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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former St. Louis City alderwoman has been fined $100,000 for using her campaign funds to pay off student loans and for spa visits.
   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Kacie Starr Triplett misused almost $19,000 in campaign donations on personal expenses.
   In a letter Thursday, Triplett apologized for her actions and said her decision stemmed from "greed and selfishness," not from need.
   The Missouri Ethics Commission levied the six-figure fine but is willing take only $10,000 if Triplett pays within 45 days. There is no criminal penalty in the commission's decision, although it could spur other investigations.
   Triplett left the Board of Alderman in 2012.
 

STL not bidding for 2016 Dem convention

Thursday, 27 February 2014 04:38 Published in Local News

   The 2016 Democratic National Convention won't be held in St. Louis.  

   The Gateway City was one of about 30 cities to receive letters inviting them to compete to host the convention.  St. Louis officials plan to decline.  

   Mayor Slay's chief of staff Jeff Rainford tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the city is focused on the private fundraising efforts for the ongoing $380 million Gateway Arch grounds redo.  Rainford says its a really big project and must remain the focus for now.  

   He added that St. Louis might bid for the convention in 2020.  

US Maronite Catholics to ordain 1st married priest

Thursday, 27 February 2014 03:49 Published in Local News
   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Maronite Catholic Church in the United States is about to ordain its first married priest.
   A Maronites' spokesman in St. Louis says Pope Francis gave his permission for married Deacon Wissam Akiki to be ordained. The ceremony is set for Thursday.
   Maronites are among more than a dozen Eastern Catholic church groups in the United States. Eastern Catholics accept the authority of the pope, but have many of their own rituals and liturgy.
   Maronites overseas ordain married men. But the practice was banned in the U.S. in the 1920s. The U.S. Maronites' spokesman says the pope made an exception in this case and didn't lift the ban.
   Popes have made exceptions before for other traditions, including for married Anglican clergy who have joined the Catholic Church.
 

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