on one at all times. Check back here often to find our latest in-depth work, and feel free to suggest enterprise-reporting subjects at

Thursday night bowlers raise their hands April 27 as a fellow league member leaves a five-pin at Bellingham's 20th Century Bowl. Traditionally, a bowler owes everyone a drink if they miss the pin — however, Social Club leaguers jokingly promise each other more than just a drink.

Time to Spare: Bowling clears a lane for sport, community

Written by Jaya Flanary

Time to Spare
is a three-part series that explores league culture, highlights women bowlers, and details the impact of bowling alleys closing and the history of the sport in Whatcom County.

An inmate sanitizes a food cart in the jail kitchen. A moldy substance is visible on the walls and ceiling.

Beyond Bars: The future of justice in Whatcom County

Written by Ralph Schwartz // Edited by Staci Baird

Beyond Bars
is a special report that explores the county’s controversial effort to build a new jail. Voters on recent jail bond measures made it clear they won’t accept a new jail without better social services for the people who wind up behind bars.

Billups wears a

Women Empowered: Honoring Women's History Month

Written by Audra Anderson

Women Empowered
is a monthlong series of Q&As with regional women in traditionally male-dominated fields in honor of Women's History Month.

Five decades of bullet fragments and casings litter the ground at Plantation Rifle Range in Whatcom County.

Off Target: A legacy of neglect at county rifle range

Written by Julia Lerner // Edited by Ron Judd

Off Target
is a multipart special report exploring the county's operations at Plantation Rifle Range, one of two publicly owned ranges in the state.

Teacher Lizzy Chandler, left, watches Mac play in the mud pit Feb. 13 at Barefeet Farm School. The outdoor school, which just became licensed thanks to a 2021 state law, operates year-round, rain or shine.

Child Care-less: A search for solutions

Written by Audra Anderson

Child Care-less
is a two-part series about the child care landscape in Whatcom County.

Alyshia Losey, left, is hugged by younger sister Elizabeth Babcock on Jan. 7 as members of the family of David Babcock, killed by a Sedro-Woolley police officer during an attempted traffic stop last February, discuss his death. The Skagit County prosecutor later cleared the officer, who has returned to work, of wrongdoing.

Sedro-Woolley officer returns to force after killing motorist; lawsuit looms

Written by Ralph Schwartz // Edited by Audra Anderson and Ron Judd

An officer rapidly fired nine bullets at David Babcock's car February 2022 after he drove over the curb on a Sedro-Woolley road to avoid spike strips. One of the bullets struck Babcock, 51, in the back of the head. His family is convinced he didn’t have to die at the hands of police.
Editor's note: Due to broad public interest in this subject, this story, originally published Jan. 15, has been made available outside the newspaper's paywall as a public service by Cascadia Daily News.

Rubin Hutchins performs a Swanton Bomb wrestling move as firefighters put out a shed fire in the background along West Bartlett Road in Lynden on March 9.

Year in Review 2022

Written by CDN Staff

A review of what our newsroom reporters, editors and photographers consider to be the most memorable and important examples of 2022 work — a glimpse at a year in the life of people in a place we are proud to call home.

When the Nooksack River flooded in 2021, it brought catastrophic levels of water into towns across Whatcom County, including Nooksack, Everson and Sumas.

Flood: One year later

Written by Julia Lerner and Olivia Hobson // Edited by Audra Anderson

Flood: One year later
is a multipart series exploring how the devastating November 2021 flooding changed the lives of Whatcom County and Skagit County residents, as well as bodies of government, over the past year. From farmers to mayors, the historic flooding led to economic challenges, developing plans for the future and preparative measures.

Terri McMahan holds a brick honoring Title IX outside of Carver Gym at Western Washington University on Sept. 26. McMahan played on Western's volleyball team in the 1970s and is in the university's athletics hall of fame.

Title IX at 50

Written by Cassidy Hettesheimer // Edited by Meri-Jo Borzilleri

Title IX at 50
is a three-part series exploring and reporting on how the federal law has impacted and changed lives of Whatcom County women in sports over the past half-century. At times controversial, the legislation has gone a long way toward leveling the playing field for girls and women since its inception in 1972.
Editor's note: Due to broad public interest in this subject, this series has been made available outside the newspaper's paywall as a public service by Cascadia Daily News.