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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) Authorities say packages sent to state government buildings 20 miles apart released smoke and odors when they were opened today, but no one was seriously injured. One package was opened this afternoon at the Jeffrey Building on Francis Street in downtown Annapolis and another at the Maryland Department of Transportation building in Hanover.

ROSEDALE, Md. (AP) A Baltimore County fire spokeswoman says a gas main break has prompted the evacuation of two stores in the Golden Ring area. Fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost says no injuries have been reported in connection with the gas main break reported today.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) Authorities say they have no suspects in the slaying of a former Pentagon official whose body was found at a landfill near Wilmington on New Year's Eve. Police say numerous investigators are trying to determine who killed defense consultant John Wheeler of nearby New Castle.

BALTIMORE (AP) First baseman Derrek Lee has signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles, who hope he can provide punch to a lineup that ranked 21st in home runs last season. The 35-year-old free agent had 19 homers and 80 RBIs in 148 games with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves in 2010.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Patti Smith Reveals Her Solitary Soul In The 'M Train'

Smith follows up to her National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids, with another memoir, M Train. Critic Maureen Corrigan says it is a haunting story about weathering life's storms.

California City Orders Restaurants To Use Disposable Plates, Cups

Officials in Fort Bragg also ordered restaurants to serve water to customers only upon request. As part of a stage 3 water emergency, things like washing cars using city water are prohibited, too.

GOP Candidates Criticized For Oregon Shooting Response

Most Republicans are calling for a renewed focus on mental health services, but some of the presidential candidates have been criticized for their word choice in responding.
WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: Lessons From Israel's Search For Water

For this month's Environmental Outlook: Ten years ago, Israel experienced a prolonged drought that forced the country to come up with a strategy to address water scarcity. What its experience could teach an increasingly water-starved planet.

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