BISHOP WON'T LET GROUP PUBLICLY HONOR GAY STUDENT: IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Overruling school officials, a Catholic bishop in Iowa said Monday he would not let a group that promotes equal rights for gays and lesbians present a college scholarship to an openly gay student during an upcoming award ceremony.
Bishop Martin Amos in Davenport said the Eychaner Foundation would not be allowed to present the Matthew Shepard Scholarship to Keaton Fuller during the May 20 ceremony at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton, saying the group's support for gay rights conflicts with church doctrine.
The announcement comes after a school official signed a document last month that promised to let a representative of the foundation's scholarship committee present the award to Fuller.
In an open letter released Monday, Fuller said he's never felt so "invalidated and unaccepted" as he did when he heard that news last week. He said he and his family were asking the school to reverse its decision, and he launched an
FAMED OBESE NEW MEXICO CAT 'MEOW' DIES: SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A cat that got national attention for tipping the scales at 39 pounds has died from apparent complications of his morbid obesity, an animal shelter said Monday.
The orange and white tabby named Meow, who was between 2 and 5 years old, was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society last month after his 87-year-old owner could no longer take care of him.
The shelter put Meow on a diet and posted all his weigh-ins on a Facebook page that got national attention.
Meow had lost 2 pounds and was doing well when he began having breathing problems Wednesday, shelter Director Mary Martin said Monday.
Meow underwent a battery of tests, including X-rays and a cardiac ultrasound, and was put on oxygen.
Despite the shelter's best efforts, Meow died on Saturday.Adult cats typically weigh between seven and 12 pounds.
MOM DEFENDS SON SUSPENDED FOR RECITING RACY LYRIC: AURORA, Colo. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy is back at his suburban Denver school after being suspended for three days for reciting a racy line from a popular song.
D'Avonte Meadows, a first-grader at Sable Elementary School in Aurora, returned to class Monday after serving out his suspension.
D'Avonte was accused of sexual harassment and disrupting other students for allegedly telling a girl "I'm sexy and I know it," a line from a song by the popular duo LMFAO. He was suspended Wednesday.
The boy's mother, Stephanie Meadows, says she met with school officials Monday and they agreed to consider changing their findings from "sexual harassment" to "harassment" because of his age. It wasn't immediately clear what the change would mean for D'Avonte, and school officials declined to comment.
Stephanie Meadows says the allegations went too far, and her son was singing in the lunch line, not to the girl.
MAYORS URGE ONLINE ESCORT SERVICE TO CHECK AGES: SEATTLE (AP) — Mayors of nearly 50 cities across the country are urging Village Voice Media to require identification for people posting escort ads on Backpage.com — its online ad service that has come under scrutiny from authorities for allegations that it's used to promote child prostitution.
"There is an urgent need to act quickly, as cities continue to find advertisements on your site that reflect underage sex trafficking," the letter by the United States Conference of Mayors said Monday. "We are making every effort to stop the ongoing trafficking of underage individuals, but these efforts are made more difficult by the inadequate safeguards of your website, Backpage.com, to prevent underage sex trafficking."
The leaders criticizing the ads include the mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and Laredo, Texas.