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Spokane’s Bloomsday Race Tightening Security + More Briefs in Your Northwest News Roundup

Bloomsday coming May 5th in Spokane
(Courtesy Bloomsday Road Runners Spokane Facebook page)

Bloomsday Officials Checking Security in Spokane Prior to Big Race

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Organizers of the annual Bloomsday road race say they are reviewing their security in light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The Bloomsday race on May 5 is expected to draw more than 50,000 runners through the streets of Spokane, and is one of the largest races in the country.

Race director Don Kardong said Tuesday that organizers work with local and federal law enforcement agencies on security issues, and will be reviewing their plans. Kardong says they will make whatever changes are necessary to ensure a safe experience for runners and spectators.

Kardong says Bloomsday officials are heartbroken over the bombings.

In addition, Spokane police chief Frank Straub has said there will be a heightened police presence during the Bloomsday run.

WA State House Approves New Transportation Budget

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state House has approved a transportation budget that would allocate $8.4 billion over the next two years.

Under the proposal passed Tuesday, the money would go toward maintenance and preservation of infrastructure and toward existing big-ticket projects like the State Route 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington and the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel replacement.

The vote was 68-28, with all but one Democrat voting in favor and Republicans split. The proposal heads next to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Judy Clibborn of Mercer Island is the chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee. She also unveiled Tuesday a scaled-back transportation revenue package that would augment the budget proposal. Relying largely on a 10-cent hike in the gas tax, it would bring in an added $8.4 billion over 12 years.

WA Department of Licensing Issuing Fake ID’s for CIA Agents

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington Department of Licensing program that supplied fake licenses for undercover officers issued the most fake IDs to the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Department.

The numbers were discovered by the Kitsap Sun through a public records request.

Last month the department showed the paper and public radio’s Northwest News Network a list of agencies issued confidential licenses since 2007. The CIA topped the list with 288, followed by the Defense Department with 198, then followed mostly by police agencies in the state.

When the department released the list Friday by email it lumped together all federal law enforcement agencies without naming them, saying it’s classified information.

The state Legislature is drafting legislation to create standards and procedures for issuing fake identifications. The practice had been secret.

Oregon Men Hurt in Homemade Bomb Explosion Still in Serious Condition

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Authorities hope two Eastern Oregon men hurt by a homemade bomb can answer some questions eventually — such as what they were up to and why they were so close to the blast.

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe tells the Ontario Argus Observer the men were flown to hospitals, one in Boise, Idaho, the other in Portland.

Their injuries were initially described as life-threatening, but no further information was available. The two have an Ontario house and were described as aged 59 and 60.

The bomb went off Sunday three miles from an irrigation reservoir west of Ontario.

Wolfe says investigators found one undetonated device, as well as a few more that had been exploded.

He says the devices included plastic pipe, garden hose and cardboard tubes.

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