Emails show Penn State’s former president Graham Spanier agreed not to take allegations of sex abuse against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities but worried university officials would be “vulnerable” for failing to report it, a news organization has reported.
CNN says the emails, first obtained by and reported on by NBC, followed a graduate assistant’s 2001 report of seeing Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a team locker room shower.
The emails show athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz intended to report the allegation, then reconsidered. Spanier responded that he was “supportive” of their plan, but he worried they might “become vulnerable for not having reported it.”
Sandusky was convicted this month of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys. The scandal led to the ouster of Spanier and revered coach Joe Paterno and charges against Curley and Schultz, who are accused of perjury for their grand jury testimony and failing to properly report suspected child abuse. Spanier hasn’t been charged.
Read more here.
Discrimination or Christian kindness? This is one of the questions following a controversy that erupted after Southern missionaries passed out fliers urging public school children to attend Bible school in New York City.
Three white men from Concord Baptist Church in Pickens, South Carolina (and we’ll tell you why their race is important in a moment), were in New York City this month for an annual week-long missions trip. In an effort to help Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, a church in Park Slope, Brooklyn, bolster its membership, the missionaries stationed themselves outside P.S. 282 to pass out vacation Bible school (VBS) invitations to the children.
The men allegedly stood at the public school’s front gate on Tuesday to hand out the invites during morning drop-off, a busy time during which children and parents flow into and out of the building. While church members claim that no children were forced to take the fliers, DNAInfo.com reports that a number of parents were uncomfortable with their children, ranging from grades first through fifth, being urged to do so.
What resulted was furor on the part of some who believe that it’s irresponsible and improper for missionaries to be taking such actions outside of a public school. But the criticisms went well beyond the traditional church versus state argument, as some parents even charged that the missionaries are “discriminatory.”
“I know this church. Every summer they truck these kids up to proselytize,” said Ernestine Heldring, a mother with children at the school who also attends a Dutch Reformed church in New York. “It‘s a brand of Christianity that’s homophobic and homogeneous, and I find it oppressive to have three white guys standing there making it impossible for kids to pass without taking a flier.”
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“The Mineral Wells City Council is reconsidering an ordinance that bans flags from being displayed at the graves of veterans at any time other than two weeks around Memorial Day and Veterans Day,” CBS DFW report.
“The ordinance, which was passed last week, includes a host of regulations concerning what can be placed around city graves. Teddy bears and statues must be removed 21 days after the funeral. Mourners cannot place flowers near a gravesite unless they’re in a vase,” the report adds.
Okay, wait. We have two questions:
What made council members think this was a good idea?
How did they intend to enforce it?
The Cemetery Board pitched the idea to the City Council last week and, apparently, nobody thought that regulating the small comfort of putting flowers or a flag on a grave would, you know, really, really upset some people.
Of course, there was a backlash and of course City Manager Lance Howerton maintains the council didn’t mean any disrespect.
See the video here.
The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holder’s Justice Department to balk.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole confirmed in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that the department in fact would not pursue prosecution. The attorney general’s withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, “does not constitute a crime.”
“Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general,” Cole wrote, in the letter obtained by Fox News.
A department official told Fox News the letter was “pro forma” — or a formality — considering that ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008 also refused to refer two Bush White House aides to a grand jury after they were held in contempt.
Republicans nevertheless blasted the Justice Department for the move. Frederick Hill, spokesman for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, said “it is regrettable that the political leadership of the Justice Department is trying to intervene in an effort to prevent the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from making an independent decision about whether to prosecute this case.”
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, also wrote in a letter to Machen that the Cole letter “has put the cart before the horse.” He suggested the U.S. attorney has not yet had a chance to make an informed decision on whether to move forward with the case.
Read more here.
One day after a 7-year-old girl was gunned down as her mother watched while she sold lemonade in front of her West Side home, a ministers’ group is trying to persuade people to turn over the killer.
“It’s a sad day in Chicago,” said the Rev. Ira Acree of the Leaders Network ministry, which put up the $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman who killed Heaven Sutton, 7, while she was with her mother and other family members outside of their home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue in the North Austin neighborhood.
Acree was no less indignant than Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said to the unknown killer Thursday, “How dare you?”
“She’s an innocent seven-year-old,” Acree said, saying the girl had to try to dodge bullets as if she were in Afghanistan or the Wild West of the 1800s. “It’s horrific.”
Acree said the shooting had struck a nerve, and he said he hopes that someone who knows comes forward with the information without being prompted by the cash.
“You never know what kind of baggage might be associated with other cases, but come on. What can a 7-year-old baby be doing?” he said.
Heaven had told her mother, Ashake Banks, 38, that she wanted to move out of North Austin – which the family had called home for six months – because of all the violence in the area.
Read more here.