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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

Maryland governor signs bill legalizing gay marriage 03/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 10:47pm]
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  1. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle

    K12

    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  2. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  5. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum

    K12

    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]