Priest Sues Aid Group over Medical Expenses

Des Moines Register [Iowa]
February 27, 2006

Blaze burns trailer where body was found

Authorities are investigating a fire early Sunday that destroyed the trailer where the body of 10-year-old Jetseta Gage was discovered last March.

Tire tracks leading to the trailer were found. Investigators said that they were looking into the possibility of arson. The fire is thought to have started about 12:30 a.m., officials said.

Roger Bentley, 38, of Brandon was sentenced to life in prison Friday following his conviction last month in the abduction and murder of the Cedar Rapids girl.

Authorities following up on a tip from neighbors found Bentley at the run-down mobile home outside Iowa City the day after the girl was reported missing. Her body was discovered inside the trailer a short time later.

Afghanistan-bound soldiers to get send-off

Twenty soldiers who have received orders for a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan will be honored at a community send-off ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Newton High School gymnasium.

The soldiers are from Iowa Army National Guard units based in Johnston, Newton, Iowa City, Dubuque, Clinton, Audubon, Eagle Grove, Mason City and Fort Dodge. They will be sent to Camp Shelby, Miss., for training before leaving for Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood, the Guard's public affairs officer.

In Afghanistan, the Iowans will provide advanced logistical and combat service support training to the Afghan National Army, Hapgood said. The soldiers are expected to be on active duty about a total of about 15 months, including the one year in Afghanistan, he said.

Priest sues aid group over medical expenses

A retired priest accused of sexually abusing boys has filed a lawsuit against a group that provides aid to retired clergy.

The Rev. Francis Bass, named in several lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, filed a lawsuit this week in Scott County District Court against the Priests' Aid Society. He claims the society is responsible for paying his medical and dental expenses.

According to the lawsuit, the society told Bass on Sept. 28, 2004, he was no longer a member and that it no longer would pay his Medicare supplemental insurance.

Bass, 83, claims nothing in the society's bylaws allows it to forfeit his benefits. Bass, who retired from the priesthood in 1990, said he paid annual dues to the society, of which he had been a member since 1968.

The society's board of supervisors plans to meet to discuss the lawsuit, said Monsignor Francis Henrickson of Tipton.

Officials with the Davenport Catholic Diocese said the society is a separate legal entity.

Bass is accused of abusing at least a half-dozen boys. He has been named in several lawsuits filed against the diocese by abuse victims.

Bishop William Franklin of the Davenport Diocese has filed a request to the Vatican that Bass be defrocked.

House fire kills boy, grandmother says

A 4-year-old boy who died in a Monona house fire was hiding from the flames, his grandmother said.

Justin Cahoon and his brother, Jacob, 5, were playing with a wood stove Saturday morning when the fire started, said their grandmother, Kathy Cahoon of Monona.

Jacob went to get his mother, but Justin hid in a closet, Cahoon said.

The boys' mother, Melanie, tried to find Justin and then took Jacob outside before again attempting to find the younger boy, the grandmother said.

Firefighters discovered Justin's body in a bedroom closet, Kathy Cahoon said. The father of the family, Nathan Cahoon, and 8-year-old Cassandra Cahoon were away from home at the time of the fire.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.