Nominate small businesses for King County honor

June 2, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 2, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine is on the search for the top small businesses in the county.

The county is accepting nominations for the 2012 King County Executive Small Business Awards until July 31. In order to qualify, businesses must operate in King County, have 50 employees or fewer and have been in business for at least three years.

The nomination categories include Small Business of the Year, Minority Small Business of the Year, Woman Small Business of the Year, Exporting Small Business of the Year, Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year, Workforce Development Small Business of the Year and Rural Small Business of the Year.

Organizers plan to announce finalists Sept. 10. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

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Rob McKenna defends health care lawsuit in Issaquah High School stop

June 1, 2012

NEW — 12:20 p.m. June 1, 2012

In a stop at Issaquah High School early Friday, state Attorney General Rob McKenna defended Washington’s participation in a lawsuit against the federal health care law, days before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling.

Rob McKenna

The top legal officer in the state used the health care lawsuit to illustrate the concept of federalism — powers shared by state and federal governments — to seniors in Jeremy Ritzer’s Advanced Placement Government & Politics class.

The lawsuit stems from a provision in the Affordable Care Act — a requirement for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty.

“Under that mandate, for the first time, Congress is attempting to do something which they’ve never tried before in our country’s history,” McKenna said. “They’re telling Americans that they have to go into the private markets to buy a commercial product — health insurance — with their own money.”

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2012 Summer Freetime

June 1, 2012

Open publication – Free publishingMore activites

Mason, Sophia rank as most popular baby names in Washington

June 1, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 1, 2012

Mason and Sophia ranked as the most-popular baby names in Washington last year — a reflection of popular baby names nationwide.

The data comes from the U.S. Social Security Administration’s annual ranking of baby names in the United States. In Washington, parents named 444 infant boys Mason and 440 infant girls Sophia.

Liam ranked No. 2 on the list of names for boys. Olivia filled the slot on the list of names for girls. Alexander and Emma came in at No. 3.

Jacob, No. 4 on the list of top names for boys, rose in recent years due to a character in the mega-popular “Twilight” saga.

Isabella ranked as the No. 4 name for girls.

Ethan and Emily nabbed the No. 5 slots.

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Voters could decide $118.9 million levy for fingerprint services

May 31, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. May 31, 2012

King County voters could decide on a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies.

The proposal is to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.

The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the Issaquah Police Department.

Voters approved the initial AFIS levy in 1986, and overwhelmingly renewed the levy since then, most recently in 2006. The current levy expires in December.

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State Supreme Court upholds liquor privatization initiative

May 31, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. May 31, 2012

The state Supreme Court upheld a liquor privatization initiative Thursday, a day before the measure goes into effect and liquor sales expand statewide.

In a 5-4 ruling, justices upheld Initiative 1183, a Costco-backed measure to end the state-run liquor system. Voters approved the measure in November and, in April, the state auctioned the rights to private entrepreneurs to sell liquor at former state-run stores.

Opponents said I-1183 violated 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.

“The challenged portion of I-1183’s ballot title is not palpably misleading or false,” justices wrote.

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Costco, Diamond Pet Foods sued over contaminated dog food

May 31, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 31, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco and Diamond Pet Foods face a lawsuit for a Salmonella infantis outbreak stemming from contaminated dog food.

The national food safety law firm Pritzker Olsen filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

Diamond issued a recall of dog food manufactured at a South Carolina plant after discovering Salmonella at the facility. The outbreak sickened at least 15 people in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Many recalled products carried the Kirkland Signature label — Costco’s store brand manufactured by Diamond.

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King County adult smoking rate stalls, but concerns linger for teenage smokers

May 31, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. May 31, 2012

The adult smoking rate in King County stalled between 2007 and 2011, but tobacco use still accounts for 1 in 5 deaths countywide and $343 million each year in health care expenses and lost wages.

The information comes from a Public Health – Seattle & King County report about tobacco use. Officials released the document Thursday to mark World No Tobacco Day.

Between 1996 and 2007, smoking rates among adults declined almost 50 percent. In the most recent period, 2007-11, the rate flattened. The report estimates 155,000 King County adults — or about 10 percent of adults — smoke cigarettes and another 26,000 adults use smokeless tobacco.

Though the overall smoking rate in King County is among the lowest in United States, the county has the most extreme smoking inequities among the 15 largest metropolitan counties in the United States.

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Issaquah pharmacies offer inexpensive whooping cough vaccine to uninsured patients

May 30, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. May 30, 2012

Local pharmacies joined a Public Health – Seattle & King County effort to combat the whooping cough epidemic in Washington by offering inexpensive vaccines to people without health insurance or patients unable to afford the vaccine.

Local QFC and Bartell Drugs pharmacies offer inexpensive adult whooping cough booster shots, known as the Tdap vaccine. The vaccination program is made available with assistance from the AmeriCares patient assistance program, a nonprofit humanitarian aid program.

Bartell Drugs, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., offers the low-cost vaccine to patients 14 and older. QFC, 1540 N.W. Gilman Blvd. and 4570 Klahanie Drive S.E., offers the low-cost vaccine to patients 11 and older.

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Jurors rule in favor of police officers involved in deadly shootout

May 29, 2012

Issaquah police officer Brian Horn indicates locations on a map for a King County inquest jury May 22, as District Court Judge David Steiner observes. By Greg Farrar

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes 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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