Sheriff warns against celebratory New Year’s Eve gunfire

December 31, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 31, 2012

King County Sheriff John Urquhart warned New Year’s Eve revelers against shooting guns to ring in 2013.

Nationwide, celebratory gunfire causes injuries and deaths, and local law enforcement officials want to prevent such problems in King County.

“Any bullet fired from a gun must land somewhere and the risks of causing an injury or death is significant,” Urquhart said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office said if investigators can pinpoint somebody shooting, then the agency intends to fully enforce the law. The minimum penalty for reckless endangerment is up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

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Cold Case Unit’s end could leave boy’s disappearance unsolved

December 18, 2012

Funding trouble leads sheriff’s office to disband program

David Adams

In May 1968, 8-year-old David Adams disappeared from Tiger Mountain as he walked home for dinner.

Searchers combed Issaquah and the surrounding area in the days ahead, as the mystery attracted attention from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The search brought as many as 1,000 people to Issaquah, but detectives and volunteers found no signs of David.

The case file sat on a shelf at the King County Sheriff’s Office for 41 years until early 2009, after the agency received a federal grant and launched a renewed push to solve several cold cases.

Despite successes in solving other years-old cases, grant funding is gone and county dollars to continue the program from September to December since evaporated.

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Unincorporated King County residents avoid $20 roads fee

December 18, 2012

Residents in unincorporated King County — including Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 people countywide — no longer face a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance.

King County Council members dropped the proposed fee from the 2013 county budget, and approved the spending plan Nov. 13 in a unanimous decision. Instead, officials plan to lobby the state government for additional road dollars — a challenge as the state faces another budget shortfall next year.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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Police arrest Issaquah man after high-speed chase

December 18, 2012

Deputies arrested a 27-year-old Issaquah man on Tiger Mountain just after noon Dec. 13, after the suspect led police on a high-speed chase and the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter detected the man in a thick forest.

The incident started just before noon in the 19500 block of Maxwell Road Southeast, in unincorporated King County northeast of Maple Valley. Investigators said a deputy patrolling the neighborhood spotted a man attempting to break into a house.

The suspect noticed the officer, ran to a car and fled. The deputy stopped the vehicle moments later near Southeast 208th Street and Maxwell Road Southeast, about a half-mile northeast from the interchange of Southeast Renton-Maple Valley Road and state Route 18.

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Student dies on Skyline High School campus

December 14, 2012

UPDATED — 3:15 p.m. Dec. 14, 2012

A 16-year-old boy, a Skyline High School student, committed suicide on the school’s campus Thursday night.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said that the agency’s dispatchers received a call from the boy at about 9:30 p.m.

The teen told police he was in the lower student parking lot and intended to kill himself. Police arrived six minutes later and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound just outside of his vehicle. Sullivan said he was alone at the time.

Sullivan declined to comment on the method of death, and said the King County Medical Examiner’s office would be releasing that information by late Friday.

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Deputies arrest man after high-speed chase near Issaquah

December 13, 2012

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Dec. 13, 2012

Police arrested a burglary suspect Thursday afternoon along state Route 18 near Issaquah after the man led deputies on a high-speed chase.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued the man on eastbound state Route 18 after a police officer identified him as a suspect in a burglary late in the morning. The man then refused to pull over and attempted to flee from police.

Once the suspect reached Tiger Mountain southeast of Issaquah and south of Interstate 90, he abandoned the vehicle and fled into the forest.

Deputies and the sheriff’s office helicopter, Guardian One, searched the brush for the man.

Police later located him in the brush, and arrested him.

Raid uncovers 150 marijuana plants in Issaquah home

December 4, 2012

Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.

Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

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John Urquhart takes office as King County sheriff

December 4, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart assumed office as King County sheriff Nov. 28, months after retiring as the agency’s longtime spokesman.

Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant, defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 56 percent to 43 percent, in the Nov. 5 election after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart debated how to lead the sheriff’s office after a series of audits lambasted how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

Urquhart won election to fill the remaining year in former Sheriff Sue Rahr’s unexpired term, and is due to face voters again next year.

Legislation to aid law enforcement proposed on shootings’ anniversary

November 29, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert introduced legislation Thursday — three years to the day after a gunman killed four Lakewood police officers at a coffee shop — to improve information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, joined another Washington lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, to introduce the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee Authorization Act.

Investigators determined the killer in the Lakewood shootings, Maurice Clemmons, was a convicted felon on parole and the relevant information was not effectively transmitted to proper authorities.

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Police raid marijuana operation in downtown Issaquah home

November 28, 2012

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.

Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Behrbaum said the grow operation was connected to a medical marijuana operation based in Seattle.

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