Local high school students rev up Relay for Life fundraisers

May 22, 2012

Relay — ‘a   way to live’

Iman Baghai Issaquah High School

The death of a loved one to cancer is why most people partake in the annual Relay for Life fundraising event. But Michael Cecil, a junior at Issaquah High School, has a unique and inspiring story with regards to how and why he is a “relayer.” Cecil’s mother has been diagnosed with five rare kinds of cancer throughout his life and has survived each diagnosis.

His mother’s diagnosis inspired Michael to get into Relay as a way for him and his siblings to “do something about (their) mom’s cancer.” He didn’t view it as a way of giving back, but rather as a way of “fighting back” the terrible disease that has haunted his family.

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Former Issaquah School District bus driver set to appear in court for child porn

May 22, 2012

The former Issaquah School District substitute bus driver and former Eastside Catholic High School teacher involved in a child pornography case is due in court soon.

Andrew Bernard Rekdahl, 29, faces child pornography charges after federal prosecutors said the Carnation resident shared explicit images and videos of boys online from his home computer.

The preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 24 at the Seattle federal courthouse before Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue.

Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rekdahl at a school district facility May 10 after a monthslong sting operation.

Rekdahl faces one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

In January, an agent noticed a user named Hboyandy sharing explicit videos through a file-sharing website. Then, using a publicly available software program, the agent identified the IP address of Rekdahl’s computer. The investigation continued until the May 10 arrest.

Federal agents said no evidence exists to indicate any inappropriate or illegal activities occurred as Rekdahl worked for the district.

District administrators asked parents concerned about the incident to email DriverConcerns@issaquah.wednet.edu.

Substitute bus driver, a former teacher, arrested for child porn

May 15, 2012

Andrew Rekdahl

Issaquah School District and Eastside Catholic High School officials sought to reassure parents and students May 11 after federal agents arrested a substitute bus driver for the Issaquah district and former Eastside Catholic teacher for possession of child pornography.

Andrew Bernard Rekdahl, 29, faces child pornography charges after federal prosecutors said the Carnation resident shared explicit images and videos of boys online from his home computer.

Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rekdahl at a school district facility May 10 after a monthslong sting operation.

Federal prosecutors charged him with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Rekdahl served as a substitute bus driver for more than a dozen routes throughout the school district between Nov. 14 and May 10 and as a science teacher at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish from 2005 to June 2010.

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Substitute bus driver arrested for child pornography

May 11, 2012

NEW — 12:45 p.m. May 11, 2012

Federal agents arrested a substitute bus driver for the Issaquah School District for child pornography possession Thursday.

In the course of the investigation, security officials told district officials no evidence exists to believe any inappropriate or illegal activities occurred as the driver — identified as Carnation resident Andrew Bernard Rekdahl in court documents — worked for the district.

Prosecutors charged charged Rekdahl with possession and distribution of child pornography.

“This is obviously a very serious charge, and our first priority is making sure that he acted as a professional at all times while driving for us,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a statement released early Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors said Rekdahl shared explicit images and videos of boys online.

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Cougars’ birthday benefits Cougar Mountain Zoo, The Beat

May 1, 2012

Cougar Mountain Zoo’s cougar cubs Miksa, Keira and Tika grew from tiny tufts of fur in May 2011 into regal big cats and a centerpiece at the zoo. Contributed

Beloved cougar cubs Keira, Miksa and Tika turn 1 on May 20 and to celebrate the milestone, Cougar Mountain Zoo is — please, pardon the pun — planning a wild party.

The party doubles as a fundraiser for the zoo, a nonprofit organization, and The Beat, The Issaquah Press’ section by, for and about teenagers. Zoogoers can watch as the curious cubs tear open gifts and dig into special birthday cakes made from meat.

“Cougar cubs love to destroy things, so we are creating special birthday boxes for them to do just that!” zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot said.

In the months since the cubs arrived at the zoo, Keira, Miksa and Tika grew from tiny tufts of spotted fur into regal big cats.

In addition to supporting the popular cougar exhibit at the zoo, a percentage of all ticket sales benefits The Beat, to help pay for the section’s pages in The Press.

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The Beat is seeking teenage writers, photographers

May 1, 2012

The Beat is looking for writers and photographers for the coming school year.

The page — written by teens, for teens and about teens — takes the place of the Schools page the fourth week of the month.

“We’re looking for people to write for the newspaper and our Facebook page, help with fundraising, and take photographs for the newspaper and our websites,” said Kathleen R. Merrill, managing editor of The Press and The Beat.

“We meet once per month to learn about journalism, brainstorm ideas, plan the coming paper and our online coverage, and attend events to raise funds and awareness about our group,” she said. “We also have a lot of fun.”

Participants can be from Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline, Tiger Mountain Community and Eastside Catholic high schools. Freshmen and sophomores are especially encouraged to apply.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, email editor@isspress.com for an application. Completed applications are due May 7.

Local high school activities heat up with the arrival of spring

April 24, 2012

Issaquah shines at AMP Night program

April 17 marked the second annual AMP Night at Issaquah High School, sponsored by the Issaquah Junior Class Council.

Samantha Garrard Issaquah High School

AMP Night — a showcase of art, music and poetry — was a great example of Issaquah’s support for each unique student. More than 100 students from completely different social groups came together to perform and celebrate one another’s talents. Some students chose to perform a beloved song, others chose to recite an original poem and there was even a student who sang opera in a different language.

“AMP night is a great way for us to express our passion for music and get other people excited about music,” said Khalil Somani, a member of the group in the finale performance.

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Teen Talk

April 24, 2012

Eastside Catholic High School

“I’m really private with my Facebook settings, and try to be careful with what I post and stuff.”

Michael Abraham, junior

“I try not to post too much personal info online.”

Nalani Saito, junior

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Eastside Catholic pitcher Alex Foley named state athlete of the week

April 24, 2012

Alex Foley, of Issaquah, pitches during a stretch of baseball games earlier this month for Eastside Catholic High School that garnered him a statewide honor from the WIAA. Contributed

Alex Foley, junior baseball player for Eastside Catholic High School, was named WIAA male state athlete of the week for April 1-7.

With an earned-run average of 0.88 and 23 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched, he led his 3A team to three victories against O’Dea, Skyline and Chief Sealth high schools.

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Students at local high schools get inventive

March 27, 2012

Reid Malmquist is the king of ventures

By Iman Baghai Issaquah High School

When it comes to entrepreneurship, Reid Malmquist is king.

Before the tender age of 17, Malmquist has launched more businesses than most people do in a lifetime — and he’s been successful. Malmquist does an array of things that include website design, programming and photography.

Malmquist’s first venture was Voomo, a social networking site. A friend and Malmquist developed the site and then realized they didn’t have the capacity to truly get it to where they wanted it. They sold it for more than $500.

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