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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago's mayor and the governor of Illinois are among those celebrating the life of gay rights activist Vernita Gray, who died Tuesday at age 65.
   Gray and her partner, Patricia Ewert, wed in the state's first same-sex marriage in November. Her terminal cancer and her wish to marry convinced a federal judge to order an expedited marriage license. That allowed the couple to get married before the June 1 effective date of Illinois' new same-sex marriage law.
   Gray had worked for gay rights for decades.
   Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Gray's work for equality and civil rights in a statement Wednesday, calling her "an inspiration to all who crossed her path."
   Gov. Pat Quinn says Gray "fought for what she believed in and made a difference for people across Illinois."
   KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - An Australian search and rescue official says that planes have been sent to check on two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that were spotted on satellite imagery in the Indian Ocean about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.
 
 
 
 But John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority cautioned Friday against expectations that this may help solve the mystery of the plane that went missing with 239 people on board nearly two weeks ago.
   Young told reporters, "We have been in this business of doing search and rescue and using sat images before and they do not always turn out to be related to the search even if they look good, so we will hold our views on that until they are sited close-up."
   Two metro-east firearms instructors can no longer teach carry-conceal permit classes.  That after some students came forward saying the two instructors at Sparky's Armory in Mascoutah gave as few as two hours of training instead of the required 16 and still issued certificates saying students were ready to get their permits from the state.  
   St. Clair County States Attorney Brendan Kelly says about 100 students received the certificates without actually completing the state mandated training hours.  
   Kelly says the students who paid the instruction fees won't get their state permits, but they will get their money back.  
   Kelly says he doesn't expect any criminal charges, but the two instructors can no longer issue firearms certificates.
 

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