Police: Man robbed Issaquah bank at gunpoint

March 24, 2012

NEW — 7 p.m. March 24, 2012

Police said a man robbed a KeyBank branch in Issaquah on Saturday morning, and then escaped.

Police said the man showed a bank employee a gun and passed the employee a note demanding money at about 11 a.m.

Officers responded to the bank in the 400 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard moments later, but could not locate the man.

The employee described the man to police as a white man in his 30s, 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 200 pounds. Police said he wore a beige hooded coat, jeans and a dark colored baseball cap, and carried a motorcycle helmet.

The suspect used dark clothing to conceal the lower portion of his face.

The suspect fled eastbound from the bank.

The case is under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department and the FBI.

City approves permit for medical marijuana collective

March 23, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. March 23, 2012

The long process to establish a medical marijuana collective garden — and city rules for such operations — reached a milestone Friday, as planners approved a permit for GreenLink Collective to open along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The facility in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. is proposed as a place to process and deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients, offer classes and information, and sell supplies for people to produce and consume marijuana under a framework established by state law. GreenLink does not intend to grow marijuana in the space.

State law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces.

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Issaquah girls best Forest Ridge, advance to 5-0 in lacrosse

March 23, 2012

NEW — 11:40 a.m. March 23, 2012

Haley Mincin hit eight goals to lead Issaquah to a 22-3 girls high school lacrosse win over Forest Ridge on Thursday at Eastlake Community Field in Sammamish. The win elevated the Issaquah program, which draws students from across the Issaquah School District, to the best girls record in the state at  5-0.

Isssaquah got out the gates early with a 12 – 1 first-half lead and continued to pull away from Forest Ridge in the second with 10 more goals.

Mincin, a Skyline High School junior, also had an assist and three ground balls in the win.  Issaquah freshman Suzie Emerson had four goals and Skyline’s Jacqueline Marber and Robin Ringman each had a pair of goals.

Delly Brennan, Nicole Durham and Lindsay Stone all scored for Forest Ridge.

Issaquah (5-0-0) next faces Bellevue (3-0-0s) at 7 p.m. March 26 at Robinswood Park in Bellevue.

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Issaquah councilwoman joins colleagues to back chief deputy for sheriff post

March 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 23, 2012

Outgoing King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s handpicked successor received support from King County Council members Thursday, as the council prepares to appoint the next sheriff.

Steve Strachan

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — joined Councilman Bob Ferguson and Councilwoman Julia Patterson to introduce legislation to name Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff after Rahr resigns March 31.

“I look forward to welcoming Chief Deputy Strachan as King County’s interim sheriff next month,” Lambert said in a statement. “I am particularly interested in the strategic plan he has developed for coordinating the many regional as well as local law enforcement and investigative functions of the sheriff’s office. I also look forward to increased collaboration with our 12 contract cities as we provide them with the best possible service.”

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Tuberculosis remains ongoing health threat in King County

March 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 23, 2012

King County health officials identified the first case of extremely drug resistant tuberculosis in 2011, and officials said TB continues to pose a health threat.

Public Health – Seattle & King County released the data to mark World TB Day, Saturday. In 2011, officials identified more than 100 cases of active TB countywide, including a person suffering from the extremely drug resistant TB.

Globally, TB infects one-third of the population and kills almost 2 million people each year.

King County’s active TB rate is consistently among the highest in the country. Officials said the high rate reflects the global nature of the disease. Of the 116 people suffering from TB, 88 percent had immigrated to the United States.

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King County joins Issaquah, other cities on climate change effort

March 22, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 22, 2012

King County Council members approved a partnership among the county, Issaquah and other cities to coordinate regional efforts on climate change and sustainability issues.

In a unanimous decision, leaders OK’d a program to bring together county and city staffers to collaborate on greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and other shared projects.

In June 2011, the county and several cities formed a partnership called the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration. The focus of the collaboration is to pool resources to combat the impact of climate change.

The adopted ordinance calls for County Executive Dow Constantine to enter into a pact finalizing the county’s participation in the effort.

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Department of Transportation extends studded tire deadline

March 22, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 22, 2012

The state Department of Transportation extended the studded tire removal deadline to April 16 in preparation for possible wintry conditions during the Easter holiday weekend.

In Washington, studded tires can be legally used between Nov. 1 and March 31, unless the state extends the removal deadline. Violators face a $124 penalty during other months.

The state transportation agency recommends motorists headed into higher elevations carry chains and use approved traction tires year round.

“This year, we have a combination of winter weather still in the forecast for much of the state,” Chris Christopher, director of maintenance operations, said in a statement. “With spring break and Easter right around the corner, we wanted to give drivers the chance to travel before having to take off their studded tires.”

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King County animal control needs volunteers to find lost pets

March 21, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. March 21, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County is joining the nonprofit Missing Pet Partnership to help pet owners search for lost animals.

Through the program, Mission Reunite: Help and Hope for Lost Pets, Regional Animal Services volunteers can receive training from the Missing Pet Partnership to offer hands-on assistance to people searching for a lost cat or dog. Volunteers can also learn to find the owners of lost pets already at the shelter.

The training session is 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the King County Pet Adoption Center, 21615 64th Ave. S., Kent.

“When a pet goes missing, it can be very upsetting,” said Sarah Luthens, manager of volunteer programs for Regional Animal Services of King County. “Nationally, only 16 percent of lost dogs, and just 2 percent of lost cats, are ever reunited with their owners. The Mission Reunite program is a highly innovative, volunteer-based program that can improve those odds and reconnect lost pets with their families.”

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Judge upholds Costco-backed liquor-privatization initiative

March 20, 2012

NEW — 7 p.m. March 20, 2012

The state can continue to implement the Costco-backed initiative to privatize liquor operations, a judge ruled Monday.

Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning reversed a March 2 ruling and upheld I-1183. In the earlier ruling, Warning upheld most of I-1183, but decided the measure violated a state rule prohibiting initiatives from addressing more than a single subject. I-1183 included a section directing $10 million to public safety, in addition to the liquor-privatization language.

The attorneys for the state said the source of funds and the allocation of funds share a close connection, so the section did not violate the single-subject rule.

Issaquah-based Costco — the largest employer in the city — led the push to pass I-1183 last year. Statewide, almost 60 percent of voters supported the liquor-privatization measure. I-1183 garnered lopsided support in the Issaquah area.

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In hit-and-run accident, unidentified motorist hits, kills pets in crosswalk

March 20, 2012

Neighbors unite to comfort owner, make area safer

Troy Scholzen mourns March 15 next to the neighborhood memorial to his dogs Yogi and Jake at the crosswalk where they were killed. Below, a memorial to Yogi and Jake on Newport Way Northwest grows. By Greg Farrar

Somewhere is the hit-and-run driver of a vehicle that upended an Issaquah man’s life last week.

The driver killed two service dogs, who were on a leash in a crosswalk with the signal blinking. Their owner barely escaped serious injury.

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