- - Sunday, September 23, 2012

BOSTON — The owners of a historic campus in the hills of western Massachusetts announced Friday that they’ll give it away to a Christian college from Arizona that plans to eventually host 5,000 students there.

The Northfield campus will be a new home for Grand Canyon University, the first for-profit Christian school in the country.

Grand Canyon was the choice after the other finalist, the North American Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, backed out of the running.

The two were the last standing after more than 100 organizations, from culinary schools to TV ministries, expressed interest in the free 217-acre property along the Connecticut River, which its owners value at about $20 million.

In the end, Grand Canyon’s financial strength, growth and vibrant Christian life made it a great choice, said Steve Green, president of the Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby craft store chain, whose family owns the campus.

Cat goes to vet for fleas, gets mistakenly euthanized

GARDNER — A Massachusetts woman says her cat went to the veterinarian for a flea bath, but was mistakenly put to death.

Colleen Conlon of Gardner is grieving the loss of 8-year-old Lady, which she attributes to negligence by the vet, Muhammad Malik. Dr. Malik’s attorney says people should wait until all the facts come out before passing judgment.

Ms. Conlon’s 24-year-old son, Jesse, took Lady to the Broadway Animal Hospital last week and unknowingly authorized the cat to be put to sleep after he says he was handed the wrong forms. He says he learned of the mix-up when he returned with a second cat and the vet asked whether he wanted to keep the body.


Mauled NYC man ‘wanted to be one with the tiger’

NEW YORK — Before his now-infamous tangle with a Bronx Zoo tiger, David Villalobos adorned his Facebook page with New Age odes to Mother Earth and affirmations such as “Be love and fearless.”

Police said Saturday that Mr. Villalobos had told detectives that it was without fear that he leaped from an elevated train into the animal’s den. His reason, they said, was that “he wanted to be one with the tiger.”

Mr. Villalobos also recounted how, after he landed on all fours, the 400-pound beast attacked him and dragged him around by his foot, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. Despite serious injuries, he claimed he was able to get his wish and pet the tiger — a male Siberian named Bashuta — before his rescue, the spokesman added.

Based on those admissions and a complaint from the zoo, police charged the hospitalized Mr. Villalobos with misdemeanor trespassing on Saturday. It was unclear if the 25-year-old real estate agent had an attorney, and attempts to reach relatives were unsuccessful.


Bourbon Street preaching limits spawn 2nd lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans city ordinance restricting religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark has spawned another lawsuit.

A federal suit filed Friday on behalf of a Kenner woman who frequently preaches in the city’s French Quarter claims the “aggressive solicitation” ordinance violates her First Amendment rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed the suit on behalf of Kelsey Nicole McCauley, a member of the Raven Ministries religious congregation.

On Thursday, New Orleans street preacher Paul Gros filed a similar suit challenging the same ordinance.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in October 2011.


Boys, 13, charged with killing great-grandmother

MILWAUKEE — Two 13-year-old Wisconsin boys were ordered held on $1 million bond Friday after being accused of using a hatchet and hammer to kill one boy’s great-grandmother while stealing jewelry and a car from her home.

Prosecutors say that the boys, both charged as adults, went to 78-year-old Barbara J. Olson’s home on Monday with the intent to rob and kill her. Authorities said her body was discovered in the garage, in a pool of blood, two days later by her daughter.

The boys appeared in Sheboygan County court Friday, where they’re charged with being party to the crime of first-degree intentional homicide.

According to a criminal complaint, the teens told investigators that after they fatally beat Ms. Olson in her home in Sheboygan Falls, they grabbed jewelry and loose change before stealing her car and driving to get pizza.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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