Vatican declares Colorado boy's recovery a miracle

A Colorado mom whose son became gravely ill as a little boy has always figured his prayer-aided recovery was miraculous, but now the Vatican has made it official. Luke Burgie was just four in 1998, when he developed a severe gastrointestinal condition his doctors couldn’t diagnose, much less cure, according to The Denver Post. For six months, he suffered stomach pain and unrelenting diarrhea and even stopped growing. But the illness went away on Feb. 22, 1999, just as two members of the Sisters of St. Continue Reading

Fifth Time the Charm for American Crystal Sugar Workers

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Union members who have been locked out of American Crystal Sugar plants in Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota for 20 months are heading back to work. Just enough members changed their vote over the weekend to ratify the same contract they had rejected four times before. The union last voted in December when 55 percent of members voted to reject the company’s offer. This time, 55 percent agreed to the offer. Continue Reading

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Train Engine Derails in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a locomotive has derailed in southwest Cedar Rapids.  

No injuries have been reported following Monday morning’s accident. Joshua Sabin is director of administration for Iowa Northern Railway Co., and he says the accident occurred about 4:30 a.m.

Sabin says a company team is still at the accident site, but he’s learned so far that only the locomotive derailed. He says some diesel fuel spilled after the locomotive’s fuel tank was damaged. He didn’t know how many cars the locomotive was pulling. Continue Reading

2 young siblings die after being pulled from Long Island pool

Two young siblings reported missing on New York’s Long Island died Sunday after they were pulled from a neighbor’s pool, police said. Police received a 911 call at about 3:30 p.m. from a mother reporting that her 5-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter disappeared from their home in Central Islip, according to Detective Sgt. Edward Fandrey of the Suffolk County police homicide squad. While searching the neighborhood in 50-degree temperatures, a police officer spotted a shoe floating in a next-door neighbor’s aboveground pool, which was uncovered and contained blackish water, Fandrey said. Officers jumped into the 4-foot-deep pool and discovered the unconscious bodies of Ralph Knowles and Sharon Knowles. Continue Reading

Man jailed as slain DA investigation continues

Authorities investigating the deaths of a North Texas district attorney and his wife appear to have narrowed their focus on a former justice of the peace prosecuted last year by the official for theft. One day after 46-year-old Eric Lyle Williams was arrested on a charge of making a terroristic threat, authorities would not publicly name a suspect or confirm the results of a search of his home in Kaufman County, east of Dallas. No suspects have been named in the deaths of Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, who were found slain in their home March 30. That came two months after one of McLelland’s prosecutors, Mark Hasse, was gunned down near the Kaufman courthouse. Williams was convicted of stealing three computer monitors. Continue Reading

3 charged in sexual abuse case previously cited

Authorities say the three boys arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 15-year-old Northern California girl who later took her own life were initially cited on misdemeanor allegations in the case. Santa Clara County sheriff’s Lt. Jose Cardoza told the San Jose Mercury News ( that the investigation in September turned up only enough evidence to support citations for misdemeanor sexual battery. Deputies arrested three 16-year-old boys last week on suspicion of sexual battery against Audrie Pott, a Saratoga High School sophomore who hanged herself last fall after an explicit photo was circulated of the alleged assault. Cardoza says the boys weren’t taken into custody when they were first cited, and he didn’t know if they had appeared at any juvenile court hearings. Via: Fox News Continue Reading

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