National Weather Service issues high wind watch

December 15, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Meteorologists placed Issaquah and much of Western Washington under a high wind watch Saturday, as a strong low pressure system created the potential for strong gusts from late Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

The system is expected to develop off the Washington coast Sunday, and the latest computer models from the National Weather Service indicate the low center should move onto the coast early Monday. The system’s exact track remains uncertain, but at least a portion of Western Washington is expected to experience high winds.

Forecasters predicted southwest winds rising to 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Meteorologists issue a high wind watch when the potential exists for a damaging wind event. Strong winds can topple trees, down power lines and damage structures.

Issaquah joins effort to increase access to shelter beds for homeless

December 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Just as the mercury started to drop overnight, 135 additional emergency winter shelter beds opened for homeless men and women, thanks in part to funding from Issaquah and other Eastside cities.

Issaquah joined Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish to increase funding for winter shelter. More funding from the United Way of King County allows East King County organizations to add emergency shelter beds.

Congregations for the Homeless added 15 additional beds each night for homeless men, and Sophia Way plans to add 10 more beds for women and children, and remain open a month longer than originally planned.

“Even as we work to create permanent housing, we are working to increase the emergency shelter options to help people in our community who have no place now to sleep,” King County Executive Dow Constantine, Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness co-chairman, said in a statement.

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Seattle Seahawks to appear at Verizon store opening

December 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Seattle Seahawks linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan plan to celebrate the opening of a new Verizon Wireless Communication store in Issaquah.

The opening celebration is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Dec. 18, with a special appearance by the Seahawks players.

The new Verizon EVO 2.0 store, 755 N.W. Gilman Blvd., is designed to optimize water and energy use, enhance indoor environmental quality, and reduce waste through specifications and responsible procurement and construction practices.

Local leaders respond to Connecticut school massacre

December 14, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012

Issaquah School District and King County leaders urged action in the hours after a school shooting in Connecticut claimed 27 lives, including 20 children.

Officials sought to reassure parents about campus safety and offer advice about how parents can talk to children about the tragedy.

“On behalf of the Issaquah School District, our hearts go out to community of Newtown, Conn., and especially to the staff, students and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a message emailed to district parents Friday afternoon. “It’s difficult to comprehend the motivation for the horrific attack that took place this morning.

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Student dies on Skyline High School campus

December 14, 2012

UPDATED — 3:15 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012

A 16-year-old boy, a Skyline High School student, committed suicide on the school’s campus Thursday night.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said that the agency’s dispatchers received a call from the boy at about 9:30 p.m.

The teen told police he was in the lower student parking lot and intended to kill himself. Police arrived six minutes later and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound just outside of his vehicle. Sullivan said he was alone at the time.

Sullivan declined to comment on the method of death, and said the King County Medical Examiner’s office would be releasing that information by late Friday.

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Report: Illegal tobacco sales to minors increase

December 14, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 14, 2012

The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors is at the highest level in more than a decade, according to a report from the state Department of Health.

State health officials said about 16 percent of retailers offering tobacco illegally sold the substance to minors between January and June. The figure is up from 11 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010.

If the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose almost $14 million in federal funding for drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention and treatment.

“This is unacceptable. Our young people should not have access to these deadly tobacco products,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “Most adult smokers start as teens, so if we can keep tobacco out of the hands of kids, it’s likely they’ll never take up this dangerous habit.”

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Deputies arrest man after high-speed chase near Issaquah

December 13, 2012

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Dec. 13, 2012

Police arrested a burglary suspect Thursday afternoon along state Route 18 near Issaquah after the man led deputies on a high-speed chase.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued the man on eastbound state Route 18 after a police officer identified him as a suspect in a burglary late in the morning. The man then refused to pull over and attempted to flee from police.

Once the suspect reached Tiger Mountain southeast of Issaquah and south of Interstate 90, he abandoned the vehicle and fled into the forest.

Deputies and the sheriff’s office helicopter, Guardian One, searched the brush for the man.

Police later located him in the brush, and arrested him.

Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10:40 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Wednesday night as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

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Let’s Go! for Dec. 13-19

December 12, 2012

City Council could delay part of Central Issaquah Plan

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 12, 2012

City leaders recommended Tuesday to delay the implementation of important development rules in a long-term plan to transform the business district from strip malls and parking lots to a dense urban hub.

In the last public meeting for the proposed Central Issaquah Plan before the document reaches the City Council for consideration, a council committee called for more time to refine and review the design and development standards outlined in the 30-year blueprint for redevelopment.

The design and development standards set rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more.

Overall, Council Land & Shore Committee members forwarded to the full council the four pieces of legislation to enact the Central Issaquah Plan. The full council is scheduled to consider the legislation and listen to public input Dec. 17.

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