Issaquah police search for home invasion robbery suspects

May 18, 2012

NEW — 1:25 p.m. May 18, 2012

Issaquah police asked for assistance from the public Friday to find the suspects from a home invasion robbery.

Police said a white man and a black man forced themselves into a local apartment at about noon Wednesday. The woman inside the apartment said the white man stomped on her face and kicked her several times. The suspects asked her, “Where is it?” repeatedly as they ransacked the residence.

Police believe they searched the residence for narcotic medications. The suspects then fled the apartment on foot, carrying some of the woman’s prescription medication.

Police described the white man as 30 to 35, between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. Police said he had unfinished sleeve tattoos on each arm. On one arm, he sported front-facing skull on top of the forearm and the outline of a woman — similar to the silhouette seen on tractor-trailer mud flaps — on the inside of the same forearm.

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State Supreme Court hears challenge to Costco-backed liquor privatization

May 18, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 18, 2012

Opponents of liquor privatization urged state Supreme Court justices Thursday to overturn Initiative 1183, less than a month before the changeover from a state-run liquor system to entrepreneurs.

If the high court overturns the Costco-backed measure, state-run liquor stores could remain open and retailers could not sell spirits. The changeover is due to occur June 1, and a ruling is expected before then.

Opponents said I-1183 violates the single subject rule for statewide ballot initiatives.

In addition to the liquor privatization language, I-1183 included a section directing $10 million to public safety, in addition to the liquor-privatization language.

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King County Council to scrutinize proposed arena package

May 18, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 18, 2012

King County Council members intend to scrutinize a proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle to determine if financing for the plan is feasible and if arena-related traffic could harm other businesses in the area.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, joined by investor Chris Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, on Tuesday announced agreements between the county, city and the ArenaCo investment group to govern financing for a proposed arena near Safeco Field.

The proposal heads to the County Council and the Seattle City Council for additional study.

The investment group intends to contribute $290 million to construction and more than $500 million to purchase a National Basketball Association franchise. Investors also hope to land a National Hockey League team for the arena.

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Use caution, common sense to keep pets safe all summer

May 17, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 17, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County reminds pet owners to keep animals safe as temperatures rise and spring changes to summer.

Animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees.

Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Though pets need exercise during warm weather, take extra care when exercising older dogs, short-nosed dogs and dogs with thick coats. On hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours.

Another danger is leaving pets in a vehicle, especially on warm days.

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Sisters Antiques is destination for Issaquah cash mob

May 17, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 17, 2012

Sisters Antiques is the destination for the next Issaquah cash mob, organizers announced Wednesday.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

The action is due to unfold at Sisters Antiques, 615 N.W. Gilman Blvd., at 4 p.m. May 23.

The organizers — Young Issaquah Professionals, or YIPPIES, 20- and 30-something business leaders in the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — modeled the cash mob on similar events in other locales.

Organizers said most participants spend about $20 apiece, but any amount is acceptable.

The inaugural cash mob in Issaquah unfolded last month at Gilman Village merchant Lucky You. Mobbers purchased almost $3,000 in merchandise.

King County auctions used vehicles, equipment to public

May 17, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 17, 2012

Old King County Sheriff’s Office patrol cruisers and other used equipment go on the auction block Saturday, as King County hosts a semi-annual auction.

The auction features numerous pickups, vans and cars retired from county service. Bidding starts at 9 a.m. at the Fleet Administration Division of the Kcounty Department of Transportation, 3005 N.E. Fourth St., Renton, near Renton Technical College.

The auction is managed by the Fleet Administration Division.

Previews start Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the auction site, and starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Celebrate cougar cubs’ birthday, support The Beat at Cougar Mountain Zoo

May 17, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 17, 2012

Beloved cougar cubs Keira, Miksa and Tika turn 1 and to celebrate the milestone, Cougar Mountain Zoo is celebrating a day early.

The party doubles as a fundraiser for the zoo, a nonprofit organization, and The Beat, The Issaquah Press’ section by, for and about teenagers. Zoogoers can watch as the curious cubs tear open gifts and dig into special birthday cakes made from meat.

Purchase $10 tickets at the newspaper office, 45 Front St. S., at the zoo gift shop, 19525 S.E. 54th St. Or email info@cougarmountainzoo.org or call 392-6278.

The Beat staff is going to be on hand to meet people and help with face painting, birthday card making and serving cake to party guests. The event also includes raffles of zoo-related prizes.

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Strange behavior shaped Issaquah gunman’s final days

May 15, 2012

Inquest into police shootout starts May 21

The rough outlines resemble doodles more than a far-fetched blueprint, and the instructions on the page defy explanation.

Ronald Ficker

In hand-scrawled notes about a manmade island scattered among the sketches, the creator urges, “Start building Atlantis.”

The creator later stuffed the notes, sketches and more than $23,000 in Swiss francs into a safe deposit box at the Bank of America branch in Issaquah.

The stack of documents contained instructions for the reader.

“If I get hurt, must take this to police.”

The sentence outlined the future. The man behind the notes, Ronald W. Ficker, 51, died in a police shootout on the Clark Elementary School campus Sept. 24.

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Substitute bus driver, a former teacher, arrested for child porn

May 15, 2012

Andrew Rekdahl

Issaquah School District and Eastside Catholic High School officials sought to reassure parents and students May 11 after federal agents arrested a substitute bus driver for the Issaquah district and former Eastside Catholic teacher for possession of child pornography.

Andrew Bernard Rekdahl, 29, faces child pornography charges after federal prosecutors said the Carnation resident shared explicit images and videos of boys online from his home computer.

Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rekdahl at a school district facility May 10 after a monthslong sting operation.

Federal prosecutors charged him with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Rekdahl served as a substitute bus driver for more than a dozen routes throughout the school district between Nov. 14 and May 10 and as a science teacher at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish from 2005 to June 2010.

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Issaquah dog breeder faces cruelty charges for hoarding animals

May 15, 2012

The empty kennels outside a rundown Issaquah house and the sound of dogs barking from inside alerted animal rescue advocates to possible trouble.

Days later, in early October, King County Sheriff’s Office investigators raided the house and discovered 62 Chihuahuas and Japanese Chins confined in filthy carriers.

On May 3, King County prosecutors filed animal-cruelty charges against the homeowner, a dog breeder and a past judge for the American Kennel Club, a prestigious registry of purebred dogs. Prosecutors said Issaquah resident Margaret Ann Hamilton, 70, hoarded more than 100 dogs at homes in Issaquah and Burien.

Detective John K. Pavlovich said Hamilton and her since-deceased husband hoarded the animals at a home in the 5900 block of 189th Avenue Southeast on Cougar Mountain, about a mile south of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

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