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In the Nation

2 of 6 ministries reply to Senate

Only two of six Christian ministries under scrutiny for alleged opulence turned over documents to a Senate panel by yesterday's deadline, with others fighting the request or asking for more time.

A month ago, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, sent pointed questions to a half-dozen ministries asking about salaries, perks and private jets in a quest to determine whether rules governing tax-exempt groups had been broken.

Grassley's office said it received material yesterday from Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, who head a ministry in Texas. Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo., provided documents earlier. Georgia megachurch pastors Creflo Dollar and Bishop Eddie Long raised questions about constitutional protections for churches. Texas-based faith healer Benny Hinn asked for more time to respond. Lawyers for preachers Paula and Randy White of Tampa made initial contact with the senator's office yesterday.

- AP

Garage accidents kill 1 and hurt 21

A woman died in the partial collapse of a parking deck at a Charlotte, N.C., mall, and 21 people were injured when part of a garage under construction in Jacksonville, Fla., collapsed.

The Charlotte crash occurred when the woman's car slammed into the edge of the third and top level of the garage at SouthPark Mall, police said. A portion of the deck collapsed and the woman's car fell through the opening. "It makes you question the structure of these buildings," said Lorraine Ayala, 63, of Monroe, who found the deck collapsed just above her ground-level parking space.

Part of a condominium parking garage under construction in Jacksonville collapsed as workers poured concrete on its sixth level. One person was unaccounted for, but searchers did not know if the worker was trapped or had escaped.

- AP

Man jailed for not taking medicine

TUCSON, Ariz. - A man was jailed for failing to take his tuberculosis medication. James Roman Pearson, 49, remained at the Pima County jail yesterday on a tuberculosis violation, more than two weeks after the county health department petitioned to have him taken into custody.

"He is now being held in isolation. The court will decide when he will be released," said Deputy Dawn Hanke, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. In custody, Pearson has been taking his medication, officials said.

A Superior Court hearing Wednesday was closed and records sealed under a state law allowing a TB patient to request both. Pearson's attorney, Robert Fleming, declined to comment.

- AP


An HIV-positive Navy chaplain,

Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Lee, 42, of Burke, Va., was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to forcible sodomy and other charges. At his court-martial at the Quantico Marine Corps Base, Lee admitted having sex with an Air Force officer without disclosing he had HIV and also forcing himself on a Naval Academy midshipman. A spokesman for the Marines said no one was known to have contracted HIV from Lee, a Catholic priest.