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In brief: Catholic official placed on leave

Mon., Feb. 21, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – A former top Roman Catholic Church official has been placed on administrative leave following charges of endangering children in connection with sexual abuse by priests.

Parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, in suburban Philadelphia, were informed at weekend Masses that Cardinal Justin Rigali had placed Monsignor William Lynn on leave as of Friday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement Sunday.

Lynn, secretary of the clergy and a top official in the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, was accused earlier this month in a scathing grand jury report of having endangered children by putting two known pedophiles in posts where they had contact with youngsters.

Prosecutors in the city filed felony charges of endangering the welfare of children against the 60-year-old Lynn, who also was named in a civil lawsuit filed last week against the archdiocese.

Lynn could get up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Tom Bergstrom has said that his client, now free on bail, doesn’t concede for a moment that he knew he was putting children at risk.

NYPD helicopter rescues cadets

WEST POINT, N.Y. – A daring New York Police Department helicopter rescue in darkness and dangerous winds safely delivered two West Point cadets from an 18-inch-wide ledge where they were stranded on a cliff 500 feet above the ground.

Authorities said the 20-year-old men were rescued early Sunday from a nearly vertical rock formation after they became trapped for more than eight hours while rappelling down a West Point mountainside.

They said the police helicopter steadied itself against winds above 30 mph as it hovered about 60 to 80 feet above the men. The chopper’s blades were just 20 feet from the rocks.

Aviation unit Capt. James Coan said the men were elated to be rescued at 2 a.m. He said they were treated for hypothermia but were in good condition.

Marine’s call gets mom suspended

WOODBURY, Tenn. – A Tennessee woman was suspended from her job for three days when she answered her cell phone on the job – to take a call from her son, a Marine stationed in Afghanistan.

The business, Crane Interiors, has since apologized and said Teresa Danford will be paid for the work she missed.

Danford told WTVF-TV in Nashville that she knew about the company’s cell phone policy. However, she said she didn’t hesitate to answer the call at work because her son, Lance Cpl. Mark Ryhne, has access to a satellite phone only once a month. She said managers had threatened to fire her if she violated the policy again.


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