Cornerstone Studio presents ‘The Nutcracker’

November 30, 2015

NEW — 4:33 p.m. Nov. 30, 2015

Cornerstone Studio presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 19-20 at the Bellevue High School Performing Arts Center.

By Marcus Mason Cornerstone Studio dancers perform a number from the Party Scene, Act I, at the school's 2014 performance.

By Marcus Mason
Cornerstone Studio dancers perform a number from the Party Scene, Act I, at the school’s 2014 performance.

The Newport Hills studio’s production features a cast of more than 65 dancers portraying beloved characters such as Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. Read more

Newcastle residents have options for local Christmas tree buying

November 30, 2015

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 2015

Newcastle residents have a few local options when it comes to buying a Christmas tree.

Boy Scout Troop 626 opened its Newport Hills tree lot just after Thanksgiving. The Scouts assembled display stands, unwrapped trees and decorated the lot in late November.

Contributed Boy Scout Troop 626 members set up the annual Christmas tree lot in Newport Hills.

Boy Scout Troop 626 members set up the annual Christmas tree lot in Newport Hills.

This is the Scouts’ 33rd year using tree sales as its annual fundraiser. They work out of the Newport Hills Swim & Tennis Club parking lot, 5464 119th Ave. S.E., Bellevue. Read more

And the 2015 Diamond Awards go to…

November 19, 2015

NEW — 9:45 p.m. Nov. 19, 2015

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce rolled out the red carpet for the community’s top contributors at the 2015 Diamond Awards ceremony Nov. 19.

The recipient of a Diamond Award is chosen based on his or her contribution to the community. Winners and nominees demonstrate dedication, integrity and caring, with a passion for doing what needs to be done.

Learn more about the finalists here. Here are a list of winners: Read more

King County sheriff asks off-duty deputies to carry sidearms

November 18, 2015

NEW — 4:12 p.m. Nov. 18, 2015

King County Sheriff John Urquhart urged deputies to carry their sidearms at all times in response to the Paris terror attack.

In a Nov. 17 email, Urquhart encouraged deputies to stay vigilant, but added that simply employing a policy of “If you see something, say something,” isn’t enough after what happened in Paris.

“While off-duty I am asking all commissioned personnel to always carry their sidearm, with extra magazines,” he wrote.

The FBI has not received any specific, credible information of any imminent attacks to the country, Urquhart added. Read more

Hazelwood PTSA seeking Thanksgiving groceries for families in need

November 18, 2015

NEW — 2:47 p.m. Nov. 18, 2015

The Hazelwood Elementary School PTSA needs your assistance to help provide Thanksgiving feasts to families in need.

Each family will receive a grocery gift card and tote of groceries so they can celebrate the holiday with a wonderful meal. The PTSA will provide the gift cards, but the group is asking Hazelwood Elementary families to help come up with the groceries.

If you can donate, sign up at VolunteerSpot and let the PTSA organizers know what you can bring. The group is seeking items such as stuffing and instant mashed potatoes. A full list of needed items is available at

Drop your donations off in the bins outside the main office and PTSA office by the end of the day on Friday, Nov. 20.

Prepare for high winds, rain

November 16, 2015

NEW — 4:56 p.m. Nov. 15, 2015

The region is in for a wet and windy Tuesday.

Seattle’s National Weather Service issued a “High Wind Watch” for most of Tuesday. Expect the highest winds to occur mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Especially after last weekend’s wet weather, the high winds can down trees and damage properties. Prepare now for power outages.

Puget Sound Energy offers up-to-date outage information, including restoration estimates, on its outage map here. Customers can also get the most up-to-date outage information, or report an outage, by downloading the myPSE app for smartphones here. Read more

Input sought for naming new middle school

November 10, 2015

It’s time to name the middle school.

Come fall 2016, a new Renton School District middle school will sit within Newcastle city limits. Work is already well underway on the school, located next to Hazelwood Elementary.

The two-story school designed by NAC Architecture was made possible thanks to voter support of an April 2012 bond measure. The $97 million bond measure will fund the school, improvements to the Lindbergh High School pool and other construction costs.

The district’s fourth middle school comes at an important time, given that Renton’s middle schools are among the largest in the state. Read more

Newcastle railroads — When rail was king

November 10, 2015

Narrow gauge rail service was completed between Renton and the Newcastle coal mines in 1878. This 6.5-mile extension allowed for much greater production and therefore growth of the company town. Regular passenger service began in November 1878, enabling Newcastle to become more than just a mining town. It was a destination for hunting and hiking and allowed for the visit of President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.

Train service was not without its problems. In January 1880, 4.5-feet of snow fell in Seattle disrupting service, and in July of that year, the train was three hours late. It seems the train had run off the track because it hit a hog. The train did not suffer damage, but the hog was cut in two. In 1883, Renton had 300 residents while Newcastle had 750. Read more

Local libraries host book sales

November 10, 2015

The Newcastle and Newport Way libraries will both host book sales in November.

Newcastle kicks it off Nov. 14 with a mini holiday book sale. The Friends of the Newcastle Library group will take over the library lobby, where it will sell hundreds of books for all ages in a wide-ranging selection of genres, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Newport Way Library book sale is Nov. 20-21. Most books cost just $1. The sale goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Newcastle Library is at 12901 Newcastle Way and the Newport Way Library is at 14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue.

Friends groups sponsor additional library programs through its book sales. They gladly accept donations of gently used books throughout the year. Learn more at

Study shows marijuana-positive drivers increased in 2014

November 10, 2015

Newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission shows that marijuana is increasing as a factor in deadly crashes.

The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014.

From 2010-2014, nearly 60 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were tested for drugs. Among those tested drivers, about 20 percent (349 drivers) were positive for marijuana. Read more

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