Puget Sound Energy restores power to Issaquah customers

December 18, 2010

NEW — 2:15 p.m. Dec. 18, 2010

Puget Sound Energy has restored power to Issaquah customers after a late-fall windstorm left thousands in the dark early Saturday.

Crews completed the task just after 2 p.m.

The utility said more than 300 Issaquah customers lost power as a result of strong winds. The storm also toppled trees and forced transportation officials to close roads in the Issaquah area overnight.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle lifted the high wind warning for the Puget Sound lowlands just before 10 a.m. Saturday.

The strong winds resulted as storm deepened offshore and a front barreled north across the region. Though forecasters said breezy conditions and occasional gusts should continue throughout the afternoon, the potential for damaging winds has lessened.

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Strong winds topple trees, force road closures

December 18, 2010

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Dec. 18, 2010

Strong winds downed trees and prompted road closures near Issaquah early Saturday morning.

Puget Sound Energy said the storm also knocked out power for more than 300 Issaquah customers.

The state Department of Transportation closed state Route 18 from Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast to Interstate 90 at about 1 a.m. Saturday. The section reopened just before 8 a.m.

Crews also closed a section of the eastbound interstate due to toppled trees on the roadway.

The high wind warning remains in effect until noon Saturday. National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle said residents should expect east winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts up to 65 mph.

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Steer clear of prowlers and other grinches during holiday shopping

December 18, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 18, 2010

The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is in high gear.

Shoppers rushing from store to store should use caution, because thieves tend to prowl parking lots in search of a hot deal. The grinches often prey on inattentive shoppers.

The nonprofit NW Insurance Council urges shoppers to take extra precautions during trips and be wary of prowlers on the hunt to snatch gifts from unattended vehicles.

The council is a public education and media relations trade association funded by member insurance companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

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King County Parks offers ‘green’ holiday gift ideas

December 18, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 18, 2010

Forget the mall.

King County Parks has “green” holiday gifts galore. Holiday shoppers can support the regional parks system by shopping at the King County Parks Store.

The sales benefit 26,000 acres of public land, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park near Issaquah.

Shoppers can create custom holiday cards, purchase parks-themed stamps or donate to the King County Parks Legacy Fund.

Zazzle, the online retailer behind the parks store, donates up to 27 percent of the net sales from purchased items to King County Parks.

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Issaquah High School swimmers clinch events

December 17, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 17, 2010

The Issaquah High School boys swimming team picked up two 4A KingCo Conference victories Thursday when the Eagles defeated Skyline and Bothell in Julius Boehm Pool.

Issaquah defeated Skyline 103-73 and beat Bothell 135-39.

Willy Matsuda, Skyler Kersten and Brian Ruggles each won two individual events for Issaquah.

Matsuda won the 100-yard butterfly with a state-qualifying time of 54.85 seconds. He captured the 200 freestyle in 1:54.33. Matsuda also swam on Issaquah’s winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.

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Issaquah School District could lose more than $3 million from governor’s cuts

December 17, 2010

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Dec. 17, 2010

The Issaquah School District is slated to lose $3.17 million in the proposed budget Gov. Chris Gregoire released Wednesday.

The 2011-13 proposed budget aims to address a $4.6 billion shortfall.

“This is on top more than $10 million in cuts from the last two budget cycles and a $1-million midyear cut to our current budget from Saturday’s special session,” Issaquah Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a statement. “If I have said we were down to the bone before now, this starts cutting into the marrow of classroom operations.”

State legislators already cut $1 million from the Issaquah district during a round of budget cutting Dec. 10.

Gregoire’s budget reduces or eliminates funding in seven key areas for Washington’s public K-12 education, including: Read more

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Forecasters issue high wind warning for Cascade foothills

December 17, 2010

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17, 2010

Forecasters urged residents in Issaquah and the Puget Sound lowlands to prepare for strong winds Friday night and Saturday morning.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle issued a high wind warning from 6 p.m. Friday until noon Saturday for the east Puget Sound lowlands. Forecasters said residents should expect east winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts up to 65 mph.

The strong winds could topple trees and power lines, and damage some structures. The rain-soaked soil from recent rainfall could exacerbate the problems.

Issaquah residents spent the early part of the week cleaning up from a deluge and Issaquah Creek flooding. Strong thunderstorms rolled through the region Monday night.

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King County acquires Cougar Mountain land near Issaquah for park

December 17, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 17, 2010

King County has acquired 41 acres near Issaquah to be added someday to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

Officials and open space groups considered the land — located west of Newport Way Northwest and south of Northwest Oakcrest Drive — as a high priority for conservation.

County planners aim to purchase additional land in the area to connect Newport Way Northwest to the 3,115-acre park. The parcel is located in the northeast corner of the preserve.

The county used $1.55 million from the King County Parks expansion levy and the Conservation Futures open space program levy to purchase the forested site. The deal closed Dec. 3.

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Organizations offer tips to eat local wares during holiday feasts

December 17, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 17, 2010

Find cranberries for a Christmas treat, or hazelnuts to add a touch to a holiday dessert, from a local producer.

The countdown to Christmas is in the single-digit days, and as shoppers start to stock pantries for the holiday, King County, Puget Sound Fresh and the Cascade Harvest Coalition offer a guide to find local ingredients for the holiday feast and seasonal celebrations.

The guide includes a tip for holiday shoppers: Farmers can be great resources for recipes and the best practices on storing and preparing purchases.

Despite the cold temperatures, shoppers can still pick up many Evergreen State wares.

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Preston trail opens to close gap in Mountains to Sound Greenway

December 16, 2010

NEW — 4 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010

Officials and trail advocates gathered in Preston on Thursday morning to open a key link in the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail network.

The state Department of Transportation and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust completed the 1.25-mile trail connector last month.

The piece connects the Issaquah to High Point Trail almost to the trailhead for the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail and completes a gap in the greenway. Before crews completed the project, hikers and other trail users had to detour onto road shoulders for the route.

“This new trail isn’t just about providing a safe connection between two regional trails; it’s also about protecting the environment,” Construction Project Engineer John Chi said.

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