June 20, 2008
Mount Vernon Middle School teacher John Freshwater preached his Christian beliefs despite complaints by other teachers and administrators. He even went as far as to use a device to burn the image of a cross on students’ arms, according to the report filed by independent investigators, consulting firm H.R. On Call Inc. He taught creationism in his science class and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible and other religious materials from his classroom, the report said.
School board members were scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss the findings by the investigators, hired by the district to investigate. The report was released Thursday.
The report comes one week after a family filed a federal lawsuit in Columbus against Freshwater and the school district. The lawsuit claims Freshwater burned a cross on their child’s arm that remained for approximately four weeks using a tool known as a high-frequency generator.
Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the school district for 21 years, as a great guy. The district’s director of teaching and learning, Lynda Westontold investigators that she had been dealing with complaints about Freshwater for much of her 11-year tenure at the district
Other findings show that Freshwater taught that carbon dating was unreliable to argue against evolution.
June 14, 2008
Police in southern Italy report that a family kept a woman locked in a room in their house for 18 years because they were angry she was pregnant out of wedlock.
The woman, now 47, was freed by police after receiving an anonymous tip on Friday in Santa Maria Capua Vetere and was taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation and care. The brother and sister of the woman were both arrested, while the 80-year old mother on house arrest.
Italian TV showed the room with a bed, chair, filthy toilet and sink.
Police said the woman’s child was living with relatives and didn’t know about his mother and is now 17-years old.
May 30, 2008
The Vatican announced Thursday (via a general decree) that it will excommunicate anyone who attempts to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself, effective immediately. The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.
Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, who was ordained two years ago, did not find it compelling, threatening, or persuasive. “We have come not to take that too seriously,” said Nicolosi, a priest who is a married mother and grandmother living in Red Wing, Minnesota. Her group is composed of 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom are recognized by the church hierarchy. “It’s one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don’t know when they will be ready to let go of that.”
Even if she is excommunicated, she will continue her work as a volunteer in a nursing home who celebrates mass in small groups , she said. She is predicting that the church’s resistance will backfire. “This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we’re getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous,” she said.
May 21, 2008
As previously reported by iNPLACENEWS, Wayne Bent aka Michael Travesser, the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church in New Mexico, was arrested for suspected sex crimes against underage girls in his cult. Now, he had been indicted on two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This indictment differs from when he was initially charged in magistrate court with crimes against three girls who previously lived on the church’s compound in a remote area near the Colorado line.
District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he made the decision to pursue indictments in district court to avoid an open preliminary hearing in magistrate court in which the girls could have been subjected to cross-examination by the defense attorney.
The original story can be found here
The follow-up to the original can be found here
May 6, 2008
New Mexico state police say they’ve arrested the leader of an apocalyptic church Wayne Bent on sex charges. Also known as Michael Travesser, 66-year-old Wayne Bent was picked up without incident Tuesday at the remote former ranch where he and his followers live, as reported by State police spokesman Peter Olson.The “Messiah” is now facing three charges of criminal sexual contact, stemming from allegations of inappropriate contact between Bent and children at the northeastern New Mexico compound.
Bent has admitted to having sex with his followers.
Officials recently removed two girls and a boy from the compound.
iNPLACENEWS originally posted a story about this here