Fire from biodiesel kit destroys Cougar Mountain home early Sunday

July 31, 2011

NEW — 1:15 p.m. July 31, 2011

Fire roared through a Cougar Mountain home early Sunday morning after a backyard biodiesel kit started the blaze.

Just after 6 a.m. Sunday, neighbors reported  flames and smoke shooting from a house in the 17000 block of Southeast 60th Street, a tree-lined neighborhood between Cougar Mountain Zoo and Cougar Ridge Elementary School.

Firefighters discovered barrels and other equipment used to manufacture biodiesel behind the home. Investigators later determined the biodiesel kit started the fire.

“The fire began in the middle of that process, outside of the home, and came into the home from there,” said Lt. Troy Donlin, a Bellevue Fire Department spokesman.

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Report dead birds to help health officials track West Nile virus

July 31, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. July 31, 2011

King County public health officials need community members to crow about dead birds in order track the West Nile virus.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is asking residents to report dead birds by phone at 206-205-4394 or online. Crows, in particular, die quickly from West Nile virus, and clusters of dead crows could indicate the presence of the virus.

Officials did not detect West Nile virus in King County last year, but the virus has been active locally in the past.

Most people do not feel the effects of the infection, but in others, West Nile disease can cause severe symptoms, including diseases of the brain and spinal cord. West Nile disease caused 57 deaths in the United States last year, out of 1,021 reported cases in 41 states.

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Issaquah sends condolences to Norway after Oslo tragedy

July 31, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. July 31, 2011

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway prompted a global outpouring of goodwill to the Scandinavian nation, including a message from Issaquah.

Sister Cities Commission Chairman Mike Pautz sent a note to officials in Issaquah’s sister city, Sunndal, after the July 22 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Oslo, and a nearby youth camp. Authorities put the death toll at 77 people.

“I wanted to take a moment to say hello and send our positive thoughts to you and your families throughout Norway. Given the recent events in Oslo, and elsewhere in the world, it is important that we all do our best to help spread goodwill and support,” Pautz wrote. “Many of us in Issaquah are thinking of you and hoping that you are all doing well.”

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Issaquah couple hopes Facebook contest cures financial headaches

July 28, 2011

NEW — 3:15 p.m. July 28, 2011

Issaquah resident Gus Campanaro said he often jokes that his wife’s shopping habits give him a headache.

He admitted he never thought those habits might lead to a $50,000 payday.

Out of some 300 entries in the still picture category, Campanaro’s depiction of his “Shop-aholic Headache” is one of 10 finalists in the Excedrin “What’s your headache?” contest. Visitors to Excedrin’s Facebook page can vote for their favorite headache shot or video, with the top vote getter in each category earning the already mentioned $50,000 grand prize.

Campanaro’s shot shows him sitting at a table, his eyes wide, his hands thrown up in frustration. Wife Kelly stands next to him smiling and happily showing off two apparently new pairs of shoes. An oversized price tag dangles from each.

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State honors bank employees for protecting Issaquah senior from fraud

July 28, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. July 28, 2011

State Attorney General Rob McKenna honored Bellevue bank employees Thursday for protecting a then-78-year-old Issaquah man suffering from dementia.

In 2008, a massage therapist at a local assisted-living facility and another woman tried to bilk the man out of his savings. Authorities said the women took the man from the Issaquah facility to a courthouse wedding. Then, the massage therapist bride and the other woman took him to a Bank of America branch in Bellevue to cash out his bank account.

Employees called the police, and officers arrested the women.

For the effort, the employees received AGO Community Heroes plaques from McKenna at the bank. The attorney general also announced training materials to encourage more tellers to come to the aid of vulnerable customers.

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Lakeside, Cannons baseball teams head to state

July 28, 2011

 NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 28, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery U-17 baseball team and the Renton Cannons are headed for the AA state American Legion baseball tournament Aug. 2-6 in Spokane.

Both teams were victorious Wednesday in second-round district tournament games at Bannerwood Park.

Lakeside, composed mostly of Issaquah and Newport high schools’ players, and the Cannons, composed of Liberty High players, meet at 4 p.m. Thursday in the district championship round.

Lakeside defeated Bellevue Legion 15-5 on Tuesday and edged Woodinville 4-3 on Wednesday.

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Monthlong Hike-a-Thon to launch at High Point Trailhead

July 28, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. July 28, 2011

Hikers plan to rise and shine not long after dawn Monday — and then hike all month long — to help the Washington Trails Association preserve and maintain trails across the Evergreen State.

The nonprofit organization’s annual Hike-a-Thon is scheduled to launch at 6 a.m. Monday at the High Point Trailhead near Issaquah. Hikers can register at the organization’s website or call 206-625-1367. Registration is $15 and includes a T-shirt.

“This 6 a.m. guided hike is our way of helping these awesome folks get their Hike-a-Thon campaigns started with a bang,” Lace Thornberg, hike leader and Washington Trails magazine editor, said in a news release. “Before 9 a.m., when they head off to work on Monday, these hikers will already have five miles under their boots for their Hike-a-Thon campaigns. That’s pretty cool.”

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Washington State Patrol is No. 1 on continent for DUI enforcement

July 28, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. July 28, 2011

The numbers show the Washington State Patrol is tough on drunken drivers: Troopers arrested almost 20,000 last year.

For the effort, the International Association of Chiefs of Police named the Washington State Patrol as the top DUI enforcement agency in North America.

The honor recognizes agencies for “year-round efforts to detect and apprehend impaired drivers and to address impaired driving through policies, officer training, and public information and education.” The state patrol is due to receive the award in October at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste has told front-line troopers they have no higher priority than removing drunken drivers from the road.

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Lawmakers back measure to restore endangered listings, keep kokanee proposal afloat

July 27, 2011

NEW — 8 p.m. July 27, 2011

In a rare bipartisan effort, the U.S. House of Representatives backed a proposal Wednesday to allow officials to add animals and plants to the Endangered Species Act — a measure important to a coming protection decision for Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.

In a spending bill, House Republicans called for only allowing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove species from the endangered list, rather than add others. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a powerful Belfair Democrat, led the effort to strip the so-called “extinction rider” from the spending bill.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Issaquah’s representative in Congress and a Republican, joined 36 other GOP representatives and 187 Democrats to support Dicks’ amendment.

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Rotary Challenge Day Race / July 16, 2011

July 27, 2011

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