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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Ruling rejects part of gay-marriage ban

From Wire Reports

Kansas City, Mo. – A judge struck down part of Missouri’s gay marriage ban for the first time Friday by ordering the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, saying state laws banning the unions single out gay couples “for no logical reason.”

The order means such couples will be eligible to sign up for a wide range of tax, health insurance, veterans and other benefits now afforded to opposite-sex married couples. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who has defended the state’s ban on gay marriage, said his office was reviewing the ruling.

The decision comes in a lawsuit filed by 10 same-sex couples who legally married outside the state.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The ACLU has cases pending against 13 other states with such bans, including five cases currently before federal appeals courts.

Pit-bull mauling leads to murder sentence

Lancaster, Calif. – A pit bull owner whose dogs fatally mauled a woman taking her morning stroll was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder.

The case against Alex Donald Jackson was one of the few where a dog owner has been charged with murder for failing to control pets they knew were dangerous. He will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.

Pamela Devitt, a 63-year-old retiree, was on the home stretch of her daily walk in the high desert town of Littlerock in May 2013 when four of Jackson’s dogs leaped a fence and attacked her in the street.

She was alone, didn’t have a phone and no one was nearby. By the time help arrived, she had been bitten 150 to 200 times from head to toe and an arm was severed. She died from blood loss.

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