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Originally published February 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Page modified February 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM

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Around the Northwest

The Defense Department on Thursday announced that more than 4,000 soldiers from the 2nd (Stryker) brigade, 2nd Infantry Division will deploy to Afghanistan this spring.

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Brigade going to Afghanistan

The Defense Department on Thursday announced that more than 4,000 soldiers from the 2nd (Stryker) brigade, 2nd Infantry Division will deploy to Afghanistan this spring.

The deployment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord is expected to last nine months and will come during a critical year in the U.S. war effort as overall numbers of American and other NATO forces in Afghanistan are reduced.

The brigade will join more than 4,400 other Lewis-McChord troops in Afghanistan.

Puyallup

Powell won't be buried near sons

The man who killed his two sons in an explosive house fire will not be buried in the same cemetery as the children, his family says.

Josh Powell's mother, Terri Powell, issued a statement Thursday confirming that the family had given up a plot tentatively reserved at Woodbine Cemetery overlooking the boys' grave.

Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, killed his 5- and 7-year-old sons and himself Feb. 5 at a home he was renting in Graham, Pierce County. He was a suspect in Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance.

Terri Powell realized early this week that no one else was making plans for Josh Powell's remains, said her son-in-law, Kirk Graves. She visited a funeral home and a few cemeteries, he said, and she "cluelessly" picked a gravesite just up the hill from where the boys are buried.

Seattle

Maple Valley man charged in slaying

An 18-year-old Maple Valley man was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 3 shooting death of a woman in Rainier Valley.

Jacob Andrew Mommer and another man allegedly posed as marijuana buyers and lured the woman, Ashton Reyes, and her boyfriend to a Subway store on Rainier Avenue South, according to charging documents filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Reyes and her boyfriend, identified only as J.R., were shot by an apparent accomplice of Mommer.

Mommer is in King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. His arraignment is set for March 1.

Harbor Island

Crane operator injured in fall

The operator of a crane that fell into the water at Vigor Shipyards was taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.

The accident happened about 12:30 p.m. at the shipyard formerly known as Todd Shipyards.

Vigor spokesman Steve Hirsh said everyone else was accounted for and officials were trying to figure out what happened.

West Seattle

Detours set for elevated roads

West Seattle drivers will face detours this weekend on the elevated sections of Fauntleroy Way Southwest and South Spokane Street.

Traffic must enter and exit the West Seattle Bridge using Delridge Way from 9 p.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, to allow for seismic work on Fauntleroy. Drivers leaving the peninsula will be detoured starting at 35th Avenue Southwest.

Southwest Avalon Way will be closed at Southwest Spokane Street from 6 p.m. Saturday until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. One eastbound lane of the Spokane Street Viaduct will close at First Avenue South from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday — leaving only one lane open from First to near Interstate 5. And beneath Spokane Street, First Avenue South will close overnight Friday and Saturday for work on the road expansion above.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Soldier charged in equipment theft

A 22-year-old Army private has been charged in the theft from Joint Base Lewis-McChord of some $630,000 worth of optics, sight lasers and other sensitive weapon attachments, according to Army officials.

Pvt. Nicholas Solt, of Slatington, Penn., faces up to 59 years of confinement if found guilty on all charges.

The theft was discovered in early January after soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, returned from a holiday break. The Army Criminal Investigation Command, with the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had recovered 98 percent of the stolen equipment.

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