Steve Hunter

Proposed Kent city budget outlines 17 new hires; Council president opposes plan

Marvin Eckfeldt likes that the proposed 2011 Kent city budget includes 11 new hires for the Panther Lake area, whose 24,000 residents annexed to the city in July. “That was part of the promise,” said Eckfeldt, who co-chaired the campaign last year for Panther Lake voters to approve annexing to Kent from unincorporated King County. “That was part of the annexation platform that we would get more community

John Legas

Kent pastor has close shave in latest stage role as Daddy Warbucks in ‘Annie’

John Legas still finds himself reaching for his comb after he had his head shaved last month for the role of Daddy Warbucks in "Annie." "Part of me was excited and part was terrified about what was under there," he said. Legas, the pastor at Cornerstone Community Baptist Church in Kent, performs in the Heavier Than Air Family Theatre's production of "Annie" Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-19 at the Green River Community College Performing Arts Building in Auburn.

John Legas

No more hot breakfasts for Kent Jail inmates, under new city contract

Inmates at the Kent city jail will no longer receive hot breakfasts, starting in January, in order to save the city money. The Kent City Council has approved a new five-year contract extension with Consolidated Food Management Inc., of Mercer Island. City officials asked the company to provide cold breakfasts at the jail to save the city about $10,000 per year, said Pat Fitzpatrick, deputy city attorney.

Vandals steal plaques from Tahoma National Cemetery; $5,000 reward offered

The Tahoma National Cemetery director cannot comprehend why someone stole 11 bronze memorial plaques Nov. 27 from a cemetery walkway.

Phoebe Falzone

Kent readies for Winterfest fun: Read the story, see the schedule

Bill Westcott hears from many adults how much they’ve enjoyed the Kent Winterfest light show the last two years downtown at Town Square Plaza. But the Winterfest organizer remembers even more the reaction of the children, when thousands of lights brighten up the 30-foot Christmas tree and the entire park at Second Avenue and West Harrison Street. “It’s fun to hear the kids scream and to see them jump up and down,” said Westcott, who organizes the event under the auspices of the Kent Lions Club. Children and adults will get a chance to see even more lights in the park at the 28th annual Winterfest celebration Saturday. The event is free. The tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m

Phoebe Falzone

Devin Topps murder: No arrests yet, but Kent Police anticipate solving case

Kent Police have yet to make an arrest in the shooting death of 18-year-old Devin Topps but fully anticipate eventually arresting a suspect and solving the murder. "The investigation is still ongoing," said Kent Police Lt. Pat Lowery during a phone interview Wednesday. "We still believe we will make an arrest in the future and bring this to a successful resolution."

Edward Cobb puts his head down in court Tuesday in Kent before he was sentenced to 39 years in prison for first-degree murder for shooting a Renton teen in 2008 in Kent.

Scuffle breaks out after Seattle man sentenced for Cornucopia Days shooting: Updated story

A scuffle broke out among about a dozen people at the third-floor rotunda Tuesday afternoon at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent after a judge sentenced Edward Earl Cobb to the maximum of 39 years in prison for the first-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Chezaray Bacchus in 2008 at a Kent fast-food restaurant.

Edward Cobb puts his head down in court Tuesday in Kent before he was sentenced to 39 years in prison for first-degree murder for shooting a Renton teen in 2008 in Kent.
Lucy Lopez

Lucy Lopez Center planning fundraiser

Enjoy a Mexican buffet dinner and attend a silent auction Sunday to help raise money for the Lucy Lopez Community Center in Kent. The first Lucy Lopez Community Center Winter Event runs 5-9 p.m. at the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St. The dinner goes from 6-8 p.m.

Lucy Lopez

Kent to send jail inmates to Chelan County next year, due to overcrowding at Kent City Jail

The city of Kent will start sending its overflow inmates next year to Chelan County because of overcrowding at the Kent city jail. The Kent City Council approved Nov. 16 an agreement between the city and Chelan County to house inmates from Kent at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center in Wenatchee.

Michael Tuckman

Kent Predators full of changes for 2011 Indoor Football League season

Change is the name of the game as the Kent Predators prepare for their second season in the professional Indoor Football League at the ShoWare Center. The Predators have a new general manager, coach, a bunch of new players and plan to reveal new uniforms when they open the 2011 season with a home game Feb. 25 against Sioux Falls, S.D.

Michael Tuckman
Hassan K. McPherson

Kent man pleads not guilty to Panther Lake apartment shooting

A 30-year-old Kent man pleaded not guilty Nov. 18 to two counts of first-degree assault after he allegedly fired more than 30 shots that injured two men Sept. 30 at a Panther Lake apartment complex on the East Hill. Hassan K. McPherson entered his plea at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. McPherson is in custody at the county jail in Kent in lieu of $1 million bail.

Hassan K. McPherson
Kent's Jobe Himself band members Terry Sanders

Kent band hopes for rise to fame

Nic Byrd speaks confidently about the chances his three-member Kent band Jobe Himself can make it professionally. In fact, Byrd believes the band just might be hitting the stage at the right time with what he describes as a "heavily blues-influenced grunge" sound. "Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins are back together," said Byrd, 26, guitarist, lead singer and manager of the band. "Grunge is coming back in a big way. We might be what people want to hear."

Kent's Jobe Himself band members Terry Sanders
Collision technician Kevin Johnson works Nov. 4 on the van that will be donated to Food Lifeline at Precision Collision Auto Body.

Local businesses put wheels on their donation to Food Lifeline

The reward of work took a new twist for Kevin Johnson as he helped repair a 1999 Ford Windstar van last week inside a Kent body shop along Pacific Highway South. Johnson, a technician at Precision Collision Auto Body, joined fellow employees and other businesses to repair the van as a donation to Food Lifeline, a nonprofit group based in Shoreline that distributes to food banks across Western Washington.

Collision technician Kevin Johnson works Nov. 4 on the van that will be donated to Food Lifeline at Precision Collision Auto Body.
Lynn Pittier reenacts her field sobriety test Nov. 2 outside the Southcenter Red Robin in Tukwila

Senior woman at odds with Kent Police over her arrest; police say case handled correctly

Lynn Pittier wants other elderly drivers to know about her experience with Kent Police that she said left her "humiliated." Pittier, 65, of Burien, believes police went too far when they handcuffed her and arrested her Aug. 23 for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police initially pulled her over along Pacific Highway South for using her high beams and driving too slowly.

Lynn Pittier reenacts her field sobriety test Nov. 2 outside the Southcenter Red Robin in Tukwila

Windstorm knocks out power to parts of Kent; most areas restored

An estimated 3,000 customers were without power in Kent after a windstorm blew through town Monday night. Many of those customers were still without power Tuesday morning but most had power restored by Tuesday afternoon.

Kent School Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas delivers his state of the school district address during the Nov. 3 Kent Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Kent schools chief promotes district strategy plan

Kent Schools Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas emphasized at a Kent Chamber of Commerce luncheon the importance of the district's new strategic plan now under development. Vargas covered many topics during his State of the School District speech at the Nov. 3 event at the Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent. But the strategic plan for the next decade looms as a key project.

Kent School Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas delivers his state of the school district address during the Nov. 3 Kent Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Deputy police chief up for Olympia job: That makes two top Kent cops looking elsewhere

Kent Deputy Police Chief Mike Painter is one of five finalists to be the new Olympia police chief. Olympia City Manager Steve Hall plans to make a job offer to one of the five men by the end of November, according to The Olympian newspaper.

Alexa Domenden

Kent dancer to perform in PNB’s ‘Nutcracker’

Alexa Domenden can't wait for her chance to get on stage in her role this holiday season as a Chinese dancer in the Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker." The 14-year-old Kent girl takes the stage in Act 2 as one of four girls who dance with the Chinese Tiger. The "Nutcracker" runs Nov. 26 through Dec. 27 at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.

Alexa Domenden
Kentridge students Taija Bjorgo-Robertson

Saying goodbye to Devin Topps: A story and a slide show about former Kentridge star athlete

Devin Topps leaned over to Alex Tyson, his best friend and Kentridge High School football teammate. So many people congratulated them after one of their victories that Topps wanted to put the moment in perspective. "Alex, we're all-stars," Topps said. Tyson told that story as he joined a church full of friends and family Thursday to turn a funeral service into an emotional celebration for their fallen all-star. They honored the 18-year-old with a tribute of music, poems and stories.

Kentridge students Taija Bjorgo-Robertson

Police, FBI sting locates eight children in sex-trafficking in Kent

Eight children ages 13-17 were taken into protective custody Nov. 5-7 in Kent as part of an FBI-organized nationwide sting to recover youngsters involved in the sex-trafficking trade. Kent Police joined with other local and federal law enforcement officers to target the adults and children involved in child sex trafficking and exploitation, according to a Kent Police media release.