Nominate outstanding volunteer for natural resources honor

September 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 22, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources is searching statewide to recognize a top volunteer.

The agency is accepting nominations for the inaugural Commissioner of Public Lands’ Volunteer Hero Award. The recipient might be a dedicated blackberry buster on public lands, or a dedicated participant in efforts to build trails in state forests.

Organizers said ideal candidates should have demonstrated leadership and commitment in sustained service to the agency’s volunteer program. The period to submit a nomination is open until Sept. 28.

Volunteers play a key role in the success of many efforts, including the recreation and natural areas program. The agency relies on thousands of volunteers so visitors can enjoy safe, sustainable and high-quality outdoor recreation experiences on Department of Natural Resources-managed lands.

Investigation yields no suspect in Skyline shooting threat

September 21, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Sept. 21, 2012

Police have not identified a suspect in the shooting threat against Skyline High School, despite several interviews and a forensic investigation by the King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

Investigators spent the last 48 hours attempting to pinpoint the user behind the threat posted Wednesday on the online bulletin board 4chan. Investigators said Friday they cannot verify whether the threat came from a Skyline student or anybody in the area.

In addition, investigators from the sheriff’s office and FBI reached a dead end after they traced the post to a proxy server in Sweden — a common technique among computer users seeking to mask their identities.

Officials said Skyline and other schools did not receive additional threats after the 4chan post. Officials closed Skyline on Thursday and reopened Friday with a beefed-up police presence on campus.

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Olympian Jennie Reed to serve as Salmon Days grand marshal

September 21, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 21, 2012

Salmon Days Festival organizers tapped cyclist Jennie Reed, a silver medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Issaquah High School alumna, to serve as grand marshal in the celebration’s Grande Parade.

Jennie Reed

Reed, a 1996 Issaquah High graduate, won a silver medal in women’s team pursuit, a cycling event, last month at the London Olympics.

Salmon Days returns to downtown Issaquah for a 43rd outing Oct. 6-7.

Reed and the U.S. team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo finished in 3:19.727 for silver. Great Britain earned the gold in the event and Canada claimed the bronze.

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Driver dies in fiery tractor-trailer crash on Tiger Mountain

September 21, 2012

NEW — 9:45 a.m. Sept. 21, 2012

Westbound state Route 18 near Issaquah closed to traffic for more than 90 minutes early Friday after a fiery crash on Tiger Mountain left a tractor-trailer driver dead.

The vehicle, a FedEx rig hauling a pair of trailers, veered off the roadway just after 6 a.m. The truck struck a tree and then burst into flames along the westbound lanes. Flames engulfed the cab and spread to surrounding brush and trees.

The driver died in the incident, although investigators could not determine if he fell asleep or suffered a medical problem before the accident occurred. The driver’s name, age and city of residence have not yet been released.

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Pamela Joan Weber

September 20, 2012

Pamela Joan Weber

Pamela Joan Weber, of Issaquah, passed away Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, at the young age of 47.

Pam was born Jan. 5, 1965, in Minneapolis, and was raised in Wayzata, Minn. Pam attended Blake High School and Gustavus Adolphus College, and graduated from St. Bens College.

After moving to Issaquah with her family in 1996, she was an active member in the PTA and very proud to have received the prestigious Acorn award as a PTA officer while her beloved son Mackenzie attended Challenger Elementary School in the Issaquah School District. Pam was also an active member of her PEO chapter, a philanthropic organization providing educational opportunities for women.

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Spurred by Skyline threat, absences jump 70 percent at Issaquah schools

September 20, 2012

NEW — 6:15 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Student attendance in the Issaquah School District tumbled Thursday, and absences spiked by 70 percent, as police investigated a shooting threat against Skyline High School.

District administrators decided late Wednesday to close Skyline on Thursday and keep other campuses open. Staffers and students at other schools felt the ripples early.

Districtwide, absences increased at 18 of 25 schools Thursday, although not every instance is attributable to the Skyline threat.

Officials counted 1,158 students absent Thursday, up from 680 a week earlier, Sept. 13, according to a comparison of attendance data. The district serves about 17,000 students from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.

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Man robs Lovers adult novelty store at gunpoint

September 20, 2012

NEW — 4:20 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Lovers, a local outpost in a chain of adult novelty stores, turned into a target for armed robbery Thursday, after a mask-wearing man stole cash from the business at gunpoint.

Officers responded to the store in the 5600 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast at 11:28 a.m. Police searched the area, but could not locate the thief.

Issaquah police said the man approached a store employee moments earlier, brandished a gun and demanded money.

Investigators described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his mid-30s, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and with a medium build. He wore a red coat with a hood, dark pants, a dark-colored baseball cap and sunglasses. The suspect used a mask of red fabric to conceal the lower portion of his face.

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Skyline to reopen Friday after shooting threat; Eastside Catholic to close for day

September 20, 2012

NEW — 3:25 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Issaquah School District administrators plan to reopen Skyline High School on Friday, a day after officials closed the campus in response to a shooting threat.

Police plan to remain on campus throughout the day, and administrators said police and school employees intend to arrive early to secure the campus and prepare for students.

The school is also operating on a later Wednesday start time, so classes start at 9:55 a.m. and end at 2:16 p.m. The schedule includes all six periods.

Officials plan to make school staffers available starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Olympic Gym to answer parents’ and students’ questions. Teachers plan to speak to students in first-period classes about the incident.

District officials announced the schedule change and other precautions in a mass email to parents and school community members Thursday afternoon.

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Investigation into Skyline threat continues as attendance drops elsewhere

September 20, 2012

UPDATED — 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Police continue to investigate a shooting threat against students at Skyline High School, as attendance at other Issaquah School District campuses — particularly Sammamish Plateau schools near Skyline — declined Thursday.

District administrators announced a decision late Wednesday to close Skyline after a threat made online targeted the school for a mass shooting. The district kept all other schools open.

Skyline also canceled all extracurricular activities and school athletics events scheduled for Thursday.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said police continue to follow several leads on the identity of the user behind the threat posted Wednesday on the online bulletin board 4chan. Investigators have not yet been able to determine if the user is a Skyline student.

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Skyline High School to close Thursday over mass shooting threat

September 20, 2012

NEW — 12:45 a.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Students and parents were panicking late Wednesday and into the early morning hours of Thursday after someone posted on the Internet that Skyline High School would be targeted for a mass shooting.

After conferring with Sammamish Police, school officials decided to close the school.

“This is always one of the hardest situations to deal with. You take it as seriously as you possibly can but with social media, that kind of stuff is easy to put out there,” Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said. “There is no way to say this is not credible, so the absolute safest thing to do is close the campus tomorrow and give police time to track down this individual and make sure that everyone is safe.”

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