Motorist dies in head-on collision near Issaquah

April 23, 2011

Troopers blocked traffic near the mangled vehicles along state Route 18 after the deadly crash Saturday. By Washington State Patrol

NEW — 11:50 p.m. April 23, 2011

Police said a 36-year-old Covington man died after a head-on collision on state Route 18 near Issaquah on Saturday night.

The crash sent two other people to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.

Police said the vehicles had been racing on a stretch of the highway east of Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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Crews launch ‘striping season’ on local roads

April 23, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 23, 2011

The state Department of Transportation is planning a makeover for the yellow and white stripes along local roads to combat the fading from a harsh winter.

The agency recently launched “striping season” and reminded motorists to watch for wet paint on Puget Sound-area highways.

Through October, crews plan to lay down more than 4,500 miles of striping on both roadway and ramp lanes between the King-Pierce county line and the Canadian border.

Adding a fresh coat of reflective paint during the drier months makes the stripes for drivers to see the road when winter rains return.

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Washington State Patrol updates motorcycle fleet

April 23, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 23, 2011

Motorists should watch road shoulders soon for state troopers on sleek rides.

The state patrol has started the transition from BMW motorcycles to the Honda ST 1300 PA. The agency has 43 full-time troopers on motorcycles across the state. So far, 12 have completed the transition.

The state patrol formed in 1921 with a half dozen troopers on Indian Motorcycles.

“Throughout the patrol’s history motorcycles have proven to be an effective tool for traffic enforcement. This transition reduces cost and will still provide the safety and performance necessary for our motor officers,” WSP Chief John Batiste said in a release.

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Landslide poses risk to Squak Mountain neighborhood’s utilities

April 22, 2011

NEW — 7 p.m. April 22, 2011

The city has agreed to spend $30,000 to gather data on a landslide creeping down a Squak Mountain hillside and threatening utilities leading to the Forest Rim neighborhood.

The landslide poses a risk to the only utility lines and road to the hilltop neighborhood of about 100 homes. Forest Rim is the highest-elevation neighborhood on the mountain.

“The earth essentially just decided it was time,” Sheldon Lynne, city deputy public works engineering director, told City Council members Monday. “It couldn’t hold itself up any longer.”

The landslide is inching down Squak Mountain near a switchback along Mountainside Drive Southwest, less than a mile downhill from Forest Rim. The section of displaced hillside is about 200 feet across and stretches about 100 feet from end to eroded end.

Only a road shoulder is closed so far, and the roadway remains open to traffic. The landslide also eroded soil from beneath guardrail posts along the street.

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‘Share Your Washington’ and earn travel prizes

April 22, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 22, 2011

Washington State Tourism is inviting Washingtonians to invite friends and family members to visit the Evergreen Green as part of the Share Your Washington promotion.

Running through June 15, Share Your Washington encourages people to send invitations. In the process, participants also automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win trips from Alaska Airlines.

Entering is simple. Washingtonians can visit the Share Your Washington website to send electronic postcards to friends. No limit exists for the number of times residents can enter. The more friends and family they invite, the more chances they have to win the grand prize.

Share Your Washington is also on Facebook. Washington State Tourism is encouraging people to use the hashtag #ShareYourWA to discuss the promotion on Twitter.

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Legislators approve $30 fee for state recreation lands

April 21, 2011

NEW — 6:45 p.m. April 21, 2011

Outdoors enthusiasts could start paying $30 to park at state trailheads and use state parks starting in July.

In a party-line vote Thursday, the state House of Representatives passed legislation to create a Discover Pass for state parks and open spaces, including Lake Sammamish State Park and Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

The state Senate passed the measure in a bipartisan vote Wednesday.

The legislation now heads to the governor. Gov. Chris Gregoire also proposed a user fee for state parks in a proposed budget released in December.

Users could use the annual Discover Pass to park at trailheads and other state-managed lands. For users uninterested in the annual parking pass, the legislation proposes a $10 day-use fee for using the lands. Otherwise, violators could face a ticket.

The proposal attracted broad support from outdoor recreation groups, including the Washington Trails Association.

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Issaquah girls, 11 and 12, could face cyberstalking charge

April 21, 2011

NEW — 2:35 p.m. April 21, 2011

Facebook posts could land a pair of Issaquah girls in court, the Issaquah Police Department announced Thursday afternoon.

The police department responded to a report of harassment March 18 from the mother of another 12-year-old girl. The mother said someone had accessed her daughter’s Facebook page and posted sexually explicit photos and messages.

Investigators recommended cyberstalking and second-degree computer trespass charges against the girls, and referred the case to King County Juvenile Court.

Cmdr. Stan Conrad said the agency could not release additional information about the investigation.

Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said the office is due to make a decision on charges for the girls within the next week. The suspects have not been arrested or booked.

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Issaquah softball rolls to second consecutive win

April 21, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. April 21, 2011

The Issaquah High School softball team erupted for four runs in the bottom of the second inning Tuesday as the Eagles defeated visiting Inglemoor 6-4 in a 4A KingCo Conference contest.

Heather Benjamin led Issaquah with three hits. The victory was the second in a row for Issaquah.

The Eagles also defeated host Bothell 7-3 Monday. Issaquah scored four times in the top of the fifth inning to break open the contest. Benjamin again led the Eagles with two hits and four runs batted in. Winning pitcher Brielle Bray struck out six batters.

In other action, Skyline lost to visiting Woodinville 13-2. The day before, Skyline whipped Roosevelt 13-7. Anya Kamber went 6-for-6 for Skyline and drove in two runs. Lindsey Nicholson had two hits and drove in a run. Megan Burns was the winning pitcher for Skyline.

In the 3A/2A KingCo Conference, Liberty walloped visiting Mercer Island 14-2 April 19. Taylor Wiek had three hits to lead Liberty. Marissa Jeffers contributed two hits and three runs batted in, and Jenn Rucker had two hits and two RBIs for the Patriots. Liberty scored 11 times in the bottom of the second inning.

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Issaquah legislator backs hiring preference for veterans

April 21, 2011

Ted Wicorek (from right), J.W. Johnson, Booker Stallworth, Mike Gregoire, Gov. Chris Gregoire, Jim Robinson, Marjorie James, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Jeff Baxter, David Black Jr. and Tom Hinman at the Wednesday signing ceremony. Contributed

NEW — 10:30 a.m. April 21, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday to allow employers to give military veterans a leg up in job searches.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, sponsor of the legislation and a 5th Legislative District lawmaker, hailed the measure to establish employment preferences for veterans, widows or widowers of veterans, and spouses of certain veterans. (The district includes Issaquah and East King County.)

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County reminds homeowners to pay property taxes soon

April 21, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 21, 2011

King County reminded property owners recently to pay or postmark first-half property taxes by May 2.

The deadline applies in 2011 because the usual deadline, April 30, falls on a Saturday. The remaining taxes must be paid or postmarked by Oct. 31. If a property owner misses the May 2 deadline, the county adds interest charges and penalties to the tax bill.

Most Issaquah homeowners should pay about 29 cents more per $1,000 in assessed value on the property tax bills starting to arrive in mailboxes across King County. Inside Issaquah city limits, homeowners pay, on average, $11.13 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed value. The total amounted to $10.84 last year.

Issaquah and county residents started to receive property tax bills in the mail Feb. 14.

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