- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003


Post office sued over Christian material

MANCHESTER — An elderly Jewish man and a civil liberties group sued the U.S. Postal Service on Friday, challenging a church-run post office that distributes Christian material.

The Full Gospel Interdenominational Church operates the downtown Manchester post office, where customers can buy stamps, ship packages, pick up religious brochures and donate money to Christian ministries.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Hartford by Bertram Cooper, 77, and the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, said the relationship violates the constitutional requirement of separation of church and state.

The church is one of many businesses that have contracts to run post offices, postal officials said. The agency will not give contracts to businesses that sell pornography or alcohol, said Carl Walton, a spokesman for the Postal Service in Connecticut.


Teen arrested after dead newborn found

ST. PAUL — A 14-year-old girl who was found to have given birth after she was hospitalized with stomach pains was arrested Friday when paramedics found a dead newborn inside a shoe box at her home.

Police said the girl secretly gave birth at home Thursday, then strangled the full-term infant with a sock. The medical examiner’s office was working to determine the cause of death.

The girl, whose name was not released because she is a juvenile, had not been charged Friday. The girl’s 22-year-old boyfriend, Marvin Alex Alvizurez, was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for having a sexual relationship that began when the girl was 12. Mr. Alvizurez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived at the same address as the girl.

Paramedics had been called to the duplex where the girl lived when she complained of stomach pain, police said. They returned to the home after it was determined at the hospital that the girl had given birth. The girl’s family told police they did not know she had been pregnant.


Tiger attacks famed Vegas magician

LAS VEGAS — A tiger attacked magician Roy Horn of the duo “Siegfried & Roy” during a Friday night performance, leaving the superstar illusionist in critical condition, authorities said. An audience member at The Mirage hotel-casino said the white tiger lunged at Mr. Horn, who tried to beat the animal off with a microphone.

Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said Mr. Horn had a serious injury to the left side of his neck and was taken immediately into surgery. Mr. Horn was listed in critical condition at University Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Cheryl Persinger.

Mr. Horn, the dark-haired member of the duo, was on stage along with the tiger about 45 minutes into the show and told the audience the animal was making his debut. After the attack, Siegfried Fischbacher appeared on stage and said the performance was canceled.

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