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Saturday, June 26, 2004 - Page updated at 12:17 A.M.

Local Digest
3.7 temblor strikes near Mount Rainier


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A minor earthquake shook an area southwest of Mount Rainier yesterday, the University of Washington's Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network reported.

There were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.

A preliminary report by UW seismologists said the 3.7-magnitude quake happened at 2:48 p.m. and was centered 27 miles south-southwest of Mount Rainier, about a quarter-mile below the Earth's surface.

The quake was felt as far away as the Portland suburb of Tigard. A spokesman from the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network said the quake was probably felt so far away because of its shallow depth.

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No plea for soldier facing court-martial

FORT LEWIS, Pierce County — A Lynnwood soldier facing a court-martial for trying to give intelligence to al-Qaida did not enter a plea at his arraignment yesterday.

Lawyers for Spc. Ryan G. Anderson, 26, also hinted for the first time that Anderson's mental state may be an issue in his defense when they asked the government to pay for an independent psychologist to serve as an expert witness.

Col. Debra Boudreau, the military judge, denied the motion but said the defense could use a psychologist at Anderson's expense, said Fort Lewis spokesman Steven Field. Boudreau set a trial date for Aug. 16-20.
 
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Anderson, a tank crewman with the Washington National Guard's 81st Armored Brigade, is charged with five counts of trying to give aid and military intelligence to people he believed to be members of the al-Qaida terrorist network. Anderson was arrested Feb. 12 after a government sting. The most serious charge, attempting to aid the enemy, carries a maximum penalty of death. But military officials said the maximum penalty Anderson would face is life in prison.

Extension in grocery store workers dispute

Thousands of area grocery workers will work another three weeks under a contract that was scheduled to expire in May.

The extension, until July 9, is the third in the contract dispute between the United Food and Commercial Workers union and three supermarket chains: Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway.

The two camps met Thursday and yesterday and decided to call in a federal mediator to help with the negotiations. They plan to reconvene for more talks July 6-7.

Woman jumps off Aurora Bridge, dies

A woman died Thursday night after jumping off the Aurora Bridge.

Police said she jumped about 9:25 p.m. from the north side of the bridge. A bystander heard a splash, dived into the Ship Canal to rescue her and pulled her ashore, police said. A Seattle Fire Department rescue crew tried to revive her and transported her to Harborview Medical Center. Investigators for the King County Medical Examiner's Office were conducting an autopsy.

State board recommends sanctioning Snohomish County

A state growth board says the governor should withhold tax money from Snohomish County because of continued attempts to rezone farmland to allow development of a car dealership.

The Snohomish County Council has voted three times to allow development on 110 acres of property near Arlington, off Highway 530. Each time, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board has ruled the land should be protected as farmland. A local car dealer, Dwayne Lane, wants to build a car dealership on part of the property.

The growth board recommended financial sanctions to force the county to stop taking actions that are contrary to the state Growth Management Act, the board wrote in a decision released this week.

U.S. Coast Guard ship gets "golden" honor

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Henry Blake was awarded the Golden Swivel trophy yesterday for finishing in first place in the Coast Guard's annual Buoy Tender Olympics.

The Bayberry, based in Seattle, came in second. The trophy, which consists of a golden-painted chain swivel, will be mounted in the Blake's mess deck, said Lt. James Houck, commanding officer of the Blake, which is based in Everett.

The crews of four buoy tenders from Washington, Alaska and California participated in the competition. The event, at Naval Station Everett, was part of the annual West Coast Aids to Navigation Conference. To win the trophy, the Blake competed in various events Wednesday that tested the crew's knowledge and skill.

Tahoma National Cemetery to expand

A $6.3 million contract has been awarded to expand burial capacity at Tahoma National Cemetery, Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi says.

The project will add 12,000 niches for cremations and 4,000 preplaced crypts for casket burial sites. The project will also include an additional shelter and gate and road improvements. "The addition of more burial sites will ensure that Tahoma National Cemetery continues to meet the burial needs of veterans now and well into the future," Principi said.

The contract was awarded to Prospect Construction of Auburn, with construction due to be completed in early 2006.

The VA operates 120 national cemeteries.

Times staff and news services

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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