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Friday morning's headlines

The Pagoda at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park was significantly damaged by a fire early Friday morning. The structure is a replica of a 17th century Japanese Lodge.
KOMO-TV video capture
The Pagoda at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park was significantly damaged by a fire early Friday morning. The structure is a replica of a 17th century Japanese Lodge.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Fire Damages Pt. Defiance Pagoda Structure
  • Guilty Verdict in Slaying of Kent Mother, Model
  • Police: 4 Hurt in Port Angeles Car Ramming
  • Light Rail Construction Uncovers Seattle History

Iconic Pt. Defiance Pagoda Damaged by Fire

A two-alarm fire caused significant damage to the landmark pagoda building at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma Friday morning.Fire Department spokesman Joe Meinecke said firefighters were called to the scene at about 4:30 a.m. He told The News Tribune:

"It's been a substantial fire".

One man arrived at the Pagoda saying his sister was to be married there in the evening. He told KING-5 TV:

"My sister's wedding is today at 6 (p.m.). My mom sent me down here to talk to the Metro people to see what we can do."

Workers said there have been arson problems in the park. Recently some garbage cans were set on fire. Investigators, however, are still searching for a cause of the fire. No injuries have been reported.

The department said the blaze was difficult to fight.


Man Convicted of Killing Girlfriend in 2007

King County Superior Court jurors have convicted a man of stabbing his girlfriend to death four years ago in Kent.

Prosecutors said 24-year old Merianne Lorentson lived in fear of Randall Connor. She reporedly told a close friend that if a day went by without a call from her, the friend should contct police.

The Seattle Timesreports the friend did make a callwhen he failed to hear from her and the single mother's apartment manager found her body on her living room floor on March 9, 2007. Police said she had been stabbed more than 30 times.

Lorentson was a full-time personal trainer and aspiring model.

Connor was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 29 years in prison.


Car Rammed in Port Angeles; 4 Injured

Port Angeles police say one man has surrendered but they're looking for a second after a driver rammed another car, injuring four people.

Sgt. Barb McFall says police don't know why the driver rammed a sedan carrying two adults and two children but it appears to have been an intentional assault.

Witnesses reported seeing a black Mustang chase a Subaru on Wednesday and hit it from the back at a high rate of speed.

 McFall says the impact drove the Subaru about 150 feet into a telephone pole.

The Peninsula Daily News says a 4-year-old boy was in stable condition Thursday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Two adults and a 1-year-old girl were taken to a local hospital.

A 27-year-old Port Angeles man accused of giving the Mustang driver a lift surrendered to police Thursday.


Seattle History Unearthed in Light Rail Tunnel Dig

The construction of a Sound Transit light rail line has uncovered historical artifacts from under downtown

Contractors working on a tunnel for the line from downtown to the University District found a section of about 40 feet of boardwalk about 40 feet underground. It was most likely built in the late 1800s and buried during the Denny regrade between 1905 and 1910.

It was removed Thursday so work can continue.

Paula Johnson with Paragon Research Associates, a curation and cultural resources management firm told the

"It's pretty interesting to think that right as Washington was becoming a state, people were walking on that boardwalk.”

Archeologists working with Sound Transit also have recovered a cap and bottle neck from a bottle of Rainier beer, half of a ceramic cup with a picture of children at play, a silver spoon, 30 individual shoes, and fragments of a newspaper written in Hebrew.