JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Harvell was awarded two Silver Stars for combat air control while under enemy fire in Afghanistan.
The Air Force honored the 27-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., in a ceremony Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in which a total of 11 airmen from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron received 13 medals.
The Air Force cited Harvell for exposing himself to enemy fire to direct air support that killed hundreds of enemy combatants during battles in May and July 2007.
Another airman, 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Evan Jones of Colorado Springs, Colo., received a silver star and a Bronze medal for his air combat control in firefights.
The Silver Star is the military’s third- highest award for valor.
Explosive device kills soldier
A Florida soldier was killed in combat in Iraq. The Department of Defense reported Thursday that Sgt. Keith A. Coe, 30, of Auburndale, died Tuesday in Khalis, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an explosive device. Coe was assigned to 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Skyway: 1 dead, 1 hurt in shooting
A shooting in the Skyway area south of Seattle has left one person dead and injured another. King County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said the Thursday afternoon violence apparently started with some sort of altercation at an apartment complex. KOMO-TV reported one person was shot there before the dispute spilled over to the parking lot of a nearby 7-Eleven store, where another person was shot. The surviving victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Milton: Girl killed hit-and-run
A 15-year-old girl who was struck Wednesday night in a hit-run accident in Milton died early Thursday at Madigan Army Medical Center. The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Kelsey Parrett and a friend were walking down a street about 9 p.m. when she was hit. Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brandy Kessler said evidence at the scene led investigators to a van at a nearby home where they arrested the 47-year-old driver and a 48-year-old passenger. Both were booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of vehicular assault and failure to remain at the scene of a crash.
Seattle: King County may vote on sales tax increase
The King County Council Budget Committee will take its first look Thursday afternoon at a proposed sales tax increase. Executive Dow Constantine wants to ask voters in August to approve an increase of two-tenths of a cent on each dollar spent. It would raise about $47 million for the county and $32 million for cities within King County in the first year. Without the money, Constantine said King County will have to lay off sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors.
NAACP lawyer suspended
The Washington state Supreme Court has suspended the license of attorney Alfoster Garrett Jr., the former president of the NAACP in Seattle. The Washington State Bar Association said he potentially misled clients by mixing his duties as a lawyer and as leader of the civil rights organization. The association also found Garrett comingled clients’ funds with his own and revealed the name of a juvenile client on a radio program without her permission. Garrett declined to comment on the suspension to The Seattle Times. A message seeking comment for this story was left on his answering machine. Garrett was president of the Seattle NAACP for less than a year in 2005.
Olympia: New ed tests next week, some on computer
Online testing begins next week for some Washington students in grades six through eight. The new Measures of Student Progress — the tests replacing the WASL in the younger grades — will be given for the first time next week. State education officials say one out of every four Washington schools with sixth through eighth grades will give the tests online in either math or reading or both. Superintendent Randy Dorn believes students will be more engaged taking the tests on a computer. Changing statewide testing was one of Dorn’s goals when elected superintendent of public instruction.
Carnation: Deputy flips car, suffers minor injuries
The King County sheriff’s office said the deputy who flipped his patrol car near Carnation walked away with only minor injuries. The deputy was not responding to a call at the time of the accident about 3:30 a.m. Thursday on a wet Highway 203. The 27-year-old deputy was treated at a Bellevue hospital.
Spokane: Deputy pleads not guilty to DUI charges
A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a drunken driving charge. Deputy Darin Schaum was stopped last Friday by a Spokane Valley officer who said he was racing another vehicle and swerving. Schaum refused to take a breath test, which brings a one-year suspension of his driver’s license. The Spokesman-Review reported a judge from Whitman County is handling the case in Spokane County District Court.
Suspect surrenders after Spokane SWAT standoff
A man with a long criminal record surrendered to a police SWAT team early Thursday in Spokane after a four-hour standoff in which he threatened to kill officers.
Police said 25-year-old Dustin C. Rauscher was arrested about 1 a.m. and booked into the Spokane County Jail on an outstanding felony eluding warrant and for investigation of unlawful imprisonment and assault.
Officers who received a tip went to an apartment Wednesday night where they heard a woman screaming. They broke in to find Rauscher assaulting her. Police rescued her. He fled to another room and refused to come out until negotiators talked him into surrendering.
Yakima: 2 wounded in gang shooting
A 15-year-old boy was critically wounded in the head and a 20-year-old man was hit in the arm in a gang shooting in Yakima.
Police say the victims were among five people in a car who had a confrontation Wednesday night with a group in the street or a yard.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported the car’s rear window was shot out.
Counties weren’t told of Mabton sewage spill
Health officials in Yakima and Benton counties say they should have been notified when 370,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Yakima River at Mabton.
A spokeswoman for the state Ecology Department, Joye Redfield-Wilder, said it was an oversight.
The April 16 spill was caused by a power failure at the treatment plant in Mabton. The Friday night spill went undetected until the following Monday.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported there have been no reports of illness or fish kills related to the spill.
Oregon: Amtrak train hits van, kills motorist
An Amtrak train bound for Portland collided with a van in Klickitat County, Wash., killing the motorist.
Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said the passengers and crew escaped injury in the Thursday morning collision 30 miles east of Wishram, Wash.
The 85 passengers remained at the crash site well into the afternoon, awaiting buses that will take them to Portland.
The Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office declined to release name of the motorist.
Man held after injury crash, pot found
A car crash into the rear of a semi has left a woman in critical condition and the driver under arrest on drug and other charges.
Oregon State police says three pounds of marijuana were found in the car after the crash Wednesday morning on Interstate 84 in the Pendleton area.
Authorities say 25-year-old Joshua Samuel McDonald of Newport, Wash., tried to pass the truck but instead the passenger side of his car smashed into the truck’s rear.
His passenger — 22-year-old Stacia Lynn Thune of Spokane — was injured but the truck driver wasn’t hurt.
McDonald was jailed on charges of assault, reckless driving, and unlawful possession and delivery of marijuana.
From Herald news services