This house served as the physician’s office for Kirkland founder Peter Kirk, making it the earliest-known hospital in the original town. Photo by Katie Metzger

This house served as the physician’s office for Kirkland founder Peter Kirk, making it the earliest-known hospital in the original town. Photo by Katie Metzger

A Historic Hospital Saved, a Former Council Candidate Under Investigation, and a Missing Teen Found

A weekly recap of regional news.

After being saved initially in 2016, one of the last remaining historic houses in Kirkland received local landmark status last month, meaning it will be preserved in perpetuity.

The Kirkland Landmarks Commission held a public hearing to consider the Dr. William Buchanan House, also called the Trueblood House, as a City of Kirkland Landmark on May 24. It had previously been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which gives it honorary landmark status, but does not protect it from demolition.

The previous owners of the Buchanan House planned to build a new, larger residence on their property two years ago. They supported relocation of the structure to a new site, but couldn’t secure a buyer. A creative solution was found: Nickel Bros Company, which specializes in rescuing historic houses, agreed to purchase the house and Lakeside Christian Church agreed to host the structure in its parking lot.

The city shut down the street and onlookers watched as the home was lifted off its foundation and relocated from 127 7th Ave. to the church down the street. Last year, the house was purchased by Kim and Dan Hartman. It was moved again to its new home at 129 6th Ave., a block away in the Norkirk neighborhood.

The house is one of seven remaining houses constructed by Kirkland’s founding father and British steel tycoon Peter Kirk. Kirkland Landmarks and Heritage Commissioner Lynette Weber has researched the history of the house and said it was originally constructed in 1890.

The house is one of very few early residential structures remaining able to represent the founding history of Kirkland. Because of its architectural value, advocates are hoping that the home can be reinstated on the National Register, though relocated buildings are usually ineligible. Kirkland Reporter

The Bellevue Police Department is investigating former Mercer Island City Council candidate Joy Langley’s claim of having a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Seth Tyler, public information officer for BPD, confirmed that police are investigating Langley’s claim to have earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy after studying at the school. Tyler could not comment on the case as it is still an open investigation.

Cmdr. Jeff Magnan of the Mercer Island Police Department said the department passed the investigation to Bellevue policeto avoid impropriety.

“We made the decision so there was no actual or perceived impropriety,” he said. “It ends up being cleaner on our end.”

Langley would not comment regarding the BPD investigation and put the Reporter in contact with her attorney. The attorney had not yet responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.

Langley, who ran for a council position in the 2017 election, came under scrutiny after the opposition’s supporters called into question her candidate statement, which claimed she had earned a degree from Cornell. Langley previously told the Reporter her degree could not be independently verified through avenues such as the National Student Clearinghouse, as she chose to keep her student records private because she was allegedly stalked while she said she attended Cornell.

The Reporter could not verify that Langley received a degree from Cornell.

As of Nov. 6, 2017, Langley maintained that she graduated from the university in 2004, but John Carberry, the school’s senior director of media relations, wrote that they cannot find a record of her enrollment.

“After receiving numerous inquiries and speaking directly with Ms. Langley, Cornell University re-examined its digital and paper archives, at the university and college level, and can confirm that we have no record of a person named Joy Langley or Joy Esther Langley attending or graduating from this institution,” Carberry wrote in an email to the Reporter in a previous report. “We can also confirm that the Office of the University Registrar has never received a request to make private any records related to Ms. Langley.” Mercer Island Reporter

Lily Christopherson, the Bonney Lake teenager who disappeared at the beginning of May, was found over the weekend.

Details are scarce, but the Bonney Lake Police Department reported via Twitter she was found by Puyallup police Sunday, June 3, after a passerby spotted her at a bus stop in the 1700 block of South Meridian.

Officer Daron Wolschleger gave a little more information at a press event on Monday, May 4, with Supervisor Deputy Mike Lee of the U.S. Marshal Service.

“First of all, we’d like to say that we are very excited about Lily’s safe recovery and return to her family,” Wolschleger said, adding that when Christopherson was found, her appearance had been changed, she was alone, and was aware of the “massive effort to locate her and bring her home safely.”

Wolschleger asked the public to continue calling in if they have more information about what happened over the last month, and emphasized “the importance of monitoring your child’s online social media activity.”

Christopherson’s recovery is the latest development in an eventful month, which started with her disappearance on May 9.

Three people involved in the incident have been arrested so far, including Christopher Fitzpatrick, 39, and Maria Counts, 29.

Fitzpatrick and Counts are charged with kidnapping in the first degree with sexual motivation, promoting the sexual abuse of a minor, and multiple charges for rape of a child in the third degree against Christopherson, among other drug charges and sexual offenses.

Fitzpatrick tried to hang himself from the shower door at the Pierce County Jail a few hours after his arraignment. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer said in a release a corrections officer stopped Fitzpatrick, who was taken to a hospital. He is expected to recover and stand t

rial in July. The Courier-Herald

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