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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: U.S. Capitol locked down following suicide

From Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.

The man died after shooting himself on the west front of the Capitol building just after 1 p.m., Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said. No one else was hurt.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the man had a backpack and a rolling suitcase, triggering an hours-long lockdown, and a sign that said something about “social justice.”

Obamas’ tax returns released

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid more than $93,000 in federal taxes last year on an adjusted gross income of more than $477,000. Their effective tax rate was 19.6 percent.

The Obamas lowered their 2014 tax bill by claiming nearly $160,000 in itemized deductions, including $70,712 in donations to 33 different charities. Altogether, they donated nearly 15 percent of their income, according to tax returns released Friday by the White House.

The largest was a $22,012 donation to the Fisher House Foundation, which supports military families.

The 38-page document, which includes the couple’s Illinois state income tax return, shows the president made nearly $395,000 in wages. The couple also reported making $94,889 from the sale of Obama’s best-selling books.

The couple reported paying $22,640 in state income tax.

More HIV cases emerge in Indiana

AUSTIN, Indiana – Health officials say more than 100 people in southeastern Indiana have tested positive for HIV, an expansion of an outbreak that caused the state to declare a health emergency last month.

Health officials had said they expected the number of HIV cases in Scott County, about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, to rise ever since they discovered the problem. The spread of the virus, which causes AIDS, has been linked to the use of contaminated syringes and the painkiller Opana in the area.

Almost all of the confirmed HIV cases have been from Austin, a rural city of about 4,200 people.

“The fact that we now have more than 100 cases of HIV related to this outbreak speaks to the urgent need to raise awareness about injection drug use and its connection to HIV,” state Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said in a statement.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence authorized a short-term needle exchange last month to fight the spread of HIV, an exception to the state’s conservative anti-drug policy barring programs that allow intravenous drug users to trade used needles for clean ones.

The needle-exchange program, which is only for Scott County residents, gives participants enough needles for one week based on reported drug use.

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