Nun gets nearly 3 years in prison for nuke protest
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An 84-year-old nun has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for breaking into and defacing a storage bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in a peace protest at a Tennessee weapons plant.
Sister Megan Rice was sentenced Tuesday along with two men who were each sentenced to more than five years in prison.
The three activists cut through three fences on July 28, 2012, and reached a storage bunker that holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. They painted messages, hung banners and threw blood on the bunker wall.
While officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or used to assemble a dirty bomb, the break-in raised serious questions about security.
Pastor who died of rattlesnake bite remembered
MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — A snake-handling pastor in Kentucky who died after being bitten by one of the serpents during a church service has been remembered fondly at a memorial service.
Jamie Coots was known for his role on the National Geographic television reality show "Snake Salvation." But a family friend remembered him Tuesday night for his "great faith" and tolerance of others. Bill Bisceglia (bih-SHEG'-lee-ah) of Middlesboro told Knoxville, Tenn., station WBIR-TV that the 42-year-old Coots didn't argue with people who didn't agree with him, but maintained his own beliefs until he died.
People parked blocks away from the funeral home where visitation and a funeral service were held. Visitors said afterward the funeral home was full and lines were long.
Coots was handling a rattlesnake when he was bitten Saturday night.
Judges hear arguments on Evansville cross display
CHICAGO (AP) — The attorney for an Indiana church says its free speech rights were violated when a federal judge blocked the city of Evansville from allowing 31 crosses decorated by vacation Bible school students to be erected along the city's public riverfront.
Evansville officials had approved the display requested by Westside Christian Church, but two local residents filed suit, arguing that the 6-foot-tall crosses along four blocks of city property would appear to endorse religion. Judge Sarah Evans Barker agreed and prohibited the display.
On Tuesday, the church's attorney, Bryan Beauman (BOH'-mun), urged the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn that ruling.
But Gavin Rose, an attorney for the ACLU of Indiana, said the church had no right to appeal since the ruling was against the city, and the city didn't appeal.
One of the appellate judges suggested that seemed an odd position to take for an organization that defends the First Amendment.