Zombies to overrun downtown Issaquah — again

August 18, 2012

Zombies lift a fallen comrade from the pavement on Front Street North as traffic stops for the horde of undead in downtown Issaquah on Oct. 29, 2011. File

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 18, 2012

Zombies plan to overrun downtown Issaquah again, as a Halloween tradition brings together a “Thriller” flash mob of undead creatures.

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Use caution if working outdoors in hot conditions

August 18, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 18, 2012

The state Department of Labor & Industries reminded people working outdoors to take steps to prevent heat-related illness amid near-record temperatures.

In Washington, workers in the roofing, highway construction and agricultural fields can be particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses in warm weather.

Since 2008, Washington has had a workplace-safety rule on outdoor heat exposure to protect workers from heat-related illness.

The rule requires employers with employees working outdoors to train workers and supervisors on the symptoms of heat-related illness and what to do if someone develops a heat-related illness.

Employers also must provide plenty of water for workers, be able to respond appropriately to any employee with symptoms of illness and include heat-related-illness hazards in the company’s accident prevention program.

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King County leaders offer tips for residents to beat heat

August 16, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

King County leaders offered tips Thursday for residents to help residents cope as near-record temperatures broil the region.

Officials offered information for residents to remain safe in the high temperatures, prevent wildfires in the dry conditions and encourage safety on the water, as people seek relief in lakes and rivers.

King County is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

In Issaquah, temperatures exceeded 90 degrees Thursday and should top 90 again Friday.

“Our region is known for rain, not hot weather like this,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Extreme heat can be dangerous, even deadly, so we are urging everyone to take precautions to keep cool and stay safe.”

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Valley Medical Center executive identified in Sammamish Plateau drowning

August 16, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Valley Medical Center identified the woman from a recent Sammamish Plateau drowning as hospital executive Barbara Mitchell.

Barbara Mitchell

Mitchell, 66, served as senior vice president, human resources and marketing, at the Renton hospital. Police said she left for a walk and then drowned Aug. 8 in Rainbow Lake at Issaquah-Pine Lake Road Southeast and Southeast 44th Street near Klahanie.

Investigators said Mitchell lived within a mile of Rainbow Lake.

Mitchell worked at Valley Medical Center since 1999, initially as director of human resources, and then rose to vice president of human resources and, later, to senior vice president, human resources and marketing.

Under Mitchell’s leadership, Valley Medical Center garnered Best Workplace recognition for Valley Medical Center for 10 consecutive years. The honor saluted a high level of excellence in staff training and involvement, benefit enhancement and recruitment in a competitive industry.

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Local firefighters join effort to contain Taylor Bridge Fire

August 16, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent a tender truck crew east to assist fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire. Contributed by Eastside Fire & Rescue

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Local firefighters made the trip across the Cascades to fight the Taylor Bridge Fire, which scorched more than 22,000 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg in recent days.

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State lands commissioner asks for help from public amid high wildfire risk

August 16, 2012

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked for help from the public Thursday to prevent wildfires, as the risk rises on both sides of the Cascades.

“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire,” he said in a statement. “That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks.”

The request came as the National Weather Service maintains a regional excessive heat warning for communities along Puget Sound and in the Cascade foothills. Temperatures could approach 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday.

The weekend forecast includes a significant risk of lightning-sparked wildfires.

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Temperature to inch close to 100 degrees in Issaquah

August 16, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Expect the temperature to climb to almost 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday, as the week comes to a simmering conclusion.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast a high temperature near 96 and sunny conditions for Thursday. Expect a high temperature near 94 and sunny conditions on Friday. The high temperature is expected to drop to a more manageable 82 degrees Saturday.

Issaquah is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

The city is also under a regional red flag warning, meaning a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures can create explosive fire potential. The red flag warning is in effect until 11 a.m. Thursday.

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Heat-related smog advisory issued for King County

August 15, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency forecasters said smog pollution in King and Pierce counties could reach unhealthy levels as temperatures rise to 90 degrees and beyond.

Smoggy conditions should mostly impact communities in the Cascade foothills, including Issaquah. Pollution generated by vehicle traffic and activities in the urban areas of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma accumulates as particles move to outlying suburban and rural areas.

Smog levels may remain elevated in the Cascade foothills through Saturday. The agency offers a tool for residents to check air quality in Issaquah and other locations.

Exposure to smog can trigger asthma attacks, make breathing difficult, exacerbate lung and heart problems, and weaken the immune system. The state Department of Health recommends for people sensitive to air pollution to limit time spent outdoors.

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Use safety precautions to stay cool as mercury rises

August 15, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012

The mercury is expected to surpass 90 degrees Wednesday and in the days ahead, and as temperatures rise, so do the risks for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast highs of 89 for Wednesday, 95 for Thursday and 96 for Friday — hot enough to trigger a regional excessive heat watch. Thursday and Friday could rank among the hottest days of 2012.

State public health officials recommend for people seeking relief from high temperatures to visit air-conditioned places, such as public libraries, shopping malls or movie theaters. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help people stay cooler once they get back into the heat.

In Issaquah, city officials monitor the community through the police department and other resources before making a decision to open a public cooling station.

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Pets face challenges, too, as temperature climbs higher

August 15, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012

Pet owners can follow simple steps to keep pets cool as the mercury surges past 90 degrees.

Because animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees, remember to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Owners should not leave pets inside a vehicle, especially on warm days.

In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage or death.

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