WASHINGTON STATE: Governor signs gay marriage law
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Wednesday a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. Washington now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election, joined by couples who plan to wed. The law takes effect Thursday; couples can start picking up wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors' offices. King and Thurston Counties were to open the earliest, at 12:01 a.m. With a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday. Last month, 54 percent of voters approved the state law passed by legislators earlier this year.
IOWA: Girls' bodies found, 5 months later
Hunters discovered two bodies Wednesday believed to be the young cousins who vanished five months ago while riding their bikes, authorities said. The families of Elizabeth Collins, 9, and Lyric Cook, 11, are asking for privacy, Black Hawk County sheriff's Rick Abben said. The cousins were last seen July 13 near a popular recreational lake in Evansdale, 110 miles northeast of Des Moines. Investigators found their bicycles and a pink purse near the lake hours later, but no sign of the girls.
WASHINGTON: Obama meets with Native Americans
President Barack Obama is doing something none of the previous 43 U.S. presidents ever did: He has met with tribal leaders every single year of his term. On Wednesday, the man known as Barack Black Eagle among American Indians met again with 566 leaders from federally recognized tribes from around the United States at his fourth White House Tribal Nations Conference. Obama had pledged yearly visits with tribes when he first ran for president in 2008. That's the year Obama received his Indian name, after being adopted by Hartford and Mary Black Eagle in a traditional Native American ceremony on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Tribal leaders applauded the president's efforts, but many said they'll wait and see whether Obama can deliver on aid promises during a time of budget cutting.