Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Article excerpt



Ex-Minister Admits He Molested Teen

A former United Methodist minister serving three years in prison for sexually abusing two boys has pleaded guilty of molesting one of the minors in another county.

John Weller, 50, was sentenced to a concurrent three-year term after his plea in Franklin County Circuit Court at Benton, Ill., on Monday.

Weller pleaded guilty in October of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving two youngsters in Perry County. He was charged with the same crime in Franklin County involving one of the boys, a 16-year-old, last year.

Weller was a pastor of the United Methodist Church in Pinckneyville, Ill., from 1991 until he was charged last summer.



Funeral Mass Friday For Union Official

A funeral Mass is planned for Friday for John J. Banovic, a former secretary-treasurer of the United Mine Workers union.

Banovic died Tuesday at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Ill., after a long illness. He was 67.

He was elected in 1982 on a slate with UMW President Richard Trumka. They were unopposed for re-election in 1987.

Banovic visited the Soviet Union three times as a union official and led a group of Russian coal miners on a tour of mines and manufacturing plants in the United States. He also served as a vice president of the Miners International Federation, which represents 9 million miners across the globe.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Ascension in Mount Olive, Ill., which is his birthplace. Burial will be in Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive.

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; a son; a sister; and two grandchildren.



Unions Try To Halt Comptroller's Layoffs

Two unions are seeking injunctions to prevent state Comptroller Loleta Didrickson from laying off 50 employees.

Didrickson's office announced 58 layoffs last week, saying they were part of a reorganization brought on by cuts in her budget. …

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