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President Obama on statehood for DC: 'I'm for it'

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he supports statehood for the nation's capital.

Obama was asked Monday about the prospect of the District of Columbia becoming the 51st state during a town hall at a city school.

The president said, "I'm for it," adding that he has been "for quite some time."

Obama added that: "The politics of it end up being difficult to get through Congress, but I think it's absolutely the right thing to do."

Obama has previously spoken in favor of giving the District voting representation in Congress, and the White House has consistently supported giving the local government full control of the city's budget and laws.

Following his re-election in 2012, Obama added District license plates with the phrase "Taxation Without Representation" to his official vehicles.


Md. governor, faith leaders meet on immigration

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is meeting with Maryland faith leaders to discuss how to help unaccompanied immigrant children who have been coming across the border from Central America.

O'Malley held a meeting on Monday in Annapolis with dozens of representatives from religious groups.

Nina Smith, an O'Malley spokeswoman, says they are discussing possible partnerships the state could form with them to help the children.

Smith also says the state wants to work constructively with federal officials to safely and securely house the children until they can be reunited with their families.


New Va. mental health panel has first meeting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are promising a top-to-bottom review of the state's mental health system with the goal of making it a model for the rest of the country.

A new mental health reform panel met for the first time Monday in Richmond.

The panel elected state Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, as its chairman. Deeds has made improving the state's mental health system his top priority following his mentally ill son's suicide last year. Gus Deeds stabbed his father then killed himself hours after he was released from emergency custody because mental health officials could not find an available psychiatric bed in the time allotted by law.

Sen. Deeds said Monday the panel has a broad mandate to recommend and help implement improvements to the state's mental health system.


Advisory firm CEB to keep its HQ in Arlington, Va.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Corporate advisory firm CEB is keeping its global headquarters in Rosslyn, and expects to add 800 new jobs in coming years.

State and local officials announced Monday that CEB, formerly known as the Corporate Executive Board, is moving to a new location in Rosslyn after conducting a multi-state search for a new headquarters.

State officials approved $9.5 million in grants to secure the deal, contingent on the company meeting requirements for creating high-paying jobs. Suzanne Clark, spokeswoman for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said the average annual salary of the new jobs anticipated in this deal is $122,000.

The county is providing $4.5 million in infrastructure improvements.

CEB currently employs about 1,400 in Arlington, and expects to grow to about 2,200.

The move is projected to occur in 2018.


Judge: Students, staff can oppose Corcoran Gallery

WASHINGTON (AP) - A District of Columbia judge has ruled that seven current students and two current faculty and staff members have the right to intervene and argue against the proposed merger of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its college.

Judge Robert Okun ruled Monday that the group could possibly be harmed by the merger and can present arguments on the Corcoran's future. Okun ruled against the allowing the larger group Save the Corcoran from intervening in this case.

The Corcoran's board is seeking to merge the museum and its college with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art after years of financial shortfalls and daunting renovation needs.

The group Save the Corcoran wants to stop the merger, saying the Corcoran has been badly mismanaged and could survive as an independent museum with better fundraising and management.


Man exonerated in DC rape and slaying

WASHINGTON (AP) - A District of Columbia judge has declared that a 50-year-old man is innocent of a 1982 rape and slaying that put him in prison for 25 years.

Kevin Martin was issued a certificate of actual innocence on Monday following a more than 12-year effort to clear his name.

Martin entered an Alford plea in 1984 to one count of manslaughter while armed in the rape and killing of 19-year-old Ursula Brown. That's a form of guilty plea in which a defendant does not admit wrongdoing but agrees the government has enough evidence for a conviction. He also pleaded guilty to two armed robberies in which he admitted his involvement.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says DNA evidence later revealed that Brown was the victim of a serial rapist.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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