May 18, 2012
NEW — 1:20 p.m. May 18, 2012
The Issaquah School District is wasting no time when it comes to putting its recently-approved $219 million bond dollars into action.
The school board reviewed a preliminary schedule of projects and timeline for school construction and other district upgrades at its May 9 meeting. Some projects could begin as soon as July and others extend through the end of 2019.
“Somebody has to be first, and somebody has to be last,” said Jacob Kuper, chief operations officer for the district.
Phase 2 construction of Liberty High School and Phase 2 at Maywood Middle School are first in line with finishes projected by the end of 2013. At the caboose of the tentative timeline is the reconstruction of Sunny Hills Elementary School, which wouldn’t finish until December 2018.
Construction to improve Skyline High School’s stadium would begin April 2013 and run through September 2014. As a result, Skyline’s football team is likely to play away games for the entire 2013 season. Issaquah High School will have the same problem a few years later when its stadium remodel takes place from April 2016 to August 2017.
This summer, the district hopes to install artificial turf on the athletic fields at Beaver Lake and Maywood middle schools. It would then install turf fields at Pine Lake and Pacific Cascade middle schools the following summer.
“We didn’t want to take all the fields out over the course of the summer because it would be a huge impact on the community,” said Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the district.
May 16, 2012
NEW — 11:30 a.m. May 16, 2012
Issaquah School District and Eastside Catholic High School officials sought to reassure parents and students May 11 after federal agents arrested a substitute bus driver for the Issaquah district and former Eastside Catholic teacher for possession of child pornography.
Andrew Bernard Rekdahl, 29, faces child pornography charges after federal prosecutors said the Carnation resident shared explicit images and videos of boys online from his home computer.
Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rekdahl at a school district facility May 10 after a monthslong sting operation.
Federal prosecutors charged him with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.
Rekdahl served as a substitute bus driver for more than a dozen routes throughout the school district between Nov. 14 and May 10 and as a science teacher at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish from 2005 to June 2010.
May 15, 2012
NEW —4:10 p.m. May 15, 2012
Newcastle police officers plan to urge motorists to buckle up — or else — on Click It or Ticket patrols from May 21 to June 3.
The patrols start as public safety officials celebrate the 10th anniversary of Washington’s primary seat belt law. Officials estimate the law requiring motorists to buckle up has saved 1,010 lives.
Besides the Newcastle Police Department, 37 agencies in Western Washington plan to look for unbuckled motorists and passengers.
Violators face a $124 fine for not wearing a seat belt.
Washington state is a leader in seat belt use in the United States with 97.5 percent of motorists wearing seat belts — up 82 percent since the primary seat belt law took effect in 2002.
Statewide, traffic deaths declined from 658 in 2002 to 455 in 2011.
Despite the successes, officials said four out of 10 people killed in car crashes in Washington in the last five years did not wear seat belts.
May 14, 2012
NEW — 2:35 p.m. May 14, 2012
Newcastle will celebrate National Trails Day on June 2 with a trail walk beginning at Lake Boren Park at 9 a.m.
Attendees are encouraged to meet at the restrooms. The event will include a tour of the historic Newcastle Cemetery with history highlights of the cemetery given by Jim Price of Newcastle Trails. Residents can tour the new section of the Olympus Trail, continuing south and returning to Lake Boren Park for light refreshments at the waterline.
Allow approximately two hours for the walk. All ages are welcome, but sections of the walk are not baby-stroller suitable.
View a Newcastle Trails map online at NewcastleTrails.org.