In brief: Police identify shooting suspect
NEW ORLEANS – Police late Monday identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the shooting of about 20 people during a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans, saying several people had identified him as the gunman captured by surveillance camera videos.
Superintendent Ronal Serpas said officers were looking for Akein Scott, of New Orleans. He said it was too early to say whether he was the only shooter.
Earlier, police announced a $10,000 reward and released blurry surveillance camera images, which led to several tips from the community.
Minnesota to pass gay marriage law
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota is set to become the 12th U.S. state where gay couples can get married after a final legislative vote Monday that will let the weddings start Aug. 1.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the bill, and scheduled a ceremony at 5 p.m. today on the front steps of the Capitol in St. Paul to do so.
Minnesota is now the first state in Midwest to legalize gay marriage by legislative vote, and the third nationwide in just 10 days, joining Rhode Island and Delaware. Thousands of gay marriage supporters thronging the Capitol erupted into deafening cheers after the Senate’s 37-30 vote; the House passed it last week on a 75-59 vote.
The gay marriage issue shifted quickly in Minnesota, with the Legislature’s vote coming a little more than six months after voters defeated an amendment that would have banned gay marriage in the state constitution. The groups that led the campaign against the amendment swiftly turned to pushing for legalizing same-sex marriage, an effort aided when Democrats captured full control of state government in November.
Only one Republican senator, Branden Petersen of suburban Andover, voted for the bill. Three Democrats from rural districts voted against it.
Gas plant explosion hurts two workers
POCA, W.Va. – Two workers were injured Monday when highly flammable gas used in welding exploded at a West Virginia industrial site, officials say.
Fire crews were sent at about 3:20 p.m. to Airgas, a distributor of specialty gases in Poca, outside of Charleston. Putnam County Emergency Management Director Frank Chapman said the explosion involved about 50 tanks of acetylene that were at Airgas waiting to be refilled. What caused the tanks to explode wasn’t known.
Chad Jones, a firefighter with the Bancroft Volunteer Fire Department, said four cylinders continued to burn Monday evening and that crews were letting them burn out. They were dousing other tanks with water to keep them from exploding, said Jones, whose station was one of several to respond to the scene.