published Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Mail collection boxes to be blocked for marathon

NASHVILLE — Access will be blocked to all mail collection boxes along the route of the St. Jude Country Music Marathon this weekend out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday.

The move is a security measure after two bombs exploded at the finish line at last week’s Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

“There is no increased threat level whatsoever,” Susan Wright, a spokeswoman for the postal service, said. “It is strictly a precautionary measure.” Wright said police had asked the postal service to block access to the mail collection boxes along the route of Saturday’s marathon and half marathon, which draw roughly 30,000 runners to Nashville.

Wright said the collection boxes would be locked Friday and Saturday so customers could not open them, but there would be signs directing people to the nearest mail drop-off.

Hundreds of law enforcement and security personnel are expected to be present along the route, and police say they have planned for every contingency. The FBI has said there are no known security threats, but law enforcement will be vigilant after the bombings last week.

Police and federal and state prosecutors warn that any threats or hoaxes on social media are a potential violation of the law and pranksters could be charged.

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