News

August

Historic district gets OK

In a move that could bring in more tourist dollars but has irritated

some property owners, a section of North Bend's downtown commercial

area was officially designated a Historic Landmark District.

The district includes 17 buildings and two vacant lots, and was

nominated for the designation by the North Bend Landmarks and Heritage

Program, a cooperation between the city and the County's Landmarks

and Heritage Program. The program's purpose is to support local history

through the preservation of significant buildings.

With the designation comes a set of regulations and guidelines for

altering the buildings, and tax incentives for building owners to revive

their structures.

Police dig up pot patch

A marijuana crop with an approximate street value of $72,000 was

discovered Aug. 3 on city-owned land near the Snoqualmie Valley

Trail, close to the Mount Si Golf Course.

A caller had tipped off the Snoqualmie Department of

Public Safety — Police Division the prior week to two other sites, which had

already been harvested when police arrived.

When officers flew over the area to search for more crops, they

discovered the 36-plant patch carved out of a blackberry thicket.

To date, no arrests have been made from the find, but police are still

investigating.

W/pix

Mount Si grad films young civic activists

Mount Si High graduate Paul Gordon completed a video project

in which he filmed and interviewed youth activists from across the

country about their civic projects.

Gordon, who is currently attending the University of Washington,

said he is convinced many of the problems facing today's kids can be

alleviated by them getting involved in their communities.

The purpose of the video is to encourage other children and teens to

get involved and to show Americans that youth can have a positive influence

on their local cities and towns.

Gordon and his mother Elaine have flown across the country to

work on the project and are now pitching the videos to HBO and television

networks.

Panther Pride is cat's meow at nationals

The Panther Pride Demo Team took 250 first- through fifth-place

honors at the National Unicycle Convention in Adrian, Mich.

When not competing, the unicycle team performs year-round at

parades, events and sports teams' half-time shows. The 96 riders are coached

by North Bend Elementary physical education teacher Alan Tepper.

Forty-six demo team members participated in the competition

and came away with 120 first-place honors and set 10 national records.

Blaze nearly destroys home

A house fire that was most likely the year's largest and most

damaging occurred in an unincorporated King County area that does not pay for

fire protection services.

The home in the 36200 block of 89th Place was at least 90 percent

destroyed in spite of having more than 30 firefighters, seven fire engines

and four water-tender trucks battling the blaze. The fire had already reached

the roof when a neighbor noticed smoke. The house is surrounded by high

timber and firefighters were worried a wildfire would occur.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire, but a North Bend

firefighter rescued two rottweilers from the garage with a chainsaw.

Car chase ends in death, airlift

A 23-year-old Pierce County man died in a four-car accident Aug.

10 after leading several police agencies on a chase along Highway 18.

David T. Roehr of Graham was pronounced dead at the scene near

the Raging River Bridge. Another man, Gary M. Nelson, 37, an off-duty

Seattle police sergeant who lives in Auburn, sustained head and chest

injuries in the accident and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

According to police, Roehr had stolen a 1993 Honda Civic earlier

that day in Puyallup. Later, Auburn police contacted the King County

Sheriff's Department and told officers they were chasing the car.

Sheriff's deputies took over the chase in the Maple Valley area.

The suspect's car reached speeds of up to 80 mph and Roehr drove

recklessly until he tried to pass a

tractor-trailer, then collided violently with

Nelson's 1992 Ford pickup. The drivers of the tractor-trailer were not injured.

The accident shut down Highway 18 for several hours.

Treemont project faces more delays

The decision to allow the proposed Treemont development to be

located behind Tall Chief Golf Course was delayed.

Metropolitan King County Council members, who were to

approve, deny or approve the project with conditions, decided additional

environmental and traffic studies were needed. As a result, the project's final

environmental impact statement (FEIS) document was handed back to King

County Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith for further study.

Although the subdivision was proposed to include 194 homes by

the property's owner, Port Blakely Communities, it could be cut down to

88 or even 47 homes, depending on the hearing examiner's findings.

Dutch conglomerate buys Optiva

It was announced that Snoqualmie-based Optiva Corp.

will be acquired by Netherlands-based Philips Domestic Appliances and

Personal Care (DAP), a division of Royal Philips Electronics.

With the acquisition of Optiva, which manufactures the

Sonicare sonic toothbrush, employs approximately 600 people and has an

average $175 million in annual sales, Philips DAP expects to become the No. 2

global manufacturer of dental care products.

Mount Si graduate heads to Olympics

Nick Rogers, a 1994 graduate of Mount Si High School, headed

to Sydney, Australia to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

The former high-school 3,200-meter race champion will be

competing in the 5,000-meter race.

Rogers, whose interest in running began in high school, beat the

"A" standard in running and landed a

spot on the Olympic team. His mark was 11 seconds better than what

was needed to qualify and was the 14th all-time best among U.S. runners.

W/pix

North Bend rejects flood map

City of North Bend officials rejected the latest version of a

federally funded Flood Insurance Flood Rate Map (FIRM) saying the document

is incomplete.

The map, on which Valley insurance rates are based, was revised

from a more than 20-year-old version that was considered outdated. It covers

the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie, along with unincorporated

King County areas, and was produced by the Federal Emergency

Management Agency.

Officials said FEMA did not provide the calculations it used to

determine elevations for floodways and floodplains, which residents and

officials would like to check for accuracy. Also, the map does not include

Ribary, Gardiner and Clough creeks, which contribute to the Valley's

flooding problem and pose further questions regarding its accuracy.

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