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5 stories to follow: Sept. 4

Here's your look at five stories to have on your radar today:

1. Montco gay-marriage case in court: Oral arguments take place today in a lawsuit filed by the Corbett administration's Health Department against Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes over the marriage licenses Hanes has issued to same-sex couples. Hanes has issued 164 such licenses, despite Pennsylvania's law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The state wants Hanes to stop issuing the licenses.

2. School starting: Teachers and parents have many concerns about whether Philadelphia schools will be ready to start classes next week. Teachers returned on Tuesday as the district and the teachers' union continued to negotiate a new contract, but didn't reach an agreement. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is slated to release two new ads today, with one of the commercials attacking Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett. Meanwhile, students attending Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools return to class today.

3. Syria vote: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote today to authorize a military strike against Syria. The debate has put New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the committee's chairman, in the national spotlight.

4. Voter ID forum: The Presidential Commission on Election Administration visits Philadelphia today for the third of four public hearings nationwide on voting issues, with voter ID laws expected to be a big focus. The hearing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the only one scheduled in the Northeast.

5. Ariel Castro found dead: Ariel Castro, the Ohio man who held three women captive in his Cleveland home for nearly a decade, was found dead in jail. Castro, 53, is believed to have committed suicide, officials said early this morning.