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Regional Recap, February 24, 2011

Desmond Tutu’s Daughter Motivates Area Teens.  The daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu spent time in Maryland on Wednesday to help celebrate black history month.Nontombi Naomi Tutu spent the morning speaking with hundreds of Annapolis area middle and high school students. She’s making a name for herself by touring the country motivating young people to embrace their gifts and accept life’s many challenges.Tutu was welcomed to Annapolis High School with a taste of music from her native land, but it didn’t take long for students to realize that her message had a global appeal.”When you leave here, I want you to think about what it is you bring to the world,” she challenged students. (See Eye On Annapolis coverage yesterday)

MD Senate Moves Closer To Approving Gay Marriage. Maryland senators are inching closer to approving gay marriage in the state after tweaking the measure a bit. State senators voted 25-22 Wednesday to advance the measure to a final vote, which could come as soon as Thursday. In the process, lawmakers added further protections for religious groups to exempt them from having to provide educational services or insurance coverage for gay couples.Senators also changed the official name of the bill, stripping the words “Religious Freedom” from the title to make it the “Civil Marriage Protection Act.”

17 Police Officers Charged With Extortion. Seventeen Baltimore Police Department officers and two brothers who own a car repair shop have been charged with conspiring to commit extortion.The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the charges are in connection with a scheme in which the owners of a Rosedale repair shop called Majestic paid police officers to arrange for their company, rather than a city-authorized company, to tow vehicles from accident scenes and make repairs.”The criminal complaint alleges that the officers were secretly working for a private auto repair business when they were supposed to be working for the police department and the citizens of Baltimore,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Powerball Jackpot Surpasses $150 Million. The Powerball jackpot is at $155 million for Wednesday night’s drawing. Eight Marylanders have won the second-tier $200,000 prize since Powerball arrived in Maryland last year, but the state is still looking for its first jackpot winner.Powerball drawings air on WBAL-TV 11 at 11:22 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday.

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