Snow expected to continue through Wednesday

January 15, 2012

NEW — 3:15 p.m. Jan. 15, 2012

While much of the Eastside was blanketed by snow today, snow showers are expected to continue to develop Monday afternoon and persist into Tuesday, according to a winter weather advisory for the area.

A stronger system may give widespread, significant snowfall amounts during the night of Tuesday  into Wednesday before turning to rain, according to the advisory.
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U.S. Rep. Adam Smith meets with local leaders, Newcastle constituency

January 14, 2012


U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, left, speaks with members of local and regional government and members of the public at an informal meeting at Newcastle City Hall in the Newcastle Professional Center on Jan. 14. By Christina Lords

NEW — 3:40 p.m. Jan. 14, 2011

Although congressional redistricting doesn’t shift the city of Newcastle’s representation from the 8th to the 9th Congressional District until 2013, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith says he’s already prepared to make his case of focusing on the still-sluggish economy, job growth and needed tax and education reform to his new constituency.

The congressman — whose district now spans the area south and east of Seattle, including Newcastle, Federal Way, Renton and Bellevue — met with about 75 local and regional government officials, business sector representatives and Newcastle residents at an informal gathering at Newcastle’s City Hall on Jan. 14.

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SR 520 closure could cause delays for motorists

January 13, 2012

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Jan. 13, 2012

Eastside Corridor Constructors and the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the state Route 520 floating bridge and highway to set concrete girders over SR 520 at Evergreen Point Road and 92nd Avenue Northeast and complete other time-sensitive construction activities. The closures will take place Jan. 13-16.

The floating bridge, highway and all ramps will close at 11 p.m. Jan. 13. All ramps, the floating bridge and highway will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Both directions of SR 520 and all ramps between Montlake Boulevard and I-405, except for the eastbound entrance from 108th Avenue N.E. SR 520 will remain open between Montlake Boulevard and I-5.

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Newcastle broker certified as home marketing specialist

January 10, 2012

NEW — 2:50 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011

Newcastle resident Greg Lussier, of Choice One Realty Group and Better Properties Real Estate, has been awarded the Certified Home Marketing Specialist Designation from Martha Webb, the woman credited with launching the staging industry.

Brokers have recognized Webb’s designation across the country as one of the best real estate marketing certifications available.

Lussier has achieved professional certification as a home marketing specialist.

“The CHMS designation is about much more than staging a home,” Lussier said. “Rather, it is designed to give brokers the insight and tools necessary to put a seller’s property first in line among the properties buyers will consider.”

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Newcastle to host U.S. Rep. Adam Smith on Jan. 14

January 9, 2012

NEW — 12:25 p.m. Jan. 9, 2012

A meet and greet for U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, Washington’s 9th Congressional District representative, will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 at the Newcastle Professional Center.

Final drafts of the Washington State Redistricting Commission’s maps move the city of Newcastle from the 8th to Smith’s 9th Congressional District next year.

The event is free and open to the public.

Congressman Dave Reichert will represent Newcastle until the end of 2012, but Newcastle, Mercer Island and Bellevue will shift to representation from the 9th District in 2013.

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Hazen vs. Liberty, Girls and Boys Basketball/Dec. 22, 2011

January 6, 2012

Newcastle woman wins IKEA Stuff the Bug contest

January 6, 2012

Donna Buck (left), president of Ladies Auxiliary for Post 1 of American Veteransin Tacoma, and George Hight of Marine Corps League Pierce County Detachment 504, tell Newcastle Resident Angela Weber how the IKEA soft toys will be used by Pierce County Sheriff Department deputies. Photo contributed.

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Jan. 6, 2011


That’s how many stuffed animals Newcastle resident Angela Weber thought were packed inside of a bright yellow IKEA Volkswagen Bug as a part of the world’s largest furniture retailer’s annual Toys for Education campaign. The program has been raising money to educate children around the world since 2003.

As it turns out, Weber was spot on.

After winning IKEA Seattle’s Stuff the Bug contest by guessing the correct number of soft toys packed into the vehicle, Weber helped IKEA donate four shopping carts of soft toys to a good cause.

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Creating a sense of community

January 6, 2012

After 17 years, longtime Newcastle resident Sonny Putter steps down from City Council

Sonny Putter, longtime Newcastle city councilman, cuts into a cake celebrating his 17 consecutive years of service at his last City Council meeting Dec. 6. By John Jensen

As you flip through the pages of longtime Newcastle City Councilman Sonny Putter’s date book, you start to notice a trend.

For the month of October, nearly every date is bursting with small writing filling each box.

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Council passes 2012’s $5.8 million budget

January 6, 2012

After a six-month process from its July budget retreat to final adoption, the Newcastle City Council voted to unanimously pass its 2012 budget Dec. 6.

But many members of the council said they won’t start patting themselves on the back anytime soon.

“I still encourage the Finance Committee and council to look to the long-term solution of how we’re going to be a viable city,” Councilwoman Carol Simpson said. “This was a good Band-Aid again … I still think we still have a lot of work cut out for ourselves in the next four years to put ourselves on track.”

The budget includes funding for several projects at Lake Boren Park and maintains the parks manager position held by Michael Holly, who faced an uncertain future after the council directed city staff to suggest positions and/or services that could be reduced.

“It’s a good budget. It’s a responsible budget,” Deputy Mayor Steve Buri said. “We have done an awful lot of cutting over the last three years, and I think most of the residents are pleased that those cuts have come without serious reductions in service.”

The city’s projected revenue for 2012 sits at about $5.8 million — an increase of about $147,700 from the preliminary budget released in October. Some of that increase includes money from the council’s Nov. 15 decision to cover the city’s anticipated $61,000 shortfall between revenue and expenditures for 2012 in part by taking an allowable 1 percent increase in property tax.

Residents can expect the city’s portion of their property taxes to increase an additional $11 next year for a $516,000 home — the typical home price in Newcastle as assessed by King County.

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Newcastle residents’ tips lead to burglary arrests

January 6, 2012

Newcastle Police Officer Ryan Olmsted arrested two suspects at about 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in connection with recent burglaries reported in Bellevue, Newcastle, Renton and unincorporated King County.

Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said two other suspects fled the scene, but one was later arrested after a King County deputy located the suspect.

The fourth suspect remains at large, Irvine said.

Two Newcastle residents provided tips, including the suspects’ license plate number, to the Newcastle Police Department via its anonymous email and nonemergency phone lines that lead to the arrests, Irvine said.

The group had burglarized homes in the area and had broken into at least one residence just prior to being arrested, Irvine said.

The number of burglaries the group may be responsible for is still under investigation, and charges against the suspects for at least one burglary are expected in early January, she said.

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