Monday is deadline for newspapers’ photo contest

August 13, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 13, 2011

The Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review announce their annual photo contests, open to all amateur shutterbugs.

As in the past, contest photos can fall into one of three categories: people, scenic and animals. Entries will be weighed on the basis of originality, composition, lighting and the strength of the photo’s identification with Issaquah or Sammamish.

Photographers are invited to submit their entries by email, in JPEG format, to You also can mail an 8-by-10 print to Amateur Photo Contest, 45 Front St. S., Issaquah, WA 98027.

With all entries, include your name, address, a phone number and any story behind the photo. The entry limit is three entries per photographer. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 14.

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Citizen input is sought to shape King County Parks

August 12, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 12, 2011

King County Parks administrators need opinions from visitors about parks, trails and natural areas — and how to improve the 26,000-acre system.

The agency plans to conduct in-person surveys at parks and along trails throughout August and September, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park between Issaquah and Newcastle, Marymoor Park in Redmond and along the Soos Creek Trail in Kent.

“We want to hear directly from parks and trails users about their experiences at King County Parks’ facilities so that we can help plan and prioritize for the future,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement. “Measuring customer satisfaction is consistent with King County’s strategic plan and provides us with important feedback.”

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Charity donations to honor late Issaquah girl surpass $1 million

August 12, 2011

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 12, 2011

Charity donations in honor of Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl fatally injured in a pileup last month, surpassed the $1 million mark Friday, as the cause received another round of national attention.

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, highlighted Rachel’s mission to raise funds for Charity:Water, a New York-based nonprofit organization spearheading water projects in developing nations.

Donations surged to more than $900,000 after Kristof’s column appeared Thursday and continued upward.

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Suspected dealer faces homicide charge after overdose claims Issaquah graduate

August 11, 2011

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Aug. 11, 2011

King County prosecutors last week filed a seldom-used drug homicide charge against a Seattle man accused of selling a fatal dose of heroin to a former Issaquah High School student.

Prosecutors said Adam F. Pepka, 20, sold the heroin Zachary Lyter injected May 3. Investigators said Lyter later died from a heroin overdose. Lyter’s father discovered the former Issaquah High football player dead at the Bellevue home they shared the next day.

Investigators later determined his blood contained overdose levels of opiates. Police said Lyter admitted his drug problem to family members not long before he died. Officers discovered syringes and drug paraphernalia in his room during the investigation.

Pepka faces a charge for controlled substances homicide, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. Under state law, a controlled substances homicide is treated similar to manslaughter.

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Skyline grad Jake Heaps named to O’Brien list

August 11, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 11, 2011

Brigham Young University sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps, a former Skyline High School star, has been named to the 2011 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Heaps broke every freshman BYU quarterback record, including wins, games started, passing yards, completions and touchdowns. The former No. 1-ranked quarterback by started 10 games in 2010, completing 219-of-383 passes for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Three BYU quarterbacks have won four O’Brien awards, including Jim McMahon in 1981, Steve Young in 1983, and Ty Detmer in 1990 and 1991.

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Fees for most state fishing, hunting licenses to rise soon

August 11, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 11, 2011

Starting Sept. 1, anglers and hunters must pay more for state fishing and hunting licenses.

The cost of annual resident freshwater fishing permits, for example, is due to rise from $24 to $27.50. For permits to hunt deer, elk, bears and cougar in the Evergreen State, the cost bumps from $79.20 to $93.50. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a complete list of the updated fees.

The hike is the first general recreational license fee increase in more than a decade. Not all license fees increase under the plan, and some decline, including licenses for youths, seniors and disabled people.

State lawmakers approved the fees to meet rising costs and to close a budget shortfall in revenue used to manage hunting, fishing, and fish and wildlife populations.

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Aug. 11 offers numerical reminder to call 811 before digging

August 10, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 10, 2011

Puget Sound Energy and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission plan to use Thursday — Aug. 11, or 8/11 — as a reminder to call 811 before digging.

Call the free hotline prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked for free. Scheduling the utility locator service helps keep people safe and prevents damage to underground utility lines before projects involving digging, excavating or planting.

Striking a single line can cause injuries, damages, fines and outages. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous landscaping and uneven surfaces. The risk of striking an underground utility line exists anytime a digging project is started.

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King County Parks seeks fan to serve as judge for camping contest

August 10, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 10, 2011

King County Parks needs a fan to help judge a quirky camping contest.

County parks managers selected a team of boldface names to choose the winning design in the “Little Footprint, Big Forest” competition — a contest to create a camping shelter from a 20-foot-long shipping container — but they need one more judge.

In order to enter the drawing to be a judge, people must like King County Parks on Facebook and leave a post on the wall naming their favorite camping cuisine. The entry deadline is 4:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

The deadline to submit a design for the “Little Footprint, Big Forest” competition is also Aug. 22. The selected designer receives $4,500 and a chance to see his or her work become part of King County Parks’ award-winning system of parks and open space.

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Paraglider pilot plummets to death near Squak Mountain

August 9, 2011

A paraglider pilot plunged to his death Aug. 7 as he attempted to land in a pasture near Issaquah.

Renton resident Kenneth Blanchard, 53, completed hundreds of paraglider flights before the deadly accident.

Seattle Paragliding owner Marc Chirico said Blanchard launched from Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain a couple of hours earlier and planned to land near his home on a “postage stamp of a landing field” in a pasture.

Chirico said Blanchard completed about 300 flights before the accident.

The accident occurred at about 7 p.m. in the 12300 block of 202nd Place Southeast, near the intended landing site. Blanchard plummeted to the ground in the High Valley area southwest of Squak Mountain State Park, about three miles from the usual paraglider landing site along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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Pomegranate Center answers call to help carve out a community

August 9, 2011

Bellevue Holy Cross Lutheran Church volunteers Janet Farness (left) and Kimberly Kibby seal stained carvings on a tarp outside Pomegranate Center July 16. By Emily Baer

Issaquah organization assists Bellevue church to build public space

Members of Bellevue Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the Issaquah-based Pomegranate Center cut, carved, sanded and stained wood planks for 12 hours July 16 to raise money for the construction of a communal area open to the South Bellevue community.

In commemoration of its 50th anniversary, Holy Cross appealed to the Pomegranate Center — an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering community through the creative process — for help in turning three acres of its property into a public gathering place. Pomegranate held the July 16 carveathon to help raise funds for materials necessary to build the public area.

From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., 30 members and volunteers from the church and nonprofit organization worked together to create 18 stained carvings. The carvers followed order forms designating sizes, themes and color palettes for each piece. Some customers and supporters chose to buy for their own homes, while others donated their orders to the to the soon-to-be public space.

By 6 p.m., variously sized, rectangular slabs of cedar — carved and stained with herons, feathers, pomegranates, fish and deer — lay out on tarps to dry in the sun.

The $6,000 that the carveathon raised will go toward the $70,000 to $80,000 sum Pomegranate Center Executive Director Milenko Matanovic estimates will be necessary to pay for construction materials. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans gave a $2,000 matching donation to the project, increasing the total amount of money collected to $8,000.

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