Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill agrees to domestic violence treatment to avoid trial

August 18, 2010

NEW — 8:30 p.m. Aug. 18, 2010

The assault charge against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill could be dropped if he completes a yearlong domestic-violence treatment program and stays out of trouble for the next 18 months.

Hill appeared in Issaquah Municipal Court on Wednesday and entered into a stipulated order of continuance. The agreement allows Hill to avoid a trial if he and the city prosecutor agree to conditions in the case.

Hill, 27, had pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge; a trial could have started as early as next week. Issaquah police arrested Hill in April after his girlfriend said he attacked her at his Talus home.

Under the conditions set by the court, Hill must complete treatment, possess no weapons and avoid breaking the law for the next 18 months.

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State House hopefuls headed for ’08 rematch

August 18, 2010

NEW — 4:35 p.m. Aug. 18, 2010

State Rep. Glenn Anderson maintained a solid lead against Democrats David Spring and Dean Willard in election results released Wednesday afternoon.

Anderson received 58 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for Spring. Willard — the candidate endorsed by local and state Democrats — trailed at 16 percent.

The results set up a rematch between Fall City resident Anderson and North Bend resident Spring. The candidates faced off in 2008 for the opportunity to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities. Spring fell short by about 2,200 votes.

In the neighboring legislative district, state Rep. Judy Clibborn held a double-digit lead over Bellevue Republican Stephen Strader, a first-time candidate. Clibborn, a four-term Democrat and Mercer Island resident, led in the contest, 53 percent to 39 percent.

Clibborn represents Talus, other Cougar Mountain communities and unincorporated King County in the Issaquah area.

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President Obama touts Issaquah businesses in Seattle speech

August 18, 2010

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria founder Joe Fugere (right, in black blazer) listens as President Obama talks to small business owners in Seattle. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (left) attended the discussion. Contributed

UPDATED — 2 p.m. Aug. 18, 2010

The restaurant President Obama mentioned in remarks about small business Tuesday in Seattle: Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria in Issaquah.

The lender the president referred to a few sentences later: the former Issaquah Community Bank.

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Established candidates lead in initial election results

August 17, 2010

UPDATED — 8:50 p.m. Aug. 17, 2010

Incumbent candidates outpaced challengers in the initial election results released Tuesday night.

The primary set up a showdown for a 5th Legislative District seat in the state House of Representatives, a competitive congressional race and a chance to elect a judge to the King County District Court bench.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Republican, outpolled Democrats Dean Willard and David Spring. Anderson polled 58 percent, Spring polled 25 percent and Willard polled 16 percent.

Unless Willard pulls ahead as ballots trickle in during the days ahead, the race will be a rematch of the 2008 contest between Anderson and Spring.

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Dual road projects snarl East Sunset Way

August 17, 2010

Flaggers help drivers navigate the East Sunset Way construction site as state crews widen the temporary, two-lane approach to the Interstate 90 interchange. By Greg Farrar

Drivers must steer through a construction gauntlet along East Sunset Way during the weeks ahead, as separate projects add space to the cramped street.

Construction crews in safety orange and heavy equipment line the road from Interstate 90 to Second Avenue to complete state and Issaquah School District plans.

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Questions arise about booze, guns at parks

August 17, 2010

Alcohol might be factor in Lake Sammamish State Park shootings

The morning after a lethal shootout at Lake Sammamish State Park last month, King County Sheriff Sue Rahr surveyed the scene: paper plates, paper towels, red Dixie cups and beer cans spread across wooden tables, spent cartridges littering the ground.

Empty beer boxes in a recycling container at Lake Sammamish State Park show evidence of alcohol consumption a week after two men were killed at the park. By Greg Farrar

The picnic provisions had been left untouched since gunshots ripped through the summer night. The shootings left a Kent man and a Seattle man dead, and injured three other people.

The sheriff met with state parks officials four days after the July 17 shootings, and raised concerns about the amount of alcohol allowed in the family-friendly setting.

Though a motive has remained elusive in the month since the gun battle, investigators believe alcohol might have been a factor in the shootout. In the meantime, the incident has raised questions about booze and firearms in parks — a cocktail that has the potential for dangerous side effects.

“That’s not a good mix, whether you’re in a park or at home or out hunting or out camping somewhere,” Lake Sammamish Park Manager Rich Benson said.

The shootings also stoked a debate about firearms laws and the presence of guns in parks.

Washington allows firearms in state parks, as long as the owner obeys gun regulations and park rules. Discharging a firearm is prohibited in state parks.

The only person charged in connection to the gun battle, Renton resident David Keowongphet, faces a first-degree unlawful weapons possession charge. Keowongphet — in custody at the King County Jail on $500,000 bail — is due in court Aug. 18 for a case-setting hearing.

“The bottom line is, controls don’t work,” Joe Waldron, chief lobbyist for the Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association and Washington Arms Collectors, said last week. “The bad guys, like the ones at Lake Sammamish State Park, would still have guns.”

Washington CeaseFire Executive Director Michael Wolfe disputes the assessment offered by the gun-rights lobbyist. The organization advocates for stronger gun-control measures.

“As much as the other side says guns don’t kill people and that people kill people, well, guns kill people,” he said. “In this situation at Lake Sammamish, if nobody had had a gun, it would have been a fistfight.”

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Teens robbed at gunpoint at Apollo Elementary School

August 17, 2010

Police said masked men robbed two teenagers at gunpoint at Apollo Elementary School early Aug. 9.

King County Sheriff’s Office detectives said an 18-year-old man and 19-year-old man were robbed at gunpoint at the school, 15025 S.E. 117th St., just after 1 a.m.

Investigators said the teenagers received a call from a 16-year-old friend late the previous night. The friend told them he was in trouble and needed $90. He told them he was at a mutual friend’s house and that he could meet them at the school.

The teenagers picked up the 16-year-old at Apollo. They described the younger teenager as acting nervous and shaking. Immediately after the 16-year-old got in their car, two masked men smashed the front side windows.

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Port Blakely Companies names new CEO

August 17, 2010

Issaquah Highlands parent company Port Blakely Companies has a new CEO, the company announced Aug. 16.

René Ancinas stepped into the top job July 1, completing a planned succession by the family-owned forestry and real estate business. The company is based in Seattle.

Subsidiary Port Blakely Communities started to develop the highlands in the mid-1990s. The community now houses more than 7,000 people.

Ancinas, 45, succeeds James Eddy Warjone, a third-generation family member and CEO for 32 years. Ancinas has served as president and chief operating officer since December 2008. He is a fourth-generation member of the Eddy family, Port Blakely Companies’ founders and owners.

Ancinas manages and oversees forestry and real estate businesses in the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand. The operations include Port Blakely Tree Farms in Washington and Oregon, the Blakely Pacific forestlands in New Zealand, Port Blakely Communities and Pacific Lumber & Shipping, a log export business.

Landscape architect hopes outreach shapes city parks

August 17, 2010

The downtown parks strung along Issaquah Creek might not include a soccer field or a baseball diamond, but the former farmsteads could be a hub for lessons about local history and creekside ecology.

Map by Dona Mokin

The city and the landscape architect start the planning process for the parks next week, during a picnic at the 15.5-acre site. Planners hope the suppertime gathering affords residents a chance to explore the parks — Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek — peer inside old farmhouses and observe squirrels darting up trees and ducks bobbing in the creek.

Though preservation rules and limits on creekside construction shape how the park can be developed, landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said he hopes the setting inspires the picnickers to offer creative ideas.

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Keep waterways clean during summer recreation

August 17, 2010

King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert has encouraged residents to clean up after themselves on area waterways.

State law bans disposing of trash in waterways. Offenders can be charged with a misdemeanor.

The infraction carries a fine up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. King County Sheriff’s Office patrols intend to watch for careless swimmers, rafters and boaters this summer.

Lambert represents Issaquah and northeastern King County. In recent days, she has heard from citizens complaining about garbage left on their property.

“Summer vacation is a good time to remind everyone to dispose of your garbage properly, especially in a water environment,” she said in a news release. “In addition to polluting waterfront properties and contaminating salmon habitat, throwing garbage in a state waterway such as a lake or river is unlawful.”

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