State audit finds fault with EFR books

February 17, 2015

State auditors made a finding of significant deficiency after completing a study of the record-keeping of Eastside Fire & Rescue.

Released by the state Feb. 2, the audit covered the timeframe between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Fire Chief Lee Soptich said auditors took exception to how the fire district kept track of major purchases, such as emergency fire vehicles.

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Lee Soptich to step down as Eastside Fire & Rescue chief

February 10, 2015

Although offered a two-year extension of his contract, Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee Soptich has announced his plans to step down from the leadership of the local fire and rescue squad in January 2016.

Soptich, 58, said he made his announcement to the EFR regional board of directors in December and again last month.

Soptich has been EFR chief since 1995.

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Blackwell Elementary students show off their scientific gifts

January 20, 2015

By Neil Pierson Blackwell Elementary School held its first science fair Jan. 15, with 55 students participating. Here, second grader Sophia Huang used a magnet and a battery to create an electric motor

By Neil Pierson
Blackwell Elementary School held its first science fair Jan. 15, with 55 students participating. Here, second grader Sophia Huang used a magnet and a battery to create an electric motor

Science is generally a small part of the curriculum at most elementary schools, so Blackwell Elementary School students took an outside-the-box approach to keep science in their lives. Read more

Student philanthropist

January 6, 2015

Contributed Ian Frank, a seventh-grade student at Inglewood Middle School, organized a holiday food drive as part of a class assignment from English teacher Tamara Schaefbauer. With the help of a few friends, Frank was able to collect a load of canned goods that was given to Eastside Fire & Rescue personnel in Sammamish. The items were distributed to needy local families.

Contributed
Ian Frank, a seventh-grade student at Inglewood Middle School, organized a holiday food drive as part of a class assignment from English teacher Tamara Schaefbauer. With the help of a few friends, Frank was able to collect a load of canned goods that was given to Eastside Fire & Rescue personnel in Sammamish. The items were distributed to needy local families.

City’s first murder among most notable 2014 news

December 31, 2014

The city’s first homicide might have been the biggest story of the year about to end, but there were several issues that got the attention of residents and city leaders as well.

Tree preservation became a hot topic and the ongoing construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail continued to be a big source of contention for many residents living near the trail.

In no particular order, here are our choices for the 10 biggest local news stories of 2014.

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Klahanie annexation continues heading for voters to decide

December 23, 2014

The city of Sammamish has moved one step closer to a public vote on the annexation of the Klahanie area.

The city filed a Notice of Intent on Dec. 8 with the King County Boundary Review Board.

While leaders expect to hold an election on the annexation in April, no vote can take place until the review board approves the notice. The board has 45 days from Dec. 8 to do so.

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Author to read ‘The Giving Tree’ at Issaquah Barnes & Noble on Saturday

December 5, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. Dec. 5, 2014

Tim Castner, a firefighter and author from the Eastside, will read his Christmas Book “The Giving Tree” at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Issaquah Barnes & Noble, 1530 11th Ave. N.W.

Castner is a bestselling author of a series of children’s books sharing emergency calls with kids through the characters Nozzlehead, Halfcap, Scout and their fire dog Spotnot.

During the event, the Eastside Fire & Rescue Reindeer Engine will appear and Castner will accept donations for the Adopt-a-Family program he has run for the past five years to provide food, clothing and gifts to families in the 200 square miles of area that Eastside firefighters cover.

Learn more here.

All in pink, Eastside Fire & Rescue supports breast cancer awareness this week

October 13, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 13, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters and staff will be decked out in pink T-shirts Oct. 13-18 to help raise awareness of breast cancer.

Most people are aware of breast cancer, but many forget to take steps to detect the disease in the earliest stage, when it is most often curable, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Through the awareness effort, EFR and many other entities hope people will learn about early detection, diagnosis, treatment, stages, myths, etc.

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Local Eastside Fire & Rescue stations host open houses Oct. 11

October 10, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 10, 2014

As part of Fire Prevention Week, Eastside Fire & Rescue is hosting open houses at 10 of its 16 facilities from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 11.

The stations participating in the open houses are as follows:

Sammamish: Station 81, 2030 212th Ave. S.E.; Station 82, 1851 228th Ave. N.E.; and Station 83, 3425 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road S.E.

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Fear of gas leak shuts down downtown Issaquah

September 17, 2014

NEW — 11:12 a.m. Sept. 17, 2014

Police and firefighters descended on downtown Issaquah this morning, blocking off streets and trying to clear the area of people, after someone reported the smell of gas in the building that used to house Mills Music.

“After the North Bend gas leak, we were being extra careful,” said Patrol Sgt. Paul Fairbanks, of the Issaquah Police Department.

An explosion caused by a natural gas leak leveled several buildings in North Bend on April 25.

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