41st District legislators to hold town hall at Hazelwood Elementary School on Saturday

March 11, 2011

NEW — 11:30 a.m. March 11, 2011

Lawmakers from the 41st Legislative District, which includes Newcastle, will host a town hall meeting at Hazelwood Elementary School, 7100 116th Ave. S.E. in Newcastle, from 10-11:30 a.m. March 12.

Democrat Reps. Marcie Maxwell and Judy Clibborn will join Republican Sen. Steve Litzow to give an update on the 2011 legislative agenda and take questions from attendees. The event is free and open to the public.

If you are unable to attend but would like to ask questions, call Maxwell’s office at 360-786-7894, Clibborn’s office at 360-786-7926 or Litzow’s office at 360-786-7641.

Police Blotter for March 8

March 8, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. March 8, 2011

Gun theft

A man reported two guns were stolen from his home, in the 8800 block of 123rd Avenue Southeast, between 10 p.m. Feb. 16 and 10:20 p.m. Feb. 21. He reported the stolen guns to be an EIG Derringer worth $300 and a Ruger Single Six worth $600. He said his son’s friend, who had been at the house, had taken the guns and demanded $140 to give the guns back. The man’s son went to give the friend the money, and the friend allegedly used the guns to rob the man’s son of the $140. The man and his son did not report the alleged robbery, which was in Issaquah, because the man’s son has outstanding warrants.

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Deputy King County executive to speak at March 9 chamber luncheon

March 7, 2011

NEW — 11:50 a.m. March 7, 2011

Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett will speak at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce luncheon at 11 a.m. March 9 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway Southeast.

Jarrett will give a state of the county address.

All are welcome to attend. Lunch costs $20.

Clearly Lasik co-founder found guilty of murder-for-hire plot

March 4, 2011

The co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye surgery centers was found guilty Feb. 3 of plotting to kill his partner.

The King County jury convicted Dr. Michael Mockovak of one count of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and attempted first-degree theft. Jurors found him not guilty of a second count of criminal solicitation involving the company’s former president.

The jury deliberated for less than two days.

Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye surgery centers, is escorted out of King County Court Feb. 3, after he was found guilty of plotting to kill his partner and the company's former president. By Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times

After the verdict was read, Mockovak, who has been out on bail since shortly after his arrest in November 2009, was taken into custody and led to jail. He will face between 31 and 41 years in prison when he is sentenced March 17.

Mockovak’s former partner and target of the murder-for-hire plot, Dr. Joseph King, issued a statement: “My colleagues, my family and I are relieved to put this sad episode behind us.”

Prosecutors said Mockovak was willing to pay more than $100,000 to have King and former company President Brad Klock killed.

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Police release suspect sketch in possible assault near Hazen

March 4, 2011

NEW — 3:15 p.m. March 4, 2011

Investigators released a sketch Friday of a man suspected in a possible sexual assault near Hazen High School.

Sketch of the man believed to have sexually assaulted a teen on Monday.

Washington State Patrol suspect sketch.

Washington State Patrol detectives seek information and witnesses after a teenage girl reported sexual assault late Monday afternoon.

Police said a man in a truck picked up the Issaquah girl at about 5:30 p.m. as she walked along state Route 900 at 148th Avenue Southeast, assaulted her and preceded to drive around the area. The girl told police he held her against her will and released her after about 30 minutes.

Investigators described the suspect as a Hispanic man between 19 and 25 years old, and about 5-feet 6-inches tall. Police said he had a strong accent, and wore jeans, a dark blue sweatshirt and a hat. Sideburns could be seen from beneath the hat.

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City Hall to relocate by end of the year

March 4, 2011

UPDATED — 4:25 p.m. March 4, 2011

Council turns down offer to use both floors of current building

Newcastle City Hall will move to the second floor of the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way, by the end of the year. By Tim Pfarr

So long, 13020 Newcastle Way. The City Council voted to move City Hall to the 7,500-square-foot second floor of the Newcastle Professional Center, 12835 Newcastle Way, by the end of the year.

City staff recommended the move, expected to cost $250,000.

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Author ignites the flame of imagination

March 4, 2011

There was no place he could hide. Around each corner, students greeted him with excitement. Whenever he stopped moving, a line would form with students who wanted to say hello, get autographs and share their own story ideas.

Nevertheless, Seattle-based children’s author Keith Baker enjoyed greeting his biggest fans, and he did so with an unwavering smile for each child who approached him when he visited Newcastle Elementary School Feb. 17.

During his day at the school, he spoke at two assemblies and held workshops with the school’s second and fifth-graders. In between presentations, he signed more than 200 books for students and even a few teachers.

His visit was a precursor to the school’s 2011 Literacy Celebration Feb. 28 to March 4, which features guest readers, literature-themed cake decorating, schoolwide reading time and writing activities.

In the days before Baker’s visit, each grade level completed art projects devoted to one of the 20 books he had written and illustrated. Kindergarteners completed projects based on the book “LMNO Peas,” creating peas with green finger paints. These and the rest of the projects hung inside the school for Baker to see.

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Newcastle Days committee plans 2011 celebration

March 4, 2011

The committee responsible for planning the 2011 Newcastle Days celebration has convened, and this year’s celebration will be Sept. 9 and 10.

The organizing committee is seeking volunteers to help with preparations.

The Friday and Saturday celebration will be similar to that of 2010, with a sidewalk sale in the downtown area the first day followed by festivities in Lake Boren Park the second day.

This year’s celebration in the park will feature a beer garden sponsored by the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, live bands, vendor booths, main stage entertainment and food. This year’s celebration will likely include a car show as well, which has historically been a staple of Newcastle Days, although it was not part of last year’s celebration.

“We were so pleased with how it went last year,” Parks Commissioner Diane Lewis, who will work on the organizing committee again this year, said of the two-day event. “We’re looking to do it as well or better this year.”

Once again, this year’s organizing committee is mostly volunteer-driven with Parks Commission Vice Chair Koleen Morris at the helm.

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Mayor ensures city is OK in the state of the city address

March 4, 2011

Mayor John Dulcich delivered the annual state of the city address at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s Feb. 9 luncheon.

During the speech, Dulcich also outlined the biggest achievements of 2010 — including the success of Newcastle Days — as well as the state of the city’s finances, major projects and outlook.

Financially, he said the city will be all right as long as the governing body is alert and responsible.

Mayor John Dulcich gives a state of the city address at the February meeting of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce. By Tim Pfarr

“We’re OK,” he said about the city’s finances. “The reality is, there’s a little water in the bilge, but we’re moving forward, and we’re not sinking, and we’re not on fire.

“I think that’s important,” he said.

Dulcich also gave an overview of the largest construction projects planned for the city this year.

In addition to the library — which is now being built — a traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Newcastle Way and 129th Avenue Southeast.

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County council appoints citizens to redraw districts

March 4, 2011

King County Council members appointed a team of community leaders in January to update the map for representation in county government.

The council appointed four members Jan. 18 to the King County Districting Committee, the citizen committee responsible for redrawing council districts based on 2010 Census data. The county is carved into nine districts, each represented by a single council member.

John Jensen

“Redistricting is a challenging, time-consuming process that is vital to ensuring our residents are fairly represented,” Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a statement.

Dunn represents District 9 on the nine-member council. The district encompasses Newcastle, the rural area near Issaquah, Maple Valley and areas inside Bellevue and Renton. Districts could be shifted as the citizen committee starts to sift through population data.

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