Dave Reichert wins another term in Congress

November 13, 2012

Dave Reichert

Redistricting ended almost a decade of close challenges for control in the 8th Congressional District, as voters re-elected Republican Dave Reichert by a comfortable margin after a campaign unlike other recent contests for the seat.

In a landslide, Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, defeated Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Reichert held on amid vigorous challenges from Democrats in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, but redistricting last year reshaped the district. The state commission responsible for redrawing the political map snipped Eastside cities from the district and added Eastern Washington communities.

The result created a seat observers said is reliably Republican — and offered little suspense as Election Day came to a close. Reichert led by 18 points in the initial election night results and continued to hold a commanding lead.

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Voters choose John Urquhart for King County sheriff

November 13, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart is King County’s next top lawman.

Urquhart defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 57 percent to 43 percent, after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman, locked horns about the agency’s future. The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office hinged on a series of audits into 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.

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Issaquah police plan no immediate changes after Initiative 502 legalizes marijuana

November 13, 2012

In a milestone, Initiative 502 legalized marijuana for recreational use among adults 21 and older in Washington.

In the days after the measure passed, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg dismissed 175 cases involving people 21 and older for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.

The law outlined in I-502 is scheduled to take effect Dec. 6. Meanwhile, Washington Liquor Control Board officials must formulate rules to grow, sell, tax and regulate marijuana.

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King County Council adopts 2013 budget without roads fee

November 13, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012

King County Council members dropped a proposed $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance and, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, approved the 2013 budget without the fee.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas. The decision to drop the proposed fee affects residents in unincorporated King County communities, including Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and other areas outside Issaquah.

Rather than creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated King County, officials plan to lobby the Legislature for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance.

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King County voters renew levy for police fingerprint services

November 8, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012

King County voters overwhelmingly approved a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies, including the Issaquah Police Department.

Proposition 1 asked voters to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to the King County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies.

The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.

Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate was evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.

Investigators use the AFIS database to match fingerprints and palmprints to criminal suspects. The system is managed by the sheriff’s office.

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Dave Reichert outpaces Karen Porterfield to represent Issaquah in Congress

November 6, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

UPDATED — 11:10 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012

Dave Reichert is poised to return to Washington, D.C., to represent Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, faced Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Reichert led, 59 percent to 41 percent, in the initial results released Tuesday night.

The district stretches from Auburn to Issaquah, and then across the Cascades to Ellensburg and Wenatchee.

“We toured cities from Eatonville to Chelan, and I heard the same thing, ‘We’ve got to get the economy moving again,’” Reichert said at the GOP election night celebration in Bellevue. “I’m in a good position to do that in the Ways & Means Committee.”

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King County to include 520,000 ballots in initial tally

November 6, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012

King County Elections officials said the initial tally released at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday should include at least 520,000 ballots.

In the all-mail election, voters can return ballots to designated drop boxes by 8 p.m. The elections office opened a drop box at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

Otherwise, ballots must receive a Nov. 6 postmark.

The initial release from King County Elections is the only update for Tuesday.

The elections office plans to release the next round of results by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and then on subsequent weekdays until the election is certified Nov. 27. Voters can resolve ballot signature issues until Nov. 26.

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The Issaquah Press’ general election endorsements

October 30, 2012

See the editorial board’s recommendations for congressional and legislative candidates, and statewide ballot measures, in the Nov. 6 general election.

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Shooting spree ends with suspect’s death

October 30, 2012

Deputies launched a manhunt in East King County on Oct. 27, after a man shot a woman in the May Valley area after shooting another man in Renton.

Police later found the suspect, 48-year-old Renton resident John L. McKay, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators said McKay stormed into his estranged wife’s Renton home at about 2:30 p.m. Investigators said he shot Tina McKay’s boyfriend, and pistol-whipped her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.

John McKay then drove to the home of his former mother-in-law, Linda Ryan, in the 13400 block of 209th Avenue Southeast in unincorporated King County south of Issaquah. (The house is about a block south of Southeast May Valley Road and about five miles southeast of downtown Issaquah.)

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Woman shot near Issaquah; suspect connected to Renton shooting

October 27, 2012

UPDATED — 9:15 p.m. Oct. 27, 2012

Police said a woman was shot just outside Issaquah city limits on Saturday afternoon and transported to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.

The man suspected in the shooting and another shooting in Renton, John L. McKay, was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound later Saturday in the Skyway area.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 13400 block of 209th Avenue Southeast near Issaquah, just outside the southwest city limits off of Southeast May Valley Road, after the woman was shot.

Police said the incident could be connected to a shooting later in the day near Renton.

Investigators said the woman’s former son-in-law was the shooter.

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