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For the next 14 weeks, the Boy Scouts of America will be the focus of prayers, petitions and pressure tactics aimed at swaying a vote on whether to ease its ban on gays as scouts or adult leaders. The decision will be made in late May by the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council. The Scouts' executive board had been expected to rule on the membership policy Wednesday, but instead said more time was needed for deliberations.
NEW YORK (AP) — From delicate purple skirts to thigh-high boots in lizard, New York Fashion Week opened Thursday with an anything goes vibe for fall. The first of eight days of previews included lots of options from Richard Chai and BCBG Max Azria. "The trend is freedom," said Azria, who sent embroidered tunics, fur outerwear and delicate lingerie-style underpinnings down his runway.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has agreed to cut short former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards' court supervision following his release from prison. Edwards was sentenced to three years of supervised release. His supervision lasted about 18 months before U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson agreed Wednesday to end it early. Edwards served eight years in federal prison and six months of home detention after he was convicted in 2000 for his role in a riverboat casino licensing scandal.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of state employees may soon get a raise. State Senators Thursday approved a new contract that includes a 2 percent pay hike. The House, which is also controlled by Democrats, is expected to vote on the contract sometime next week. The new contract covers seven different working groups, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. It will expire June 30.
NEW YORK (AP) — CBS is asking stars not to bare too much skin at the Grammy Awards on Sunday. The network requests that "buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered" for the televised award show. The memo sent out Wednesday also warned against "see-through clothing," exposure of "the genital region" and said that "thong type costumes are problematic." Representatives for CBS and the Recording Academy declined to comment on Thursday. Deadline Hollywood first reported the memo.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Five more members of Gov. Mark Dayton's cabinet have been confirmed, but not without a short fight from Republicans. Several Senate Republicans tried Thursday to delay the confirmation of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. Some conservatives have balked at proposed revisions to state social studies standards they feel overemphasize some negatives about American history, such as slavery and treatment of American Indians.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Illegal immigrants might face around a 10-year wait to become legal permanent U.S. residents under sweeping immigration overhaul legislation taking shape in the Senate, negotiators said Thursday. That's shorter than some current wait times though perhaps longer than some advocates might like.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a former Department of Natural Resources official accused of illegally accessing drivers' license data on thousands of Minnesotans. John A. Hunt of Woodbury is charged with six counts, including misconduct by a public employee and unauthorized computer access. The charges are misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors.
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP) — The parents of a toddler have been charged with child neglect after Maplewood police say they found them highly intoxicated and their house uninhabitable. Police were called to the house by the landlord Monday. Officers say the smell inside was so overwhelming they had trouble breathing. A criminal complaint filed Wednesday says police found garbage, rotting food and dirty diapers strewn about the house.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to rewrite the federal government's principal anti-domestic abuse law with new protections for gays, lesbians, immigrants and Native American women. A vote to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, expected to come late Thursday or Friday, sets up a possible showdown with the House, which last year rejected the Senate's more ambitious approach.