Issaquah School District schools welcome new principals

July 10, 2012

The Issaquah School District is welcoming several new faces this month.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recently announced the arrival of three new principals. Starting July 1, Michael Schiehser took over at Tiger Mountain Community High School, Tod Wood started at Clark Elementary School and Stacy Cho took the helm at Beaver Lake Middle School.

Schiehser began his career teaching high school science in Southern California and is a national board certified teacher. He joined the Mercer Island School District in 2005 as an associate principal at Mercer Island High School.

He has also served as the director of instruction and assessment and secondary learning support, before moving to his current position as director of teaching and learning, which includes the responsibility of serving as the primary instructional leader at Mercer Island High School.

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Students envision classrooms of the future for exhibit

June 26, 2012

Eight-year-old Sam Korostov envisions that 50 years from now, children like him will be attending class in a blimp covered in windows, with sky bridges replacing school hallways.

“It would clear so you can see the sun,” Sam said. Inside the classroom “smart boards” would be everywhere so that whatever word said aloud would automatically appear. “And you would never have to go to bed because the blimp would keep flying around the world.”

Sam is one of the 20 students in Mary Rusk’s second-grade class at Clark Elementary School whose submission will be featured later this summer at the “Classroom of the Future” exhibition in Seattle.

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City Council outlines Issaquah goals for 2013

June 5, 2012

City Council members agreed to study options for the aging Issaquah Skate Park to turn it from a bastion for drug use into a community asset, boost economic development efforts in the city and conduct another study about the future of Klahanie.

Other priorities included a plan to televise council budget deliberations, hire a lobbyist to advocate for Issaquah in Olympia, and develop a comprehensive policy related to bicyclists and pedestrians.

The council, alongside representatives from municipal departments, gathered in a YWCA Family Village at Issaquah conference room June 2 to formulate the list.

In the rare Saturday meeting, council members trimmed a long list into priorities for 2013. Though the council conducted the heavy lifting at the retreat, the process is not yet done.

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Jurors rule in favor of police officers involved in deadly shootout

May 29, 2012

Issaquah police officer Brian Horn indicates locations on a map for a King County inquest jury May 22, as District Court Judge David Steiner observes. By Greg Farrar

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes before determining Issaquah police officers faced a life-threatening scenario and properly used lethal force to stop a rifle-toting man on the Clark Elementary School campus last year.

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Witnesses at police inquest describe chaotic scenes from school shootout

May 29, 2012

Just after 11 a.m. Sept. 24, as Ronald W. Ficker meandered from a downtown Issaquah intersection to Clark Elementary School, Leslie Olerich stared down the barrel of Ficker’s rifle.

“He looked right at us, looked down the barrel and he smiled,” Olerich said May 21 at a court hearing about the incident.

Issaquah police fatally shot Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by.

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How the inquest unfolded to examine Issaquah police officers’ actions

May 29, 2012

The decision from a King County-appointed inquest jury May 23 ended the long investigation set in motion after Ronald W. Ficker abandoned a Kia sedan on a busy downtown Issaquah street.

The inquest process is a fact-finding hearing conducted to determine the circumstances in any officer-involved shooting in the county.

Inquest jurors answer a series of questions, called interrogatories, to determine the facts in the case. Jurors answered 22 interrogatories related to the officers’ actions and Ficker’s death.

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Jurors rule in favor of officers in Issaquah police inquest

May 23, 2012

Issaquah Officer Brian Horn uses a map to indicate key locations Tuesday at the inquest into the death of Ronald W. Ficker in a September shootout against Horn and other officers. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 6 p.m. May 23, 2012

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes Wednesday before determining Issaquah police officers faced a life-threatening scenario and properly used lethal force to stop a rifle-toting man on the Clark Elementary School campus last year.

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Officers feared Issaquah gunman could escape, shoot bystanders

May 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 23, 2012

Police involved in a shootout at Clark Elementary School feared the gunman could escape from the campus and shoot bystanders in surrounding neighborhoods, and resorted to lethal force to eliminate the threat, officers involved in the shooting testified at a court hearing Tuesday.

Police fatally shot Ronald W. Ficker, 51, in late September after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by. Moments later, at about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, Ficker shot at bystanders and police officers on the Clark Elementary campus.

The tense moments after Ficker reached the school grounds formed the basis for the Tuesday testimony at a King County-led inquest into the actions of officers involved in the shootout — Laura Asbell, Brian Horn, Christian Muñoz and Jesse Petersen.

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Society of Professional Journalists honors The Issaquah Press

May 22, 2012

The Issaquah Press took home awards for its coverage of the Issaquah gunman at the Northwest Excellence in Journalism Awards held by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The regional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced its 2011 awards in a ceremony May 19.

The annual presentation honors the best in journalism, covering a region that includes Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Reporters Warren Kagarise and Christina Lords and Managing Editor Kathleen R. Merrill earned second place in the spot news reporting category for their coverage of the gunman who prompted Issaquah residents to seek cover after a shootout with police at Clark Elementary School in September.

Christina Lords also nabbed third place in the news photography category for her photo capturing the police response to the Issaquah gunman.

Inquest opens to examine Clark Elementary School shootout

May 22, 2012

King County authorities started to examine the actions of Issaquah police officers involved in a deadly September 2011 shootout at Clark Elementary School as a prosecutor-led inquest opened May 21.

The officers shot and killed Ronald W. Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown Issaquah intersection and, brandishing rifles and carrying ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses.

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