Issaquah High School junior dies

March 3, 2009

UPDATED — 4 p.m. March 3, 2009

School counselors reported to Issaquah High School this morning after school officials were notified a male junior had died sometime before the start of school today.

The Press is withholding identification of the student pending further details.

More than eight counselors were on hand to help students deal with the news.

Friends said he enjoyed baseball and was on the school’s baseball team. They said they did not know why he died.

Officials at the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said they could not release any information about the student and said the earliest they could confirm his name, age and cause or manner of death would likely be tomorrow.

KingCo girls basketball title game

March 3, 2009

Temporary jail closure requires coordination and cooperation

March 2, 2009

Corrections Officer Michael Zuppe takes care of release paperwork for an inmate next to a control board in the booking area of the Issaquah jail. By Greg Farrar

Corrections Officer Michael Zuppe takes care of release paperwork for an inmate next to a control board in the booking area of the Issaquah jail. By Greg Farrar

When crews begin tearing up carpet for renovations at the Issaquah City Jail over the weekend, law enforcement agencies from here to Carnation will need to find other facilities to house their inmates. 

The jail is slated to shut down March 8 for three days while new carpet is installed, and law enforcement officers across the region are adjusting their schedules and taking measures to accommodate the closing. The effects will be felt beyond Issaquah, because 20 other agencies contract with the city to use the jail and its 62 beds.

Until the jail reopens March 11, some of the inmates currently being held there will be sent to other corrections facilities in the region. Other inmates could receive temporary furloughs. Issaquah houses only misdemeanor offenders; about 30 were being held last week. Read more

Joan Probala to run for City Council

March 2, 2009

Joan Probala

Joan Probala

Saying she wants to provide a voice for residents of her South Cove neighborhood, real estate agent Joan Probala announced her candidacy for the City Council last week.

In her campaign announcement, Probala said she wants to focus on economic vitality, infrastructure needs and updates to the subarea plan — the growth strategy for key Issaquah neighborhoods. Read more

Robbery suspect arrested

March 2, 2009

The “Buck Tooth Bandit” robbed three Eastside banks in 10 days, leaving a trail of video surveillance footage and witnesses as the FBI built a case against him. Agents caught up with the bandit less than a week after he robbed an Issaquah bank, following a heist in which the robber left the scene in a Lincoln Town Car — with vanity license plates.

Read more

Skyline parade to end?

March 2, 2009

Sammamish has one parade a year, Skyline High School’s homecoming, and its future appears in limbo. Read more

Plans call for expanding downtown restaurant Stan’s Bar-B-Q

March 2, 2009

Project would bring office, residential space

A developer is proposing a three-story structure (at right) at the site of the Front Street Salon, adjacent to Stan’s Bar-B-Q at 58 Front St. N. Contributed

A developer is proposing a three-story structure (at right) at the site of the Front Street Salon, adjacent to Stan’s Bar-B-Q at 58 Front St. N. Contributed

On Friday afternoons, when lunchtime crowds line up at Stan’s Bar-B-Q, waits can stretch up to 35 minutes as diners jostle for plates of brisket and ribs. A proposed expansion of the dining room, which would add 45 or so seats to the bustling Front Street barbecue joint, would be welcome, said owner Stan Phillips.

A proposal being considered by city planners could deliver a larger dining room for Phillips. Plans submitted by the property owner call for the demolition of a structure adjacent the restaurant and construction of a 7,642-square-foot addition. 

The three-story addition would be built on the site of Front Street Salon. The barbershop — which sits at street level — would be demolished to make way for the structure. Plans call for the barbershop to reopen in the first floor of the addition. The second floor would contain space for offices, and the third floor would be a residential unit. The property owner is also proposing a new parking lot at 195 First Place N.W. to handle parking for the addition. Read more

Prepare for delays during Bandaret Bridge overhaul

March 2, 2009

bridge-plans-creek-b-200709

Bandaret Bridge (above) crosses Issaquah Creek where it intersects with Southeast May Valley Road, about halfway between 230th Avenue Southeast and 231st Place Southeast, near Issaquah-Hobart Road. File

Crews are expected to begin working March 16 on a replacement for the aging Bandaret Bridge, a narrow timber span that carries May Valley Road over Issaquah Creek. 

Motorists should expect delays while the bridge is reduced to a single traffic lane during construction. A new bridge with wider traffic lanes is expected to open in November, according to the King County Department of Transportation. The department is overseeing the $5.5 million project.

The existing bridge, near Issaquah-Hobart Road between 230th Avenue Southeast and 231st Place Southeast, carries about 5,100 vehicles daily — too many for an aging, deteriorating structure, transportation officials said. Read more

FEMA launches legal hot line

March 2, 2009

Free legal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is available for residents impacted by January’s severe weather.

Read more

No plans to reopen Black Nugget Road

March 2, 2009

It is a waste of money to have a road that could be enormously beneficial to mail delivery, garbage pickups, school buses and transportation to businesses in the highlands, but instead is maintained by the city and rendered completely useless.” — Kjersten HayterBlack Nugget Road resident

It is a waste of money to have a road that could be enormously beneficial to mail delivery, garbage pickups, school buses and transportation to businesses in the highlands, but instead is maintained by the city and rendered completely useless.” — Kjersten HayterBlack Nugget Road resident

Of the more than 60 people packed into Blakely Hall Feb. 24, only two raised their hands in support of reopening Southeast Black Nugget Road; the rest were there to speak in opposition.

While there were no official plans to open the roadway to traffic again, city officials wanted to get a sense of how residents felt about reopening the blocked-off road.

“I remember multiple Issaquah community meetings where the topic to open Black Nugget was brought up this summer. Compound that with the written request and it was time to get the community together,” said Keith Niven, program manager for the city’s Major Development Review Team.

A Dec. 12 e-mail from Kjersten Hayter, a resident, added to the comments.

“It is a waste of money to have a road that could be enormously beneficial to mail delivery, garbage pickups, school buses and transportation to businesses in the highlands, but instead is maintained by the city and rendered completely useless,” Hayter wrote.

“Opening Black Nugget would negatively impact me because it’s my neighborhood,” resident Chris Hawkins said at the meeting. “But I’d rather travel down there than have to travel through Park Drive, especially with new retail going in there.”

Southeast Black Nugget Road was blocked off as part of an agreement made between King County officials, highlands developer Port Blakely and neighboring residents on the road.

When the highlands began developing, Black Nugget was used as its only entry and exit. Without significant improvements, the road wouldn’t be able to handle the traffic created by the highlands, so when more than 500 homes or units were built, the road was closed with blocks that can be removed in case of emergency. The road has remained closed since.

If reopening the road was something residents would’ve wanted at the meeting, Niven said he could recommend the City Council draft a request to the county to have it opened. Because the roadway is county-owned, the decision ultimately rests with county officials, he said.

But the majority of neighboring residents, many who have lived in the area for decades, disagreed with the reopening.

Residents cited several reasons for keeping it closed, such as safety for children who play at the nearby park, wildlife in the area, increased traffic noise, potential crime and the construction modifications necessary to make the road operational.

Lane Scelzi, owner of Sip Wine Bar and Restaurant, said the businesses on Park Drive that rely on drive-by business would be adversely affected by a second entrance.

Black Nugget Road neighbors also said an agreement shouldn’t be broken to save a few people a couple of minutes off of their commute time.

In light of the overwhelming opposition, Niven said he would recommend the City Council not take any further action.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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