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Abuse claims settled with nine

Wed., March 28, 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque has settled claims with nine people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests, attorneys for the accusers announced Tuesday.

The diocese agreed to pay $2.6 million in cash, to be distributed based on the nature and extent of the abuse and the impact the abuse had on the person’s life, the attorneys said.

The accusers named six priests in the archdiocese. The abuse occurred in separate incidents from the 1940s to the mid-1990s, the attorneys said.

No lawsuits were filed, and the settlement was reached this month through private mediation, attorneys said.


Veterans services head resigns

The head of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services resigned in the wake of an inspection that found shortcomings in care provided by the state’s nursing home for military veterans, Gov. Janet Napolitano said Tuesday.

Napolitano’s announcement that she had accepted the resignation of Patrick F. Chorpenning from his $124,000-a-year post came one day after she removed him from direct responsibility over the facility and ordered an immediate review of the home in Phoenix.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services penalized the state $10,000 on March 16 for substandard care conditions that were found during a routine inspection of the veterans home in February. The federal agency also threatened to pull the state home’s status as a Medicare provider unless conditions improved.

The nursing home provides long-term care to as many as 200 veterans. Most served in World War II or the Korean War.


Senate to vote on funding plan

The Senate could vote as soon as today on a bipartisan plan to extend payments to rural counties hurt by cutbacks in federal logging.

The plan, first announced last week by Senate Democrats, now has support from at least a half-dozen Republican senators, mostly from the West.

It would authorize about $2.8 billion to extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act through 2011. Another $1.9 billion would be directed to rural states through a proposal to fully fund the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, which reimburses state and local governments for federally owned property.

Without the amendment, “small counties in the rural West are just going to fall into the Pacific Ocean,” said Sen. Ron Wyden. D-Ore.


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