Most state offices close Tuesday in order to reduce costs

February 19, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011

Most state agencies close Tuesday as a cost-cutting measure, but not Department of Licensing offices.

Licensing offices open for regular hours Tuesday. Offices usually open on Saturday close Feb. 19 for Presidents Day and offices on a Monday-to-Friday schedule close Monday for the holiday.

The closures Tuesday impact dozens of other state agencies and commissions. The state Office of Financial Management has a complete list of shutdowns.

Officials shielded services critical to public health and safety — such as Child Protective Services and the Washington State Patrol — from office closures, although the shutdowns affect some business functions at the agencies.

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Steve Birdsall, former Maple Hills Elementary School teacher, dies

February 18, 2011

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 2011

Former Maple Hills Elementary School teacher Steve Birdsall, known for his Hawaiian shirts and hiking, died Friday after an illness.

“In his 23 years in the Issaquah School District, Mr. Birdsall touched the lives of countless students, parents and staff members,” Maple Hills Principal Monique Beane wrote in an e-mail to parents.

Birdsall took a medical leave in 2010 after the disease he and his doctors were fighting — multiple system atrophy — took its toll on his body.

Multiple system atrophy is a rare condition with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. In addition, MSA patients have widespread damage to a part of the nervous system that controls important functions, including heart rate, blood pressure and sweating.

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PUP, Issaquah pet rescue, hosts adoption fair Saturday

February 18, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 18, 2011

Help a pet find a new home Saturday during People United for Pets’ adoption fair.

Issaquah-based People United for Pets, or PUP, a nonprofit organization, hosts the fair at Petco, 975 N.W. Gilman Blvd., from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.

The adoption fair features numerous dogs, plus volunteers to answer questions.

People interested in a specific dog should complete the adoption application beforehand for pre-approval, and contact PUP to ensure the dog will be at the event.

PUP specializes in small and toy breed dogs. The organization works alongside shelters, other rescue groups, and individuals to rescue dogs. PUP then places dogs in foster homes throughout the Greater Seattle area to await adoption.

Season ends for Skyline boys, Issaquah girls

February 18, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Feb. 18, 2011

The basketball seasons for the Skyline High School boys basketball team and the Issaquah girls team came to an end Thursday when both were eliminated in their respective 4A KingCo Conference tournaments at Juanita High School.

Skyline fell to Newport 53-46 in a loser-out game. Newport, 16-8, advances to a Feb. 22 playoff game against Lake Stevens or Arlington of the Western Conference. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament.

It looked too easy for Skyline early in the game when the Spartans shot to an 8-0 lead and held an 18-6 advantage going into the second quarter. However, Newport tightened its defense and fought back. The Knights went ahead 31-26 in the third quarter.

Kasen Williams topped Skyline with 10 points and seven rebounds. He sat out most of the second half because of foul trouble. Hunter Cikatz, Will Parker and Lucas Shannon each had eight points for the Spartans. Skyline, which tied for the Crest Division title this season, finished with a 14-10 record.

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Issaquah School District announces National Merit Finalists

February 18, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 18, 2011

A dozen Issaquah School District students have placed as National Merit Finalists.

Of the 1.5 million high school juniors who took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, only 15,000 were named as finalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Beginning in March to mid-June, about 8,400 finalists will receive Merit Scholarships.

The local finalists include:

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Veterinarians offer discounted services Tuesday for Spay Day

February 18, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 18, 2011

Spay Day returns Tuesday.

The annual effort presented by the Humane Society highlight the importance of saving animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats.

Spay Day is open to anyone, regardless of income level, interested in having a dog, cat, puppy or kitten spayed or neutered.

The closest participating clinic to Issaquah is South County Cats, 26828 Maple Valley Black Diamond Road, Maple Valley.

PAWS is also offering low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for Spay Day — $40 for male or female cats or kittens , and $80 for male or female dogs or puppies.

Other shelters and veterinarians in King and Snohomish counties plan to offer discounted services for Spay Day.

Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 17, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 17, 2011

Joshua Schaer

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans Thursday to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

Schaer also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

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Forecast calls for snowy, soggy conditions in Issaquah

February 17, 2011

NEW — 7 a.m. Feb. 17, 2011

Snow dappled Issaquah on Thursday morning, as meteorologists urged residents to prepare for cold temperatures and possible snow into next week.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said snow should continue in Issaquah until about 10 a.m. The total daytime accumulation could reach a half-inch. Then, the daytime high temperature should reach 42 degrees.

More rain and snow is forecast for Thursday night and Friday morning, though meteorologists do not expect significant accumulations.

Forecasters said the snow level should drop to sea level during heavy showers through Friday. Expect a rain-and-snow mix as scattered showers blanket the region.

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Police recover U-Haul truck stolen in Issaquah, but guns remain missing

February 16, 2011

NEW — 3:15 p.m. Feb. 16, 2011

Late Tuesday night, Seattle police officers recovered a U-Haul truck stolen from Issaquah on Sunday.

The household belongings inside the truck — including rifles, handguns and ammunition — remain missing. Issaquah police continue to investigate the case.

Seattle officers located the truck in the 9200 block of Eighth Avenue South after a citizen heard about the missing truck on the radio and called police. The caller recognized the Viking ship emblazoned on the side of the truck.

Issaquah police said the truck disappeared between 1:30-8:50 p.m. Sunday. In addition to the firearms and ammunition, the contents included 1,200 Australian silver coins dated from 2000 and 2008.

People with information about the case should call the Issaquah Police Department at 837-3200.

Issaquah girls basketball team stays alive in tournament

February 16, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 16, 2011

The Issaquah High School girls basketball team kept alive its hopes of landing a Class 4A State Tournament berth Tuesday with a 59-54 victory against Garfield in a loser-out game at the KingCo Tournament at Juanita High School.

Issaquah, 17-6, still needs to win two more games to earn a state tournament berth. The Eagles play Eastlake, 20-3, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Juanita in a game that determines the league’s No. 3 seed. The No. 3 seed plays a Western Conference team Feb. 22 for a berth in the state tournament.

The Eagles, smarting from a 58-55 overtime loss to rival Skyline Feb. 7, took control of their game with Garfield in the first quarter. Issaquah shot to an 18-8 lead and held a commanding 30-19 lead at halftime.

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