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Boston to ease ban on gays in parade

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston is easing its two-decade ban on gay organizations under a tentative deal to allow them to march in an event that once went to the Supreme Court to keep gays out, a marriage equality group said Saturday.

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini said a group of gay military veterans can march under its banner as part of a tentative deal with parade organizers brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. Marchers from the gay-rights group would not, however, be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that refer to sexual orientation, Coredini said.

Negotiators will work out final details in the coming week, she said.

“But, we are encouraged this conversation is happening. That is a significant step forward,” Coredini told The Associated Press.

Leader says statue’s desecration trivial

The man who integrated the University of Mississippi in 1962 says the recent desecration of a statue of him should not deter black students from attending Ole Miss.

James Meredith says it was “foolish” for anyone to leave a noose and an old Georgia state flag with a prominent Confederate emblem on the statue. The items were found Feb. 16 on the Oxford campus. Three freshmen from Georgia have been kicked out of their fraternity and could face university punishment.

WDAM-TV reports Meredith spoke Friday at a black history program in Lumberton, Miss. He said: “Teenagers have been committing pranks and doing foolish things forever, and blacks will be out of their minds if they were planning on going to Ole Miss and let this distraction turn them away.”

1 dead, 30 injured in huge Denver pileup

Authorities say one person was killed and 30 others were injured in a giant pileup on Interstate 25 as a band of heavy snow moved through south Denver.

Police say 104 vehicles were involved in crashes along a roughly 2-mile stretch of highway on Saturday morning, and the northbound lanes were closed for hours. The interstate has since reopened.

The Denver Post reports the snow had stopped by noon, but heavy snow had fallen for about 40 minutes starting at 10:30 a.m. The National Weather Service says it’s part of the storm moving across the West.

The Colorado Transportation Department closed the westbound lanes of a section of Interstate 70 west of Denver.

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