Bellevue PD concludes investigation into New Year’s Eve incident

April 9, 2014

NEW — 1:45 p.m. April 9, 2014

The Bellevue Police Department completed its investigation into a King County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested in Newcastle last New Year’s Eve.

Police arrested the deputy in Newcastle Dec. 31, after a citizen called to report the officer was passed out behind the wheel in his parked patrol car. The deputy was placed under arrest for physical control of a motor vehicle, the legal equivalent of a DUI when no driving was observed.

The officer was not a member of the Newcastle Police Department, according to an email from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine, and wasn’t working overtime in the city.

A certified drug recognition expert conducted the three-month investigation and showed the deputy was impaired by prescription medications, according to a release from Bellevue Police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate. Read more

Newcastle Earth Day event needs volunteers

April 8, 2014

NEW — 2:15 p.m. April 8, 2014

The organizers of the Newcastle Earth Day festival are seeking volunteers.

Volunteers are needed to set up tables, direct parking, assist with kids activities and help with clean up after the event.

Students can earn community service hours for their time, and those that volunteer four hours or more will receive a special event T-shirt.

Newcastle Earth Day goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 19 at Lake Boren Park, 13058 S.E. 84th Way.

Sign up for volunteer shifts here, and learn more about Newcastle Earth Day here.

When Newcastle Fruit & Produce opens its doors, spring is in the air

April 3, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Dave Franklin, Newcastle Fruit & Produce owner, operates a forklift as he busily prepares for the grand opening of his popular seasonal stand.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Dave Franklin, Newcastle Fruit & Produce owner, operates a forklift as he busily prepares for the grand opening of his popular seasonal stand.

Newcastle Fruit & Produce owner Dave Franklin didn’t have much time to talk March 22 as he navigated a forklift while earnestly preparing his popular stand for a target opening of April 5-6.

It will be Franklin’s 22nd year of operating the seasonal stand at the corner of Coal Creek Parkway and Newcastle Way, but that doesn’t make each grand opening any easier, he said.

“I’m excited, a little nervous, though,” he said. “It’s always like opening a brand new business every year.”

Read more

City crime was down in 2013

April 3, 2014

Newcastle crime was down in 2013, a welcome bit of news for a city that saw only increasing statistics in 2012.

In 2013, the city had 252 Part I crimes, compared to 323 in 2012. Part I crimes include criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Other than robbery, all of the other Part I crime categories dropped in 2013, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said in a March 4 presentation to the City Council.

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City manager receives $10,000 raise

April 3, 2014

After evaluating City Manager Rob Wyman’s performance in several closed executive sessions, the Newcastle City Council approved a $10,000 raise for the position at its March 18 meeting.

The raise, retroactive to Jan. 1, increases Wyman’s annual salary from $120,000 to $130,000. The council also granted Wyman two days of merit leave, the same as last year.

Wyman was hired as interim city manager in January 2010, and the council selected him as the permanent city manager that August. This is the third consecutive year that the council awarded him a raise, and it’s his highest yet. He received a $6,000 raise in 2012 and a $4,000 raise in 2013.

Rob Wyman

Rob Wyman

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Art installation recalls Cougar Mountain’s coal mining past

April 3, 2014

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is now home to a unique land-art installation that pays tribute to the area’s coal mining past.

The project, entitled “Black Forest (29,930,000 tons),” is spread across the forest floor in the form of nearly 50,000 pounds of biochar, environmentally friendly charcoal that appears similar to the coal that was once mined from the mountain.

“It was kind of the launching point,” artist Hans Baumann said, “this idea about rethinking what the park was, and trying to reinterpret its history in a way that might be visually compelling.”

By Kate Smigiel Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

By Kate Smigiel
Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

The Cougar Mountain trails hold the stories of the region’s past, which included about a century of mining. Park visitors literally stand in the midst of history as they pass abandoned mine shafts, find remnants of carts and railroads, and discover stray pieces of coal.

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Pet license checks begin in April

April 3, 2014

A trained, professional canvasser working for Regional Animal Services of King County and the city of Newcastle will soon go door-to-door in an effort to ensure pets living in the city are properly licensed.

The canvasser will visit homes on weekends April 5 through 27 and on May 4. The person can be identified by a county name badge and logo shirt, and will carry business cards and pet licensing documents.

All cats and dogs 8 weeks old and older living in Newcastle are required to be licensed by King County. Canvassers will not give citations for unlicensed pets, but will issue temporary licenses, which allow 30 days for the purchase of permanent tags.

Read more

Newcastle celebrates Earth Day April 19

April 3, 2014

If you happen to catch a knight in shining armor meandering across the Lake Boren Park lawn April 19, don’t be alarmed, it’s just one of the newest attractions at the city’s sixth annual Earth Day celebration.

The medieval flare comes courtesy of the Knights of Veritas, a group of performers that call upon the code of chivalry and the values of knighthood to educate audiences.

“In our case, they’ll be teaching the importance of environmental chivalry,” event Chairwoman Grace Stiller said.

Josephine Yen, 12, of Bellevue, looks and listens as a male Pacific tree frog fills its vocalizing sack at the 2013 Newcastle Earth Day event.  By Greg Farrar

Josephine Yen, 12, of Bellevue, looks and listens as a male Pacific tree frog fills its vocalizing sack at the 2013 Newcastle Earth Day event. By Greg Farrar

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Connect with Renton Technical College

April 3, 2014

Nearly every week, I meet someone whose sibling, parent, neighbor or co-worker attended Renton Technical College. Many locals are, or have been, students at RTC. Many are program graduates, working in vital Washington sectors like aerospace, information technology or health care. Many people have taken a cooking class, upgraded their credentials and improved their English skills at RTC.

Heather Winfrey

Heather Winfrey

 

The key word here is “many.” Many people have a connection to this college. And if you are one of these many people, we want to invite you back. There are many ways, as an alumni or general supporter of the college, you can share your expertise or continue your relationship with us.

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City hit with rash of March car break-ins

April 3, 2014

While crime was down in 2013, the Newcastle Police Department received reports of higher-than-usual volumes of car break-ins during March, Chief Melinda Irvine said in a city e-alert.

The thefts occurred at night all across the city. Some of the vehicles were accessed through unlocked doors, some by breaking a window and some by breaking into a locked door.

Items of value that were stolen had been left in plain sight or placed in the glove box or center console in many cases.

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