Use fire safety tips for a safe Memorial Day weekend

May 25, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 25, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources urges people headed outdoors for Memorial Day weekend to help prevent wildland fires.

Though temperatures remain on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend attracts a higher-than-average number of visitors to forests, raising wildfire concerns. Firefighters have responded to 51 wildland fires so in 2012.

“We want everyone to enjoy their Memorial Day weekend, while being safe and taking simple steps to prevent an accidental wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “An escaped campfire can threaten lives, property, and drain scarce tax dollars.”

Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish campfires. The state urges people to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits in designated areas.

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King County Council embraces social justice goals

May 25, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. May 25, 2012

King County Council members approved a plan Monday to extend outreach to underserved communities.

The council endorsed a work plan for the county Equity and Social Justice Initiative, a program to reduce economic, racial and social disparities.

“The idea behind the Equity and Social Justice Initiative was to focus on the role that our government should play in addressing disparities created by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, health, geographic location and land-use policies,” council Chairman Larry Gossett and prime sponsor said in a statement.

Launched in 2008, the Equity and Social Justice Initiative is meant to eliminate long-standing and persistent inequities and social injustices within King County by applying principles of equity and social justice in county decisions and policies.

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Issaquah liquor store to close May 29 before changeover

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah is due to close May 29, as the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to shift stores from public to private ownership.

Under a state law approved by voters last year, liquor sales by private entrepreneurs can start June 1.

The board auctioned the rights to entrepreneurs to sell liquor at the state-run store in Town & Country Square along Northwest Gilman Boulevard last month. State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000.

“There is a lot of work involved in transferring these stores to private ownership,” Chris Liu, director of retail services for the liquor authority, said in a statement. “This method will ensure that our customers have the ability to buy liquor right up until June 1, when private retailers take over.”

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Meat producer recalls bratwurst as Memorial Day approaches

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Zenner’s Quality Meat Products, Inc. issued a recall for about 3,660 pounds of bratwurst due to misbranding and allergen concerns, just as Memorial Day barbecues approach.

The company, based in a Portland, Ore., issued the recall because the product contains soy protein, a known allergen, not declared on the label.

The recalls is for 2.25-lb. packages containing Zenner’s Smoked Brotwurst with a sell-by date through July 17.

The product bears the establishment number “EST. 6308” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Zenner’s Quality Meat Products, Inc. produced the products through May 16, and distributed to wholesale establishments in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

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Expect transit schedule changes on Memorial Day

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should expect King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit scheduled changes Monday for Memorial Day.

Metro Transit operates on a Sunday schedule for Memorial Day. The transit agency is also offering special shuttle bus service Saturday through Monday to the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center from the Northgate Transit Center and South Renton Park & Ride.

For Metro Transit service, if a bus route does not usually operate on Sunday, then no service is offered on Memorial Day.

Metro offices also close on the holiday, including the customer information phone lines. Use the Trip Planner for travel assistance.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County mark National EMS Week

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County officials marked May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

National Emergency Medical Services Week is commemorated to publicize safety and honor the dedication of responders on the front lines of emergency medical care.

In a joint proclamation, King County Council members and King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the people and partnerships among 30 fire departments, six paramedic providers, five EMS dispatch centers and 19 hospitals in Medic One.

Introduced in 1970, King County Emergency Medical Services is a model nationwide for delivery of life-saving emergency responder services.

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Jurors rule in favor of officers in Issaquah police inquest

May 23, 2012

Issaquah Officer Brian Horn uses a map to indicate key locations Tuesday at the inquest into the death of Ronald W. Ficker in a September shootout against Horn and other officers. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 6 p.m. May 23, 2012

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes Wednesday before determining Issaquah police officers faced a life-threatening scenario and properly used lethal force to stop a rifle-toting man on the Clark Elementary School campus last year.

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Breakdance tournament fundraiser / May 18, 2012

May 23, 2012

Officers feared Issaquah gunman could escape, shoot bystanders

May 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 23, 2012

Police involved in a shootout at Clark Elementary School feared the gunman could escape from the campus and shoot bystanders in surrounding neighborhoods, and resorted to lethal force to eliminate the threat, officers involved in the shooting testified at a court hearing Tuesday.

Police fatally shot Ronald W. Ficker, 51, in late September after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by. Moments later, at about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, Ficker shot at bystanders and police officers on the Clark Elementary campus.

The tense moments after Ficker reached the school grounds formed the basis for the Tuesday testimony at a King County-led inquest into the actions of officers involved in the shootout — Laura Asbell, Brian Horn, Christian Muñoz and Jesse Petersen.

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World War II nurse treated wounded soldiers at decisive battles

May 22, 2012

In the distance, not far from beaches along Sainte-Maxime, a city along the Mediterranean Sea, a battle raged to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

Lucille Lundstrom

Offshore, a ship painted a radiant white girded for the inevitable casualties — incoming soldiers suffering from gunshot and shrapnel wounds. The crew aboard spent the months beforehand preparing for service in a combat zone.

The complement of nurses aboard the ship, U.S. Army Hospital Ship Marigold, included 21-year-old Lucille Lennart, a compassionate young woman from tiny Everson, near the border between Washington and British Columbia.

Nowadays, Lucille Lennart is Lucille Lundstrom, a retired nurse and resident at Providence Point in Issaquah. Like other World War II veterans — a group dubbed “The Greatest Generation” by journalist Tom Brokaw — Lundstrom is humble about the years she served aboard the Marigold.

“I thought I should,” she said in a recent interview. “There was a war on.”

Lundstrom served as a nurse aboard the Marigold — a cruise liner converted for wartime use — as the ship sailed around the globe and joined more than 350,000 American women in military service amid World War II.

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