The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 11, 2006 · Page 8
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 8

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Hays, Kansas
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Sunday, June 11, 2006
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Page 8
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AS THE HAYS DAILY News NATIONAL SUNDAY, JUNE 11,2006 Father of dead Marine caught in dispute GM returns home after attempted rendezvous CHICAGO (AP) — Edward Davis Jr. simply wanted to hold a memorial service in his church for his son, who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in late April. Instead, the grieving father found himself at the center of a battle between the church and a suburban Chicago village, with each side accusing the other of using the planned service for Sgt. Edward Davis III to gain leverage in a building code dispute. "I just want to have a service for my son," said Davis, a member of Cornerstone Community Church in Wadsworth, a community of about 3,000 residents near the Wisconsin line. "This is my way of having closure here." On Friday, one day after the matter moved to federal court with a church request for an emergency restraining order to allow the continued use of the building, the village granted a temporary occupancy permit that the village president said is good for 30 days — time enough to have the service. But the question remains of whether Davis was a victim of the village where he lives or was used by the church where he worships. The way the church tells it, the village board was willing to hold up a service for someone who gave his life for his country because, of all things, the church has not yet landscaped the property. Davis "faces a second tragedy as his hometown has forbidden a memorial service," according to a news release from a public relations firm working for the church. "The city thought they could push around this little church," said John Mauck, the church's attorney. Village officials argue that the whole dispute has less to do with honoring a fallen Marine than a church using the service to get what it really wants — unlimited use of a building before getting the necessary permits to move in. The church began building a parking lot without getting any of the proper permits, said Glenn Ryback, a member of the village board. "These folks, when they started this church, they tried to skate around every requirement by saying, 'We're a church,'" Ryback said. "Whenever there was a requirement they looked for a way to get around it %X$^^^$&^^ CHARLES REX AR BOG AST/Associated Press Edward Davis Jr. stands on a recently seeded lawn with a photo of his son, Sgt. Edward Davis III, outside Cornerstone Community Church Friday in Wadsworth, III., where he wants to hold a memorial service for his son who was killed in Iraq. and this is just another in a series of trying to avoid the requirements." On Tuesday, the church elder in charge of the building project appeared before the board. At issue was whether the church could continue to hold services at the building, as it had done for more than two months. Mark Stricklin said that the church only started holding services there when a building inspector gave his verbal approval, but the Village Board President Ken Furlan said the building inspector told him he never did any such thing, meaning that the services were illegal. Stricklin said he told the village board that he wanted to continue to have Sunday services and the church also needed to use the building on June 15 for a service for 31-year- old Sgt. Davis. Furlan and William Stanczak, the village attorney, said they don't recall Stricklin saying anything about the memorial service. Ryback said that, yes, Stricklin did mention the service, but he didn't dwell on it. "He rolled right into having weekly services in the church," Ryback said. Had Stricklin asked for permission to hold the memorial service, village officials are confident the board would have given it. "They're a bunch of nice people on this board," Stanczak said. For his part, Stricklin said he never specifically asked for just the memorial because he didn't want to ."politicize" things by singling out the service. "That wasn't the issue for us as a church," he said. "What would that have given us beyond June 15?" Even as the village gave the church temporary permission to hold services in the building — despite the fact that Friday's inspection revealed that construction on the building is not complete — Furlan said there is only one reason why the village is granting the temporary permit: Give the church time to hold a memorial service for Sgt. Davis. "After that we need to address the church and what it is doing," he said. Michigan teen flew to Jordan to meet with man she met on Web DETROIT (AP) — A 16-year- old girl who tricked her parents into getting her a passport and then flew to the Mideast to be with a man she met on My Space.com has returned to Michigan. U.S. officials in Jordan persuaded Katherine R. Lester to turn around and go home before she reached the West Bank. Lester arrived at Bishop International Airport in Flint late Friday and was taken to a private area to be reunited with her family She disappeared Monday after talking her parents into getting her a passport by saying she was going to Canada with friends, sheriff's officials said. She apparently planned to visit a man whose MySpace account describes him as a 25-year-old from Jericho, Undersheriff James Jashinske said. MySpace.com is a social networking Web site with more than 72 million members that lets users post photos, blogs and journals. There have been scattered accounts of sexual predators targeting minors they met through the site. Lester apparently contacted the man from Jericho about three months ago, Jashinske said. Jericho, a city of 17,000, is a relatively calm area of the volatile West Bank. The FBI traced the teenager to a Wednesday flight from New York's Kennedy Airport to Tel Aviv, Israel. At a scheduled stop in Amman, Jordan, U.S. officials persuaded her to return home, FBI agent Robert Beeckman said. "Thank God she was returned safely," Lester's father said Friday afternoon while awaiting her arrival. Terry Lester said his daughter is a straight-A student and student council member. "She's a good girl. Never had a problem with her," he said. MySpace forbids youngsters 13 and under from joining and provides special protections for those 14 and 15 — only people on their list of friends can view their profiles. Older users also have the option of restricting certain personal data so it can be seen only by people they have identified as friends. Shawn Lester told The Saginaw News 'that her daughter has "never given me a day's trouble. ... I just don't understand with all these new laws protecting America how a 16-year-old kid could get out of the country." She said her daughter never had a boyfriend and seemed to be content with that. Katherine and her mother live in Gilford, a village about 80 miles north of Detroit in Michigan's agricultural Thumb region. Her father lives in Grand Blanc Township. Jashinske said deputies confiscated the family's home computer and were taking it to the FBI's Bay City office for analysis. He said it remained unclear whether any laws had been violated because of Lester's age. The age of sexual consent in Michigan is 16; Katherine turns 17 on June 21. "I'll be honest with you, we don't know if a crime's been committed," Jashinske said. Briefs NYC mayor's school takeover gets national acclaim NEW YORK (AP) — Four years after taking control of New York's struggling school system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has . ii'qn observer^ across ^ihe cioui};' ;' try. The mayor^of Los Angeles is using New York as a model for his push to take over that city's school system. But in Bloomberg's own city, the reviews are far less flattering. Critics complain about a lack of checks and balances and some former supporters of mayoral control hope to strip away some power when the Legisla- ( ture considers reauthorizing the ... is that, if you agree with the mayor it's fantastic! Bui all those parents who disagree with the mayor, they get left out in the cold, and the same in respect to teachers," said teachers union president Randi Weingarten, who backed the idea when it was signed into law in June 2002. Bloomberg has rebuffed the notion of changing the system. "I think that if you want to de- istroy the progress, that's as good |a prescription as any," he said earlier this year. "Accountability has to be accountability, end of story." The New York school system was centralized in 2002 after Bloomberg convinced state lawmakers he could run the 1.1 million-student system, the nation's largest, more efficiently. Son says he dismembered mother at man's urging BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A teenager says he killed and slowly dismembered his mother over several days at the urging of a 50- year-old man he says was sexually abusing him. Angel Rosa, 16, pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter in the death of Madeline Irene, 46. He had pleaded innocent last fall to murder and conspiracy Irene's head and hands were found encased in concrete in a garbage can at the 50-year-old man's home after other body parts were found floating in a nearby river. Psychiatrists for both the prosecution and the defense found Rosa was emotionally under the control of Edwin Gimenez, the convicted child molester who is his co-defendant in the homicide, prosecutor Christopher Belling told the judge. Rosa said he killed his mother* Aug. 18 and dismembered her in ! their apartment. He had been ac- ; cused of mixing drugs into his mother's food and drink and strangling her. hear the difference -••f Hear what REAL customers have to say about Nex-Tech Wireless service... L-LJ "Great reception and In rural America that's really important. And, it's easy for our kids to reach one of us." 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