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CHARLES LINDBERGH WON THE PRIZE BUT DID HIS RIVAL GET THERE FIRST?

French flying enthusiast Bernard Decre says that a newly-found 1927 U.S. Coast Guard telegram suggests that French aviator Charles Nungesser may have actually been the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop, passing over Newfoundland but perishing in a crash, according to the Wall Street Journal. . .How did vet religion scribe Pat Rice, a retiree of the Post-Dispatch, learn in the summer of ’03 about Archbishop Justin Rigali’s impending promotion to become Philadelphia’s Cardinal? A 23 year-old Philly college student Rocco Pelmo called her out of the blue and said, “No archbishop had ever left St. Louis before, and that somebody would was amazing.” Rice told the Baltimore Sun this week, in a profile of Pelmo, “That was the first time I knew that this kid had incredible contacts,” The young man’s blog, “Whispering in the Loggia,” has since become widely-read among Catholic insiders. . .Former P-D skilled scribe Joe Mahr, now with The Chicago Tribune, just completed a lengthy investigation showing that “convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons” are getting paychecks from Illinois’ Dept. of Human Services for babysitting kids from lower income families (so their moms and dads can work). The money comes from an otherwise praise-worthy $750 million a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished families. Mahr’s probe found that the agency “poorly vetted babysitters for years,” and even now “lacks safeguards to weed out babysitters who watch children while living in the homes of sex offenders and other felons”. . .

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