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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Philadelphia prepares for unconfirmed Pope visit

Saturday, 25 January 2014 13:04 Published in National News

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Church officials say plans for a major Catholic gathering in Philadelphia next year are proceeding with the assumption Pope Francis will attend, though that hasn't been officially confirmed.

The eighth World Meeting of Families will take place in September 2015. It's expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Philadelphia Archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that "our planning all along has assumed the presence of the Holy Father."

Pope Benedict XVI announced in 2012 that Philadelphia would host the triennial event. At the time, he said he looked forward to meeting the region's Catholics. He attended the seventh convocation of families in Milan.

Benedict has since retired. Pope Francis' schedule remains unclear.

Traditionally, papal trips abroad are confirmed a few months before the journey.

Missouri woman charged with stealing from PTO

Saturday, 25 January 2014 13:00 Published in Local News

CREVE COEUR, Mo. (AP) — The former treasurer for a suburban St. Louis parent-teacher organization faces charges accusing her of stealing more than $50,000 from the organization.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 36-year-old Tenille R. Batsell of Olivette was charged Thursday in St. Louis County with felony stealing.

Police say Batsell was treasurer of the Spoede School Association at Spoede Elementary School in Creve Coeur. She's accused of pocketing about $53,000 that belonged to the group, which relies on donations to organize events for students. Members of the organization called police after discovering accounting discrepancies on its books.

The parent-teacher association said on its website that its members were aware of the charges but couldn't comment.

Online court records don't list a lawyer for Batsell.

Execution set in Kansas City abduction, killing

Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:58 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has scheduled a February 26th execution for a man who pleaded guilty in the 1989 abduction, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl.

Michael Taylor and Roderick Nunley were charged with kidnapping Ann Harrison as she waited for a school bus near her home. She was raped, stabbed and left bleeding to death in the trunk of a car.

The high court set Taylor's execution date on Friday.

Taylor's lawyer said the scheduling was premature in light of ongoing lawsuits against Missouri's execution procedures. The state switched to a one-drug lethal injection method since drug companies stopped selling the traditional three-drug mixture for use in executions.

Nunley was scheduled to be executed in 2010, but was granted a stay.

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