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Progress Made on Collapsed I-Bridge + Other Updates – Northwest News Roundup May 29 Afternoon

Progress made on fixing bridge
Courtesy KNDU-TV-Seattle times

Here is the latest news from the Associated Press and Newstalk 870.

Washington Soldier to Plead Guilty in Afghan Massacre

SEATTLE (AP) — The Army staff sergeant charged with murdering 16 Afghan villagers during pre-dawn raids last year has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

John Henry Browne, an attorney for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, tells The Associated Press that Bales will enter the plea June 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle. The judge and commanding general must approve a plea deal.

A sentencing-phase trial will determine whether he is sentenced to life with or life without the possibility of parole. Browne says Bales will give his account of what happened the night of the rampage.

The 39-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., left his remote southern Afghanistan outpost early on March 11, 2012, and attacked two nearby villages.

Washington Legislator Dies from Pre-Leukemia Complications

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Sen. Mike Carrell, who has been receiving stem cell transplants since mid-April for a blood condition, has died from complications related to his treatment. He was 69.

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler said Carrell died Wednesday morning at a Seattle hospital of lung complications from his ongoing treatment of transplants from his brother and chemotherapy. Schoesler says that Carrell died in his sleep with his wife, Charlotte, nearby.

Earlier this year, the Lakewood Republican was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, also known as pre-leukemia.

The chronic disease affects blood-forming stem cells.

Progress Made in Fixing I-5 Collapsed Bridge

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Washington state officials are reporting progress at the collapsed Interstate 5 bridge on the Skagit River that has detoured traffic at Mount Vernon.

Transportation Department spokesman Bart Treece says about three-fourths of the wreckage that fell into the water last Thursday has been removed. The other quarter includes the bridge deck and pieces that have to be kept intact for the National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

Bridge piers will have to be inspected for damage before the department will know whether it can meet the governor’s challenge to install a temporary bridge by mid-June.

Treece says two of 10 truckloads of temporary bridge parts have arrived.

The bridge collapsed after a semi-truck with an oversize load clipped a steel truss on the span.

On Wednesday, the NTSB plans to interview the driver of the pilot car that was leading the truck to find out why it happened.

Oregon Child Molester Sentenced to Prison

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A Southern Oregon child molester arrested after friends of the victims’ family beat him has been sentenced to six years in prison. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that Mark Alexander Tabor made a plea bargain and appeared in court yesterday to plead guilty. He was accused of abusing two sisters when he was a guest in their home in 2011.

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