Bracken watches over baby pony Zara, who was born at the Mercer Island Funny Farm on March 15. Photo via Facebook

Bracken watches over baby pony Zara, who was born at the Mercer Island Funny Farm on March 15. Photo via Facebook

Plans Set for New Dick’s, Mercer Island Gets a Pony, and the $1.6 Million Question

A weekly recap of King County news.

Dick’s Drive-In plans to break ground on its new Kent location during the first week of April, and could open the outpost in October.

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph recently met with the Spady family, which owns the restaurant chain.

“They are on track to break ground,” Ralph said at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. “They have started the hiring process. We should have a Dick’s Drive-In in Kent coming open in October. It’s something I know all of us are really excited about.”

Dick’s announced last fall it would build a restaurant on Kent’s West Hill along the east side of Pacific Highway South, just south of the Lowe’s store.

The expansion is the first for the company since the Edmonds location opened in October 2011. Dick’s has five Seattle locations, including the original site that opened in 1954 in the Wallingford neighborhood.

Plans are for the Kent location to keep the look of the Seattle outdoor drive-ins, according to the company. Auburn Reporter

• The Mercer Island Funny Farm recently announced the birth of its newest member, Zara, on social media, which generated significant response in the community. Zara was born around 12:30 p.m. on March 15 and is the first foal to be born on the Mercer Island equestrian property.

There is a trail that runs along the side of the property, and the public is welcome to view the new foal and her mom, Bracken, from public viewing areas.

“Please do not enter the property/driveway or walk through the front garden,” MI Funny Farm posted. “Please remember to be calm and quiet during viewing, and always keep children from sitting on the fence for their own safety.”

The farm wrote that it appreciates its neighbors, who are “all a part of making Momma Bracken feel more comfortable, which will make baby that much better when everyone gets to meet her.”

Business updates will be available on Facebook, and more photos can be seen on Instagram @mi.funny.farm.

According to a post on My Mercer Island, Zara has been spotted prancing around her pasture with watchful Bracken nearby. Other horses and ponies that enjoy the farm include Mary (the Matriarch) and daughter Saffron (a “teenager” in horse years); buddies Clover and Dash, who are rarely seen without each other; and Pye, nicknamed “the Scientist,” because of his solitary nature. Mercer Island Reporter

• The Macy’s department store at the Redmond Town Center will be shutting down next year amid a wave of similar chain closures nationwide.

The Redmond location is an anchor tenant at the town center, occupying a separate building connected to the center by a skywalk. Jessica Morgan, marketing director for JSH Properties, INC., which owns the properties, confirmed the retailer would be leaving during the first quarter of 2019 after she said Macy’s declined to renew its lease. Representatives from the Redmond Macy’s branch have not responded to an interview request.

According to a press release on the company’s website, Macy’s announced in February it would be closing the RTC location. Macy’s said in 2016 it would be closing about 100 locations. With the closure of the Redmond location, it will bring the total number shut down to 83.

News of the shuttering comes even as Macy’s, Inc. reported positive fourth-quarter earning in 2017. Sales were up 1.8 percent in 2017 when compared year-over-year to 2016, but an extra week was included in this year’s quarter. However, this bump was not enough to offset a lower yearly sales total with the company bringing in nearly $1 billion less in revenue in 2017 than the previous year.

Macy’s said last year they would be opening 36 Bluemercury stores, two Macy’s stores and 30 discount Backstage locations in existing Macy’s locations across the country. Redmond Reporter

• Former Enumclaw private invest

igator Charlene Joy Keys, 70, has been indicted on five counts of mail fraud.

According to United States Attorney Annette Hayes, a grand jury came up with the indictment on March 15, alleging Keys—through her company Keys Research—defrauded her cli

ents and wrongfully obtained more than $1.6 million.

The indictment alleges Keys would search federal bankruptcy proceedings around the country, looking for people and businesses who were owed money.

She would then make contact, saying she would help them recover the money they were owed for a commission of between 20 to 25 percent.

However, “Keys defrauded her clients by failing to pay over all or a portion of the recovered funds contrary to the terms of the parties’ agreements,” the indictment reads, adding that the $1.6 million Keys obtained was mixed with funds associated with her horse breeding business, Award Thoroughbreds.

After receiving a check from various bankruptcy courts around the country, Keys or others acting on her behalf would allegedly tell her clients their funds were being delayed, not released by the courts, or no longer available, and gave false responses or no response when her clients asked about the status of their funds.

If Keys is convicted, the Department of Justice is looking to recover the $1.6 million, as well as any other property or money related to mail fraud.

According to U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie, no lawyer for Keys has filed a notice of appearance.

A bench warrant has been issued for Keys arrest on the indictment. The Courier-Herald

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