County expands Mental Health Court to Issaquah

July 13, 2010

King County plans to expand Mental Health Court — a groundbreaking program launched in the aftermath of a tragedy — to Issaquah by late July.

Launched as a pilot program in February 1999, the court uses a team approach to place defendants in treatment for mental illness. Supporters said the program bridges the gap between mental health treatment and criminal justice systems.

The court accepts mentally ill misdemeanor offenders, and then monitors them during court-ordered treatment. Participants waive a trial and agree to participate in treatment.

The court assigns a team — including a judge, prosecutor, public defender, treatment court liaison and probation officers — to monitor defendants throughout the process. Participants can be jailed for straying from the program.

District Court and elected officials announced the expansion July 9 at the Issaquah Courthouse.

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County Council asks for opinions about proposed tax increases

July 11, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. July 11, 2010

King County Council members want residents’ input Monday about proposed sales tax hikes.

The council has received three proposals to raise the sales tax in order to pay for public safety and criminal justice services. King County faces a $60 million shortfall in the budget used to pay for deputies, courts and other services.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax increases at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the 10th-floor Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle. The hearing will be carried live on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22. Or watch the hearing live online.

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County Council asks for opinions about proposed tax increase

May 16, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. May 16, 2010

King County Council members want residents’ input about a proposed sales tax hike.

County Executive Dow Constantine proposed increasing the sales tax to two-tenths of a percent in order to stem future cuts to public safety, public health services and the county court system.

The council will hold a public hearing on the measure at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the 10th-floor Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle. The hearing will be carried live on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22. Watch the hearing live online here.

The proposal aims to raise the tax on retail purchases to 9.7 cents for $1 spent. For restaurant and bar purchases, the county proposed 10.2 cents per dollar.

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Authorities charge man with forcing Issaquah runaway to work as prostitute

April 6, 2010

Prosecutors charged a Renton man with promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor last week after authorities said he ordered a runaway 15-year-old Issaquah girl to work as a prostitute.

Seattle Police arrested Deandre Gant, 22, at his Renton residence March 23, after the girl told detectives he had ordered her to perform sex acts so “they” could earn money, court documents state.

Gant will be arraigned April 8 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle.

Investigators said relatives reported the girl had been missing from Issaquah on March 12. Relatives suspected she might be with Gant — who she called Dre — but when the girl’s stepfather contacted Gant, he refused to provide her stepfather with her mobile phone number, court documents state.

Investigators said the girl had been exploited as a prostitute in 2008, and suspected she might again be a victim. Read more

King County offices are closed today for furlough

April 10, 2009

NEW — 4 a.m. April 10, 2009

Most King County staff members will be off and most county buildings will be closed today as the county takes the third of 10 furlough days in 2009 to cut operational costs countywide.

All department employees, with limited exceptions, such as those in public safety functions, are included in the furlough plan.

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