Tuesday morning's headlines

Dec 7, 2010

Local vets remember Pearl Harbor attack; guilty verdicts for some accused of helping Maurice Clemmons avoid police; vandalism punctures more than car tires in Bremerton; and questions remain over how a dog was electrocuted on a Seattle sidewalk. 

'Day That Will Live in Infamy' Remembered Locally

Vets who were present at the bombing of Pearl Harbor tell their stories today. It's the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack. The News Tribune features an interview with 91-year old Floyd Herron. The Tacoma man was a petty officer with the Navy on the USS Pennsylvania: 

Herron remembers the (day) as well as can be expected for a man who spent it constantly shooting or loading an anti-aircraft gun under enemy fire...He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about Pearl Harbor. He can’t say for sure if his gun hit any of its targets, but he and his fellow sailors responded quickly and kept their enemy from sinking the ship.

The Seattle Times talks with Navy vet William Clothier, a Burien man, who was on his way to church service on shore that Sunday morning when the bombers came:

"One day you're going to church, and two hours later you're walking with blood on your feet and all your friends are dead," Clothier recalled.

Vancouver's John Leach, 89, was a sailor on the USS California, and just rising out of his bunk when the attack began, according to The Columbian's feature story today

Leach and another sailor took cover under the overhang of one of the warship's gun turrets. "A bomb exploded. I said, 'Let's get the hell out of here,' and  he was dead."

More than 2,400 were killed at Pearl Harbor. There are an estimated 3,00o survivors remaining, according to government estimates.

A new museum will be dedicated today at the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument in Honolulu. John Leach will be in Hawaii to take part in today's anniversary events.


Verdicts in Clemmons Case

A Pierce County jury found two of Maurice Clemmons' relatives guilty of aiding the gunman in his run from authorities after killing four Lakewood police officers last year.  Clemmons' aunt, Letrecia Nelson, and cousin, Eddie Davis, were found guilty of all charges brought against them. Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist says he'll seek exceptional sentences for them at a January hearing.

Clemmons' half-brother, Ricky Hinton, was acquitted, and is being released after spending a year in jail.  A fourth defendant, Doug Davis, was found guilty of handling the gun of one of the murdered officers, according to the Seattle Times.

Hintonsat stone faced as he was acquitted and arrangements were made to let him walk free after a year in jail. Lakewood police Chief Bret Farrar shook his head. "The important thing is five of the seven people who helped Maurice Clemmons have been held accountable," Lindquist said.


Bremerton Vandalism Punctures More Than Tires

A lot of people are out thousands of dollars after vandals slashed more than 100 tires in the East Bremerton area over the weekend. The Kitsap County sheriff says neighborhoods on both sides of State Highway 303 were hit.

The Kitsap Sun spoke with one of the victims, who says it robbed their family of more than the cost to replace the tires:

“I was really emotional today. It came at the worst possible time,” said Aimee Ross, who has an 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. “We just talked to our kids. My daughter has more of an understanding. Right now we’re probably not going to do presents next month.”

Both the Kitsap County Sheriff and Bremerton police are investigating. The Sun says there are at least 70 victims.


Dog Electrocution Still Baffles Seattle City Light

The Thanksgiving Day electrocution of a dog on a walk along Seattle's Queen Anne Avenue still has city officials scratching their heads.  The dog stepped on a metal plate cover at the base of a street light in the heart of Queen Anne's business district.  The Seattle PI reports only minimal inspection record exist. Reporter Vanessa Ho writes:

After the dog died, the city discovered that a pinched wire and lack of grounding had led to the dangerous coursing of electricity in the covers. Sheridan said his department is still investigating how an inspector had overlooked the lack of grounding, which had been required in 2005.

Another dog had been shocked by the current at the same site the day before "Sam" the dog was killed.