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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Same-sex marriages will stand in Florida

From Wire Reports

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to block gay marriages in Florida, the latest of about three dozen states allowing same-sex weddings.

In a one-paragraph order, the court decided to not step into the Florida case. A federal judge previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5.

EPA will regulate toxic coal waste

WASHINGTON – Six years after a catastrophic coal ash spill in Tennessee washed away homes and polluted rivers, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday announced the first federal regulations for the toxic wastes created by coal burned to produce electricity.

For the first time, the EPA will regulate the storage and disposal of the estimated 140 million tons of coal produced by utilities every year.

Among the EPA regulations is a requirement that utilities close coal ash ponds that are found to be polluting groundwater or waterways, or are considered structurally unsound. The EPA will also increase monitoring of coal ash dust released into the air.

Suspect’s parents plead for son’s life

DENVER – The parents of shooting suspect James Holmes on Friday pleaded that their son be spared the death penalty in a deadly rampage in a suburban Denver movie theater that shocked the nation two years ago.

In a letter to the Denver Post, Robert and Arlene Holmes said: “We wish the tragic events of July 20, 2012 never happened.

“He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness,” they wrote.

Holmes is accused of purchasing a ticket to a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” then leaving and returning wearing tactical gear. He opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, a semiautomatic rifle and a Glock handgun.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the attack.

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