CHICAGO

Archbishop removes priest

who burned rainbow banner

The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich announced the Rev. Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church.

Cupich said he acted "out of concern" for Kalchik and parishioners. He said the 56-year-old priest needed "time away from the parish to receive pastoral support."

 

HOUSTON

Authorities find cocaine

in donated bananas

Authorities say bananas donated to a Texas prison turned out to have nearly $18 million worth of cocaine hidden inside the boxes.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says in a Facebook post that the drugs were found in two pallets of bananas that were donated because they were already ripe. The donation arrived Friday.

The department says sergeants who picked up the boxes found a bundle of a white powdery substance under the bananas.

 

PENSACOLA, FLA.

Theft of cigarettes gets

man 20 years in prison

A Florida man who stole $600 worth of cigarettes from a convenience store has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

A jury in Pensacola convicted 48-year-old Robert Spellman of burglary and grand theft in August. Authorities say Spellman took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a stock room in the store manager's office last December. He was sentenced Friday.

The Pensacola News Journal reports that Spellman had 14 felony and 31 misdemeanor convictions prior to the cigarette theft, which qualified him as a habitual felony offender. That led to the lengthy 20-year prison sentence imposed Friday by an Escambia County judge.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires