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Two college students drown in Illinois

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Two college students from the Chicago-area drowned early Saturday morning after their car was driven into a Southern Illinois lake, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Marielle A. Carson, 20, of Chicago, and Latisha A.P. Ray, 21, Carbondale, IL, were both declared dead on the scene after the vehicle in which they were riding was pulled from Cedar Lake about 7 a.m. Saturday, according to a press release from Jackson County Coroner Thomas Kupferer the Tribune said.

The press release said the two were attending college in the area - John A. Logan College in Carterville and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, according to the Tribune.

According to the release, Carbondale police received a 911 call about 3:18 a.m. Friday reporting that a car with 5 occupants and driven by Carson had been submerged in Cedar Lake after driving off a boat launch area, the Tribune said. Three passengers, a male and two females, had escaped from the vehicle before it was fully underwater, but the two individuals in the front seat hadn't been able to get out and may have drowned, according to the Tribune.

Carbondale police, the Jackson County Ambulance Service and the Carbondale Fire Department responded and a dive team from Union County was called in as well, the Tribune said. The vehicle was found about 7 a.m. and was removed from the lake. Carson and Ray were still inside, the release said according to the Tribune.

The Tribune said the coroner's preliminary report is that the two drowned and toxicology reports are pending.

To Mitt Romney, the economy is in a shambles. To fellow Republican Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, it is a glowing success according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to the Tribune, Romney and Walker offered clashing portraits of the economy at a Waukesha County GOP dinner on Saturday.

Walker is facing a June recall vote which was sparked by his fight with unions of government workers. In his speech, he described himself as a governor whose fiscal restraint has turned Wisconsin's economy around, according to the Tribune.

Moments later, Romney stepped onto the same stage and gave a more bleak description of America's economy, the Tribune said.

The Tribune said Romney acknowledged the nation's recent job gains, but told the crowd to keep in mind that Obama's main economic stimulus measure "expired three years ago," which was incorrect.

According to the Tribune, Wisconsin's unemployment rate is 6.9% which is down from its 9.2% peak in January 2010 and below the 8.3% national rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although Wisconsin's recovery has been uneven, with a slight drop in private-sector jobs since Walker took office in January 2011 according to the Tribune.

According to the Tribune, the nation lost nearly 4.5 million during the year before Obama's inauguration, and an additional 4.3 million during Obama's first year in office. Since February 2010, the country has regained 3.5 million jobs.

Military investigators suspect that the American soldier charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other charges in connection with the attacks against Afghan civilians this month committed the shootings during two separate operations, a United States official said Saturday according to the New York Times.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation, said that the investigators believed that the soldier, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left his Afghanistan base and carried out the first set of killings, returned to the combat outpost and then, sometime later that evening, went out and attacked a second village the New York Times said.

The Times said the official said this account emerged from a range of interviews that Army investigators had conducted over the last several days as they tried to piece together what happened that night and why.

The series of events, he said, seems to support the United States government's assertion that the killings were carried out by one person, according to the Times.

Sergeant Bales, 38, was formally charged on Friday with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 6 counts of assault and attempted murder in connection with the March 13 attacks the Times said.

340-ton rock artwork reaches Los Angeles

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A block-long transporter carrying a 340-ton, 21-foot-high boulder wrapped in white plastic arrived in Los Angeles early Saturday morning, according to the New York Times.

The L.A. Times said the abstract installation, "Levitated Mass," was created by the Nevada artist Michael Heizer who is famously reclusive.

The rock is just a rock that broke from cooled magma that percolated beneath what is now North America about 100 million years ago, according to the L.A. Times.

The 11 day journey of the installation took seven months longer than originally planned and followed a route through four counties and 22 cities, according to the New York Times.

Lava flow has destroyed the last home in a vast but sparsely populated neighborhood in the Big Island's Puna district, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday, according to the Washington Post.

The Post said the neighborhood's last remaining resident, Jack Thompson, left his home about an hour before lava raced down the hill and burned his house to the ground Friday, the newspaper reported.

The destruction of Thompson's home comes after many years of lava flows from the Kilauea volcano, according to the Post.

Over the years, the lava has destroyed other homes and cut off roads to the neighborhood, the Post said. Thompson said his last neighbor's house was destroyed in 2008.

According to the Post, the volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983, but Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists warned many weeks ago that the lava was becoming more active.

A mayoral candidate in a New Mexico town claimed that he was set up by a rival when a woman started dancing topless in his office, according to the Washington Post.

Hernandez said, it all started after a Mexican national offered to help with his campaign. During a meeting, Hernandez said, the man turned on some music and said the woman who was with him liked to dance, which turned sexual, but there was no sex involved. All the while, Hernandez says, he was unknowingly being taped.

Opponents say the married candidate is just trying to cover up being caught in an uncompromising position.

City Council candidate Ernesto Marquez said he saw a video of the encounter after a flash drive was dropped off at an election booth in the parking lot of City Hall. No one knows who placed the flash drive in the booth, according to the Miami Herald.

An Arizona sheriff stepped down as co-chairman of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign on Saturday after being accused of threatening a former lover with deportation if he ever spoke of their relationship, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County has made headlines for his tough stance on illegal immigration, and was also running for Congress in Arizona's Fourth District.

According to the New York Times, the allegations were reported in the Pheonix New Times on Thursday. A 34-year-old Mexican man identified as "Jose" said that when he refused to sign an agreement saying that he would never mention his relationship with Babebu, the sheriff and his lawyer tried to intimidate him with threats of deportation.

Babeu admitted to having a personal relationship with "Jose" in a press conference on
Saturday, but denied ever threatening him. Babeu also said, "all of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay."

Babeu came to statewide prominence in 2010 when he appeared in a campaign ad for U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona calling for tougher immigration measures.

Washington state moves closer to legalizing gay marriage

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Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage on Wednesday, poising it to become the seventh state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to the Washington Post.

The New York Times said that Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire promised to sign it, and is expected to do so next week. However, it is not likely to take immediate effect.

If opponents gather 120,000 signatures, the measure will be put to a public referendum before it can be enacted, according to the Times. Otherwise, the proposal would take effect 90 days after the session ends next month.

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