JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD – The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, will be deployed to Afghanistan in the fall for the first time, the Defense Department announced Thursday.
The 4,000 soldiers of the 4th Stryker Brigade deployed twice previously to Iraq: first as part of the “surge” in 2007-’08 and then again in 2009-’10, where they were the last combat brigade to leave Iraq.
At JBLM, Maj. Jenny Willis said, “Our mission over there is going to be security forces assistance and what that means is we will be doing less fighting and more training of Afghan forces.”
Police say man stole from federal lab
MOSCOW, Idaho – Police say an Eastern Washington man is suspected of breaking into a federal research lab in northern Idaho and trying to steal about $2,800 in equipment.
Moscow police said 20-year-old Michael Murphy, of Clarkston, Wash., was taken into custody early Wednesday on suspicion of burglary. Officers were called to the USDA Rocky Mountain Research Station in Moscow just before 1 a.m. to investigate a reported disturbance.
Officers allegedly found Murphy near a broken window holding a bag filled with stolen items, including digital cameras, laser measuring tools, digital recorders and headphones.
Murder suspect pleads not guilty
SANDPOINT – A North Idaho teen accused of killing a romantic rival has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
The Bonner County Daily Bee reports 19-year-old Austin Blake Thrasher is among three Bonner County residents charged in the death of Michael Wyatt Smith, 19. Thrasher’s wife, 22-year-old Jennifer Thrasher, and 19-year-old Christopher Garlin face accessory to murder charges.
Detectives received a tip in January that a man was picked up on the pretense of attending a party and driven to the woods, then shot and buried. Smith’s body was later found north of Sandpoint.
Authorities allege Thrasher killed Smith over a 16-year-old girl the two had both been seeing.
Trial is set to begin in July.
Hunters warned to watch for grizzlies
BILLINGS – Montana wildlife officials are warning hunters and others to watch out for grizzly bears along the Beartooth Front west of Red Lodge.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Robert Gibson said Thursday that the agency biologist for the Red Lodge area has seen more grizzlies this spring than any other time in the past 30 years.
Gibson said black bear hunters in particular should be careful because they are likely to be in the same areas that bears frequent. Hikers and others should also be cautious.
Man arrested after alleged flashing
SEATTLE – A Port of Seattle spokesman said a man has been arrested for allegedly exposing himself to flight attendants during a Southwest Airlines flight from Albuquerque, N.M., to Seattle.
Spokesman Perry Cooper said the man was taken into custody when the flight landed in Seattle.
He said the exposure in Southwest Flight 265 happened over another state so Seattle authorities are handing the man over to the FBI.
The incident did not cause a delay and the flight landed on time. Flight 265 was carrying 126 passengers and a crew of five.