Scouts reprimand 2 leaders after parade

Two Boy Scout leaders have been reprimanded for marching with several Scouts in the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City.

Officials from the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America say Peter Brownstein and Neil Whitaker violated policy prohibiting the use of Scouting to promote a political agenda. They had been warned that they would violate the policy if they wore their uniforms in the June 2 parade.

“We were very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda at the Utah Pride Parade,” council leaders wrote to Brownstein. “You and others are welcome to participate in the parade as supportive citizens but not as uniformed members of the BSA.”

Whitaker told the Salt Lake Tribune that the group was not promoting a political agenda but celebrating a “cultural event” similar to a local parade that honors Utah pioneers and often includes Scouts in uniform.

Both leaders refused to sign an apology letter saying that they violated Scout policy and were disobedient. The letter warns that a similar offense could mean revocation of Scouting membership.

— Associated Press

Army Ranger killed in training identified

The Army Ranger killed in an apparent parachuting mishap last week was 21-year-old Pfc. Christopher P. Dona from Massachusetts, officials said Saturday.

Dona was found dead Thursday with parachute cords and harness straps wrapped around his neck after a routine training jump at Fort Stewart, Ga. It was not immediately clear how he died; the Army is investigating.

An Army spokesman earlier said Dona’s parachute seemed to work normally during the jump. But when Dona landed, wind filled the chute, dragging him about 350 feet along the ground.

Dona served in the 1st Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. He returned last month from his first deployment to Afghanistan.

— Associated Press

Zimmerman lawyer expects jury next week: A defense attorney in George Zimmerman’s murder trial said after the first week of jury selection that a jury could be seated by the middle of next week. After five days, 29 potential jurors have passed an initial round of questions about what they already know through media and other means about the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, in a Sanford, Fla., gated community. “I know it’s slow-going to the outside, but it’s not slow-going to the inside,” attorney Mark ’Mara said. Prosecutors and defense attorneys want a pool of 40 potential jurors before starting a second round of questioning.

Bear with head in jar rescued: Four Jamison City, Pa., residents said they used only a rope and a flashlight during a wild chase to rescue a young bear whose head had been stuck in a plastic jar for at least 11 days. The frightened bruin fell into a swimming pool at least twice during the ordeal, the Press Enterprise reported Saturday. The group eventually yanked off the jar with the rope.

Teacher fired over concern about ex-husband: A teacher at a California Catholic school was fired because school officials feared the woman’s ex-husband, now serving a jail sentence for domestic abuse and stalking, would pose a danger to students and teachers when he is released. Carie Charlesworth, who taught second grade at Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, was put on “indefinite leave” in January, and her four children were removed from the school. School officials took the action after Charlesworth’s ex-husband, Martin, 41, came to the school in violation of a restraining order. Charlesworth, 39, was put on paid leave but was recently was told that, after 14 years as a teacher in the San Diego Catholic diocese, she will not be offered a teaching job for the next school year.

— From wire services