Police blotter

September 6, 2012

Surprise break-in

A cellphone, an insurance card and a vehicle binder were stolen from a car parked in the 7000 block of 122nd Avenue Southeast on Aug. 2 or 3. The victim did not realize anything had been stolen until a Bellevue police officer returned the vehicle binder which was found in a Bellevue park.


Mow the lawn

On Aug. 7, a woman reported a lawn mower was stolen from her unfenced back yard in the 11000 block of Southeast 77th Place. The woman had taken all of the items out of a shed in preparation for having it removed.


Hit the deck

The hood and fender of a Toyota was damaged after an unknown suspect threw a deck chair at the vehicle parked in the lot of the Cedar Rim Apartments on 110th Avenue Southeast on Aug. 7 or 8.

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Schools Foundation donates $42,500 for after-school help

September 6, 2012

After-school homework programs got a big boost July 11 when the Issaquah School Board approved a $42,500 gift from the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

The money has been earmarked to support three programs, including $7,500 for Middle School After School Homework; $12,500 for High School After School Homework; and $22,500 for the mentor program Volunteers of Issaquah Changing Education, more commonly known as VOICE.

On the middle school level, the after-school program allows for school libraries to stay open in the afternoon so students can access computers, the Internet and get help with homework. On the high school level, different days of the weeks are reserved for extra help for different subjects like math and foreign languages. The mentor program serves about 300 students from across the district who could use one-on-one assistance.

“It’s an extraordinary program,” foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said. “I know that the district has really come to rely on the VOICE mentor program as one of their strategies.”

The mentors are all volunteers while the district and the schools foundation partner together to pay for program directors and school coordinators. The latest injection of $22,500 covers about half of the total cost of the program.

“There is nothing that the foundation does alone,” Callahan said. “It involves collaboration with the district, collaboration with volunteers and collaboration with donors. We are a conduit by which members of the community can donate resources and time to have an extraordinary effect on student learning and students’ ability to achieve their full potential.”

Officials aim to catch taxi comments from citizens

September 6, 2012

King County needs to catch taxi comments from the public, as officials work to adopt rules for vehicle safety standards, and meter rules for taxicabs and for-hire vehicles.

The county posted the proposed rules for citizens to review at http://1.usa.gov/QwtqNy. Residents can also call 206-296-2710 to receive the proposed rules.

Submit written comments on the proposed rules to King County Records and Licensing Services; 500 Fourth Ave., Suite 411; Seattle, WA 98104. The deadline to submit written comments is Sept. 30.



Miss Washington is proud of her Newcastle roots

September 6, 2012

To the friends and community members who knew her as a child growing up in Newcastle, Mandy Schendel’s stint as Miss Washington comes as no surprise.

“When she puts her mind to something, she sticks with it and she’s had Miss Washington in her mind since she was very little. So I’m definitely not surprised she is here today,” said Nikka Johnson, a friend of Schendel’s from Hazen High School.

Schendel, a 2008 graduate of Hazen, was crowned Miss Washington in July. She is set to compete in the Miss America Pageant in January.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Mandy Schendel, Miss Washington 2012, addresses supporters at a homecoming party held in her honor Aug. 25.

Surrounded by family, friends and community supporters, Schendel held a homecoming celebration at the Barbee Mill Community Beach Club on Aug. 25.

The purpose of the event was to allow the local community to come and see Schendel and wish her well as she travels the state for speaking events and prepares for the Miss America Pageant.

Newcastle resident Gretchen Paletta said she knew Schendel was destined for greatness after watching her address the Hazelwood Elementary School PTA about her nonprofit organization. At just 11 years old, Schendel founded The Difference Maker Organization, which empowers teens to become leaders through volunteer service.

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Newcastle Historic Society makes city’s past more visible

September 6, 2012

Did you know that a United States president once visited Newcastle?

Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president, visited Newcastle on Oct. 11, 1880 — nine years and one month before Washington became the 42nd state. He was the first president to travel west past the Rocky Mountains. The President was accompanied by the famous Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman, then the Commanding General of the U.S. Army — and the pair took a train from Seattle to the Newcastle and Renton coal mines and gave a brief speech at each place.

Because of coal, Newcastle’s history played an important role in the development of Seattle’s economy — a fact that a dedicated group of Newcastle residents is working to preserve and recognize.

The Newcastle Historic Society, begun in the late 1970s, well before Newcastle became a city in 1994, has the purpose and mission to protect the local history, as well as educate the community about its past.

Courtesy of the Renton Historical Society
A group of miners pose in front of the Coal Creek mine in 1869. The water level-style mine went 2 miles into Cougar Mountain.

“I believe our community history is fascinating because it is part of the pioneer story that built our country,” said Pam Lee, the society’s leader. “Newcastle’s history is older than our neighboring cities and it needs to be remembered.”

Newcastle was one of the region’s earliest coal-mining areas and its railroad link to Seattle was the first in King County, according to records. The railroad ran from near the site of today’s CenturyLink Field to upper Coal Creek. Coal had been discovered in Newcastle in 1863 and the railroad helped transport coal via Seattle and its piers to the chief market in San Francisco. Newcastle was named after Newcastle upon Tyne in England, a well-known coal-mining town.

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Marnel Rae Arena

September 6, 2012

Marnel Rae Arena (Wiggins) was born April 8, 1953, in Seattle, the first of three daughters born to Austin and Betty Jo Wiggins, and passed away peacefully at her home, of breast cancer, on Aug. 15, 2012, with her family by her side.

Marnel Rae Arena

She grew up in Issaquah in the home that her father built. She attended Clark Elementary School and Issaquah Junior High School, and graduated from Issaquah High School in 1971. At Issaquah High, she was involved with the girls’ club, cheered on the JV cheer squad her junior year, served as ASB secretary her senior year, was crowned Queen of the Senior Ball, and was on the honor roll throughout her entire high school career. Following graduation, Marnel attended then-Bellevue Community College and earned her Associate of Arts degree.

On Aug. 17, 1974, Marnel married the love of her life, Nicholas Arena, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Renton. They began building their first home together with the assistance of Marnel’s father in June 1979. In December 1979, they moved into their finished home on Lake McDonald, that they lived in for 24 years, and raised two children.

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Bellevue Sunrise Rotary honors top students

September 6, 2012

On July 31, Bellevue Sunrise Rotary presented $1,000 scholarships to two of four recipients, all graduating seniors at Newport High School. The four scholarship winners were Theo Chin, Brandon Luu, Darius Williams and Chelsea Lopez.

Chin will attend the University of Washington, where he plans to study computer science. Luu will also attend the University of Washington, and plans to study computer science and possibly mechanical engineering.

Williams will attend Bellevue College and hopes to transfer to the Art Institute of Seattle. Lopez will attend Renton Technical College and expects to study early childhood education. Williams and Lopez were not on hand to accept their awards.

Newport High School staff members Donna Mattison and Jeff Mason spoke to the club about their roles at the school. Mattison is a career specialist; Mason is the department chairman of the Career and Technical Education program.

Bellevue Sunrise Rotary meets Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. at the Country Buffet in Factoria; guests are always welcome.

Annual town hall date could change

September 6, 2012

City Manager Rob Wyman has suggested postponing Newcastle’s annual town hall meeting at the Aug. 21 City Council meeting.

The town hall is an opportunity for the City Council to speak to residents and get feedback on city issues. At the meeting, residents get the chance to ask questions and learn more about city government.

At past meetings, topics for discussion have included the financial state of the city and priorities regarding public safety, community events, and street and parks maintenance.

The past few years the town hall meeting has been held at the end of October. Wyman suggested moving the meeting to the beginning of the year.

Wyman said changing the meeting to a time of year when the City Council is not deep into structuring a budget will allow the city to better formulate what information is shared and received at the town hall.

“We get this information and we don’t honestly use it as part of that year’s budget,” Wyman said. “I know that maybe the council doesn’t all agree with me on that, but we have this late October and at that point, the next meeting we are adopting the budget. It wasn’t ever really intended, in my mind, to be connected that way.”

The City Council will discuss whether or not to change the date of the town hall at a future council meeting.

Newcastle students make UW dean’s list

September 6, 2012

Students from the Newcastle area have been named to the dean’s list at the University of Washington for the spring quarter. To qualify, students must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 (out of 4).

Students on the dean’s list include Dylan Bussone, Lauren Colyer, Daniel Elworth, Jessica Kim, Kendrick Lentini, Anisha Prasad, Leslie West, Yongmin Robin Yoo, Alexander Fragada, Dylane Madison, Natalie Nichols, Dragos Puscalau, Nathan Tat, James Wang, Jacky Cheung, Julian Li, Katelyn Mellinger, Lauren Mortier, Simerjot Singh, Shayna Waldbaum and Jundi Woo.

Council reduces number of parks commissioners

September 6, 2012

The Newcastle City Council has passed an ordinance reducing the number of parks commissioners from nine to seven, at the Aug. 21 council meeting.

This year, the Parks Commission has experienced the highest number of absences, compared with other city committees.

On Aug. 9, a meeting was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.

By reducing the number of positions, the number of commissioners necessary for a quorum will reduce from five to four.

The Parks Commission currently has seven members after Commissioner Craig Petersen resigned and the position was not filled. Commissioner Chris Hills also resigned, on Aug. 15.

The Parks Commission is an advisory body to the City Council that works on issues regarding city-owned parks. It works on park planning, park design, park construction, park and facility development, renovation, trails and paths, recreation programs and special community events, according to the city’s website.

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