Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Maryland governor signs bill legalizing gay marriage

beltsville, md.

gay marriage signed into law in Maryland

Maryland's governor signed into law Thursday a bill to legalize gay marriage, though opponents vowed to rally voters to reverse the change this fall in a referendum. Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature makes Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage. The law takes effect in 2013. Six states and the District of Columbia currently recognize gay marriage. A law legalizing it in Washington state takes effect in June.

washington

St. Croix bridge bill clears Congress

Capping decades of squabbling and legislative maneuvering, the House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that will allow a new St. Croix River bridge to be built connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin. The House voted 339 to 80 in favor of legislation that exempts the proposed $700 million bridge at Stillwater, Minn., under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Senate approved the legislation in January. It now heads to President Barack Obama.

greensboro, n.c.

Edwards trial to begin in April

The delayed campaign finance trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards is scheduled to begin next month. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles ruled Thursday that jury selection will begin April 12, with the presentation of evidence to start April 23. Eagles expects the trial to last about six weeks. Edwards has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of using campaign funds to cover up an affair during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidacy.

manchester, n.h.

Obama urges: End gas, oil subsidies

President Barack Obama, turning his political sights on New Hampshire, demanded that Congress eliminate oil and gas company subsidies that he called an outrageous government "giveaway." Though politically a long shot, the White House thinks the idea resonates at a time of high gasoline prices. Obama has repeatedly called for an end to about $4 billion in annual tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies, which he says are unwarranted at a time of growing profits and rising domestic production.

tehran, iran

Hard-line clerics to gain in election

Under siege from international sanctions and threats of Israeli attack, Iranian leaders are calling for a massive turnout in parliamentary elections today as a rebuke to the country's enemies and an endorsement of its political-religious system. The vote is expected to strengthen the hand of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the hard-line Shiite Muslim clerics who dominate political life here. At stake are all 290 seats in the Majlis, or parliament. Few surprises are expected; reformists have been largely sidelined in a purge after the disputed 2009 presidential election.

Times wires

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Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

MONTREAT, N.C. — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Rev. Billy Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for two days next week. Ryan says he’s inviting members of Congress and the public to pay their respects to the man called "...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:TRUMP ENDORSES RAISING MINIMUM AGE TO 21 FOR MORE WEAPONSPresident Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures today, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

TAMPA — A 54-year-old inmate died Saturday after she became unresponsive at the Falkenburg Road Jail, authorities said.Tammie Castro was alert in the jail infirmary when jail officials called for paramedics at 3:34 a.m. but became unresponsive within...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly a decade after it was first proposed, a new boutique hotel in downtown St. Petersburg is finally under construction.Workers are preparing the foundation of the Galaxy, an 11-story, 92-room hotel at Third Avenue N and First Str...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands this morning beat Wall Street expectations in reporting fourth-quarter net income of $16.4 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Tampa-based restaurant chain group — which in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Note to readers: About those annoying popups on your phones

Note to readers: About those annoying popups on your phones

Dear readers, I hope that you are able to see this and that a popup saying you’ve won a gift card hasn’t taken over your phone. We have heard from many of you that these popups are preventing you from reading our news coverage.We hate them as much as...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Clearwater breaks ground at gas complex

CLEARWATER — The city has broken ground on a $27.5 million Clearwater Gas Building Complex at 400 N Myrtle Ave.The six-building facility will house gas administration, an operations center, sales showroom and warehouse and is expected to be completed...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Spring break kicked off this week with a program offering free rides on the Jolley Trolley between downtown and Clearwater Beach until April 29.The Park N Ride service will pick up riders at two lots downtown every 15 minutes and drop th...
Updated: 1 hour ago