December 1, 2010
Two makeshift bombs exploding in North Bend in the past six months have caught the attention of the police.
Sgt. Mark Toner, chief of police for North Bend, said bottles loaded with items including water and drain cleaner become what some call “Drano bombs.”
When making a Drano bomb, the bomb-maker runs a dangerous race to put the drain cleaner inside the bottle, close it and run away before the chemicals react inside the bottle and it explodes.
Lose the race and you could end up with serious injuries to skin and eyes. Or you could end up in court.
November 22, 2010
NEW — 5:59 p.m. Nov. 22, 2010
The Monday before Thanksgiving Day was a winter wonderland for some and a nightmare for others. Several inches of wet snow fell across the Puget Sound, putting several inches of snow on the ground across Snoqualmie Valley.
In some areas, children took to the hills armed with sleds. In other spots, drivers abandoned cars mired in snow.
At the bottom of Snoqualmie Parkway near Interstate 90, four cars lined the northbound lane that heads uphill towards Snoqualmie Ridge. The cars appeared to have been abandoned.
November 18, 2010
UPDATED — 3:10 p.m. Nov. 18, 2010
In response to budget cuts, the King County Sheriff’s Office will place less emphasis on property crimes in order to prioritize crimes against people, King County Sheriff Sue Rahr said at a press conference Thursday.
“Essentially I’ve chosen to keep deputies assigned to units that can protect life over property,” Rahr said.
The sheriff’s department, which patrols unincorporated King County, is losing 28 deputies next year as part of budget cuts. But, Rahr said, unincorporated area residents won’t have to wait longer for police to respond to a 911 call. “If you need to be rescued from a flooding river or have a hiking accident, we will still have a team to respond.”
October 27, 2010
NEW — 9:40 a.m. Oct. 27, 2010
North Bend is considering contracting with Snoqualmie for police services, which are currently provided by the King County Sheriff’s Office. A joint department could offer the city substantial savings.
After hearing a presentation from Snoqualmie Police Chief Jim Schaffer, the North Bend City Council voted Oct. 19 to tell the county that it is considering ending its contract.
The county and city have 45 days to discuss the contract. After that period, the City Council could vote to terminate the contract, which requires an 18-month notice.
City officials have become increasingly concerned about the rising costs of its 28-year relationship with the sheriff’s office.
October 21, 2010
NEW — 10:06 a.m. Oct. 21, 2010
Where are you hurt?
Do you know your name?
Are you paying with debit or credit?
Beginning next year, Eastside Fire & Rescue will charge patients for ambulance rides in nonlife-threatening situations. The fire agency’s board of directors adopted the new fees in a 7-1 vote at its Oct. 14 meeting.
The board also considered charging fees for responding to car crashes, but voted 5-3 against it.
The estimated revenue from the new fees won’t make up the about $500,000 in savings EFR is looking for in its 2011 budget, according to EFR Chief Lee Soptich.
The fees were proposed as part of EFR’s attempt to come up with a budget for 2011 that meets rising costs and does not increase costs for its partners, which include North Bend and Fire District 38. Sammamish and other EFR partners have pushed the agency to not increase its costs.
To do that, the board either has to add fees or cut services, Soptich said.
August 18, 2010
Buckling your seatbelt only takes a couple of seconds, but it can mean the difference between life and death, or between a serious injury and a minor scrape.
The importance of using a seatbelt was tragically highlighted when a minivan carrying six men crashed Aug. 6 on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass. None of the men were wearing seatbelts. All six were thrown from the car. One man died. All five survivors were injured, two critically.
Failure to wear a seatbelt continues to be one of the three highest contributing factors to road deaths, according to Chief John Batiste, of the Washington State Patrol.
Washingtonians use seatbelts at a much higher rate today — 96 percent — than they did even 10 years ago — 81 percent. But there is no excuse for not taking a few seconds to buckle your seatbelt when you get into a vehicle.
Take the time, because you might save your life.
July 28, 2010
NEW — 3:50 p.m. July 28, 2010
King County voters will have the choice on the November ballot of raising the sales tax to maintain public safety services and replace the county’s Youth Services Center.
The Metropolitan King County Council approved the tax measure, which would increase the sales tax by two cents on a $10 purchase, at its July 27 meeting. It replaced a measure passed earlier.
June 16, 2010
The King County Sheriff’s Department has traditionally put extra officers on duty during June weekends as students celebrate the end of the school year.
Last year the Party Patrol was a scaled-back program, and this year it will be non-existent due to county budget cuts.
That could be bad news for the underage partygoers, provided parents step up and fill the gap, along with police in Snoqualmie Valley. With hundreds of pairs of parental eyes and ears on alert, our teenagers could be safer than ever.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Snoqualmie Valley teens have not been part of the underage drinking problem in the past. They have.
King County officers almost annually busted big party groups here where alcohol was being consumed during the Party Patrol’s heyday.
In recent years, police have been tougher on parents who host parties for minors with alcohol being served. The law does not allow minors to consume alcohol just because they are under adult supervision on private property.
Parents, teachers, neighbors should not hesitate to call police to report suspected minor consumption. It may be the call that saves a life.