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TOP STORIES OF 2013 PART 2
This is the second of three posts.
As 2013 comes to an end, the Renton Reporter staff is taking a look back at some of the stories that most affected our readers this year.
From the seeming conclusion to the library debate, to the murders of two residents by their grandson, to the sentencing of Jarrod Lane, to happier news like a new Renton Superintendnet and a run at the state tournament by both Renton basketball teams as well as an undefeated season by the Lindbergh Eagles football team, 2013 gave us all a lot to think about.
Here are some of the stories that we followed this year:
Renton schools go deep into the postseason
The year in athletics saw the Renton Indians boys and girls basketball teams make their way to the state tournaments, as well as an undefeated season and strong postseason run by the Lindbergh Eagles football team.
For the first time in school history, both Renton basketball teams brought home trophies from the atate tournament in Yakima.
The girls, led by Taylor Farris, who this fall signed a letter of intent to attend USC Santa Barbara next year, finished in third place.
The boys team also played strong but ran into a tough team from Lynden, finishing fifth.
This fall, Eagles football fans were treated to a surprise run from their squad, who finsihed the season undefeated, besting Kennedy Catholic in the final game of the season at Renton Memorial Stadium to earn a league championship.
The season eventually came to an end in the first round of the playoffs with a 14-7 loss to Mark Morris.
Renton Western Wear closes
After 62 years of business, the owners of Renton Western Wear announced the final days of the Renton institution in February.
Siblings Gina and Jerry Kavesh posted a good-bye and thank you letter on the doors of the store with details about the closing sale for merchandise. The business was shuttering it’s doors for good on Third Street downtown Renton and also at its Tacoma location.
The owners cited the economy for the demise of Renton Western Wear, which they owned for three generations. Twenty-seven employees were working at the store at the time it closed. Loyal customers and friends were invited to shop for two days and the general public perused the shelves for the remaining 60 days.
On Jan. 31, the Renton store location still sits empty, occupied only by artwork displays in the window..
Library appeal denied
In another contentious year surrounding the downtown library issue, Renton residents in 2013 finally got a look at the King County Library System’s plans for their building and were not at all pleased.
KCLS’s first plans, debuted at a packed and noisy open house in March, called for a new, 15,400-square-foot facility to be built over the river, but many resident objected to the much-reduced size of the new building and architects returned in April with a 19,500-square-foot design.
The current building is 22,400-square-feet.
The council in April voted to move forward with the 19,500-square-foot building, eventually adding $1.5 million to the building;s budget to make up the difference in size.
But members of the citizen group Save the Cedar River Library…Again! in July filed an appeal of the city’s mitigation plans, claiming the mitigation statement lack a cultural and historical element.
During a five-hour hearing examiner meeting, the group made their case, focusing on the pedestrian bridge and over-the-river entrance that were not included in the design of the new building. In August, Hearing Examiner Phil Obrechts ruled that though the library itself was not cultural significant, the bridge and door location were not, denying the appeal and allowing plans to move forward.