A Vow to Resume Same-Sex Unions
CHICAGO--A Methodist minister suspended for presiding at a same-sex wedding vowed yesterday to continue violating church law when he returns to the pulpit next year.
The Rev. Gregory Dell of Chicago's Broadway United Methodist Church was suspended in March by a jury of United Methodist Church elders for performing a "holy union," or same-sex wedding, for two gay men last year.
A Methodist appeals board ruled on Friday that Dell could resume his preaching duties on July 1, 2000, even though he broke church doctrine. The board said the penalty was flawed because a suspension must be for a specific period of time, not indefinite.
* NEW YORK--His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned as the spiritual leader of America's 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians, a community that was largely dissatisfied with the reign of his predecessor. Demetrios was elected a month ago to succeed Archbishop Spyridon, who was widely criticized for a conservative, autocratic leadership style that many Greek Americans found alienating.
* BOSTON--A state transit agency has been ordered to pay $5.5 million to a black employee who was subjected to years of pranks and racial slurs by supervisors. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority foreman Hiram Clifton, 49, was awarded $500,000 for emotional pain and suffering and $5 million in punitive damages by a Suffolk County Superior Court jury, and the agency said it would appeal.
* OKLAHOMA CITY--Oklahoma's Supreme Court approved nearly $1 million for the defense of convicted bombing co-conspirator Terry L. Nichols on state murder charges. The public defender's office had said it could not afford to represent him in an estimated $2.5 million trial without additional funds. Nichols, 44, was sentenced to life in prison two years ago after being convicted of federal charges of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
* GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--A white man who claimed he stopped someone from breaking into his car was charged Friday with a hate crime for allegedly beating a black man, running him over with his car and dragging him 50 feet. Charles Rabb, 30, was jailed for seriously injuring Willie Jarrett, 35.
* KNAPPA, Ore.--The body of Ted Natt, the former publisher of the Daily News of Longview, Wash., who had been missing since an Aug. 7 solo helicopter ride, was found in the helicopter wreckage near the mouth of the Columbia River. Natt, whose paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for its coverage of the Mount St. Helens eruption, earned a helicopter license three months before the fatal flight.
* FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--A millionaire developer was found guilty of drunken-driving manslaughter Friday in a 1997 boating collision that killed six people. Stanley Cameron, 58, faces 45 to 75 years in prison.