Issaquah’s National Night Out / Aug. 3, 2010

August 4, 2010

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See zHome construction up close Thursday

August 4, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2010

Explore the innovative zHome development during a monthly tour Thursday.

Meet at the Issaquah Highlands construction site — east of the Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast intersection along High Street — at 3:30 p.m. for the tour. The walkthrough should last until 4:30 p.m. Get directions here.

Because the tour includes the construction site, participants must sign a liability waiver.

Plans call for zHome to include 10 townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. By harnessing solar power and using recycled building materials, developers hope the complex causes only minimal impact to the environment.

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Renton man charged in state park shootings

August 3, 2010

Widow of slain man said suspect has gang connections

The cousin of a man shot dead at Lake Sammamish State Park faces a weapons-possession charge in connection with the case.

David Keowongphet — cousin of the slain Yang Keovongphet — faces a first-degree unlawful firearm possession charge after police found guns and ammunition at his Renton home. King County prosecutors said he also has gang ties.

The slain man’s widow told the King County Sheriff’s Office she saw the cousin fire a gun into the air during the July 17 shootout.

“David denied any knowledge of the murder and stated that he was at the park, but left prior to the shooting,” Detective Sue Peters wrote in court documents.

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Habitat for Humanity to dedicate four homes

August 3, 2010

Habitat for Humanity of East King County plans to dedicate homes for four families in the Issaquah Highlands next week.

Dignitaries and Habitat families will gather at 3 p.m. Aug. 14 to dedicate houses for the Aguirre, Reyes, Talton and Thao families. Volunteers broke ground last June on the houses at 2500 N.E. Magnolia St.

The two- to four-bedroom homes range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. Volunteers completed about 90 percent of the labor, and the families contributed 500 hours of sweat equity toward their homes.

Habitat sells the homes at cost — about $100,000. Homeowners repay no-interest loans and Habitat retains ownership of the land.

The project has attracted hundreds of volunteers during construction, including Seattle Storm players. Team members turned out in May for a weeklong Women Build event.

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Beware of home alarm sales scams

August 3, 2010

Issaquah police warned residents to be alert for door-to-door salespeople aggressively pushing security alarm systems. The salespeople might be targeting senior citizens.

Police said out-of-state companies brought a sales force into the community in past years. The salespeople might misrepresent themselves as representatives from the homeowner’s alarm company, or use another brand name, such as Honeywell or GE Security.

The solicitors might also claim to be selling a new and better product, or claim to fix a problem with the existing alarm system.

The salespeople might attempt to confuse the homeowner into signing a new contract or into making payments to a different company. Though the team might offer a no-cost installation, high monthly fees might follow.

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State taxes not bad, comparatively speaking

August 3, 2010

Washingtonians shell out a smaller percentage of their income in state and local taxes than residents in 29 other states, a report issued July 27 by the state Department of Revenue shows.

Evergreen State residents paid $105.49 in state and local taxes per $1,000 of personal income during the 2008 fiscal year, compared to the $111.99 national average. The state ranked 26th in 2007.

Washingtonians paid, on average, $4,354 in taxes during 2008 — just less than the $4,371 national average.

The report also compared property taxes.

Washington ranked No. 34 in property taxes per $1,000 personal income in 2008 — up from No. 32 in 2007.

Washingtonians paid $28.82 per $1,000 in property taxes. The national average: $34.49.

Washington ranked 26th in property taxes per capita at $1,189, or $57 less than the national average.

The report used information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau offers the only source of tax data for all states. The figures do not reflect the sharp drop in tax revenues from the 2009 fiscal year.

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Interstate 90 bridges close for air show

August 3, 2010

The state Department of Transportation plans to close Interstate 90 between Island Crest Way on Mercer Island and Interstate 5 several times from Aug. 5-8 to accommodate the Blue Angels’ Seafair practices and performances.

Plans call for the bridges to close from 9:45 a.m. – noon and from 1:15-2:30 p.m. Aug. 5, from 12:45-2:40 p.m. Aug. 6, from 12:45-2:40 p.m. Aug. 7 and from 12:45-2:40 p.m. Aug. 8.

The bridge closes to bicyclists and pedestrians 30 minutes before the automobile lanes close.

The state Route 520 floating bridge will remain open during the I-90 bridge closures.

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Police seek phone records in Leroy Hill assault investigation

August 3, 2010

Probe could lead to more charges

Issaquah police intend to search phone records to determine whether forbidden contact occurred between Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill and the girlfriend police said he assaulted in April.

Police requested a warrant July 27 to search the girlfriend’s mobile phone records to determine if she and Hill had broken a court-issued no-contact order, a misdemeanor.

Leroy Hill

Investigators intend to use the records to determine if witness tampering or intimidation took place. If detectives determine witness tampering took place, Hill could face a felony charge.

“Based on my experience, domestic violence victims and defendants can communicate with each other, even after the issuance of court orders,” Issaquah Detective Sgt. Bob Porter wrote in court documents.

The assault charge stems from a dispute between Hill, 27, and his girlfriend at the Talus home they shared.

The girlfriend confronted Hill about seeing other women, and asked to see his phone to determine whom he had been calling.

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Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast detour planned

August 3, 2010

The state Department of Transportation has closed southbound Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast under state Route 18 until late September.

During the closure, crews will replace a retaining wall damaged by Holder Creek flooding in January 2009.

Traffic will be detoured onto westbound state Route 18 to 244th Avenue Southeast, onto eastbound state Route 18 and then back to Issaquah-Hobart Road.

The shutdown started Aug. 2; the project should wrap by late September.

Floodwaters washed away sections of the retaining wall supporting the road. In the aftermath, DOT crews placed large rocks to stabilize the wall. Plans call for a pile wall longer than the original, plus replacements for the damaged roadway shoulder, barrier and guardrail.

In May, DOT officials awarded a $2 million contract to Kent-based SB Structures to complete the project.

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Rumble strips to be installed on state Route 900

August 3, 2010

Rumble strips are to be installed on state Route 900 from western Issaquah to Tukwila on Aug. 5, according to Mike Murphy, a state Department of Transportation spokesman.

One lane will be alternated around the work zone from 8 p.m. – 5 a.m.

Both shoulder and centerline rumble strips, as well as some patches of guardrail, will be installed from Issaquah near Talus to about 148th Avenue Southeast in Renton.

Rumble strips are grooves in the pavement along the shoulder or centerline that when driven over cause the car to vibrate and alert a driver that he or she is leaving the roadway.

“Typically, they are installed on fairly rural highways where there is no divider or if there is a risk of cars leaving the roadway. State Route 900 fits that,” Murphy said.

The number of traffic accidents involving off-the-road or over-the-centerline collisions demonstrates a need on the road as well.

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