U.S. attorney, Issaquah native, receives top honor

April 2, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. April 2, 2011

Seattle University School of Law leaders honored Issaquah native Jenny Durkan, the top federal prosecutor in the region, on Thursday for a strong commitment to women’s issues and acting as a role model for others.

Durkan, the U.S. attorney for Western Washington, received the 2011 Woman of the Year Award from the Seattle University School of Law and the Women’s Law Caucus.

Dean Mark Niles praised Durkan for a lifelong dedication to justice.

“I’ve been told the surest way to get Jenny to do something is to tell her how it will help someone else,” he said in remarks posted on the law school website.

In May 2009, President Barack Obama selected Durkan to serve as U.S. attorney for the district — encompassing 19 counties, about 25,000 square miles and almost 5 million people. In a unanimous decision, senators confirmed the appointment months later.

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Issaquah student is headed for National Geographic Bee

April 2, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 2, 2011

Arjun Kumar, a 13-year-old Issaquah student, knows the way to Washington, D.C. — and to a lot of other places, too, as a matter of fact.

Arjun is the state Geographic Bee champion and, next month, is due to travel to the other Washington to compete in the National Geographic Bee.

In the state competition at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma on Friday, Arjun bested a 14-year-old Mount Vernon boy for the Evergreen State title. (Arjun also ranked placed among the top 10 challengers at the state level last year.)

The make-or-break question asked the finalists to identify the Asian country China surpassed last year to became the second-largest economy in the world. Arjun’s correct answer: Japan.

The national bee is scheduled for May 24-25 at the Smithsonian Institution. “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek serves as the moderator for the competition.

Issaquah girls track team charges past Roosevelt

April 1, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. April 1, 2011

It’s getting to be an old routine for Issaquah High School’s Eva Perry.

She broke her own school record in the pole vault for the fourth time Thursday in a 4A KingCo Conference meet at Roosevelt. Perry went 12-feet, which currently ranks second in the state and first in the conference.

Issaquah’s McKenna Hogan came close to a school record in the long jump, leaping 17 feet, 3 1/2 inches. She came within 3/4 of an inch of the school record. It was also the longest jump by an Issaquah girl in 36 years.

Both Perry and Hogan finished first in the events. In addition, Haley Jacobson had a pair of first places as the Eagles ran past Roosevelt 89-52.

Jacobson won the 100 meters in 12.9 seconds and the 200 in 26.5. She anchored Issaquah’s winning 4×200 and 4×400 relays. Teammates Lauren Bruner and Katie Zhong each had two first places, too. Bruner won the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. Zhong captured the discus and javelin.

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Planning is focus for Disaster Preparedness Month

April 1, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 1, 2011

April is Disaster Preparedness Month — no fooling.

The month of activities focused on emergency preparedness includes a statewide earthquake drill and a conference to help regional and state planners gird for disasters.

“I encourage all citizens to increase their knowledge and awareness of proper safety measures to follow before, during and after a disaster,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation.

The governor said state, city and county emergency management agencies also intend promote the value of preparedness across the Evergreen State during the monthlong observance.

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Troopers start enforcing emergency zone law

April 1, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 1, 2011

Washington State Patrol troopers start enforcing a statewide emergency zone law Friday, meaning motorists need to make more room for emergency vehicles or face a stiffer penalty.

The enhanced emergency zone law builds upon existing “move over” regulations to create zones similar to constructions zones around emergency workers. The emergency zone stretches 200 feet in both directions from emergency vehicles.

The emergency vehicles include police cars, fire and emergency medical service vehicles, tow trucks and state Department of Transportation vehicles.

Under the law, the fine doubles for motorists caught speeding or failing to move over in emergency zones. Offenders face a possible gross misdemeanor charge, jail time and a mandatory 60-day license suspension.

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Issaquah-created film ‘Eyes in the Dark’ debuts on DVD

April 1, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 1, 2011

“Eyes in the Dark” — a film featuring Issaquah actors — reached another milestone Wednesday: a DVD release.

The low-budget film appeared in numerous film festivals last year, including Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, or STIFF.

Shooting for “Eyes in the Dark” started in June 2008. Issaquah resident Bjorn Anderson penned the script and directed.

“I always had a feeling it would get out to the public somehow,” he said. “So many people worked hard on the film. I wanted the performances of the actors and the crew to be seen.”

Fans of horror flicks can purchase “Eyes in the Dark” at Amazon.com and the official website.

“When a project makes it to the distribution level, you know there’s so much sweat equity that was put into it,” said Issaquah resident Maureen Francisco, a lead actress in the film. “I’m happy for Bjorn. The film is his baby.”

In November 2009, “Eyes in the Dark” premiered at the JewelBox Theatre in Seattle to a sold-out audience.

Report: Statewide traffic deaths reach historic low

March 31, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 31, 2011

The number of deaths on Washington roadways reached a historic low last year: 448, a decline from the 492 deaths in 2009.

Washington Traffic Safety Commission officials said 2010 marked the safest year ever on Washington roads. The number of deaths could increase slightly as the commission continues to receive reports.

Under a highway safety plan called Target Zero, the state aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Washington during the next 19 years. Officials set a goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030.

“The lives saved are a true testament to the effectiveness of Washington’s comprehensive and integrated approach to traffic safety: the Target Zero plan,” commission Director Lowell Porter said in a statement Wednesday.

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Lake Sammamish levels raise concerns among shoreline residents

March 30, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. March 30, 2011

Leaders said King County is removing invasive aquatic plants and enacting other steps along Lake Sammamish in order to address high water levels along the shoreline.

County Executive Dow Constantine said the county plans a series of steps to reduce the seasonal flooding along the lake.

“We are taking immediate action to provide relief for lakeside residents who have to deal with high lake levels — particularly during the wettest months of the year,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.

The outlet from Lake Sammamish into the Sammamish River at county-run Marymoor Park is marked by a shallow, fixed-concrete spillway and a section of channel downstream from the weir. The area, called the transition zone, marks the shift from lake to river.

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Red Cross reminds people in flood-prone areas to prepare

March 30, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. March 30, 2011

The strong storm system rolling across Western Washington prompted the local American Red Cross chapter to prepare for potential flooding.

“The forecast for the next few days include a flood watch for local rivers with heavy rainfall so people should be aware of the possibility of urban flooding,” Susan Pelaez, director of preparedness and community engagement for the organization, said in a release. “Drivers should use caution when out on the road.”

Meteorologists issued a flood watch for East King County and much of Western Washington through Friday.

Under a flood watch, favorable conditions for flooding exist, but flooding is not imminent or occurring. National Weather Service meteorologists said resident should monitor forecasts and prepare to act quickly if a flood warning is issued.

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Celebrate the ’80s — and pedal to blend smoothies — Friday

March 30, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. March 30, 2011

Hop on a bike and use pedal power to blend a smoothie Friday.

Though the stunt sounds like a prank fit for April Fools’ Day, the promotion is part of a 25th anniversary celebration for Lifeway Kefir, a creamy, milk-based beverage.

“The Lifeway 25th Anniversary Tour” lands in Issaquah at PCC Natural Markets, 1810 12th Ave. N.W., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The tour also stops at other PCC locations in the area.

The tour stretches 11 weeks in a nonstop party from coast to coast. The party celebrates everything fun and funky about the ’80s.

Participants can pedal customized human-powered blender bikes and blend tasty Lifeway Kefir smoothies, and sample limited-edition Birthday Cake Kefir and other flavors. Other activities include taking a blast-from-the past 1980s-styled photos using green screen technology, participating in digital games and enjoying Foursquare check-in prizes.

Lifeway Foods is also donating $25,000 to Healthy Kids Challenge, a nonprofit organization set up to help school, health, business and community leaders take action for children to eat, move and enjoy a healthy balance.

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