More students venture into digital classroom for online courses

November 20, 2012

Matthew McSweeney, 17, works at his online math course after school at Skyline High School. He says he finds math easier now that he’s learning about it online. By Lillian O’Rorke

Matthew McSweeney spends a lot of time on the computer, so when the senior at Skyline High School failed geometry last year his parents suggested he give math class another go, but instead online.

Fast-forward to fall semester and McSweeney is less than half way through his online course but is already three weeks ahead in the material.

“Some people think it’s hard, but for me I think it’s easier, because I just learn better through a computer,” he said, explaining that he has a hard time concentrating in class because it’s hard to ignore all the other things going on around him. “So, instead, I can work at home and not have to hear other students and it’s more personal.”

It also helps, he added, that the credit retrieval course in basic math explains everything with digital pages full of step-by-step instructions that he can review anytime he has questions.

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Issaquah High School senior explores energy industry at USC camp

November 20, 2012

When Issaquah High School senior Alex Hansen was tasked with a project to find a solution to combat the waste associated with plastic bottles, he thought outside of the box.

Hansen and a small group of other students from across the country suggested employing a sort of hypothetical bacteria that would have the ability to eat plastic and turn it into a substance that is more environmentally friendly.

“I personally researched a lot about these weird bacteria, I forget their name, but apparently they are being looked into as having the possibility to eat plastic and turn it into a material that is more decomposable,” he said. “It’s not really plausible yet, but it was fun.”

It was all part of Hansen’s summer visit to the University of Southern California for the weeklong USC/Chevron Frontiers of Energy Resources Camp.

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Liberty High School graduate wins PEMCO Northwest Profile contest

November 20, 2012

PEMCO Insurance introduced audiences to Sandals & Socks Guy, Goat Renter Guy and First Snowflake Freakout Lady through its offbeat advertising campaign highlighting Northwest Profiles.

Now, you can add I Don’t Need Sunscreen Guy to the list, after the company announced the winner of its contest seeking new profiles for the “We’re A Lot Like You. A Little Different.”

Liberty High School graduate Alex Bell and a team of fellow University of Southern California students created the 30-second video poking fun at Northwesterners who leave the sunscreen at home in the hopes of soaking up the sun on their way to a natural tan. But the result is often more sunburn than tan, as the video illustrated.

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Report tracks rise in drug-induced deaths, decline in traffic fatalities

November 20, 2012

Investigators from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office probed 22 deaths in and just outside Issaquah last year, including the suspect’s death in a fatal shootout at Clark Elementary School.

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Liberty High School construction costs rise by $65,000

November 20, 2012

The Issaquah School Board approved more than $65,000 worth of changes Nov. 7 to Phase 1 construction at Liberty High School.

The change order from Bayley Construction includes $59,767 in additions and $5,677 in taxes.

The most expensive of the eight changes is $16,650 to remove unsuitable soil and replace it with structural fill. Other additions include $14,671 for electrical work for the ticket booth and $14,247 for landscaping, including extra irrigation needed to complete a new parking lot.

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Local health agency urges flu vaccinations as season starts

November 20, 2012

Public Health – Seattle & King County is asking residents to receive flu vaccinations as flu season starts in Washington.

Influenza can cause significant lost time from work and school, plus the expense of visits to the doctor. The flu can also lead to hospitalization and even death in some cases. Though flu season peaks in the winter, it can start as early as October.

Health experts recommend everyone 6 months old and older get the flu vaccine, especially people at high risk for severe influenza.

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Residents receive grants for mapping, National Night Out

November 20, 2012

Dow Constantine

Issaquah-area residents received more than $3,700 in King County grants to host a National Night Out event and map rural areas between Issaquah and Renton, leaders announced Nov. 14.

Officials awarded $60,000 in grants for disaster preparedness, neighborhood cleanup, tourism promotion and other activities in unincorporated communities countywide. Overall, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced 24 Community Engagement Grants.

The grants amount to less than $5,000 apiece, and each community must match at least 25 percent of total project cost. Officials said the grants offer residents in unincorporated areas a chance to participate more in community activities.

The county awarded a $1,254.50 grant to residents in the Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain area to produce a National Night Out program, plus a $2,500 grant to create maps and conduct spatial analysis for community planning.

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Issaquah Community Network, FISH net statewide award

November 20, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.

The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.

The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.

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Kiwanis Club of Issaquah coat drive continues

November 20, 2012

For some people trying to keep the rent paid and the electricity on, the need for a warm coat or new shoes goes to the bottom on the list.

Residents can help by cleaning out their closets and donating new or gently used shoes and coats through the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah’s annual drive.

The coat and shoe drive runs through Nov. 30. All donations go to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. Donations should be cleaned before donating. All sizes from toddler to adult are welcome.

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Vehicles return to service for nonprofit organizations

November 20, 2012

Leaders donated used vehicles from the King County Metro Transit vanpool fleet to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, seniors and youths.

King County Council members authorized the donation. The vans served in the Metro Transit vanpool fleet for at least six years and reached the end of their service life.

“Serving the mobility needs of those too young and too old to drive, as well as those with health challenges, is an important service for King County to provide,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, said in a statement.

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