Mary's Feed
May 8, 2015

U.S. appeals court overturns sabotage conviction against nun

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A U.S. appellate court on Friday overturned
sabotage convictions against an elderly nun and two other peace
activists for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear defense facility
in 2012.

Megan Rice, 85, was sentenced to three years for the
break-in at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, an
incident that embarrassed U.S. officials and prompted security

May 5, 2015

Chicago asks school teachers to take 7 percent pay cut: union

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three years after a public school strike, Chicago teacher contract talks are off to a rocky start, with the debt-burdened district demanding a 7 percent pay cut, union officials said on Tuesday.

The Chicago Teachers Union said in a statement it was “highly insulted” by the district’s demands, which include increases in health insurance premiums. The current contract expires on June 30.

May 1, 2015

Missouri lawyer said former hospital may have stolen black babies

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A lawyer for a long-separated mother and daughter said on Friday he is investigating whether staff at a now-closed St. Louis hospital may have taken babies from impoverished young black women to put them up for adoption.

Melanie Gilmore was reunited with her mother, gospel singer Zella Jackson Price, after 49 years in March in an emotional video that has been seen by almost 300,000 people on YouTube. Price was told by a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis in 1965 that her baby had died, said family attorney Albert Watkins.

Apr 29, 2015

Illinois teen admits to stealing guns to sell in Ferguson, Missouri

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A southern Illinois teen pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal firearms charges in a plot to sell guns and loot businesses in Ferguson, Missouri, which had been the site of sometimes violent protests over a fatal police shooting.

Dakota Moss, 19, of Centralia, admitted in federal court to burglarizing a farm and home supply store and stealing 39 guns in November of last year. Moss and a juvenile accomplice stole the guns in order to sell them in Ferguson, prosecutors said.

Apr 29, 2015

Former Illinois Gov. Daniel Walker dies, 92

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former Illinois Governor Daniel Walker, a Democrat who walked across the state talking to voters before his 1972 election and later went to prison for bank fraud, has died at the age of 92, the state’s current governor said on Wednesday.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, expressed his condolences to Walker’s family and friends in a statement, saying he and his wife Diana were “saddened” to hear of Walker’s passing.

Apr 22, 2015

One dead, 23 others sick from suspected botulism at Ohio church

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A woman has died and 23 others were sickened by a suspected botulism outbreak after a potluck lunch at an Ohio church, health officials said on Wednesday.

Fifty to 60 people attended the Sunday lunch at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, about 30 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, said Jennifer Valentine, a spokeswoman for the Fairfield Department of Health. Most began getting sick on Tuesday, Valentine said.

Apr 20, 2015

Chicago prosecutor seeks to lessen marijuana penalties

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Cook County State’s Attorney in Chicago plans to change how it handles low-level drug offenses, which will include the dismissal of future misdemeanor marijuana cases, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Misdemeanor marijuana cases for possession of small amounts of the drug, which totaled 15,000 cases last year, will be dismissed for those with less than three arrests or citations, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Apr 17, 2015

Chicago schools chief takes leave amid federal probe

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a leave of absence pending the outcome of a federal probe into a contract the district awarded to a company that had previously employed her, officials said on Friday.

“In light of the ongoing federal investigation and its impact on her ability to effectively lead Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a leave of absence from Chicago Public Schools effective immediately,” board President David Vitale said in a statement.

Apr 17, 2015

Chicago’s former archbishop, Cardinal Francis George, dies at 78: reports

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago from 1997 until 2014, has died at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, the Chicago Tribune and other media reported on Friday.

Known for his intellectualism and strong defense of church dogma – including sometimes controversial statements against gay marriage – George halted his treatment for bladder cancer early in 2015 and was hospitalized for tests in March.

Apr 17, 2015

Ohio man pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

By Mary Wisniewski and Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – An Ohio man who trained with Islamic militants
in Syria pleaded not guilty on Friday in a Columbus federal
court to charges of supporting terrorism and making false
statements, court documents said.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, a naturalized American, had
been instructed by a Muslim cleric to return to the United
States and carry out an act of terrorism, a federal indictment