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Bulletproof Vests Offered Paving Crews

Bulletproof vests have been made available to state crews repaving a stretch of Interstate 405 after shots were fired in the vicinity of highway crews last week.

No one was hurt by the gunfire, which occurred three times in three days during the week before the freeway section was closed for the July 16-17 weekend so that workers could repave the surface quickly and less expensively.

Southbound lanes of I-405 were closed Friday night through Monday morning from Bellevue south to Renton. This weekend, northbound lanes in the same area will be closed.

The freeway, which is the main north-south route through the rapidly growing suburban cities east of Seattle, carries 100,000 cars a day.

Bill Southern of the state Department of Transportation said the shots did damage the windshield of one vehicle.

“The employees did ask for (bulletproof vests), we provided them and it’s strictly up to them whether to wear them or not,” Southern said.

The gunfire occurred during the time when news media were notifying the public of the upcoming closure.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating.

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Northwest Passages Book Club: Author J.A. Jance on the art of (re)invention

UPDATED: 9:17 p.m.

Best-selling author J.A. Jance, the latest author to be featured by The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club, is the author of 56 novels, spanning series featuring such characters as Arizona Sheriff Joanna Bradley, Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont, former television anchor turned sleuth Ali Reynolds and Tucson’s Walker family.