Councilman Reagan Dunn enters race for state attorney general

June 21, 2011

Reagan Dunn, a local representative on the King County Council and a former federal prosecutor, entered the race June 14 for state attorney general.

Reagan Dunn

In a long-expected campaign announcement, Dunn, a Republican, referenced his experience at the U.S. Department of Justice as a key asset in the race, and rolled out a series of high-profile endorsements.

“I am running for attorney general because I am concerned about the overall direction of Washington state government and I believe we can do much better,” he said in a statement. “While Rob McKenna has done a very fine job as our AG, much more still needs to be done. Our state faces significant challenges, including high unemployment, an unfavorable business climate for job creation and crime levels that are unacceptable.”

Dunn is seeking to succeed Attorney General Rob McKenna, the leading Republican in the 2012 race for governor. McKenna launched a bid for the Governor’s Mansion on June 8. Incumbent Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, is not seeking a third term; Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is expected to run.

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County adopts plan to prevent offenders from returning to jail

May 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

King County leaders accepted a plan Monday to prevent offenders from returning to jail, and to help former offenders transition from incarceration to society.

The decision enables the county to access funds through the federal Second Chance Act, a measure meant to provide social services to prevent recidivism among former offenders.

The legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing and other services.

“I was pleased to put together a motion calling for the plan in July, and I am more pleased that we have adopted that plan,” Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor and Issaquah-area representative, said in a statement. “During these times of seriously declining resources, we need to do everything we can to position ourselves to compete for resources.”

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Issaquah marijuana collective fights for license

April 19, 2011

Lydia George holds buds of medical marijuana from two of the several jars at the GreenLink Collective. Physicians can recommend but not prescribe the drug. By Greg Farrar

The reception area at GreenLink Collective, a medical marijuana collective nestled on a leafy street in downtown Issaquah, resembles a doctor’s office.

The decision to incorporate soothing colors and a bubbling aquarium in the lobby is no coincidence.

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King County Council appoints jail director

January 25, 2011

King County Council members have confirmed Bellevue Councilwoman Claudia Balducci as the director of the county Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the agency responsible for the King County Jail.

Balducci has served in the role as acting director since October.

The council confirmed the appointment Jan. 10. County Executive Dow Constantine praised the appointment.

“Claudia has earned respect in the corrections community and the region at large, and her unique combination of experience with labor and with cities provides a foundation for continued strong partnerships,” he said in a statement. “She brings intelligence, a willingness to listen and enthusiasm that will help lead us to continued improvements in the safety of the public, inmates and staff at our facilities.”

Balducci has served the county in numerous roles since 1999.

In the most recent post, she served as the county’s settlement coordinator as the U.S. Department of Justice checked improvements to inmate care at the jail. Balducci has also served the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention as operations manager, regional jail coordinator and labor negotiator. In addition, she has served on the Bellevue City Council since 2004.

King County Council appoints jail director

January 11, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2011

On Monday, King County Council members confirmed Bellevue Councilwoman Claudia Balducci as the director of the county Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the agency responsible for the King County Jail.

Balducci has served in the role as acting director since October. County Executive Dow Constantine praised the appointment.

“Claudia has earned respect in the corrections community and the region at large, and her unique combination of experience with labor and with cities provides a foundation for continued strong partnerships,” he said in a statement. “She brings intelligence, a willingness to listen, and enthusiasm that will help lead us to continued improvements in the safety of the public, inmates and staff at our facilities.”

Balducci has served the county in numerous roles since 1999.

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Raising the bar: U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan hails from Issaquah

May 18, 2010

Jenny Durkan, U.S. attorney for Western Washington, talks in her office at the federal courthouse in downtown Seattle about her role as the top federal prosecutor in the region. By Greg Farrar

The future U.S. attorney for Western Washington — the top federal prosecutor in the region — had a singular goal as a girl growing up in then-rural Issaquah.

“I always wanted to be a lawyer, from the time I was very, very young — grade school,” Jenny Durkan recalled. “When I was in grade school, my sister and I always used to talk about how we wanted to be lawyers, and I imagined being kind of a storefront-type lawyer.”

President Obama instead picked the daughter of influential state Sen. Martin Durkan for U.S. attorney last May.

Martin and Lorraine “Lolly” Durkan raised eight children near Lake Sammamish. Jenny Durkan stood out as the first girl to become a Sunset Elementary School safety patrol member.

Nationwide, 93 U.S. attorneys prosecute federal crimes and represent the federal government in their districts. Durkan works from a fifth-floor office at the postmodern courthouse in downtown Seattle.

“As my mother said when I graduated from law school, ‘Finally, someone is going to pay you to argue,’” she recalled. “I think I had a natural affinity for debate.”

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Issaquah Police Department observes National Police Week

May 13, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. May 13, 2010

Officers tied blue ribbons to the antennae of Issaquah Police Department patrol vehicles to observe National Police Week.

Flying the blue ribbons shows support for fallen officers and working law enforcement professionals. Issaquah residents can also pick up a free blue ribbon at the police department, 130 E. Sunset Way.

National Police Week will be observed through Saturday. President John F. Kennedy declared May 15, 1962, as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. The week of May 15 falls as National Police Week.

The memorial carries special significance in Washington because assailants killed seven law enforcement officers in the line of duty last year.

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Sheriff’s office revives investigation of 1968 disappearance

April 6, 2009

David Adams

David Adams

New cold case squad sets sights on missing Tiger Mountain child

The detective who arrested the Green River killer will work to solve nearly 200 cold cases, including the disappearance of an 8-year-old Issaquah boy who vanished four decades ago.

Retired King County Sheriff’s Office Detective Tom Jensen — who arrested serial killer Gary Ridgway in November 2001 — is part of a new, three-member Cold Case Squad formed by the sheriff’s office and backed by a federal grant. Jensen serves as a civilian analyst.

Investigators will examine 193 homicides and missing-persons cases dating back to 1942. The squad will review the unsolved disappearance of 8-year-old David Adams, who went missing May 3, 1968, while hiking on Tiger Mountain with his brothers and sisters. More than 1,000 searchers combed the mountainside in the days following his disappearance, but David was never found. Read more

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