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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
April 8, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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April 8, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY APRIL 8, 2009 * A3 BY G]REG FARRAR Matt Strelfel (fight), an employee of West Coast Armory since it opened a year and a half ago, answers questions for Gary (left), of Issaquah, and Andrew Alaniz, of Duvall, in the busy Gilman Boulevard store. Guns llOM PAGE A1 gun-rights advocates about a pos- sible revival of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and new restrictions on other types of guns. President Bill Clinton signed the ban in 1994. The ban prohibited the sale of 19 types of semi-auto- matic military-style guns, like AK- 47s and AR-15s, and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds. The decadelong ban expired five years ago. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced the administration would seek to revive the ban. Roberts predicted the sales surge would "continue as long as the Democrats are in power." Other gun-rights advocates and gun owners are concerned about the possibility of new taxes on gun sales. The weak economy also drives sales, Roberts said. The rush on guns concerned gun control advocates, who said the sales surge took place in the absence of federal firearms legisla- tion. "I see no movement at the feder- al level in any way, shape or form to touch the gun issue," Kristen Comer said, the executive director of Washington CeaseFire, a Seattle- based group that works to reduce gun violence. Comer said she doubts voters would support a ban on handguns, and she wants to see more thor- ough background checks for gun buyers and increased education for gun owners. Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said his department is processing more paperwork related to gun sales and concealed pistols licens- es. But privacy considerations pre- vent the department from tracking information about the sales, he said. "Once we get the information, we check it and then destroy it," he said. Sgt. John Urquhart, King County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said his agency was handling more paper- work related to gun sales, but could not provide a specific figure. Andrew Alaniz, of Duvall, stopped by West Coast Armory last week to check out ammunition. Alaniz, who served in the Army, worried about restrictions law- makers might place on certain varieties of ammunition. Roberts said first-time gun own- ers also fueled the increase in sales: "We see people come in who have never owned guns before." Though demand has far out- stripped supply, Roberts said he kept his prices steady. "Barring sweeping government legislation, our future looks pretty bright," he said. Steve Roberts, manager of West Coast Joe's Sports, Outdoor & More on Northwest Gilman Boulevard is the closest competitor to West Coast Armory. Joe's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early March. A spokeswoman for the regional chain could not be reached for comment. After the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, Heidi Yewman joined Million Morn March, part of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Yewman, of Vancouver, serves as the state president for the Million Mom March chapters. She just released a book, "Beyond the Bullet," about people who have lost loved ones to BY GREG FA]RRAR Armory, stands in front of a wall of rifles. gun violence. , Yewman, who said her goal is to stop dangerous people from get- ting dangerous guns, said the sales surge is based on paranoia. At the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club gun range, range master Lori Laughren said more shoot- ers seemed to be using the range. Though she said the increase could be the result of the econo- my, with unemployed people stopping by the range on week- days. Laughren said new gun owners should receive proper training for using their firearms. "Any tool is only as dangerous as the intent of the user," she said. REQUIREMENTS FOR A CONCEALED PISTOL LICENSE: Be at least 21 years old at time of application. Be a United States citizen or have an alien firearms license. Have no pending trial, appeal or sentencing on a charge that would prohibit you from having a license. Have no outstanding warrants for any charge from any court. Have no court order or injunction against possessing a firearm. Have no mental health conditions that would prohibit you from having a license. Have no felony convictions. Read a complete list of requirements at www.dol.wa.gov/business/firearms. Issaquah residents can apply for a new license at: Issaquah Police Department 130 E. Sunset Way 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Renewals are accepted from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Residents of unincorporated King County can apply for a concealed pistol license at: King County Courthouse 516 Third Ave., Seattle 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays Due to King County Sheriff's Office staff reductions, Precinct No. 3, 22300 S.E. 231 St. in Maple Valley, no longer accepts new con- cealed pistol applications. Residents who need to renew or replace their license can go to the courthouse or Precinct No. 3. License holders who only need a renewal may go to the Blackriver Community Service Center, 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton. Precinct No. 3 or Blackriver employees may direct license hold- ers to Seattle, depending on how many employees are available. No appointment is necessary at Precinct No. 3. License holders must schedule an appointment at Blackriver. Learn more at wvvw.kingcounty.gov/safety/sheriff/ services. Follow the link for "Concealed Weapons Permits.  Burglar hits downtown's Fischer Meats A burglar broke a lock and stole about $100 from a Front Street butcher shop overnight April 2. A nearby bicycle store was also tar- geted, but the attempt to break into the shop was unsuccessful. Fischer Meats, 85 Front St. N., was broken into between 6:30 p.m. April 1 -- when employees left and locked the store -- and 7 a.m. today. Owner Chris Chiechi said a thief used locking pliers to pop a lock at the store's front entrance. The burglar stole about $70 worth of coins from a change drawer behind the display cases. The thief did not steal the pen- nies kept in the drawer. Chiechi said about $25 worth of dollar coins were stolen from his office in the back of the shop. The thief also broke a lock on a file cab- inet filled with U.S. Department of Agriculture documents. The thief left the store undis- turbed otherwise. "It's not like they came in and ransacked the place," Chiechi said. He said the break-in was only the second at the store in the past two decades. Chiechi said a new lock, installed during the day following the break- in, cost about $50. A would-be burglar also attempted to break into Bicycle Center of Issaquah, 111 Front St. N., overnight. The lock appeared to have been tampered with by pliers, according to Issaquah Police Department logs. The dam- age to the lock was estimated at $150. EFR responded to more than 7,000 incidents in '08 Eastside Fire & Rescue crews responded to more than 7,000 incidents last year, according to a report released by the state fire marshal April 1. EFR responders handled 7,090 incidents in 2008. Property dam- age related to the incidents totaled more than $1.3 million, according to the "Fire in Washington Report." King County officials recorded 11 fire-related deaths last year. Emergency crews in King County handled 163,055 incidents last year. In the region comprised of King, Pierce and Snohomish coun- ties, crews handled more than 300,000 incidents, according to the report produced by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Fire agencies statewide report- ed nearly 600,000 incidents to the state fire marshal. The agen- cies reported more than 24,000 fire incidents, which resulted in 45 deaths and caused an estimat- ed $227 million in property dam- age. The agencies are required to submit fire incidents to the state fire marshal to compile data for the National Fire Incident Reporting System, which tracks emergencies and service calls. Read the "Fire in Washington Report" on the state fire marshal's Web site, www.wsp.wa.gov/fire. JOURNALS TO CHEFCHAOUEN Clark Elementary School teacher Julia Landa flight) and a group of her fifth- graders show off the jour- nals they made for stu- dents in Chefchaouen, Morocco, one of Issaquah's sister cities. BY WARREN KAGARISE Second student death shakes high school School counselors reported to Issaquah High School March 31 after school officials were notified that Kevin Conroy Tork, a 15-year- old sophomore, had died in Seattle. Bellevue Police responded to the call, however, the case is still under investigation, said Officer Greg Grannis, the department's public information officer. The cause and manner of death is pending, according to informa- tion from ,the King County Medical Examiner s Office. Principal Paula Phelps and school counselors went to each classroom at the high school and notified students and teachers of the death. The additional school coun- selors remained on campus throughout the day to assist stu- dents and employees with the news. Tork's death comes just weeks after Issaquah High School junior Nicholas Bethel died in Seattle March 3. The cause and manner of Bethel's death are still pending, as the toxicology report has not come back yet, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Results from those tests can take up to 10 weeks. Parents should be aware of changes in their student's physi- cal and emotional behaviors in coming days and weeks as they process the loss. Changes in behavior can include, sadness, anger, irritability, anxiety, loneli- ness, numbness, indifference, detachment, listlessness, headaches, stomachaches, nau- sea and changes in appetite, according to school information. Students and parents can call the high school's counseling cen- ter at 837-6140 for guidance or additional information. Cold case FROM PAGE A1 away. But Sgt. John Urquhart, sher- iff's office spokesman, said David was likely abducted: "It's very unlikely a cougar dragged him, or that he ran away, which is unlike- ly at age 8." Detective Scott Tompkins, a member of the cold case team, said investigators will determine whether DNA testing and other techniques unavailable in 1968 could aid the investigation. Jensen, Tompkins and Detective Jake Pavlovich will also look at crimes committed by people con- nected to the case in the years since the disappearance. Despite the advances in tech- niques and technology, Urquhart said old-fashioned gumshoe detective work" would be crucial to the cold-case investigations. Since the unit began work in January, Tompkins contacted David's father to request photos of the boy to use on bulletins and an agency Web site devoted to the cases. Challenges abound for investi- gators as they seek to unravel cold cases. Evidence gathered in the era before DNA testing may have been contaminated, mis- ON1HEWEB Learn more about the King County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Squad at www.kingcounty.gov/safety/sheri#. Follow the link for "Cold Case Investigations," handled or improperly stored. Memories of cases fade and wit- nesses die. But the passage of time can also push people with information about a case to talk. "As many cold cases get solved by people talking as they do by DNA, Urquhart said. Investigators said people with information are more likely to come forward as they get older and begin to worry about their mortality. "Maybe they're on their deathbed and they want to make it right," Urquhart said. Tompkins said people once con- nected to potential suspects, such as ex-wives and former ceUmates, often yield valuable information because the potential suspects confided in them. As time passes, "loyalties change and people are more willing to disclose informa- tion," he added. Because investigators face so many cold cases, each will be reviewed based on the status of possible suspects, witnesses and evidence, as well as possible threats to the community. "There's no way we can active- ly investigate 193 cases," Urquhart said. The sheriff's office established the Cold Case Squad with a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice, part of the federal Department of Justice. The grant, which will fund the sqpad for 18 months, covers personnel costs and expenses associated with the investigations. The grant is eligible for renew- al. Evaluators will decide if the squad was productive and is like- ly to solve additional cases. Before the cold case unit was established, each detective from the sheriff's office Major Crimes Unit was assigned to a handful of cold cases. Urquhart said their workload of active cases often prevented them digging deep into the old files. He said solving the cold cases is para- mount. "If we can't solve it, we have failed," Urquhart said. "We've failed the victim and we've failed society." Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. 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