- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 6, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Judge refuses to toss Armenian church Bible suit

LOS ANGELES | The J. Paul Getty Museum on Thursday lost its bid for dismissal of the Armenian church lawsuit demanding the return of pages ripped from a sacred handwritten Armenian Bible dating back to 1256.

Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan denied Getty’s motion to dismiss the claim and ordered four months of mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute between the museum and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, which filed suit in June 2010 on behalf its mother church, the Lebanon-based Holy See of Cilicia.

The lawsuit accuses Getty of harboring stolen illuminated medieval manuscripts, saying they are spiritually and historically sacred church masterpieces.

COLORADO

Pilot who flew while drunk gets 6 months in prison

DENVER | A United Express pilot convicted of flying a commercial flight while drunk will serve six months in federal prison.

Aaron Jason Cope, 33, of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced Friday in federal court.

Judge John Tunheim also ordered Cope to serve six months in home detention after completing his prison term followed by two years of supervised release.

Cope was convicted in June of flying under the influence on a flight from Austin, Texas, to Denver in December 2009. The flight was operated by Shuttle America for United Express.

The plane’s captain thought he smelled alcohol on Cope’s breath, and a breathalyzer showed Cope had a blood alcohol content of 0.09 percent.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits anyone from flying with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher.

MASSACHUSETTS

Bishops’ aide resigns over gay devil column

BOSTON | The author of a newspaper column suggesting the devil may be responsible for homosexuality has resigned from his job with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic bishops said Friday that Daniel Avila’s resignation was accepted Friday.

Mr. Avila’s column appeared a week ago in the Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. Mr. Avila had written that evidence suggests the devil is responsible for same-sex attraction. Gay rights groups and others condemned the column.

The newspaper withdrew the article from its website Wednesday. Mr. Avila apologized for any pain the column caused. He said his views did not represent the position of the bishops’ conference.

OKLAHOMA

Ground continues to shake after 5.6-magnitude quake

SPARKS | The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded at least 10 aftershocks following a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that shook central Oklahoma.

The USGS said aftershocks ranging from a preliminary magnitude of 2.7 to 4.0 have been recorded in the same area near Prague, about 45 miles east of Oklahoma City.

Aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 were recorded at 3:39 a.m. and 9:07 a.m. Sunday.

USGS seismologist Paul Earle in Golden, Colo., said the aftershocks likely will continue for several days and maybe for months.

The first aftershock was a magnitude 3.0 recorded at 11:54 p.m. Saturday - one hour after the 5.6-magnitude quake toppled a tower at the St. Gregory’s University campus in Shawnee.

No injuries or additional damage from the aftershocks were reported.

VERMONT

Prosecutors dismiss charges in lesbian case

MONTPELIER | Federal prosecutors have worked out a deal with an American missionary in Nicaragua that may help them find a woman who fled the country in a custody dispute with her former lesbian partner, court documents show.

Prosecutors have decided to drop criminal charges against Timothy David “Timo” Miller in exchange for his testimony in future proceedings in the case, according to Oct. 28 documents.

Mr. Miller was charged with helping Lisa Miller, who is no relation to him, flee the United States with her 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, in defiance of a Vermont court order that granted custody to her former partner, Janet Jenkins.

Prior to his April arrest, Mr. Miller had been working as a missionary in Nicaragua. The FBI is continuing to investigate the case against Lisa Miller of Forest, Va., whose whereabouts is unknown.

Ms. Jenkins, of Fair Haven, and Ms. Miller were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Two years later, Ms. Miller gave birth to the girl, conceived through artificial insemination. The couple split up in 2003, with Ms. Miller renouncing homosexuality and becoming a Baptist, then a Mennonite.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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