Newcastle geography bee champ heads to state

April 4, 2013

NEW — 2:40 p.m. April 4, 2013

Newcastle Elementary School geography bee champ Nathan Jackson (left) qualified as a state semifinalist.

Newcastle Elementary School geography bee champ Nathan Jackson (left) qualified as a state semifinalist.

Newcastle Elementary School crowned fifth-grader Nathan Jackson as the school’s geography bee champion at the end of November. Read more

Music is worth the investment

April 4, 2013

The first article I ever wrote for Newcastle News was a 2011 feature about the Renton School District’s after-school music program, East Hill String Lessons.

I was a journalism student at the University of Washington at the time, and little did I know, I would get the opportunity to become the paper’s full-time reporter a year later.

Christina Corrales-Toy

Christina Corrales-Toy

That story about a group of Hazen orchestra students that tutor young students from the district, has always stuck with me, though.

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April culvert project to cause delays on Coal Creek Parkway

April 4, 2013

UPDATED — 10:10 a.m. April 12, 2013

UPDATE: The Bellevue culvert project is now set to begin in May, not at the end of April. Learn more at www.bellevuewa.gov/coalcreekbridge.htm.

A city of Bellevue project to replace an aging culvert underneath Coal Creek Parkway will reduce a portion of the busy arterial to one lane in each direction, beginning at the end of April.

The culvert will be replaced with a 39-foot-wide bridge that is expected to protect the roadway, improve public safety, provide a new pedestrian walkway and improve fish passage.

Construction will start in late April with single-lane closures during off-peak travel hours. By early May, however, Coal Creek Parkway will be reduced to one lane in each direction for 24 hours a day until December, project engineer Bruce Jensen said.

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Council OKs $4,000 raise for city manager

April 4, 2013

After evaluating City Manager Rob Wyman’s performance in several closed executive sessions, the Newcastle City Council approved a $4,000 raise for the position.

The raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, increases Wyman’s annual salary from $116,000 to $120,000. The council also granted Wyman two days of merit leave.

wyman,rob city mgr 20100200

Rob Wyman

The council unanimously approved the salary increase at its March 5 meeting, commending Wyman in particular for his solid hires and management of the city’s budget.

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Earth Day festival returns April 20

April 4, 2013

Earth Day, the global celebration that promotes sustainability and environmental stewardship, is celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world.

Newcastle residents, however, won’t have to go far to mingle with plant-munching goats, explore electric cars or visit vendors showcasing their green products.

The city of Newcastle, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and the Newcastle Weed Warriors will provide speakers, seminars and activities for Earth Day 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 20 at Lake Boren Park.

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Newcastle crime climbed in 2012

April 4, 2013

Crime in Newcastle was up last year, primarily due to an increase in burglaries and larcenies, according to the 2012 police services report.

In 2012, the city saw 323 Part I crimes, compared to 227 in 2011. Part I crimes include criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. Burglaries and larcenies alone account for 292 of the 323 crimes.

Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine presented the numbers at the City Council’s March 5 meeting.

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Erxleben will not run for re-election

April 4, 2013

City Councilman Bill Erxleben announced that he will not file for re-election this spring.

“I believe that two terms is enough for any council member,” he wrote in a letter to the editor.

Erxleben was first appointed to the Newcastle City Council in 2002. He was elected to the council in 2003. He was elected to the council again in 2009.

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Renton narrows superintendent search to three candidates

April 4, 2013

There are only three candidates left in the Renton School District’s search for a new superintendent.

Merri Rieger, Crystalee Sweeting and Flip Herndon emerged as the top three candidates to succeed Mary Alice Heuschel.

Rieger is currently the chief student achievement officer with the Kent School District; Sweeting is an assistant superintendent with the Puyallup School District; and Herndon is the superintendent of the Bremerton School District.

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Council hosts presentation on Interstate 90 tolling plan

April 4, 2013

The Newcastle City Council had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the potential for tolling on Interstate 90 when Craig Stone, Toll Division director for the Department of Transportation, visited the council’s March 5 meeting.

The state Department of Transportation is at work on a $4.1 billion project to replace the 49-year-old state Route 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington and overhaul the 12.8-mile corridor between Interstate 5 in Seattle and state Route 202 in Redmond. The floating bridge is scheduled to open for traffic by early 2015.

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Letter

April 4, 2013

City councilman wants city to be left in good hands

“You got to know when to hold ‘em … know when to walk away.”

I believe that two terms is enough for any council member. Therefore, after eight years on the City Council, I will not file for re-election this spring.

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