Parishioners Suffer Setback

In Church-Closing Lawsuit

BOSTON -- A judge refused on Wednesday to save a Roman Catholic church where parishioners have staged a sit-in for the past two weeks to protest its closing by the archdiocese.

The church, St. Albert the Great, is one of 82 parishes that are being closed by the Boston Archdiocese because of the financial fallout from the clergy sex scandal.

Parishioners sued over the closing, seeking an injunction that would have barred the archdiocese from selling the church buildings and other assets.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly rejected the parishioners' contention that the church belongs to them and not to the archdiocese.

He did not, however, dismiss the lawsuit altogether, leaving the parishioners with some hope that they could still succeed in keeping their church from closing.

Bid to Hold Special Election

For N.J. Governor Rejected

TRENTON, N.J. -- A federal judge refused to order a special election to replace Gov. James E. McGreevey (D), who announced last month that he is gay and would step down Nov. 15.

U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. dismissed a lawsuit that contended that McGreevey had effectively created a vacancy by announcing his resignation. Brown said there is no vacancy to fill because McGreevey has not left office.

"He clearly intends to hold office until Nov. 15, 2004. The requirement of holding a special election does not arise. The rights of registered voters are not being violated," Brown said.

The lawsuit, filed by two Princeton lawyers, argued that, by staying in office until there will not be enough time to schedule a special election, McGreevey is depriving voters of their constitutional rights.

* FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Lionel Tate, the teenager sentenced to life in prison in the death of a 6-year-old girl but later freed, did not violate probation because officers illegally searched him after his mother ordered him to leave their home, his lawyer Richard Rosenbaum said. Circuit Judge Joel Lazarus has set a trial for Oct. 29 on charges that Tate had violated probation by leaving his family's apartment earlier this month while under house arrest and by carrying a weapon.

* LOS ANGELES -- An air traffic radio communication outage on the West Coast for nearly five hours "should've been avoided" had maintenance procedures been followed, the Federal Aviation Administration said. An air traffic control center north of downtown Los Angeles that directs planes at high altitudes in the West lost communications Tuesday, causing 600 flights at Los Angeles International Airport to be delayed, canceled or diverted.

* ALBANY, N.Y. -- U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy told prosecutors that national security concerns will not stall a trial against two mosque leaders accused of supporting terrorism. McAvoy said he wants prosecutors back in court by mid-November with arguments for shielding the evidence in the trial against Yasin Aref, 34, and Mohammed Hossain, 49.

* BOSTON -- Sidney Frank, who dropped out of Brown University decades ago because he could not pay the tuition, has given the school $100 million, its biggest gift ever. He made his fortune by selling liquor. The Providence, R.I., university said it will give the money to its neediest undergraduate students in the form of scholarships, eliminating the need for loans.

-- From News Services