A construction worker at Bellevue College fell 50 feet to his death Monday morning. The man in his 30s was working on the school’s incoming health sciences building when the fall took place. The worker was declared deceased when paramedics arrived shortly after 10:30 AM. More details will be added as they arrive.

Update 1:14 PM: Several Bellevue Police Officers are still at the scene investigating the fall. Bellevue College released a brief statement featured below:

Bellevue College

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The Public Technology Institute presented the City of Bellevue with an award for their employee performance database that runs on software called Covalent that streamlines multiple performance tracking systems into one easy-to-view dashboard for city staff and Bellevue residents.

“This system allows us to capture more than 1,500 performance measures used by city departments,” said Rich Siegel, the city’s Performance and Outreach Coordinator, in a release. Through the software, the City is able to examine trends and evaluate performance. The city is also in the development phase for public websites that will feature the dashboards.

The database provides reporting capabilities and the ability to create different views for different audiences. With its dashboards, strategy maps and reporting functions, the system allows staff to quickly look at measures, compare trends or evaluate current performance against targets.

The Public Technology Institute, based in Washington, D.C., supports local government executives and elected officials through research, education, executive-level consulting services and national recognition programs.

“Data now has a permanent seat at the decision making table, and this is a bonus for our city,” said Siegel.

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(Image: U.S. Department of State)

(Image: U.S. Department of State)

Bellevue commuters now have three reasons to telecommute this week as I-90 work continues until Friday, night work starts today on Factoria Boulevard, and on Tuesday President Barack Obama will roll (or fly) across 520 to Hunts Point for a fundraiser. Forget going to Seattle this week – or as they say on Capitol Hill, “Another reason to stay away from Bellevue.”

Obama 520:

On Tuesday, President Barrack Obama will arrive in the area with his normal traffic congesting secret service entourage and proceed to Hunts Point for a fundraiser. The Puget Sound Business Journal points out that in 2012 he took a helicopter to the Eastside. No word yet if that’s the case or when he will be making the trip from Seattle to Hunts Point. Did you know that his Presidential limos used to have flags made in Bellevue?

One lane I-90:

I-90 work continues until Friday evening with traffic flowing through a one-lane conduit – while bicyclists have a considerably easier route – as well as night time work alongside the highway on Factoria Boulevard between SE 36th and SE 41st which starts tonight.

Night work on Factoria Boulevard:

Part of a three-month repaving project, the City of Bellevue and the Washington State Department of Transportation worked together to avoid presenting dueling traffic delays so work in Factoria continues on a night time schedule during the week – 7:30 PM to 6 AM – and returns to a normal work schedule next week on July 28 – 9 AM to 6 PM.

The grinding and paving work will require one full side of the road to be closed at a time. As a result, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on one side of the landscape median.  Business access and egress may be impacted for short durations as the work progresses past each street block and driveway.

There will be evening construction noise from the grinding work. The construction contractor will attempt to complete the work as quickly as possible to minimize the number of nights required.

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Summertime OneSummertime 3









The Dispatch broke the news on an Issaquah Key Bank robber the Feds dubbed the Summertime Heat Bandit back in late June, and on July 11, the perp allegedly did it again, at the exact same location. A February hold-up of the bank is also being attributed to the fugitive.

The heists have occurred in an ascending time scale starting at 10:45 AM on February 22, to 12:15 PM on June 25 and most recently at 2:00 PM on July 11. The bandit may also have connections to other surrounding bank jobs.

The Seattle Safe Streets Taskforce (SSSTF) say: “Further investigation led the SSSTF to revise its consideration of a connection between the subject and the June 21 Des Moines robbery, while identifying two other robberies as possibly connected.”

Summertime 2The robber implied to be carrying a weapon during one of the incidents, according to the FBI, as well as making physical threats during other hold-ups. The July heist got a little violent as the assailant knocked over a security guard while fleeing the premises.

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” according to a release. The SSSTF provided an updated description of the culprit:

Witnesses describe the robber as a white male, between 5’8” and 5’10” tall, with thin, dark hair. During each robbery, he’s worn black sunglasses and a baseball cap, which led investigators to give him a nickname that acknowledges the robber’s penchant for sun protection. He’s also worn different hooded sweatshirts, and a scarf over his face in two robberies.

The suspect behind a June Key Bank robbery in Bellevue is still being sought by the taskforce. The FBI has not suggested a link between the incidents.

The SSSTF consists of Auburn, Bellevue and Seattle Police Department’s, the King County Sheriff’s Office as well as FBI intelligence analysts to bolster the multi-agency law enforcement efforts.

The taskforce is requesting the public refrain from approaching the suspect and to immediately contact law enforcement if the robber’s identity or whereabouts are known.

Anyone with information that can help identify this individual is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1000.00 if the information given leads to an arrest and charge of the person(s) involved. Callers may also contact task force officer Detective Steve Hoover at 425-452-7868

The Issaquah Key Bank is located at 405 NW Gilman Blvd Issaquah, WA 98027

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Badge2King County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Richtmyer was recently fired for misconduct after an incident on New Years Eve when a citizen found him passed out in his squad car in Newcastle. This is the second deputy fired by King County Sheriff John Urquhart in the last few days. The passerby was unable to awaken the deputy after finding him slouched over his steering wheel, Linda Byron for King 5 News reports

A three month investigation by the Bellevue Police Department launched following the arrest of Richtmyer on New Years Eve. A Drug Recognition Expert discovered that Richtmyer was impaired by multiple prescription medications. Here are additional details from an April press release:

On February 12th, 2014, the toxicology results from the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab (WSPTL) were received by Bellevue PD. The toxicology report indicated “None detected” for the standard screening conducted by the WSPTL. These findings were inconsistent with observations of the suspect and statements made by the deputy that he took prescription medications during his shift.

WSPTL was contacted and statedthey did not have the ability to screen for these other drugs. On February 28, 2014, blood samples were sent to NMS Labs in Pennsylvania for additional testing. NMS Labs is the contract lab for screening substances outside the abilities of the WSP Toxicology Lab.On March 31st, 2014, a copy of the NMS Lab results was received by Bellevue PD.

The King County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney were notified that the deputy’s blood analysis had returned a positive result for presence of multiple prescription drugs. All have impairing qualities and contain warnings about operating machinery or vehicles.

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Microsoft cut 13,000 employees today as part of the company’s largest historical round of lay offs that is expected to extend to 18,000 over the next year. Several workers in neighboring Redmond are now seeking new employment. Geekwire reports that Xbox Entertainment Studios will be one of the departments shuttered.

A full letter sent to employees by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is featured below:

Continue reading »

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(Images: NNB)

(Images: NNB)

Construction crews were spotted today prepping for work on Bridle Trails Corner Park — adjacent to 134th and NE 24th St — meaning single lane closures are possibly on the way for the project that is expected to last through October. Interruptions to traffic are slated to be minor.

The Dispatch covered the park’s development exactly one month ago, and spoke with Capital Projects Coordinator for Bellevue Parks, Scott Vander Hyden, on how the project will affect area commuters.

Construction will occur between 7 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday. “Although we will likely have the contractor wait to start-up equipment at 8 AM,” he said. Excavating equipment is currently on-site.

Single lane closures are possible during the construction, said Vander Hyden. The Dispatch notes that traffic at the three way intersection adjacent to the construction site frequently sees back-ups during rush hour. So be prepared to re-route.

The park’s construction brings together years of community outreach and planning as well as $2.5 million in levy funds to create the new public space. Here’s a breakdown from our previous coverage of what you’ll see built up over the coming months:

  • The park will utilize a connection to Viewpoint Nature Park a loop trail directly across the street from the site.
  • Creating a 3-4 car parking zone within Viewpoint Nature Park as well as Bridle Trails Corner Park.
  • Constructing a 2,500 – 3,000 square foot play area, implementing benches, fencing and visibility.
  • Make street frontage improvements to remove a fence along NE 24th, adding flowers, trees, access improvement, and preserve “existing crushed path.”
  • Enhancing buffer zone to wetland through removal of invasive species, enhancement of wildlife habitat, and creating “viewing and interpretive opportunities.”
  • Crafting a loop trail around the park and a grass lawn space.
  • Enhancing tree, shrubs, and landscape.
  • Adding wildflowers to low grass wild meadow area.
  • General park stuff: trash cans, picnic tables, bike rakes and interpretive elements – those signs that teach you about the park and nature.
  • Collaborating with neighbors on park buffer zones, planting and preserving conifers and enhancing as well as restoring understory.
  • Cost of the construction itself is expected to range from $400,000 and 600,000.


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(Image: Mustang Northwest)

(Image: Mustang Northwest)

The last car gathering at Bellevue CollegeStancewarsfocused on fine tuned import vehicles. This weekend, the rally will go American with the annual Mustang Northwest Round Up 2014 meet-up at Bellevue College. The event starts June 17 and runs until June 20. A promotional banner calls it the “world’s largest annual gathering of Mustangs.”

If you’re interested in volunteering there are opportunities open:

Mustangs Northwest Round Up 2014 committee, needs volunteers From July 17th-20th. From the gate, to parking, to setting up and tearing down, to tallying (counting votes), to prizes and raffles. If you love Mustangs, like we do, you will also have lots of fun. Please inquire right away. Thank you, from the bottom of our Mustang Hearts. Look forward to hearing from you.

If you have a Mustang and want to show it off than you can find the registration form here (PDF).

Gates open at 9 AM on Thursday.

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Prior to launching up a flurry of exploding lights at the Bellevue Downtown Park annual 4th of July firework display, two GoPro cameras were set up to document the event from different angles and provide an inside view into the action. Here’s how it went down:

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The blue, green, yellow, and orange colors reflect increasing densities of e.coli cells, which eject potassium in the presence of certain chemicals. (Image: National Institution of Standards and Technology)

The blue, green, yellow, and orange colors reflect increasing densities of E.coli cells, which eject potassium in the presence of certain chemicals. (Image: National Institution of Standards and Technology)

A strain of E. coli was discovered late May at Lil’ People’s World Bellevue daycare center and the ongoing medical emergency has the King County Department of Health monitoring the situation closely. One parent — whose seven-month child attended the center — was shocked to hear the news, and immediately took her infant to the hospital – and out of the daycare. This is the first press report on the incident.

“The daycare had several children with diarrheal illness… with some testing positive for a strain of E. coli,” said James Apa, King County Public Health Communications Manager. “None were seriously ill or hospitalized, and there’s no indication that the outbreak spread to the larger community.” Parent Alexandrea Sicilia tells the Dispatch she had no idea about the outbreak at the Lake Hills childcare center until well after it started.

“They said it was going on for about two weeks which seems like a long time without saying anything,” she said. A toddler is thought to have passed the ailment into the infant daycare, said Sicilia, recounting her conversation with a Lil’ People’s World staffer.

Immediately following the health alert the irate mother took her child to the hospital for blood tests at the behest of the childcare center employee. Sicilia covered the expenses out-of-pocket. Luckily, the blood work turned up negative, but for several other children, it didn’t.

The health department has conducted several in-person visits to the daycare center, Apa said. The Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Program also released two letters to families in early-mid June, he adds. Sicilia tells the Dispatch she never received these letters. The two notices paint a timeline of events at Lil’ People’s World:

  • May 31: Oubreak begins
  • June 2 – 4 and 6: Child diagnosed with E.coli attends daycare.
  • June 9: Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Program releases first letter. Warns parents to keep an eye on diarrhea – symptomatic of E.coli – between June 3 and 14 – incubation period.
  • June 13: Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Program releases updated letter. Multiple children confirmed with E.coli. Warns parents to keep kids at home if they show symptoms.

“They’ve [Lil' People's World staff] been managing the situation well and have implemented all of our recommendations to help reduce the risk that more kids become ill,” said Apa. The proliferation of the bacteria at Lil’ People’s World Daycare has reduced.

“Over the past few weeks, the situation has continued to improve, but we’re continuing to work with the daycare and watch for kids who develop diarrheal illness and test them for E. coli,” said Apa. For Sicilia these efforts are not enough and signal the end of her relationship with the center.

“I’m never going back there,” she said. “I’ve already found a new daycare.”

The last publicized case of E.coli in Bellevue occurred this May when two people caught the infection from sprouts served at the Bellevue Jimmy Johns.

Lil’ People’s World representatives have not commented at the time of publishing.

In the June 13 notice to parents, the Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Program made the following recommendations:

If your child currently has diarrhea or develops diarrhea:

Keep your child home from childcare, school and afterschool programs. Children should not attend daycare when they have diarrhea. Public Health has instructed Lil’ People’s NOT to allow ill children to attend childcare and to send ill children home immediately.

Contact your child’s health care provider, tell them about this letter and take it with you if you take your child to be seen. Children with diarrhea should be tested for E. coli (Healthcare providers should order a test for Shiga-toxin AND a stool culture on ill persons).

Notify Public Health by calling 206-296-4774. Children who have had diarrhea must have a negative stool test for E.coli to return to childcare. Public Health can help arrange this testing if necessary. If your child’s has diarrhea due to E. coli then two negative stool tests for E. coli (collected at least 24 hours apart) are required before they can return to childcare.

For those not familiar with E.coli the King County Department of Health explains:

E. coli are bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. There are many strains of E. coli bacteria and most of them are harmless. However, strains that produce Shiga toxin (such as E. coli O157:H7) can cause serious illness in people.

Symptoms appear 1 to 10 days after exposure (usually within 2 – 4 days), and include: diarrhea (which often becomes bloody) and stomach cramps, with little or no fever. STEC infections are diagnosed by doing special tests on a stool sample from an ill person.

Antibiotics are not recommended for STEC infection because they can increase the risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that damages the kidneys and blood vessels. Most cases of STEC don’t develop HUS, which is more common in young children and the elderly.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) can spread through undercooked ground beef and other beef products; unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice; contaminated raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs; water contaminated with animal feces; and direct contact with farm animals or their environment. Ready-to-eat foods can also be contaminated through contact with raw beef or raw beef juices in the kitchen. Large multi-state outbreaks involving commercially distributed food products including beef, produce and cheese have occurred in recent years.

Person-to-person transmission of E. coli can occur through the fecal-oral route, including within households, child day-care centers, and long-term care facilities. Transmission is facilitated by inadequate handwashing after a bowel movement and contamination of objects in the environment.

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