Cow carcasses fall on freeway, snarling traffic

SEATTLE — A truck carrying dead animal carcasses lost part of its load on I-5 near N.E. 65th Street on Saturday afternoon, tying up southbound traffic for about two hours.

Washington State Patrol sources said the truck accidentally dropped part of its load, including dead cows, at about 1:17 p.m. It took more than two hours for the roadway to be cleared and cleaned up, and during much of that time, traffic was down to two lanes.

The spill was cleared by 4 p.m., when traffic speeds returned to normal.

State Patrol sources in Snohomish County said the situation didn’t stall traffic into the County, but at times the backups southbound stretched to the Shoreline area.

Former skier pleads innocent to drug charges: A former world-class skier who eluded federal agents for more than two decades has pleaded innocent to charges of attempting to smuggle 37 tons of marijuana into Washington. Michael Lund, 65, pleaded innocent Friday to federal felony charges of conspiracy to distribute drugs, distribution and attempted distribution. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. The charges must be prosecuted under laws in effect in 1978, when the crime was allegedly committed. Prosecutors say that in 1978 the renowned freestyle skier and sailor planned to meet the ship Helena Star, loaded with 37 tons of pot, to shuttle the drugs ashore in his 61-foot yacht, the Joli. At the time, the marijuana was worth as much as $75 million. The Coast Guard intercepted the Helena Star. Lund fled south with a friend and disappeared. U.S. marshals in Seattle tracked him through the use of a telephone calling card to a Colorado hotel, where he was arrested May 15.

Lawmakers approve ecoterrorism bill: The same day arsonists struck a logging company near Estacada, lawmakers unanimously approved the last part of a package of bills intended to curb acts of ecoterrorism. Last month, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law the two main parts of the legislative package, HB2344 and HB2385. They expand Oregon’s racketeering statutes to include crimes against research, livestock and agricultural facilities and make "interference with agricultural research" a new crime.

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