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In brief: Troopers cleared in gull clubbings

SEATTLE – Two Washington State Patrol troopers who killed three nuisance seagulls at the downtown Seattle ferry terminal will not be charged.

The King County prosecutor’s office said the July 15 killings were neither animal cruelty nor illegal hunting.

The troopers hit the young seagulls in the heads with their batons because adult birds had been swooping at ferry employees and passengers.

The prosecutor’s office said Thursday the troopers mistakenly believed they were acting under their authority to kill animals to prevent harm to people. Prosecutors say the troopers should have notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which routinely destroys nests and kills chicks when seagulls become a nuisance at Washington ferry terminals.

Interstate 5 bridge project faltering

PORTLAND – The $4 billion effort to replace the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River is faltering because of political squabbles and lack of money.

Metro Council President David Bragdon said the project is too big after years of planning at a cost of $1 million a month. As now conceived the existing six-lane span would be replaced by a 12-lane bridge equipped for a light rail extension. Also included are overhauls of six interchanges along four miles of the freeway on both sides of the river.

For two years planners and local officials have been talking about financing the new bridge with tolls, but that is strongly opposed in Vancouver, Wash., across the river from Portland. That opposition has loomed large in the mayoral election in Vancouver.

Panel rejects women’s clinic

PASCO – The Pasco Planning Commission recommends denial of a permit for a Planned Parenthood women’s health clinic next to Mark Twain Elementary School.

Planning staff had recommended approving the permit for the clinic, which meets zoning rules.

About 30 opponents attended Thursday’s meeting, some holding signs about their concerns the clinic might promote abortion next to a school.

The Tri-City Herald reports commissioners who voted against the permit were concerned about the potential disruption and threat to public safety from possible anti-abortion protests.

Planned Parenthood has 10 days to appeal the recommendation that goes to the City Council.

Dozens of bikers crash on freeway

WILSONVILLE, Ore. – Oregon State Police said more than two dozen motorcycles, most of them belonging to the Brother Speed motorcycle club, crashed on Interstate 5 Friday afternoon, blocking freeway traffic for hours.

Police said the bikers were behind a car when traffic slowed in the northbound lanes near Wilsonville, south of Portland. They said the bikers and car tried to slow but collided, scattering bikes across the pavement.

The Oregonian in Portland reported that two bikers with critical injuries were flown to Portland hospitals by helicopter. Rescue personnel said seven others were treated for shoulder and hip injuries and broken bones.

The freeway reopened about 6 p.m., nearly four hours after the accident.