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Wold, Pacific Northwest news in brief

450 attend Spokane pot event

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — About 450 people attended the Tuesday night forum in Spokane on drafting rules for the sale of recreational marijuana in Washington.

It was the fourth of a series of forums the Liquor Control Board is holding as it prepares to start selling the drug by the end of the year.

The Spokesman-Review reports the crowd was clearly supportive of marijuana sales, although some were concerned about corporate control and advertising.

Customs agent family sues

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — The family of a U.S. Customs Enforcement agent killed in a 2011 ambush on a Mexican highway and another agent who survived filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to hold the government and nearly two-dozen other defendants accountable in the attack.

The federal lawsuit arises from the Feb. 15, 2011, attack on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila. They were attacked in their armored sport-utility vehicle near San Luis Potosi, Mexico, shortly after picking up some equipment from another agent.

Chemical depot to cut jobs

HERMISTON (AP) — The Umatilla Chemical Depot will end 180 jobs Thursday as work continues to close the plant that destroyed more than 1 million pounds of chemical agents and munitions.

The last of six furnaces was shut down Friday.

The East Oregonian reports about 525 employees continue to work at the plant, which is operated by the URS company. Closure work will continue through 2014. It took more than seven years to destroy all the chemical weapons at the depot. Furnaces destroyed rockets, mines, spray tanks and containers.

Senator wants same-sex benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Patrick Leahy want the government to start affording same sex, married couples the same immigration benefits that heterosexual couples now enjoy. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, says he will introduce later Wednesday the Uniting Families Act, a bill that would provide spousal immigration benefits to same sex couples. Leahy discussed the bill briefly during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform.

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