LA priest ministered despite abuse conviction

The Rev. John Anthony Salazar served 11 years as a Roman Catholic priest in Texas despite a conviction for child molestation in Los Angeles. Salazar has been accused of molesting four more teens and young men during his years in the Diocese of Amarillo. Details of his past are contained in a personnel file made public this year after a legal battle with abuse victims that led to the release of 120 similar files. But those records tell only part of the story. On Tuesday, attorneys will argue over the release of records for about 80 priests, like Salazar, who belonged to religious orders that kept their own personnel files on accused clergymen. Continue Reading

Evidence in Molly Bish murder investigation sent to Texas lab

Massachusetts authorities are sending evidence from the Molly Bish murder investigation to a Texas lab for forensic testing, the Telegram and Gazette reported. Bish was 16 in 2000 and working as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in Warren when she disappeared. Her body was found three years later. Investigators have said she was first abducted, then killed. The murder remains unsolved. Continue Reading

First Amendment lesson sparks outrage at Florida school

A Florida teacher has angered parents after having her fourth-grade class write a statement about giving up constitutional rights, Fox 30 News reports. Cheryl Sabb, who teaches at Cedar Hills Elementary in Jacksonville, apparently asked her fourth-grade class to write down what she was saying, including the statement: “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer and more secure,” according to Fox 30. Aaron and Amy Harvey, the parents of one of the students, found the note with that statement, written in crayon, in their son’s backpack. “I don’t believe that any American or American child should be asked to write this,” Aaron Harvey told the First Coast News. Nikolai Vitti, the Duval County public schools superintendent, said in a written statement: “The Justice Teaching activity on constitutional rights that was conducted at Cedar Hills Elementary School is consistent with our efforts to broaden civics-based education and develop critical thinking skills among our students. Continue Reading

Former justice of the peace charged with making threat in Texas DA murders

Authorities investigating the death of a Texas district attorney arrested a former justice of the peace and charged him Saturday with making a “terroristic threat” after searching his home. Eric Williams, 46, was admitted to the Kaufman County Jail early Saturday morning, jail records show. Bond was set at $1 million for the terroristic threat charge and at $1 million each for two charges of insufficient bond. A sheriff’s office spokesman did not immediately return calls Saturday for more information. Officials have not named Williams as a suspect in the March 30 shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, or in the late January death of assistant DA Mark Hasse, who was fatally shot as he was leaving work in Kaufman, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. Continue Reading

As grim fishing year approaches, industry tries to deal with new catch limits

Deep cuts in catch limits will hit New England’s fishing fleet in less than three weeks, and there’s little hint any real relief is coming. But regulators and fishermen are still seeking ways to lessen a blow fishermen warn will finish them off. In recent months, federal regulators have pushed several measures that aim to give fishermen more fish to catch by the May 1 start of the 2013 fishing year. Meanwhile, fishing groups and lawmakers are lobbying for changes that would make year-to-year cuts in the crucial Gulf of Maine cod species less severe. As time grows short, Gloucester’s Al Cottone said he and his fellow fishermen seem to be facing the future in a sort of “state of shock.” Continue Reading

Iran urged to boost nuke safety review after quake

The head of the Gulf states’ main political bloc is urging Iran to join an international accord on nuclear safety following an earthquake near the country’s lone energy-producing reactor. Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, opened a meeting Sunday in Riyadh to discuss nuclear safety issues after last week’s 6.1 magnitude quake about 96 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Bushehr, the site of Iran’s reactor. The quake killed at least 37 people. Iran says there was no damage to the reactor and insists it was built to withstand far stronger quakes. Al-Zayani urged Iran to join the U. N.’s Convention on Nuclear Safety, which allows greater review by the U.N.’s atomic watchdog agency. Continue Reading

1 dead, 18 hurt in Florida Turnpike van crash, police say

The Florida Highway Patrol says one person was killed and at least 18 others were hurt when a driver lost control of a van that rolled several times on the Florida Turnpike. Spokeswoman Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol said the van suffered a tire problem about 7:10 p.m. Saturday in Osceola County and a 46-year-old North Miami woman who was ejected was pronounced dead at the scene. Sgt. Montes said in the statement that survivors were taken to six hospitals by helicopter and ambulances. A Patrol statement said the driver, 42-year-old Willem Camille of Miami, was seriously injured. Continue Reading

One missing after avalanches east of Seattle

Authorities say a snowshoer is missing after a pair of avalanches in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle. Initial reports said as many as three people were missing, but officials now say only one is unaccounted for after the avalanches hit two separate groups. The King County Sheriff’s Office says one avalanche, at Granite Mountain, carried three snowshoers about 1,000 feet. The two men emerged from the snow, but their friend is still missing. At the other site, 13 people were in the area near where the avalanche struck. Continue Reading

5 killed in Idaho house fire after electrical short

An extension cord hooked to an electric grill on a porch shorted out and started a house fire that killed five people Saturday morning, a northern Idaho fire official says. Orofino Fire Chief Mike Lee said the house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived after a neighbor reported the fire at 1:38 a.m.

He said smoke inhalation likely killed the two adults and three teens whose bodies were also badly burned in the blaze. He said the dead were a family of four plus a teenage friend who was sleeping over to help celebrate a birthday. He said he didn’t know the genders of the teens who died. Lee said two of the teens attended the local school that houses 7th through 12th grade, and that one was home schooled. Continue Reading