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Adoption agency rejects Catholics

Jackson, Miss.

A Christian adoption agency that receives money from Choose Life license plate fees said it does not place children with Roman Catholic couples because their religion conflicts with the agency’s “Statement of Faith.”

Bethany Christian Services stated the policy in a letter to a Jackson couple this month. Another couple said they were rejected for the same reason last year.

“It has been our understanding that Catholicism does not agree with our Statement of Faith,” Bethany’s state director Karen Stewart wrote. “Our practice to not accept applications from Catholics was an effort to be good stewards of an adoptive applicant’s time, money and emotional energy.”

Sandy and Robert Steadman, who learned of Bethany’s decision in a July 8 letter, said their priest told them the faith statement did not conflict with Catholic teaching.

Rock-thrower, 11, charged with felony

Fresno, Calif.

An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock to defend herself as neighborhood boys pelted her with water balloons is being prosecuted on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Maribel Cuevas says she didn’t mean to hurt the 9-year-old boy – who acknowledged to officers that he started the fight in late April. He was released from the hospital after getting his head stitched up.

Maribel already has spent five days in juvenile hall with one half-hour visit from her parents. She then spent 30 days under house arrest, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts and is now due back in court early next month.

“They’re treating her like she’s a violent parole offender,” said her lawyer, Richard Beshwate Jr.

Fearful Marine has cousin shoot him in leg


A young Marine who feared returning to Iraq persuaded his cousin to shoot him in the leg, then told police he was hit by random gang gunfire, authorities said.

The shooting early Saturday was meant to keep 19-year-old Moises Hernandez from going back to Iraq, prosecutors said. He was charged with filing a false police report.

His cousin, Juan Hernandez, 19, was being held Friday on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, prosecutors said. His public defender did not immediately return a call for comment.

Moises Hernandez is back with his unit at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the Marines are investigating the incident. His unit had returned June 5 from a six-month deployment that included a month in Iraq.

Court lets boy sue lead paint factories

Madison, Wis.

A split Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday that a Milwaukee boy can sue manufacturers of a lead paint pigment he claims left him mentally retarded – even though he cannot prove which ones made the pigment that may have sickened him.

It was the first time a state has allowed such a suit against the industry, and a dissenting justice said the ruling and another lead paint case pending before the court could make Wisconsin “the mecca for lead paint lawsuits.”

But the 4-2 majority found manufacturers continued to produce and market the lead paint pigment despite knowledge of its hazards that dated back to at least 1904.


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