By Mary Wisniewski GARY, Indiana (Reuters) - Struggling U.S. Rust Belt cities for years have tried to counter the loss of manufacturing jobs with big, expensive projects like casinos and stadiums. and Youngstown, Ohio, these projects brought hope and headlines. Now, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and civic leaders of some other blighted cities are going small with strategic, narrowly focused ideas such as selling vacant homes for $1, demolishing derelict buildings and neighborhood clean-up projects that produce immediate results. "Where cities are moving to is a larger more strategic framework." Gary, a struggling city 30 miles south of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan, is a prime example of the trend.
By Treena Shapiro HONOLULU (Reuters) - Hawaii's House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage in the overwhelmingly Democratic state popular as a wedding and honeymoon destination, paving the way for anticipated final passage in the Senate next week. Governor Neil Abercrombie has indicated he would swiftly sign the measure into law, making Hawaii the 15th or 16th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples, depending on when the governor of Illinois signs that state's bill. As currently drafted, the Hawaii bill would take effect on December 2. "This is about a move toward acceptance, tolerance and compassion," Representative Sylvia Luke, chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, said as the House floor debate began hours before the vote.