Bishop of Bankrupt Diocese

Is Seeking Higher Position

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Diocese's plan to file for bankruptcy by the end of the month could have implications for Roman Catholics far beyond Washington state.

Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad is in line to become president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and it is unclear whether his troubles at home will affect his candidacy when the bishops gather to vote next week.

The conference serves as the voice of the American church on social, religious and other issues.

Skylstad, who announced the bankruptcy plan Wednesday, has served three years as conference vice president. Every vice president who has sought the top job has won.

* BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Baton Rouge Diocese is settling a lawsuit with a man who accused a long-deceased bishop of abuse, and it is removing the bishop's name from a high school. The Roman Catholic diocese did not give details of the settlement involving Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan. But Bishop Robert Muench, who announced the deal Wednesday, said the accuser's allegations are credible. Muench said Bishop Sullivan High School will get a new name, still to be decided, at the start of the next school year.

* WHITMAN, Mass. -- A World War II veteran was killed Thursday morning when a van backed over him as he prepared to march in a Veterans Day parade. Witnesses said William Hammond, 80, captain of the parade's color guard, was lining up with fellow veterans at the start of the parade route when the van struck him. The Army veteran, who served in the infantry, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, said Robert Wessa, the post's junior vice commander.

* CLINTON, N.Y. -- Several faculty members at Hamilton College are protesting the school's decision to hire a visiting professor who was convicted of possessing explosives as a leftist radical in the 1980s. Susan Rosenberg, who served 16 years in federal prison, will teach a one-month course in the spring. She was convicted in 1984 of weapons possession and sentenced to 58 years in prison. Prosecutors said she had more than 600 pounds of explosives that she and another defendant had planned to use in "nonlethal" bombings.

* NEWARK -- Reputed street gang members, organized-crime associates and at least two pharmacists were arrested, accused of being part of a ring that sold the powerful painkiller OxyContin in the Boston area, authorities said. Officials were carrying out search and arrest warrants Thursday. The ring operated from Arizona to Boston and was based in New Jersey, said Robert O'Leary, a Union County prosecutor.

* LOS ANGELES -- A former high school football star was ordered to stand trial on charges of stabbing and dismembering a teenage boy in 1998 and then scaring the victim's friends into keeping quiet. Police said Robert Marquez, 26, confessed to the killing after a classmate of the victim broke more than six years of silence about the case. The classmate said he spoke up because Marquez was scheduled to be released from prison in December on an unrelated conviction.

-- From News Services