National Briefs: Disney to cut Scout funding

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LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Company will cut funding to the Boy Scouts of America beginning in 2015 because of a policy that bans gay adult leaders in the organization.

The Boy Scouts organization is "disappointed" by the decision, which will affect the organization's ability to serve children, Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesman, said in a statement Sunday. Disney does not provide direct funding to the Boy Scouts, but it donates money to some troops in exchange for volunteer hours completed by Disney employees, he said.

David Jefferson, chief spokesman for The Walt Disney Company, did not respond to calls or emails.

Disney's decision came to light after the president of a local Boy Scout council based in Orlando, Fla., where Disney World is based, sent a memo alerting local troops to the decision.

Governor waffles on pot

SAN FRANCISCO -- California Gov. Jerry Brown said he is not sure legalizing marijuana is a good idea in his state because the country could lose its competitive edge if too many people are getting stoned.

If pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation's most populous state, Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said he worries it could have negative ripple effects.

"The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes," he said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?"

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

Storm evacuations end

LOS ANGELES -- Residents in three California foothill communities headed home Sunday after a powerful storm that threatened to unleash mud on neighborhoods beneath unstable hills scarred by recent wildfires.

With the storm reduced to sprinkles, residents in the Los Angeles County cities of Glendora and Azusa were allowed back into their homes. Monrovia residents were allowed back late Saturday, officials said.

The storm -- the largest since 2010 -- kept emergency planners and rescue crews busy, but it didn't produce enough rain to pull California out of a crippling drought that has grown to crisis proportions for the state's vast farming industry.

Parade breakthrough?

BOSTON -- South Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade, the second-largest in the country after New York City's, could be on the verge of a historic breakthrough -- the participation of a gay advocacy group that had been banned from the parade for two decades.

Details were still being worked out over the weekend, but Mayor Martin Walsh, who had threatened to boycott the parade if gay groups were excluded, said in a statement Saturday that he was "optimistic that a solution can be reached." And Philip Wuschke Jr., the parade's organizer, said in an interview, "It will happen."

But the gay advocacy group, MassEquality, was balking at a provision in the terms of a tentative deal. The organizers had said that the gay group could march under its organization's banner, but only if its members did not wear T-shirts or carry placards that identified their sexual orientation.

MassEquality said in a statement that it would participate only if lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people could march openly.


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