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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) The Maryland Senate has approved a measure banning people from reading text messages while they are driving. The Senate passed the bill last night. The House of Delegates approved a similar bill last week.

TIMONIUM, Md. (AP) Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger says he plans to introduce legislation to prevent protests during military funerals. The Baltimore County congressman says the bill is in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that funeral protests are permitted under the First Amendment.

SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) Fire officials say an electrical malfunction caused a blaze in a three-story house in Sykesville. The fire was reported yesterday morning. About 75 firefighters battled the blaze for 45 minutes before it was brought under control. Damage was estimated at $50,000.

BELCAMP, Md. (AP) One of the world's biggest gas-mask makers is opening a research-and-development center in Belcamp, near the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground. Avon Protection Systems says Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland is among those speaking at the grand opening today.

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

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