Dispatchers demonstrate poise under pressure amid shootout

September 18, 2012

Dominique Hill, Felicia Moore and Janelle Knight (from left) were on duty as Issaquah Police Department communications specialists when gunman Ronald W. Ficker set off across downtown Issaquah on Sept. 24, 2011. By Greg Farrar

The callers punching 911 into cellphones on Sept. 24, 2011, a bright Saturday darkened as a gunman stalked across downtown Issaquah, heard a calm voice amid the chaos.

In the hours after the gunman set across from a downtown intersection to Clark Elementary School, communications specialists at the Issaquah Police Department fielded a tsunami of calls.

In the tumult, a trio of dispatchers — including a recent addition to the team — attempted to assuage panicked citizens and advise the officers at the scene.

The voices citizens and officers heard on the line came from Dominique Hill, Janelle Knight and Felicia Moore.

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Residents support bond for parks, pool

July 31, 2012

Conservation to protect wildlife habitat and creekside land is a priority for Issaquah residents, more so than other parks and recreation projects.

The information comes from a survey commissioned by city leaders as the initial step in a process to pass a multimillion-dollar bond measure to fund future parks projects. Data from the survey also addressed a bold proposal to create a special taxing district in the Issaquah School District to fund upgrades to the aging Julius Boehm Pool.

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Julius Boehm Pool debuts Chip ‘n’ Dip tournament

July 24, 2012

The Julius Boehm Pool will hold its first Chip ‘N Dip tournament Aug. 11.

The tournament will consist of teams of parent-and-child pairs for $15. Registration is open until the day of the tournament, online or in person.

Luann Sparks, recreation specialist for the city of Issaquah, came up with the idea after seeing a floating green in an airplane magazine.

The teams will chip 24 Wiffle Balls of different colors to a floating green in the pool. Each pair stars with 24 points and subtracts one point for hitting the green and two for getting it in the hole. The team with the lowest point value at the end will win.

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Survey: Residents claim Issaquah is headed in right direction

July 19, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. July 19, 2012

Most respondents in a recent survey — 74 percent — claim Issaquah is headed in the right direction and 57 percent gave the city a positive rating for spending taxpayer dollars.

The information comes from a telephone survey conducted last month. Though the survey focused mostly on municipal parks and recreation facilities — and a possible park bond measure — other questions addressed City Hall’s performance.

Overall, 68 percent of respondents gave the city a positive job rating and 23 percent gave the city a negative rating. On the question about the direction of Issaquah, 13 percent said the city is headed in the wrong direction and 13 percent said they did not know.

EMC Research conducted the survey for the municipal Parks & Recreation Department from June 14-20.

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Officials launch summertime water safety campaign

July 10, 2012

County mailers, signs remind public of rivers’ risk

Summer arrived last month, but despite balmier temperatures and abundant sunshine, King County rivers still run cold.

Revelers heading to the Raging River near Preston or the Cedar River south of Issaquah — and other local rivers — should exercise caution, and King County safety officials urged caution. Even a quick swim or a short jaunt on a raft can pose risks.

Officials from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the King County Sheriff’s Office joined forces to urge recreationalists to use common sense and follow safety tips.

Officials recommended for kayakers, boaters, rafters and other recreationalists to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before getting in the water.

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How to survive summer vacation

June 28, 2012

The summer months have arrived.

School is out, the anticipation of summer weather is almost too much to bear, and now you’re ready to head outdoors and enjoy it.

But wait! Before you head out the door, there are summer hazards to be aware of and ways to make sure you stay safe.

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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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City Council announces annual goal-setting retreat

May 29, 2012

Citizens can join the City Council for a daylong retreat June 2 as officials meet to set goals for 2013.

The council meets each spring to draft goals and determine priorities for the months ahead. The process starts the effort to craft a municipal budget for the coming year.

Mayor Ava Frisinger, municipal department chiefs and other officials also join the council.

The retreat runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower Community Room at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, 949 N.E. Ingram Way.

The council set ambitious goals for 2012, including possible solutions for cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park, a more citizen-friendly budgeting process and a commission to address economic vitality.

Other priorities included offering additional city information online, improving downtown parking access and discussing possible arrangements for the aging Julius Boehm Pool.

The goal to create a municipal Economic Vitality Commission came to fruition May 16, as members held the inaugural meeting.

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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