Salmon Days Ohfishal Festival Program 2012

September 28, 2012

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Washington minimum wage rises to $9.19 next year

September 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 28, 2012

Washington’s minimum wage is due to increase Jan. 1 to $9.19 from $9.04 per hour.

The state Department of Labor & Industries announced the 15-cent per hour increase Friday. The agency calculates the state minimum wage each year.

The existing state minimum wage, $9.04 per hour, is the highest in the nation, and Washington is poised to retain the No. 1 spot next year.

The annual recalculation is required under Initiative 688, a measure passed by Washington voters 14 years ago.

The increase reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

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Molly Moon Neitzel, ice cream entrepreneur, to sign books in Issaquah

September 27, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 27, 2012

Molly Moon Neitzel earned accolades aplenty and satiated many a sweet tooth as the proprietor of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop.

The ice cream shops — in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, Madrona, Queen Anne and Wallingford neighborhoods — begat a cookbook in April. Neitzel is due at Costco, 1801 10th Ave. N.W., at 11 a.m. Saturday to sign copies of “Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream” — a collection of recipes adapted from the boutique ice cream shops for home cooks.

Neitzel garnered national notoriety for creating ice creams and sorbets fashioned from local, organic and sustainable ingredients.

Milk in the ice cream comes from a Lynden dairy, berries from a Carnation farm and lavender from a Sequim grower. Instead of cane sugar, Molly Moon’s shops use sugar from Idaho beets.

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King County increases garbage rate to fund system upgrades

September 27, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 27, 2012

The cost for garbage pickup in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County is expected to rise next year, after the King County Council approved a rate increase Monday.

Under the updated rate structure, the cost for commercial vehicles, such as garbage trucks, to dump trash at county facilities is $120.17 per ton. The current rate, put into place in September 2011, is $109 per ton.

Haulers, such as CleanScapes and Allied Waste, pass along the rate increase to customers. So, the average customer putting out a single can for pickup can expect to pay about 65 cents more per month next year, although the exact increase depends on how haulers pass on the rate hike to consumers.

The rate is due to increase to $19.22 from $17.49 per load for residents hauling garbage to county transfer stations.

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Issaquah Run prompts road closures

September 27, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 27, 2012

Motorists should prepare for road closures Sept. 30 during the Issaquah Run.

The annual run is set to start at 7:30 a.m. The event includes a 10K run, 5K run/walk and the Kids Dash.

Sunset Way between Second Avenue and Newport Way, and Front Street between Newport Way and Gilman Boulevard, close from 6-11 a.m.

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Puget Sound Energy seeks natural gas rate decrease

September 26, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Puget Sound Energy customers could pay less for natural gas as winter arrives.

The utility provider for Issaquah and much of Western Washington asked state regulators Tuesday to decrease natural gas rates by 7.7 percent overall starting Nov. 1.

The proposed purchased gas adjustment decrease should lower a typical household’s natural gas bill — based on 68 therms of average monthly usage over a 12-month period — by $5.82, to $76.59. The rate is comparable to what PSE customers paid in 2009.

PSE aims to drop commercial rates by about 8 percent.

The wholesale price for natural gas is down due to abundant domestic supplies.

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Costco faces class-action gender bias lawsuit from workers

September 26, 2012

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco faces a gender bias lawsuit from workers, after a federal judge ruled the lawsuit can proceed.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco certified a class, or group, of plaintiffs, Tuesday. The group includes about 700 women challenging the company’s system for promotions to management posts. Costco has denied the plaintiffs’ claims.

In 2004, employees sued Costco after plaintiffs claimed the largest warehouse chain in the United States limited promotions to female employees by failing to post job openings.

Courts put the case on hold as a gender-discrimination case against Wal-Mart headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2011, justice threw out the case, Dukes v. Wal-Mart, and said the lawsuit encompassed more than 1 million women — too many plaintiffs to qualify as a single class-action case.

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Trader Joe’s recalls peanut butter linked to 30 salmonella cases

September 26, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Trader Joe’s recalled nut butters due to potential salmonella contamination in the products.

Between June 11 and Sept. 2, health officials reported 29 people sickened by salmonella to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The people sickened due to suspected contamination include a Spokane boy and Thurston County boy.

Officials reported similar illnesses in 17 other states connected to the products.

Trader Joe’s and product manufacturer Sunland, Inc. initiated the voluntary recall on Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds and Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds manufactured between May 1 and Sept. 24.

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Issaquah police arrest suspect in Lovers robbery

September 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Days after a masked man robbed Lovers at gunpoint, Issaquah police arrested a 42-year-old Issaquah man in the case Tuesday.

Investigators tracked leads in the case to the area near the adult novelty store, to a nearby apartment. Police then searched the suspect’s vehicle, and discovered a handgun and cash inside the car.

The suspect is in custody at the King County Jail for first-degree armed robbery.

Officers responded to the store in the 5600 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast at 11:28 a.m. Sept. 20. Police searched the area, but could not locate the thief.

Police said a masked man approached a store employee moments earlier, brandished a gun and demanded money.

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Safeway recalls ground beef sold in Washington stores

September 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 26, 2012

Safeway expanded a ground beef recall to include stores in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon due to possible E. coli contamination.

The voluntary recall includes meat sold in store coolers and from the meat counter with sell-by dates of Aug. 28 to Sept. 23. Safeway said the recall includes all items including fresh ground beef, including meatballs, sliders and gourmet burgers.

The company said no illnesses have been reported.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway initiated the recall Sept. 22, after the company learned some ground beef items produced for Safeway included trimmings subject to a recall by XL Foods Inc. The raw, boneless beef trim products from XL Foods orginated in Canada and may be contaminated with E. coli.

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