Firefighters’ donation enables community to purchase AED

May 8, 2012

The popular pool in the Maple Hills community received a piece of lifesaving equipment from local firefighters, just in time for the summer swimming season.

Maple Hills community leaders received about $400 from a nonprofit firefighters group to purchase a long-awaited automated external defibrillator, a portable device designed to use electrical therapy to treat people suffering from cardiac arrest.

“We had just been looking to our community, and we were able to raise most of the money, but not all of it,” longtime Maple Hills resident Susie Smith said. “I just thought that was a really nice gesture for them to step up and help us out with the rest of it.”

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Eastside Fire & Rescue seeks volunteer firefighters

January 24, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue has started a new push to get volunteers to join its ranks.

“Being a volunteer firefighter is a big commitment,” EFR chief and former volunteer firefighter Lee Soptich said in a press release. “But the rewards for helping your community and your neighbors are even greater.”

The communities for which EFR seeks volunteers are Issaquah, Maple Hills, May Valley, Tiger Mountain, Preston, North Bend, Sammamish, Lake Joy, Carnation and Wilderness Rim.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, drug-free and reside within five driving miles of the nearest EFR fire stations.

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Maple Hills Elementary remains closed as other Issaquah School District campuses reopen

January 23, 2012

NEW — 6:20 a.m. Jan. 23, 2012

Maple Hills Elementary School is closed Monday due the ongoing power outage in the school’s neighborhood, Issaquah School District officials announced.

Students at other Issaquah School District campuses return to classes Monday after a weeklong break due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and subsequent snow days.

Officials raised concerns about heating Maple Hills Elementary after the power returns, and the ability to get systems running normally after the outage ends.

The snow-related interruption impacted the finals schedule at Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools, as well as athletic and extracurricular events across the district.

School administrators adjusted the finals schedule to adapt to the snow days.

Monday is a review day at Issaquah High and Skyline. The finals half-days fall on Tuesday and Thursday.

Because school websites remain unavailable, Liberty students should prepare for finals from periods 3 and 4 on Monday, periods 7 and 8 on Tuesday, periods 1 and 2 on Wednesday, and periods 5 and 6 on Thursday.

Hundreds attend local National Night Out events

August 9, 2011

Local residents got the opportunity last week to meet face-to-face with their local law enforcement officers during National Night Out Against Crime events.

There were two local National Night Out celebrations Aug. 2 — one held by the Issaquah Police Department on the steps of Issaquah City Hall and the other held by the King County Sheriff’s Office at Maple Hills Community Park.

A King County sheriff’s deputy at Issaquah’s National Night Out explains to a girl and her mother how an inflatable water rescue craft is used. By Quinn Eddy

“To give you an idea of how many people are here, we bought 700 hotdogs and we’re going to use all of them,” said Sgt. Scott Trial, with the Issaquah Police Department.

Issaquah’s Night Out celebration featured roughly 35 information booths, some by private vendors and regarding topics ranging from home alarm systems to emergency preparedness. To aid residents in the fight against identity theft, free document shredding was offered to destroy sensitive documents.

On the lawn behind Issaquah’s City Hall, eventgoers got the opportunity to meet Savute, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Karelian bear dog. Savute deals primarily with bears and cougars. (His job is to chase the animals into trees making for an easier shot with a tranquilizer gun.)

“Last week, he treed a bear in North Bend trying to get someone’s French doors open,” said Jason Capelli, game warden for the department of fish and wildlife.

The Issaquah event featured prizes, raffles and a live DJ. The Maple Hills event had informational safety demonstrations. At both events, grilled hotdogs were offered free to those in attendance.

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Meet local police during National Night Out

July 26, 2011

Local residents have two events to choose from to mark National Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 2.

The Issaquah Police Department will host the city’s annual happening on the steps of Issaquah City Hall.

Issaquah Police Sgt. Scott Trial said city officers used to visit neighborhood Night Out events, such as block parties and so on, but more recently began putting together a more unified event.

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YWCA opens campus near Issaquah for homeless parents

July 12, 2011

Cynthia Liggitt shares her story, and tells how she was helped by the YWCA, during the July 7 grand opening of Passage Point’s transitional housing. By Greg Farrar

Cynthia Liggitt is a single mother, the former wife of a minister and a former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

“It still pains me to say that, but I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggitt, who was charged with felony theft and forgery and served four and a half years in prison.

With the help of YWCA’s Passage Point program, Liggitt has finished her incarceration, earned a degree, and received parenting classes and counseling that have helped both her and her 2-year-old daughter, Jayden Wyrick.

Liggitt and local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, spoke at the grand opening of Passage Point in Maple Valley on July 7.

Located next to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, the six buildings have 46 housing units for men and women recently released from incarceration who wish to reunite with their children. The residents of Passage Point will have access to housing, employment and counseling services.

Residents must be homeless at the time of intake. Violent offenders or people convicted of crimes against children will not be allowed to stay at Passage Point.

The facility is already in high demand.

Tiffany Bradley, from Tacoma, was incarcerated after being charged with 19 counts of identity theft. She was also addicted to methamphetamine, she said.

In October, “I’ll be two years clean,” she said.

Bradley is completing her work-release program at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, and she will exit the system in October. She finished her screening for Passage Point on July 6, and attended the grand opening with her case manager so she could see the campus.

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YWCA opens campus near Issaquah for homeless parents

July 8, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. July 8, 2011

Cynthia Liggitt is a single mother, the former wife of a minister and a former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

“It still pains me to say that, but I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggitt, who was charged with felony theft and forgery and served 4.5 years in prison.

With the help of YWCA’s Passage Point program, Liggitt has finished her incarceration, earned a degree and received parenting classes and counseling that have helped both her and her 2-year-old daughter, Jayden Wyrick.

Liggitt and local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, spoke at the grand opening of Passage Point in Maple Valley on Thursday.

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Rural residents raise concerns about public safety cutbacks

August 3, 2010

County Executive Dow Constantine trekked east to Hobart — and into the sometimes-tenuous relationship between county government and rural King County residents — for a forum last week.

Constantine said unincorporated-area and rural residents stand to bear the brunt of looming cuts to county services, including King County Sheriff’s Office deputy layoffs and cutbacks to the county court system.

Contributed King County Executive Dow Constantine (left) addresses rural residents and the presidents of the six unincorporated area councils, including Four Creeks leader Tom Carpenter (far right), at a July 26 forum.

“There is significant disconnect between the cost of doing business and the dollars available,” he said during the July 26 meeting at Hobart Community Church. “We’re scrounging and scrapping to find ways to protect the quality of life for 2 million people in this county.”

Inside the overheated church, Constantine heard from leaders of the six unincorporated area councils — citizen groups elected by residents in regions as disparate as Vashon Island and rural Maple Valley. The unincorporated county is home to about 340,000 of the 1.9 million county residents.

The group includes Four Creeks, home to about 14,000 residents in a swath stretched between Issaquah and Renton. The area encompasses Maple Hills, May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities south of Issaquah city limits.

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Issaquah police invite community to celebrate National Night Out

July 27, 2010

Trevor Thompson, 6 (left), draws the name of a raffle prize winner from a basket held by Issaquah police officer Scott Trial on Aug. 5, 2009, during National Night Out at Issaquah City Hall. By Greg Farrar

Ever wonder who wears our city and county police uniforms?

Well, head down to Issaquah City Hall or the Maple Hills Community Center between 5 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3 and you can find out – even better, our men and women in uniform will cook up free hot dogs.

“It is something our officers have come to look forward to, barbecuing and meeting the public,” Sgt. Scott Trial said. “It is a really important partnership between the citizens of Issaquah, the business community and the police department to solve crime and know what to look for in suspicious activities.”

This year marks the 27th annual National Night Out, a night designed to encourage residents in cities and counties throughout the nation to come out and meet each other and local law enforcement officers to find ways to fight crime and keep their communities safe.

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Stranger approaches student in south district area

September 18, 2009

NEW — 3:45 p.m. Sept. 18, 2009

While en route to his bus stop, a 12-year-old Maywood Middle School student was approached by a stranger at 6:45 a.m. today in the 100 block of 206th Avenue Southeast in the Maple Hills community.

A middle-aged, black woman wearing a green hat pulled her newer, grayish-blue pickup beside the boy and asked if he wanted a ride. The student said no and the woman drove away. The woman did not try to force the student into her vehicle, but the student did not know her either.

District officials sent out the bulletin to let families know of the incident and make sure students are aware of what they should do when a stranger approaches them.

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