State’s highest court refuses to stay ruling

The Arkansas Supreme Court refused Wednesday to put on hold a ruling that overturned the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, but the short-lived ability for same-sex couples to wed in the state still came to a halt amid confusion about what comes next.

Last Friday, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza threw out a 10-year-old ban that voters placed in the state constitution and a separate state law barring same-sex marriages. But he didn’t rule on a third law that regulates the conduct of county clerks, who can be fined if they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Clerks in five counties responded to Piazza’s decision by starting to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and more than 450 gay couples in Arkansas have since received a license to marry. Two counties continued to issue licenses on Wednesday but stopped after the Supreme Court’s ruling. Couples with licenses can still get married.

— Associated Press

Wis. girl dies before marijuana law she inspired comes into effect: Lydia Schaeffer, the 7-year-old girl with a rare genetic disorder whose plight inspired lawmakers to legalize a marijuana extract to treat her condition despite their opposition to medical marijuana, has died. Lydia’s mother, Sally Schaeffer, had been lobbying the state legislature to legalize the drug, an experimental extract from cannabis plants known as Charlotte’s Web, for use on children with seizure disorders. The lawmakers moved to pass the law in record time and Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the bill in April. But Lydia, who died in her sleep on Mother’s Day, never got a chance to try the treatment because the law’s implementation was still being worked out.

Calif. homeowners flee as wildfire approaches: Thousands of people fled their homes ahead of an aggressive wildfire that destroyed several houses in the city of Carlsbad as a heat wave gripped Southern California. The blaze was one of several wildfires that firefighters in San Diego County were battling. Another wildfire further north forced the evacuation of residents in military housing at Camp Pendleton.

Boy survives 11-story fall: A young boy who survived an 11-story fall from a Minneapolis high-rise has been dubbed “the miracle baby” and was recovering in a hospital Wednesday. Fifteen-month-old Musa Dayib suffered a broken spine and ribs, a concussion and a punctured lung. His relatives believe he slipped through the railing of his family’s apartment balcony Sunday. A hospital official said he landed on a small patch of mulch.

— From news services