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Thursday, November 04, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Local Digest
Marriage proposal leads to fight, arrest

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A 29-year-old man got the answer he was seeking Tuesday night when he proposed to his girlfriend, but he also got into a fight with her ex-boyfriend and landed in jail.

Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen said the man is being investigated for first-degree assault after he allegedly beat the ex-boyfriend with a baseball bat. The woman, 34, was staying with her ex-boyfriend in Gold Bar when her 29-year-old boyfriend arrived and proposed on the front porch of the home. She accepted.

The ex-boyfriend, 62, witnessed the proposal and became upset, Jorgensen said. The three got into a fight, and the suspect got a baseball bat out of his car and allegedly beat the ex-boyfriend, Jorgensen said. He fled in his car, but was later arrested by sheriff's deputies and booked into Snohomish County Jail.

Stack of lumber falls, killing trucker, 48

A 48-year-old trucker was killed after a pallet of lumber fell on him yesterday morning at a shipping-company warehouse in South Seattle.

The man, an employee of Sweitzer Trucking in Bellingham, had been watching a forklift operator offload lumber from his truck at the Northland Services' Terminal 115 at 6700 W. Marginal Way S.W. when a stack of lumber fell over on him, said Mick Shultz, spokesman for the Port of Seattle Police. Authorities say that while the investigation continues, the incident appears to have been accidental.

Authorities did not release the man's name.

Two soldiers convicted in killing of one's wife

TACOMA — A Fort Lewis soldier has been convicted of murder in the death of his wife, and a friend of his from the Army has been convicted of manslaughter.

The Pierce County Superior Court verdicts Tuesday followed a three-week trial and a day of deliberations in the case of Christopher Ryan Baber, 20, and Jeremy Lee Meyers, 22, infantrymen with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment.

Meyers was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the strangling of his wife, Jessica Lynn Meyers, 21, in July 2003. Baber, charged with the same offenses, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter.
Sentencing delayed over ricin possession

The sentencing of a mentally ill man accused of making deadly ricin poison in his Kirkland apartment has been postponed.

Robert Alberg had been scheduled for sentencing yesterday, after pleading guilty to possession of the toxin. Both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer agreed to ask the judge for a sentence of probation.

However, U.S. District Judge James Robart decided to postpone the hearing so federal probation officers could gather more information.

Army base gets new commander

FORT LEWIS — Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik assumed command of Fort Lewis yesterday, shortly after receiving his third star in back-to-back ceremonies at the busy Army base south of Tacoma.

The base is headquarters to the Army's I Corps, which oversees deployments of 40,000 active-duty and reserves troops across the country and two Stryker Brigade combat teams.

Dubik previously served as director for Joint Experimentation, United States Joint Forces Command. The Norfolk, Va.-based group tests new equipment and warfighting concepts.

He replaces Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano, who has yet to be given a new assignment.

Health experts say fire station is safe

Health experts have determined that Fire Station 31 in the Northgate area is safe to occupy, and that there is no link between the building and the occurrence of cancer among firefighters who worked there.

Mayor Greg Nickels and the Fire Department last year convened panels of experts to examine the station after firefighters raised concerns about the high number of illnesses, including cancer, that struck those who worked at Station 31.

Test results, released earlier this week, found no evidence the building caused problems.

Times staff and news services

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