Valorous soldier from Vancouver earns Silver Star

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – As one enemy fighter lifted his hands as if to surrender, another appeared and threw a grenade. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Dakos fatally shot the grenade thrower, then jumped on a medic administering treatment to shield him from the grenade’s impact.

Dakos, 31, was not wounded in the attack April 8 west of Hillah, Iraq.

For his valor, Dakos of Vancouver, Wash., on Tuesday was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest award given for action in combat. The other enemy fighter was also killed by Dakos as he ran to retrieve a rocket-propelled grenade.

“What he did was absolutely selfless,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Pease, 46, commander of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment.

“Obviously, I’m honored to be part of such an outstanding unit to be recognized,” Dakos said. “There’s a lot of people that did a lot of great things that day that could have been recognized, I think. It’s kind of humbling.”

Associated Press

Port Hadlock: Victim carried on hood of car

A 33-year-old pedestrian suffered serious injuries Monday afternoon after being carried for several blocks on the hood of a car that struck him on a dirt road near Highway 19. The driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old Justin Degrasse-Craig, was booked into Jefferson County Jail for investigation of hit-and-run driving, and officials say he could be charged with vehicular assault. The pedestrian, John Jennings, was reported in satisfactory condition Monday night at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Peninsula Daily News

Bellevue: Gun at school gets student arrested

A student was arrested Tuesday after bringing a gun to Newport High School, police said. A teacher noticed the gun and took it away from the student in a hallway between classes, Bellevue police spokesman Michael Chiu said. The school was locked down as a precaution and police were investigating whether anyone else was involved.

Associated Press

Fairholm: Trooper

injured in elk collision

An encounter with two elk on U.S. 101 near Sol Duc early Monday left a State Patrol trooper pinned upside down in his patrol car with facial and arm injuries. Trooper Alan Nelson was driving westbound on U.S. 101 about 12:40 a.m. when he spotted an elk in the road, said State Patrol spokesman Glen Tyrrell. Nelson, a seven-year State Patrol veteran, swerved to avoid the elk but struck another in the process and hit a power pole. That impact flipped his car on its top, pinning Nelson inside. He was able to summon help on his portable radio, Tyrrell said.

Peninsula Daily News

Port Angeles: State has site for bridge pontoons

The state now has a place where it can build the massive concrete pontoons needed to float a new, wider Hood Canal bridge. The quest continues, however, to float a ballot measure for funding bridge construction, estimated to cost at least $1.8 billion for a four-lane bridge and $3.4 billion or more for an eight-lane bridge. The state announced a $4.7 million agreement Monday to buy slightly more than 20 acres in Port Angeles to build an on-shore pit where concrete pontoons can be built. The pit will then be flooded and the pontoons floated to open water. The state needs the facility through 2007 to build pontoons and bridge anchors for a new and retrofitted Hood Canal Bridge. The state plans to replace the east half of the bridge and retrofit the west half.

King County Journal

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