Local “Proud Boys” and others opposed to the King County Library System’s Drag Queen Story Hours showed up in Issaquah to voice their opposition to the events June 26. Courtesy photo

Local “Proud Boys” and others opposed to the King County Library System’s Drag Queen Story Hours showed up in Issaquah to voice their opposition to the events June 26. Courtesy photo

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

  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020 1:30am
  • News

1. Racially insensitive sign sparks investigation at ISD

A picture has been circulating on social media showing two Issaquah High School students posing next to a sign with a racially insensitive message. According to an anonymous IHS student, a female student asked a male student to a school dance with a sign. The sign read: “[Name of male student]…If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but instead I pick you. Tolo?” The dance was held on March 30. Both students pictured are not students of color.

2. Issaquah High School employee one of five confirmed with measles

A staff member at Issaquah High School was diagnosed with the measles in May. Public Health of Seattle and King County advised the high school to verify the immunization status of all staff. In order to allow staff the needed time to obtain their records and share them with administrators, Issaquah High School was closed May 16.

3. Sources say Issaquah is “toxically dysfunctional”

Issaquah’s staffing problems continue as the city’s last senior accountant recently announced their resignation. Meanwhile, current and former employees say the city is suffering from poor work culture, a lack of internal controls and above average turnover. The city of Issaquah has been unable to complete its last four state audits without garnering significant findings, with auditors pointing to a string of turnovers as a key issue.

4. Parents killed over plan to sell family home

Matthew Ficken killed his parents Lorraine and Robert Ficken because he was unwilling to leave his family home, the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Major Crimes unit determined. Detectives believe Matthew — a 34-year-old Microsoft employee — killed his parents sometime around Jan. 10 or Jan. 11, but continued to reside at the Sammamish home for several days until deputies conducted a welfare check. Matthew killed himself before deputies entered the home.

5. Lawsuit alleges Issaquah officers’ use of excessive force led to elderly man’s death

A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that a 66-year-old Chinese immigrant man was killed in August 2018 as a result of two Issaquah police officers using excessive force when none was justified. The legal action was filed April 3 in U.S. District Court in Seattle on behalf of Wangshen Leng by his widow and wife of 30 years, Liping Yang. The lawsuit lists the city of Issaquah and two Issaquah police officers as defendants. Leng’s death was ruled a homicide by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the lawsuit. The documents state that the injury occurred “during encounter between law enforcement and individual with previous undiagnosed severe age-related cervical spine degenerative changes.”

6. Opposition and supporters of Drag Queen Story Hour make showing in Issaquah

Local “Proud Boys” and others opposed to the King County Library System’s Drag Queen Story Hours showed up in Issaquah to voice their opposition to the events. At the Issaquah gathering, a group of about 10 men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and black shirts with Operation Cold Front logos and the words “security” and “press” stood at the front of the room on either side of the audience.

7. Three found dead in Klahanie home in Sammamish

Three people were found dead during a welfare check on Jan. 15 in Sammamish. Deputies from the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) were dispatched to a home in the 23900 block of Southeast 42nd Place to check on the residents. See number four on this list.

8. Two Skyline High School students die from fentanyl overdose

Two Skyline High School juniors have died by suspected fentanyl overdoses. The city of Sammamish, King County Sheriff’s department, the Issaquah School District and the Public Health of Seattle-King County came together to address the deaths as one on Oct. 2. Tom Beatty, a 16-year-old junior, died Aug. 11. Lucas Beirer, also a 16-year-old junior, died Sept. 30.

9. Families should not ‘hide or be ashamed’: Community unites following Sammamish teen deaths

A Reporter piece followed up on the Fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths which were caused by drugs made and sold through illegal drug markets.

10. Issaquah has crowned the best local appetizer and dessert

The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce concluded the inaugural Issaquah Epicurean Experience contest that crowned a best appetizer and dessert among seven local restaurants. Vista Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Snoqualmie Casino won the people’s choice and best dessert award, and Levitate Gastropub won the award for best appetizer. Both received golden spatulas and plaques.


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