A Fort Lewis soldier was killed Saturday when his vehicle was damaged by a bomb in Ibrahim Al Adham, Iraq, according to the Department of...

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A Fort Lewis soldier was killed Saturday when his vehicle was damaged by a bomb in Ibrahim Al Adham, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense.

Pfc. Jason Lemke, 30, assigned to the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Lewis, was from West Allis, Wis.


Scuba diver who died is identified

A scuba diver who lost consciousness and died Saturday near Alki Point has been identified as Josh Magee, 33.

Magee was pulled from the water by other divers who heard him scream for help, but attempts to revive him failed, and he died later at Harborview Medical Center.


McIver’s wife doesn’t have to testify

A King County District Court judge ruled Monday that Marlaina Kiner-McIver, wife of Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver, could face potential criminal liability for lying to police and has a right not to testify against her husband, who is being prosecuted for alleged domestic violence against her.

Prosecutors will be required to promise immunity for Kiner-McIver if they want her to testify against her husband. Prosecutors said Monday they have not yet decided what to do.

McIver is charged with fourth-degree domestic-violence assault in connection with the Oct. 10 incident during which his wife called 911. According to what she told police, McIver became angry during an argument with his wife and grabbed her throat and arm several times.

But Kiner-McIver has since said that she lied about the assault because she was angry with her husband, according to McIver’s attorney, Todd Maybrown. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday.


Council elects Conlin president

City Councilmember Richard Conlin was elected council president for a two-year term. As council president, Conlin will run the council meetings and the city’s legislative department. The council president also acts as mayor if Mayor Greg Nickels is absent from the city or incapacitated. Conlin was elected unanimously at a Monday council meeting where new council members were sworn in.

Council members were also designated to chair committees according to a resolution adopted unanimously. Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee. Sally Clark will chair the Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee. Conlin will continue to chair the Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee.

Jan Drago will continue to chair the Transportation Committee. Jean Godden will chair the Finance and Budget Committee. Bruce Harrell will chair the Energy and Technology Committee. Nick Licata will chair the Culture, Civil Rights, Health and Personnel Committee and the Labor Policy Committee. Richard McIver will chair the Housing and Economic Development Committee. Tom Rasmussen will chair the parks and Seattle Center Committee.


Insemination tried with zoo elephant

Woodland Park Zoo officials attempted to artificially inseminate their Asian elephant, Chai, over the weekend.

Chai, 29, was the mother of Hansa, who died in June at age 6 due to a herpes virus.

The 20-minute procedure went well, the zoo reported, though they won’t know if the procedure took until sometime this spring, at the earliest. The semen donor was a 36-year-old bull at the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum in Oklahoma.

If the procedure was successful, the calf would be born at the end of 2009, the zoo said.

A healthy pregnancy and successful birth would be a significant boost to the Species Survival Plan of Asian elephants, the zoo wrote in a news release.

At least one group believes Woodland Park Zoo should stop breeding captive elephants. In Defense of Animals, an animal-rights group, said after Hansa’s death that too many captive-born elephants die of a herpes virus, adding that the Woodland Park Zoo should end its breeding efforts.

Western Washington

Mountain driving might be dangerous

The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be careful of poor weather conditions in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains starting today.

Weather experts predict an intense storm to blow through those mountain ranges, leaving slick roads and plenty of snow, according to the transportation department. Chains may be required in the passes, so come prepared, it warned.


Woman dies when car hits guardrail

A Seattle woman was killed early Monday when her car struck the guardrail on the southbound Interstate 5 exit to Michigan Street.

Angelia M. Paulsen, 36, was found dead at the scene at about 1:40 a.m. Monday, according to the State Patrol. A preliminary investigation found that she had not been wearing a seat belt.


Trial set March 11 for former candidate

A trial date of March 11 has been set for Venus Velázquez, whose campaign for Seattle City Council was derailed by an arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Velázquez was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with driving under the influence in October, two days after she was stopped by police for allegedly speeding and weaving in Ballard. A Seattle police officer clocked Velázquez going 50 mph on Northwest Market Street, a 30 mph zone. She told the officer she had had two drinks with dinner.

She took a preliminary roadside breath test and blew higher than the legal limit, according to her attorney, Bill Bowman. She declined to take a breath test at the police station, which is typically the test admitted in court as evidence of drunken driving.

Velázquez, who was seeking the City Council seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck, lost to Bruce Harrell.

Seattle Times staff and news services