News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
| General News|
U S State Dept Condemns Attack on Mormons August 20th
The US State Department yesterday condemned an attack on a
Mormon group in Volgograd August 20th as well as recent attacks on Jews and
Jehovah's witnesses and called on the Russian government to prosecute the
perpetrators "to the fullest extent" of the law.
Woman's Lawsuit vs. LDS Church Over Abuse Heard by Utah Supreme Court
The Utah Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday
in the case of a woman suing the LDS Church over its handling of her abuse
by another LDS Church member. Lynette Earl Franco says she was abused at age
7 by a member of her LDS congregation who was 11 at the time. After
initially filing a claim of clergy malpractice, Franco now claims that her
Bishop and Stake President committed fraud, were negligent and inflicted
distress on her.
Failure to Report Charges vs LDS Bishop Dismissed
An LDS Bishop has escaped charges that he failed to
report a case of sexual abuse of an infant. On the recommendation of Salt
Lake District Attorney David Yocum, Judge Roger Livingston dismissed the
misdemeanor charge against LDS Bishop Bruce Christensen i the case of a
one-year-old allegedly abused by her father. Yocum told the court that the
child's mother had changed her story. "The police reports were very
specific, [but] now she's saying something different," Yocum told the court.
Another LDS Bishop Escapes Failure to Report Charges
Just one day before a scheduled court date, LDS
Bishop David Maxwell reached an agreement with prosecutors to have the
charges against him dismissed. The so-called "diversion" agreement requires
only that Maxwell "take advantage of the standard educational opportunities
provided to all ecclesiastical leaders in [Utah's failure-to-report
statute]." Charges against him will then be dismissed in 90 days.
| Local News|
One Dead, Hundreds Ill After Pasedena Stake Dinner
An 80-year-old woman died and as many as 200 became
ill after eating dinner at a luau put on by the Pasadena Stake September
16th, and health inspectors are inspecting the kitchen where the food was
prepared, looking for the cause of the illnesses. Pasedena Stake President
Randall Huff told reporters that four or five people went to hospitals for
brief treatment, but only the 80-year-old woman, who had pneumonia and
possibly cancer in addition to the gastrointestinal ailment, died.
Gardner Starts His 15 Minutes of Fame
Since winning a Gold Medal in the Olympics by beating
Russian super-heavyweight Alexander Karelin, called the "toughest man in the
world," Rulon Gardner has begun his "15 minutes" of fame -- and they are
sure to last several weeks. In the process, the media is discovering
Gardner's Mormonism and his struggle with a learning disability.
New Nebraska Defense of Marriage Group Formed to get LDS Out-of-State Money
The new group supporting Nebraska's Defense of the Marriage Act was started after the initial committee refused an offer of
$600,000 from members of the LDS Church, according to a new article in the
Lincoln Journal Star, which first wrote about the group's formation last
week. The original group supporting the act, the Defense of the Marriage Act
Committee, collected more than 156,000 signatures to get the petition on the
November ballot, but turned down the money because it had earlier promised
to solicit funds only in Nebraska.
New LDS Groups Seek Volunteers at Conference
Two new LDS groups are seeking volunteers
during this weekend's General Conference, according to an article in
the Deseret News. The groups are looking to make connections and
promote their missions in meetings held in the LDS Church's Joseph
Smith Memorial Building (formerly Hotel Utah) in Salt Lake in the
days before and after General Conference. LDSmentalhealth.org
provides a collection of articles, conference talks and other
materials on mental health for assisting Church members and their
therapists with mental health issues, while Unitus is trying to
become a clearing house for information on humanitarian efforts in
the Third World, especially those efforts run by LDS Church members
or that are compatible with LDS beliefs.
Gordon Gee 'Everywhere' at Vanderbilt
Utah native, E. Gordon Gee, is the new man on
campus of Vanderbilt University. Gee is a devout Mormon who has
spent nearly his whole life in academics. "My dad used to joke, 'I
sent you off to college, and you never left.'" At 56, Gee is the
seventh chancellor at Vanderbilt.
Can Clayson Save CBS' 'The Early Show?'
Nearly a year after LDS TV personality Jane Clayson
debuted on CBS' "The Early Show," which replaced the failed "CBS This
Morning," the show is still trying to gain an audience. In spite of its
investment of $30 million in a Fifth Avenue studio, its former "Today"
anchor Bryant Gumbell and its "Today" producer, "The Early Show" is still
not getting ratings similar to "Today." But the Hartford Courant's Weiss
says Clayson is the show's hope.
| Arts & Entertainment|
LDS Filmmaker LaBute Shooting New Film
LDS Filmmaker Neil LaBute's latest work, the film
version of the A.S. Byatt book "Possession," is currently shooting on
location in Yorkshire, England, and news reports reveal that the film
has attracted actress Gwyneth Paltrow to the cast. LaBute, along with
Laura Jones, adapted the Booker prize-winning novel for the big
Financial Guru Wade Cook Settles Claims
Two companies owned by Wade Cook, the former
cab driver turned millionaire who gives stock investing seminars,
have settled claims that they deceived customers with the Federal
Trade Commission and with the state of Washington. Under the
agreement, Wade Cook Financial Corp. and Wade Cook Seminars, Inc.
will give refunds to customers that lost money following Cooks
advice. Investigators say Cook's claims of exceptional investment
results were deceptive.
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