Skyline beats Bellarmine Prep for state football title

December 1, 2012

Skyline High School football coach Mat Taylor (right) cheers for a Skyline victory Saturday. By Lillian O’Rorke

UPDATED — 12:05 a.m. Dec. 2, 2012

It was all smiles for Skyline High School and its fans at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday as the Spartans grabbed their sixth state title in seven years. Skyline beat Bellarmine Prep 49-24 to win the 4A football state championship.

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Regulators fine Puget Sound Energy $430,000 for improper disconnect fees

December 1, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 1, 2012

State regulators fined Puget Sound Energy $430,000 for improperly charging residential disconnect-visit fees to electricity and natural gas customers, officials announced Friday.

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a multiparty settlement agreement stemming from 1,639 violations of state consumer protection rules.

In addition to the penalty, Bellevue-based PSE refunded to customers more than 9,000 disconnect-visit fees charged in error dating back to December 2009. The utility provider also agreed to change procedures for handling such visits.

The company is not allowed to pass any penalty costs to customers through rates. Instead, penalty money goes into the public service revolving fund; legislators make disbursements from the account.

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Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

November 30, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Friday. Contributed

NEW — 4:05 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Friday afternoon, 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

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2012 Winter Free Time

November 30, 2012

Open publication – Free publishingMore classes

Learn to reduce flood risk as rain-soaked winter nears

November 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 30, 2012

Residents in flood-prone areas can learn how to reduce flood risks, and protect people, businesses and infrastructure, at a series of meetings hosted by King County.

Officials scheduled public meetings throughout the county next week to discuss risks and prevention. The meetings come as late fall rain inundates Western Washington.

King County staffers plan to present proposed flood risk reduction strategies outlined in the Flood Hazard Management Plan update.

The flood plan update includes new flood risk assessments and projects, and a review of goals, objectives and guiding principles.

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Legislation to aid law enforcement proposed on shootings’ anniversary

November 29, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert introduced legislation Thursday — three years to the day after a gunman killed four Lakewood police officers at a coffee shop — to improve information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, joined another Washington lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, to introduce the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee Authorization Act.

Investigators determined the killer in the Lakewood shootings, Maurice Clemmons, was a convicted felon on parole and the relevant information was not effectively transmitted to proper authorities.

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State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects

November 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

The state Department of Transportation awarded more than $3.5 million to Issaquah and King County to replace aging bridges, officials announced Wednesday.

The projects — a plan to replace the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge in downtown Issaquah and a plan to redo a bridge across 15 Mile Creek at the base of Tiger Mountain — received a portion of $130 million in federal funds to repair or replace aging bridges.

Replacing the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge across Issaquah Creek is a long-held goal among city officials, but a lack of funding prevented the project from proceeding in the past. The city project is in line to receive $2,254,400 in federal funds.

Reconstruction is meant to help reduce flooding by creating more capacity for the creek beneath the replacement bridge. The project could also add safer access for pedestrians — a change from the narrow bridge in place now.

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Boundary decision shifts 175 students from Grand Ridge to Clark

November 29, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

When the first day of school comes next fall, 175 students will bid farewell to Grand Ridge Elementary School and say hello to Clark Elementary School.

The move was announced Nov. 19 as part of a boundary shift that will help alleviate crowding at Grand Ridge. Along with the change, all Grand Ridge kindergartners will be housed next year at Challenger and Endeavour elementary schools.

Located in the continually expanding Issaquah Highlands, Grand Ridge has the capacity for about 600 students, according to Jake Kuper, chief financial officer for the Issaquah School District. With the use of portable classrooms, the capacity jumps to 800.

Right now, the school has 879 full-time students and, without the boundary shift, would have 987 full-time students next year. The changes bring that attendance number to 730 for next year.

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King County officials to answer rural residents’ questions

November 29, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

Residents in unincorporated areas can meet leaders and discuss plans for upcoming projects at a King County open house soon.

The event is for residents in Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain Community Service Area — a rural stretch bordered by Issaquah and Interstate 90 on the north and Renton to the west.

The open house offers the public a chance to offer feedback on the community service program and proposed work plans for next year. Participants can discuss community priorities, speak with program staff members, and learn about county programs and services.

Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett and County Councilman Reagan Dunn plan to attend.

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Superintendent recommends six-period schedule for Liberty High School

November 28, 2012

NEW — 9:15 p.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recommended Wednesday for Liberty High School to switch to a six-period schedule.

For nearly two decades, the school has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. However, in order to establish a common, districtwide high school schedule, and to give Liberty students more time to study core subjects, the Issaquah School District is considering changing Liberty’s timetable.

Rasmussen made his recommendation to the Issaquah School Board during a work study session. The main reason, he said, is because the existing block schedule gives Liberty students 127 hours per class each year, where Issaquah High School has 161 hours and Skyline High School has 165.

“What I am saying is: I don’t want lower standards for a group of our students. I don’t want them to be short-changed,” Rasmussen said.

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