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NEW JERSEY: Guv's copter rides criticized

Criticism started coming in like fastballs Wednesday over Gov. Chris Christie's use of a state helicopter for him and his wife to go to their son's high school baseball game. Christie, who has been courted to run for president because of his get-tough approach to state spending, and wife Mary Pat arrived for the game Tuesday night between Delbarton High School and St. Joseph's of Montvale in Montvale. Flanked by state troopers, they watched from the stands until the fifth inning. Play was stopped briefly while the helicopter took off again. Andrew Christie is the catcher for Delbarton, a private Catholic prep school. His father played the same position in high school. A Christie spokesman said there was nothing inappropriate or illegal about the use of the helicopter. Said Assemb. Paul Moriarty (D-Turnersville): "Gov. Christie must learn that taxpayers cannot afford his helicopter joy rides."

ILLINOIS: Couples join in civil unions

For being first in line, Sarah Baldwin and Heather Sowell got applause and smiles from the clerk in Belleville. In Chicago, hundreds of miles away, Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins won a stay at a historic hotel and a cheesecake for every one of their anniversaries. The couples were among scores of same-sex partners who began celebrating before dawn Wednesday as they lined up to apply for civil union licenses under a new Illinois law that recognizes them as couples for the first time. The law, Quinn said, makes Illinois "a place of tolerance and welcoming to all."

CALIFORNIA: 'Octomom' doc loses license

The state medical board has revoked the license of the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who helped "Octomom" Nadya Suleman become the mother of 14 children through in vitro treatments, it was disclosed Wednesday. The board said it was necessary to revoke Dr. Michael Kamrava's license to protect the public. He has acknowledged implanting 12 embryos into Suleman, then 33, before the pregnancy that produced octuplets, six times the norm for one her age.


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