Unbeaten Issaquah wrestlers overwhelm Newport

January 27, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. Jan. 27, 2012

The unbeaten Issaquah High School wrestling team had too much muscle for Newport on Tuesday as the Eagles produced a 64-15 KingCo Conference 4A victory.

Jordan Hamilton (113), Louden Ivey (120), Jerdon Helgeson (138), Joseph Tonnemaker (145), Taylor Evans (152), Andrew Ramirez (170), Matt Solusod (220) and Jonathan Norris (285) all had pins for Issaquah. David Tickman (106) won his match with a major decision.

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Skyline girls basketball team keeps Crest lead

January 27, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Jan. 27, 2012 

The Skyline High School girls basketball team shot to a 16-9 first quarter lead and went into cruise control the rest of the way Wednesday as the Spartans defeated Redmond 56-37 in KingCo Conference 4A action.

With the victory, Skyline went to 7-2 in league play and kept a one-game lead over Eastlake and Issaquah in the Crest Division standings.

Megan Wiedeman, of Skyline, scored a game-high 17 points. Teammates Morgan Farrar and Allie Wyszynski each had 10 points. Susie Tinker added eight points.

The Spartans have two of their toughest games coming up next week, hosting Issaquah Jan. 31 and playing at Eastlake on Feb. 1.

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Issaquah residents can drop off storm debris at Tibbetts Valley Park

January 26, 2012

NEW — 12:35 p.m. Jan. 26, 2012

Issaquah residents and business owners can drop off tree branches and other woody debris from recent storms at Tibbetts Valley Park on Saturday and Sunday, officials announced Thursday.

The drop-off site is scheduled to open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park, 965 12th Ave. N.W. Only storm-related woody debris is accepted. Though representatives plan to monitor drop-offs, customers must unload material themselves.

Waste Management customers — plus Allied Waste customers subscribed to yard waste service — can also set out compost and yard debris for curbside pickup.

Use the typical 96-gallon cart, another 96-gallon cart, or another three 32-gallon containers, compostable bags or bundles.

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Skyline boys hold off Redmond in KingCo 4A thriller

January 26, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012

Skyline High School senior guard Will Parker hit four free throws in the final 22 seconds Tuesday as the No. 3-ranked Spartans held off No. 4 Redmond 60-56 in a KingCo Conference 4A Crest Division boys basketball showdown.

The host Spartans boosted their division-leading record to 8-1 while Redmond dropped to 6-3 and remained in second place.

Skyline got off to a hot start and led by seven points after the first quarter. The Spartans held the lead at halftime. However, Redmond rallied in the third quarter to take a brief lead. Jason Harrington, of Redmond, scored 11 of his game-high 25 points in the third quarter to spark the Mustangs.

Skyline regained the lead in the final quarter and stayed in front down the stretch.

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King County mails ballots for Feb. 14 special election

January 26, 2012

NEW — 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012

Voters in communities just outside Issaquah — Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and more — should receive ballots soon for a Feb. 14 special election.

On Wednesday, King County Elections mailed ballots and voters’ pamphlets Fire District 10 voters. The district, plus a handful of school districts elsewhere in King County, is placing a measure before the electorate.

Fire District 10 serves residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.

The ballot measure in Fire District 10 asks voters to consider a $5.5 million bond meant to build a fire station in May Valley, closer to more district residents.

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Washington officials split along party lines in responses to State of the Union address

January 25, 2012

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Washington lawmakers split along party lines in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

In a forceful speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Obama laid out proposals for “green” energy, job creation and tax reform. (The president is due to visit Seattle on Feb. 17.)

“I’m pleased that President Obama, like me and my gubernatorial colleagues, has put a strong emphasis on rebuilding our middle class and preserving jobs that our citizens deserve,” Gregoire said in a statement. “He knows no challenge is more urgent. We must rebuild a nation where every citizen has the opportunity to succeed, where our middle class is secure and where the American dream is still within reach.”

The governor, a Democrat, attended the speech as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s guest. Pelosi, a California Democrat, is the minority leader in the House of Representatives.

The lawmaker for the 8th Congressional District, Republican Dave Reichert, said the speech contained “divisive rhetoric.” (The district includes Issaquah, plus communities in eastern King and Pierce counties.)

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Puget Sound Energy restores power for Issaquah, surrounding communities

January 25, 2012

NEW — 12:35 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Crews restored power to Issaquah and surrounding communities Wednesday, after snow, ice and wind damaged transmission lines.

Strong winds Tuesday night caused additional damage and outages for 38,000 customers across Western Washington. Crews managed to repair most of wind-related outages throughout the night and restore power for 28,000 customers.

Restoration work is completed for Issaquah, plus Hobart, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — unincorporated communities hit hard in a snowstorm and a rare ice storm last week.

Crews working on the PSE system Wednesday remain on schedule to complete the restoration work to customers without power for almost a week.

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Fallen trees prompt latest Preston road closure

January 25, 2012

NEW — 7:30 a.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Downed trees prompted a road closure in rural Preston, King County transportation officials announced Wednesday morning.

The road closure at 308th Avenue Southeast, at mile south of Southeast 64th Street, is about two miles north from the Preston Athletic Fields & Park.

King County Road Services Division officials did not offer estimates for reopening in the 6:30 a.m. update.

The closure occurred after strong winds caused another round of power outages across the region, less than a week after residents in the Issaquah area and throughout Western Washington faced icy conditions and lengthy power outages following a snowstorm and rare ice storm.

County transportation officials urged motorists to monitor the road closure list throughout the day for updates about the Preston closure and other issues.

Cleanup continues after snowstorm and ice cause havoc

January 24, 2012

State Route 900 remains barricaded at midafternoon Jan. 20 to motorists wanting to go southbound past Northwest Talus Drive, a day after a downed tree blocked access to the urban village. By Greg Farrar

In the days after a snowstorm pummeled the region, blackout chased whiteout, as residents uneasy about thorny commutes and missed meetings instead confronted sinking temperatures and toppling trees — all sans electricity.

The major snowstorm dropped 3 to 6 inches across the Issaquah area Jan. 18, but the struggle started the next day, as a rare ice storm led to widespread power outages and caused trees to send ice- and snow-laden branches earthward.

The harsh conditions tested road crews, prompted spinouts and fender benders around the region, and led officials to cancel school for almost a week.

“It was like a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 punch,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said Jan. 23, as cleanup efforts continued. “For awhile there, I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Toppled tree kills man near Issaquah

January 24, 2012

Strong winds caused a tree to topple and a kill a man Jan. 19, as crippling winter weather claimed a life near Issaquah.

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators said the incident occurred at about 9:15 a.m. in the 15300 block of 231st Avenue Southeast in unincorporated May Valley south of Issaquah. The combination of wind and weight from ice and snow caused the tree to fall as the 61-year-old man backed his all-terrain vehicle out of a shed. Deputies and Eastside Fire & Rescue medics raced to the scene in difficult road conditions, but could not save the man.

King County Medical Examiner’s Office investigators later identified the man as Philip Barber.

Sgt. Cindi West, sheriff’s office spokeswoman, said deputies and emergency responders encountered falling branches at the scene.

“It’s tragic. It’s a very sad situation. There’s nothing he could have done about it,” West said. “The deputies on the scene said that there was nothing he could have done. It was a freak accident.”

The danger forced investigators to back off from the scene as branches rained from trees overhead. Then, as deputies started to depart the area, they became stuck after another tree fell across the road and crews removed the tree.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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