Kirkland Reporter’s top 10 most-viewed web stories of 2019

Here are the top online stories for the Kirkland Reporter.

1. Toddler hit, killed in Kirkland Safeway parking lot

The Kirkland community is mourning after a 3-year-old Logan Carmo was hit by a vehicle April 25 in a local Safeway parking lot and died. An outpouring of support from neighbors pushed an online memorial fund on for the Brazilian family to nearly $30,000 at press time. And stuffed animals, flowers and balloons were left on the minivan belonging to the Carmo family as it remained in the parking lot. The accident took place in a parking area situated between a McDonald’s and Safeway location in the Juanita neighborhood. Logan was there with his mother and twin brother to celebrate at the McDonald’s restaurant. At about 12:11 p.m., police were notified of a vehicle pedestrian accident at 100th Ave Northeast. Fire, medic and police responders arrived and CPR was performed on Logan. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive the boy, said Lt. Rob Saloum with the Kirkland Police Department (KPD). Logan’s mother was nearby when the slow-speed accident took place. The driver who allegedly struck the child was cooperating with the investigation. Police said the driver described feeling something with their vehicle, hearing somebody and then stopping their car.

2. Shake Shack to open in Kirkland

Months after Shake Shack debuted in Seattle’s South Lake Union, the popular burger chain announced it was coming to the Kirkland Urban development. Shake Shack also has a third location planned for the University Village in Seattle. Shake Shack boasted lines stretching around the block when it opened last fall near Amazon’s Seattle campus. The New York-based chain currently has more than 200 locations worldwide with only one in the Pacific Northwest and the next nearest location in Las Vegas. The restaurant opened in September at the Kirkland Urban development, which sits at the intersection of 6th Street and Central Way.

3. Search continues for Seattle murder suspect on Eastside

In January, the King County Sheriff’s Office believed murder suspect Mical Roberts could be hiding out in Kirkland or another Eastside city. Roberts, who King County prosecutors charged with first-degree murder in late December 2018, was wanted for a Seattle murder that happened on Nov. 19, 2018, in the 10000 block of 1st Avenue Southwest. There was a $2 million warrant out for his arrest. He was eventually apprehended March 1.

4. Deadly EHV horse virus detected again in King County stable

A Woodinville stable is once again under quarantine after another horse fell ill with a potentially deadly virus. One case of equine herpes virus 1 (EHV) was reported on April 6 at Gold Creek Equestrian Facility — just a few miles outside of Bothell — where seven horses were euthanized last December due to the same disease. Most horses are infected with EHV as foals, which then lies dormant unless it is activated by stressors. When this happens, it becomes active, or neurotropic, and infects. Horses in this stage become highly contagious and can pass the virus in its active form to other horses. The Eastside has a large equestrian community centered on Bridle Trails State Park, located between Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland. Dana Kapela with Overlake Farms in Bellevue said in an email they are taking the relapse at Gold Creek seriously and are working with other farms in the area to ensure it does not spread to additional stables.

5. Kirkland police search for bank robbery suspect

Just after 2:30 p.m. June 5, police responded to a report of a robbery at a KeyBank branch in the 12600 block of Totem Lake Boulevard Northeast, according to Kirkland Police. The suspect entered the branch, demanded money and fled on foot. There was no weapon seen or implied, KPD Lt. Rob Saloum said. Police vehicles were stationed at different streets. Some officers responded to the scene to contact the reporting party while others set up a K-9 track perimeter. The K-9 track was unsuccessful in locating the suspect. The suspect was eventually captured later in June.

6. Google to expand Kirkland reach

Public records show that Google applied for a building permit application in Kirkland. The form, dated Aug. 2, states that Google intends to make tenant improvements on the first floor of Central Way Plaza, 720 Fourth Ave. Central Way Plaza is across the street from Kirkland Urban, a building where Google is slated to soon officially take up residence. The permit filing, first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal, follows the recent announcement from the Broderick Group that Google will eventually cover about 1 million square feet in Kirkland. The space currently being used by the first Kirkland building covers about 375,000 square feet. Kirkland Urban, in contrast, offers about 600,000 square feet of office space. Google, which has begun transitioning employees into the space, is en route to taking up about 120,000 square feet of space. On the application, the project is described as an interior alteration, and is referred to as a “Google Tenant Space.”

7. Kirkland, other crews respond to two-alarm house fire in Totem Lake

The Kirkland Fire Department (KFD) responded to a single-family house fire at the 13300 block of 117th Avenue Northeast in the Totem Lake neighborhood the morning of June 26. The two-alarm fire began Wednesday morning and quickly spread to a neighboring home. Kirkland deputy fire chief Dave Van Valkenburg, who was on the scene, said one male and a dog were able to get out of the house and there are no injuries and everyone has been accounted for. In addition to KFD, fire and medical crews from the Bellevue, Redmond, Bothell and Northshore fire departments as well as Woodinville Fire and Rescue responded to scene. There were firefighters on the roof of the homes with chainsaws, cutting out sections of the roof. Fire officials said the blaze started in the backyard of the first house.

8. 123,000-plus square feet of retail tenants committed to Kirkland Urban

As development continues on the 12-acre Kirkland Urban mixed-use project, Ryan Companies and Talon Private Capital announced the roster of retail businesses that will call the new project home. The 14 tenants signed represent about 90 percent of the retail availability. Kirkland Urban includes Urban North, Urban Central and The Uptown apartments. The mix of retail tenants will occupy space in Urban Central and Urban North, with spaces that range from 1,000 square feet to more than 55,000 square feet. The final list of retail tenants at press time included iPic, Top Golf, Shake Shack, Evergreen Salad, Dough Zone, Mud Bay Pets, Heavy Restaurant Group, Restore Hyper Wellness, Soi, Bright Horizons Childcare and Early Learning, Home Street Bank, Café Ladro, AT&T and QFC. QFC’s new flagship store was the first to open its new space. Future phases include Urban East, scheduled to begin construction in late 2020 or early 2021. Urban South, which will house the new theater in its base, will begin construction in 2020.

9. Tutta Bella to partner with QFC and open in-store location at Kirkland Urban

As Kirkland Urban continues construction, QFC and Seattle-based pizzeria Tutta Bella announced a partnership at the mixed-use complex with an in-store location that opened this summer. Tutta Bella is currently celebrating its 15th year of business in the greater Seattle area and, with locations in Bellevue and Issaquah, the Neapolitan pizzeria had already been eyeing Kirkland as another expansion site. Tutta Bella makes classical Neapolitan pizzas that use imported and locally sourced ingredients to be authentic to the traditional style that originated in Naples, Italy. The new location will offer the six best-selling pies off Tutta Bella’s standard menu, Italian sandwiches, lasagna, salads, tiramisu and a fresh Sicilian cannoli bar filled-to-order.

10. Kirkland faces a $10 million deficit next biennium

The city of Kirkland is facing a large deficit in upcoming budgets as city staff searches for ways to patch a $10 million projected shortfall beginning in 2021. A recent budget forecast presented at the Kirkland City Council retreat projected a $10.3 million deficit beginning in the next biennium, which stems from state law barring significant increases in property taxes as well as a state annexation sales tax credit expiring halfway through 2021. The city was awarded the credit, allowing it to keep about $4 million annually, after it annexed the Finn Hill, Kingsgate and North Juanita neighborhoods in 2011, nearly doubling the city’s population from 48,000 to 81,000. While the budget gap is significant, as is the loss of the $4 million annually that the city essentially keeps in sales tax within its borders instead of sending it to the state. Assistant city manager Tracey Dunlap said staff has already accounted for $2 million of that deficit and has been thinking of ways to bridge the remaining $2 million and fill in the rest of the deficit.