The end of the year is quickly approaching and with 2018 coming to a close, here is a look at some of the top Reporter stories for the year.
“Hospital gets all clear after ‘rifle’ turns out to be umbrella”: EvergreenHealth went into lockdown on Jan. 17 when a suspicious person was reported to be walking around the hospital with a rifle. The man in question turned out to be a hospital employee, who contacted police once he saw his photo on social media and told law enforcement that the “rifle” was actually an ornate umbrella with a sword hilt handle.
“Local gymnastics community calls for change in culture”: Following the more than 150 girls and women who gave victim impact statements during the sentencing of USA Gymnastics’ disgraced national doctor Larry Nassar, the Reporter spoke with members of the local gymnastics community to get their thoughts and reactions on the situation.
“‘School is a place to learn’”: In the wake of the shooting on Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students across the country added their voices to the national conversation on gun control — including students at Juanita High School. Students participated in a walkout protest and shared thoughts on what they would like to see done to keep them safe at school.
“State Rep. Joan McBride calls it a career”: Longtime Eastside leader and former Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride announces her retirement, set for the end of her term this year. McBride has spent 25 years as an elected official and was elected to represent the 48th Legislative District in 2014. Following McBride’s retirement announcement, Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen announced she would be running for the soon-to-be-vacant position.
“Kirkland starts community dialogue on gun safety”: Kirkland residents, including those who own guns, ask City Council to adopt a gun safety resolution. About 750 people signed a position asking elected officials to consider holding community events, adding gun safety to the city legislative agenda and promoting educational programs on gun rights and responsibilities as well as mental health resources.
“Suspect killed during police shooting was armed convicted felon”: Redmond police shot and killed a 39-year-old man at the Kirkland Safeway gas station. The suspect was a convicted felon and suspect in an ongoing Redmond Police Department investigation. Kirkland police investigated the case.
“Body near Maltby was missing Kenmore mother; it was homicide”: Jamie Haggard who lived in Kenmore, near the Kirkland border, had gone missing in 2016. At the time, her disappearance was ruled suspicious. Her body had been discovered in Maltby in May of this year and it took the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office a few months to confirm her identity.
“A farewell to long-time employee at USPS”: After serving the Kirkland community for 50 years, 68-year-old Phil Hill retires from the U.S. Postal Service. When he started with USPS, there were a total of 13 routes in the community. Now there are more than 60 routes throughout Kirkland.
“Locals rally around business incinerated by Rose Hill fire”: A fire destroyed Rose Hill Village, leaving seven businesses without retail space, including Decks and Spas, which had nothing but ash to salvage. In response, community members rallied to support the business with a GoFundMe campaign, which raised about $12,000 for Decks and Spas.
“Kirkland man creates 48-hour-long concept album”: Greg McClellan spent nearly 20 years on an album dedicated to his childhood friend Curt. “Listen2Daze” features 400 songs on 39 discs, combining Curt’s recorded testimonies with his life’s story and friendship with McClellan.
“How a community responds to systematic racism, implicit bias”: After Byron Ragland, a black man, was asked to “move along” while in Menchies in Totem Lake without purchasing anything, the Kirkland community responded to the incident with apologies from the police and city, a protest in front of the frozen yogurt shop as well as a community meeting.
“City mourns passing of long-time planning, building director”: After a multi-year battle with cancer, former Kirkland planning, building director Eric Shields died on Nov. 23. He began working for the city in 1977. A celebration of Shield’s life is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Kirkland Performance Center.