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City briefs

Keylin trial

set for fall

Former Youth Theatre Northwest executive director Benjamin David Keylin will go to trial beginning on Oct. 15, according to a spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. The trial was scheduled during a case-setting hearing that took place earlier this month.

Keylin, 57, was arrested on Dec. 6 last year and was later charged with the crime of rape in the third degree and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Keylin pleaded not guilty on Dec. 18. He is free on bail. Keylin is accused of raping his ex-girlfriend’s daughter in his Island condo two days before he was arrested. He has also been accused of inappropriately touching the young woman over the period of a year while she was still a minor. The second count against Keylin accuses him of soliciting inappropriate activity with the rape victim’s younger sister.

In a separate court ruling that took place in January, a judge ordered Keylin to give up shared custody of his teenage daughter to her mother.

New police boat cruising lake

The Island’s new police boat is now cruising the waters of Lake Washington. The recent arrival of the new vessel, which was purchased last spring, gives the police department its third boat.

The new boat, called Patrol 14, is a 31-foot aluminum hull with a foam-stabilizing collar and enclosed cabin. It cost the city about $280,000. The city funded the boat with replacement funds it had set aside for Patrol 11. In January 2007 the main police boat, Patrol 11, sank and was later rebuilt, paid for by the city’s insurance. The existing funds to replace that boat were then used to make the purchase after the City Council approved it.

The two main vessels of the fleet will remain as Patrol 11 and Patrol 14. Police plan to use Patrol 12, the smallest of the three, as a back up or for special events.

Patrol 14 and 11 have similar capabilities. The new boat is equipped with a number of technologies commonly used by law enforcement and four-stroke engines, which are more fuel efficient and use about 30 percent less fuel than two-stroke motors. Both vessels also have firefighting capabilities and equipment including a dewatering fire pump system capable of applying fire suppression foam should the boat be the first response to a boat or marina fire. In addition to the two police radios and two marine band radios, the boats feature a mobile computer for completing record checks and writing police reports.

As a main patroller of Lake Washington, the Mercer Island Marine Patrol works closely with neighboring marine agencies in Seattle and for the county. The Island marine unit provides marine services for the communities of Renton, Medina, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point under contracts approved by the City Council. The Island marine team comprises a specially trained police and fire dive team. The Seattle Harbor Patrol and King County Marine Unit also coordinate various duties, including dive and rescue operations, fire responses and other service calls.

Free wireless headsets available

A California-based organization is offering complimentary hands-free headsets to all Washington residents in response to the new law that prohibits cell phone conversations while driving without a headset beginning on July 1.

FreeHeadset.org is a nationwide safe driving campaign founded in 2003. The organization states it has distributed over 200,000 headsets to drivers across the country and continues to ship thousands of headsets per month. The program provides motorists with a free headset for their cell phone, although participants must pay $3.94 to cover shipping costs. It also sells other headsets at discounted prices. Customers may pay with a credit card online or mail a check to the company in San Diego, Calif.

The Web site states that delivery typically takes about five business days. Complaints can be found on some Internet sites about delivery, but the organization states it may take up to 8 weeks for delivery depending on product availability and delivery destination.

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