- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2006

Florida mosque hit by gunfire

MELBOURNE, Fla. — A mosque was hit by gunfire as members inside celebrated the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, authorities said yesterday.

No injuries were reported and there were no arrests.

A member of the Islamic Society of Brevard County stepped outside the mosque Friday night to use his cell phone when he heard several gun shots, police said.

The man, who was not identified, took cover behind a wall as several rounds struck the building, police said. He then ran inside and told mosque members, who called police.

Authorities searched the surrounding area for suspects but found none.

Police were not releasing many details of the shooting because the investigation continues, spokeswoman Jill Frederiksen said yesterday.

Episcopal diocese picks new bishop

NEWARK, N.J. — Avoiding further controversy in the worldwide Anglican family, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark yesterday chose a Massachusetts priest as its new bishop, rather than an openly homosexual candidate on the ballot.

The Rev. Mark Beckwith won on the third ballot, taking 253, or about 53 percent, of the 477 ballots cast by clergy and lay representatives.

Canon Michael Barlowe, 51, a homosexual priest from California, only had one vote from a layperson in the final round. Even in the first round, he had only 40 votes, 16 from clergy and 24 from laypeople.

A win by Mr. Barlowe would have put the diocese at the center of a crisis over whether Anglicans who disagree about ordaining homosexuals can stay in the same fellowship.

Seven killed in storms

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — High winds, heavy rain and tornadoes pounded parts of the Midwest and the South, leaving seven persons dead and stranding others in trees and shelters, and forecasters warned yesterday that the stormy weather was expected to continue.

Officials were trying to “find and rescue anyone else we might have missed throughout the night,” Tamara Roberts of the Sharp County, Ark., Sheriff’s Office told Little Rock television station KATV.

Stormy weather buffeted the region Friday. Areas in northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri received more than 10 inches of rain within 24 hours, said David Blanchard, a National Weather Service forecaster in Paducah, Ky.

Six persons were killed in Kentucky, including two women who died trying to cross a flooded roadway early yesterday.

Priest gets prison for thefts

NEW YORK — A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to prison for stealing more than $800,000 from his parish to finance vacations, country clubs and fancy clothes.

“I am truly, truly sorry for what has taken place,” Monsignor John Woolsey said Friday before a judge sentenced him to one to four years in prison. “I used money to which I had no right. I am deeply, deeply sorry for my conduct.”

Woolsey, 68, who was pastor of the Church of Saint John the Martyr, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in May in return for the sentence. He could have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted and will be eligible for parole in one year.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Amatruda said Woolsey spent the money on luxuries for himself, including expensive watches, trips to Europe, golfing vacations, fancy clothes and cosmetic dentistry. Woolsey doctored church records to hide what he had stolen, the prosecutor said.

Farm boasts footloose chicken

SOMERSET, Pa. — Henrietta the chicken was living inconspicuously among 36,000 other birds at Brendle Farms for 18 months — until a foreman noticed she had four legs.

“It’s as healthy as the rest,” the farm’s owner, Mark Brendle, told the Daily American.

Mr. Brendle’s 13-year-old daughter, Ashley, named the chicken Henrietta after the discovery Thursday. The bird has two normal front legs and, behind those, two more feet. They are of a similar size to her front legs but don’t function. The chicken drags her extra feet behind her.

In 30 years of farming, Mr. Brendle said, he’s never before seen a chicken with four legs.

Motorist hit by own car

PITTSBURG, Calif. — A purportedly drunken motorist who brandished a pool cue as he drove at a group of motorcyclists was hit by his own car after he attempted to approach the bikers on foot, authorities said.

Richard Brooks, 50, of Concord, was pulled to safety by the motorcyclists after his car — which he left in reverse — knocked him into the highway on Thursday, said Officer Scott Yox of the California Highway Patrol.

Mr. Brooks, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence, told authorities he was offended by skeletons some of the riders wore on their leather Harley-Davidson jackets and what he perceived as their attempts to appear tough.

“It was his impression that they thought they were better than him,” Officer Yox said. “They were irritating to him and he felt he needed to do something about it.”

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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