Newcastle News publisher retires

January 30, 2014

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Jan. 30, 2014

40-year career comes to a close

Debbie Berto

Debbie Berto

When Debbie Berto assumed the helm of The Issaquah Press in the early 1970s, she was only a couple years out of college and had no managerial experience. To top it off, she was just 24 and pregnant with her first child. But her boss saw something in her that made him confident he’d made the right choice.

“I never had any training in business management,” Berto admitted. “The Press was losing money in those early years, so John Murray didn’t have much to lose by putting me in charge. It wasn’t long before he predicted that I would retire from The Press. I couldn’t imagine that that was possible.”

Now, 40 years later, Berto is indeed ready to retire, having worked from advertising representative to publisher of the 114-year-old newspaper.

Read more

City hosts photo contest

January 29, 2014

NEW — 3 p.m. Jan. 29, 2014

Do you love Newcastle?

Of course you do, and now you can show it with the city’s “We love Newcastle” photo contest. Post your original Newcastle-centric photos, on the City of Newcastle Facebook page at

The winning photo will be featured on the cover of the final Newcastle 2014 Budget and in other city publications, along with the photographer’s name. Post your photo by Feb. 10.

City staff will choose the winning entry based on how well the photo captures the spirit of Newcastle and announce the winner on Feb. 11.

Councilwoman Lisa Jensen reappointed to hospital board

January 28, 2014

NEW — 4:25 p.m. Jan. 28, 2014

Lisa Jensen

Lisa Jensen

Newcastle City Councilwoman Lisa Jensen will continue in her role as a member of Harborview Medical Center’s Board of Trustees.

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn announced she was reappointed to the board. The King County Council confirmed the appointment at its Jan. 27 meeting.

“I am so pleased that Lisa agreed to serve another term on the board,” he said in a statement. “She brings a wealth of knowledge to the board as a former deputy mayor of Newcastle, current councilmember, and small business person. Lisa has the depth of public service experience to help the board serve the community at a high level.” Read more

‘This one’s for you, Denny’

January 27, 2014

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Jan. 27, 2014

Dennis Yarnell

Dennis Yarnell

Newcastle Shell station owner, and avid Seattle Seahawks fan, Elizabeth Widseth knew this football season was going to be special.

She knew it long before Russell Wilson took the first snap of the season; long before the Hawks earned a 13-3 record; and long before the victorious team boarded its plane to New Jersey.

Widseth knew good things were in store for the Hawks, when she looked at the calendar and noticed that the Super Bowl was on Feb. 2, exactly a year after her husband, popular Newcastle Shell owner Dennis Yarnell died. Read more

Renton Technical College earns national honor

January 27, 2014

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Jan. 27, 2014

The Aspen Institute recognized Renton Technical College as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges.

The honor comes with a chance to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds.

The prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among its community colleges.

“The selection of Renton Technical College by the Aspen Institute shines a spotlight on the exceptional work that RTC’s faculty and staff are doing to support student success,” said Steve Hanson, president at Renton Technical College, in a statement. Read more

Puget Sound Blood Center has emergency need for donations

January 25, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 25, 2014

Puget Sound Blood Center released an emergency request for blood donations at its centers this weekend and into next week.

A multi-state network outage is being cited as the cause.

“The network outage caused the loss of both telephone and computer connectivity for most PSBC locations, resulting in cancellation of scheduled blood drives and suspension of collections at all donor centers,” said Dr. James AuBuchon, president and CEO of PSBC in a statement. “This triggered an emergency shortage of blood locally. PSBC needs to collect about 900 units each day to maintain essential inventories of blood components.”

The network outage meant blood donation centers could not process donations properly, so they shut down, bloodmobiles had similar problems, again reducing the number of donations collected.

The region needs 900 blood donations per day to keep a sufficient supply. Read more

Memorial set for Newcastle legend Milt Swanson

January 21, 2014

NEW — 10:45 p.m. Jan. 21, 2014

Milt Swanson

Milt Swanson

A memorial service for community treasure Milt Swanson is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 25 at Renton’s Greenwood Memorial Park Funeral Home.

The Newcastle Historical Society announced that founding member and local legend Swanson died Jan. 20.

Greenwood is at 350 Monroe Ave. N.E. Following the funeral service Swanson will be interred at Mount Olivet. A reception will be held at Regency Newcastle, 7454 Newcastle Golf Club Road, immediately after.

Swanson, who was born and raised in Newcastle, spent all of his 95 years living in the same area, 90 of which were in the same company house that still stands at the edge of town near the Cougar Mountain trailhead. Read more

Newcastle legend Milt Swanson passes away

January 21, 2014

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Jan. 21, 2014

Milt Swanson

Milt Swanson

The Newcastle Historical Society announced that founding member and local legend Milt Swanson died Jan. 20.

Swanson, who was born and raised in Newcastle, spent all of his 95 years living in the same area, 90 of which were in the same company house that still stands at the edge of town near the Cougar Mountain trailhead.

He knew more about the city’s vast coal-mining history than anyone, because he actually lived it. He worked in the mines as his father and grandfather did before him. Read more

Library, grants and more on Jan. 21 City Council agenda

January 20, 2014

NEW — 4:45 p.m. Jan. 20, 2014

The Newcastle City Council will host its second meeting of the year Jan. 21.

It will start with a 6 p.m. study session when representatives from the King County Sheriff’s Office will review its partnership agreement with city.

The regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation from Newcastle Library staff member Amy Eggler, who will update the City Council about the state of the library.

The City Council is also expected to review the city’s legislative agenda for 2014 and name a new member to fill the spot vacated by John Drescher on the Planning Commission. Read more

Reminder: Weed Warriors hosts wildlife habitat meeting Jan. 18

January 17, 2014

NEW — 3 p.m. Jan. 17, 2014

Newcastle residents can learn how to make their yards wildlife-friendly at a 10 a.m. Jan. 18 gathering.

The Newcastle Weed Warriors will host a meeting to share information about a citywide effort to earn National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat Certification.

To obtain the certification, residents must commit to providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise offspring. A healthy habitat can be in a variety of places, including a backyard, a local city space or even an apartment balcony.

The event features a speaker from Eastside Pond Building, door prizes and refreshments. Read more

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