Max Browne earns Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award

December 25, 2012

Skyline High School football quarterback Max Browne, surrounded by his teammates, was named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year on Dec. 18. By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

At midmorning Dec. 18, Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne was called out of class by his football coach, Mat Taylor, on the pretense that he was needed at an emergency captain’s meeting.

Browne fell for it hook, line and sinker. What awaited him in the upstairs classroom stunned him — his parents, a gaggle of cameras, a crowd of friends and, emerging from a hidden spot, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson had been summoned to present Browne with the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious honors in high school athletics. They had managed to keep it secret from Browne, who later was formally presented the Gatorade trophy during a ceremony in the school’s theater packed with classmates.

“I had no idea,” Browne said afterward of the ruse. “Totally surprised. It was awesome.”

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Seattle Seahawks to appear at Verizon store opening

December 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Seattle Seahawks linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan plan to celebrate the opening of a new Verizon Wireless Communication store in Issaquah.

The opening celebration is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Dec. 18, with a special appearance by the Seahawks players.

The new Verizon EVO 2.0 store, 755 N.W. Gilman Blvd., is designed to optimize water and energy use, enhance indoor environmental quality, and reduce waste through specifications and responsible procurement and construction practices.

Seattle Seahawks honor Issaquah School District teachers

October 23, 2012

Lane Helgeson, Liz Villa and Kelly Kosier (from left), a Renton teacher, were honored as Heroes in the Classroom at the Oct. 14 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Contributed

The Seattle Seahawks, in partnership with Symetra Financial Corp., honored Issaquah Middle School’s Liz Villa and Tiger Mountain Community High School’s Lane Helgeson as Heroes in the Classroom this month.

The duo is among 24 teachers across the Puget Sound area being honored for educational excellence during the 2012 NFL season.

Winners are recognized in front of their students at surprise in-school presentations and receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.

In addition, Villa and Helgeson were recognized in an on-field presentation at the Oct. 14 game when the Seahawks beat the New England Patriots.

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Issaquah Trophy & Awards donates to Jim Mora’s foundation

October 16, 2012

Issaquah Trophy & Awards has selected the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation as its Awards for a Cause Recipient for the fourth quarter.

If a customer purchases select awards on the Issaquah Trophy & Awards website,, a portion of proceeds go to the foundation.

Mora, a former Seattle Seahawks coach, created the foundation to support children in need — primarily children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, mentally or physically challenged children, and children at risk.

The foundation affords young individuals the opportunity to realize their potential. Learn more about the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation at

Off the Press

August 28, 2012

When news photographs whistled through wires

Our recent story about the book by Barry Sweet, the Seattle Associated Press photographer for more than three decades, brought back a lot of memories. I visited with Barry at the Issaquah Costco and enjoyed reliving old times.

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

Would you believe that once upon a time, it took 10 minutes to send one black-and-white photograph to newspapers across the country? And 40 minutes to send color?

While studying at the University of Washington, I landed a job in 1977 as one of five wirephoto operators at the Seattle bureau, working right next to Barry Sweet at the same desk and the same darkroom for two years.

A wirephoto — or Laserphoto — transmitter was about the size and weight of a carton of 10 reams of office paper. We typed a caption on sticky paper, put it on the margin of an 8-by-10 print, put it in the slot and pressed start.

The picture would slowly feed at an inch per minute as the laser would scan 120 lines an inch, turn the shades of gray into a constant rapid whistling of high- to low-pitched sound frequencies and send it across telephone lines.

Receivers at the nation’s newspapers would expose glossy thermal paper with synchronized lasers at the same time and spit out their reproductions when the transmission was done.

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King County councilwoman touts arena proposal’s economic potential

August 7, 2012

Before the King County Council made a landmark decision to authorize public dollars for a sports-and-entertainment arena, Kathy Lambert received 2,700 emails.

The councilwoman, a Redmond resident and the Issaquah representative on the council, said most messages urged the council to approve the arena proposal.

Kathy Lambert

Reagan Dunn

In the end, after months of discussion and hours of testimony, Lambert joined the council majority to approve a key agreement for a $490 million arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball back to Washington.

The council agreed July 30 to contribute up to $80 million for a proposed Seattle arena near Safeco Field — if investors can secure NBA and NHL franchises. The county contribution is capped at $5 million if only professional basketball comes to the arena.

The agreement does not include additional taxes for county residents. Plans call for 30-year public bonds to finance the arena, and for arena revenue to pay off the bond debt.

Lambert later cited the proposed arena’s economic benefits — jobs for arena construction and operation, plus tax revenue for the county and a tourism attraction — for the region as reasons for the yes vote.

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Where in the world is Our Gang Racing?

January 24, 2012

The Miss Red Dot, driven by Kip Brown, prepares for racing in the Oryx Cup World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in November. By Chris Denslow/H1 Unlimited

Local hydroplane team competes in the Middle East

There’s nothing quite like watching an unlimited hydroplane race.

The sleek boats travel at speeds of about 200 mph, kicking up massive walls of water (called rooster tails) in their wake, all while majestically skipping across the surface waves.

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Meet Seattle Seahawks’ Sea Gals in Issaquah

September 16, 2011

NEW — 8 p.m. Sept. 16, 2011

Meet the Sea Gals — cheerleaders for the Seattle Seahawks — in Issaquah on Saturday.

Members of the squad plan to meet fans at Gold’s Gym, 1025 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite E-8, from 11 am. to 2 p.m.

The event is part of Member Appreciation Day. Gold’s Gym members can bring family and friends to the event for lunch, giveaways and more. The raffle prize is a pair of tickets to a Seahawks game.

Issaquah girl, 9, dies after Bellevue pileup

July 26, 2011

Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl injured in a 14-vehicle pileup in Bellevue early last week, died July 23 from injuries sustained in the crash.

Rachel and a 2-year-old sister rode in a Lexus sedan driven by the girls’ mother, Samantha Paul, as a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a loaded logging truck and spurred the chain-reaction crash.

Medics transported seven people, including a handful of Issaquah residents, to area hospitals in the aftermath.

Only Rachel sustained life-threatening injuries, and responders rushed the girl to Harborview Medical Center.

Rachel Beckwith

Just before 8 a.m. July 20, as traffic slowed due to congestion near the Interstate 405 interchange at 133rd Avenue Southeast, authorities said a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a logging truck in the adjacent lane.

“For whatever reason, whether the semi truck was going too fast, wasn’t paying attention or a combination of the two, for the conditions, he didn’t seem to see that traffic had stopped until the last second,” said Sgt. Keith Trowbridge, a Washington State Patrol spokesman. “At that point, he tried to put the brakes on, but he jackknifed and went into the log truck.”

The impact dislodged the rear axle of the logging truck and sent the piece hurtling into traffic.

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Issaquah girl, 9, injured in 14-vehicle pileup, dies

July 23, 2011

NEW — 9 p.m. July 23, 2011

Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl injured in a 14-vehicle pileup in Bellevue, died Saturday afternoon from injuries sustained in the July 20 crash.

Rachel and a 2-year-old sister rode in a Lexus sedan as the girls’ mother, Samantha Paul, as a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a loaded logging truck and spurred the chain-reaction crash.

Medics rushed seven people, including a handful of Issaquah residents, to area hospitals in the aftermath. Only Rachel sustained life-threatening injuries.

The teaching pastor at at EastLake Community Church, Jeremy Johnson, said Paul suffered head injures in the early morning crash, but is expected to recover. The younger daughter escaped without major injuries.

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