Diocese of Belleville | St. Louis Public Radio

Diocese of Belleville

Students get ready for a violin class taught by Philip Tinge at Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School in East St. Louis.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School in East St. Louis is one of hundreds of private schools in Illinois that could see a financial boost from the state’s new tax credit scholarship program.

More than 90 percent of the families who send their children to the school fall below the federal poverty line of $24,600 for a family of four. That gives them top priority to receive a scholarship.

Although children from low-income families get priority,  if Illinois follows the pattern of other states with similar programs, most of the tax credit scholarships will go to middle-class families.

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An attorney whose client got a $6.3 million payout in a case against a southwestern Illinois diocese says that diocese has settled three more lawsuits involving sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Mike Weilmuenster says two of the cases settled last week by the Diocese of Belleville involve allegations against the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

(via Flickr/CrashTestAddict)

Town Hall tonight on heroin epidemic

Tonight, law enforcement, social workers and drug counselors will hold a third Town Hall meeting on the epidemic of heroin and prescription pain killer use among teens in St. Louis County. Speakers will be on hand to talk about police enforcement strategies and signs of heroin addiction.

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In an update to a story we've been following and told you more about earlier this morning:

A nine-year legal fight by a man sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s is over, now that a southern Illinois diocese and its insurer have handed over $6.3 million to resolve a jury award in the man's favor.

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Wording approved for Mo. ballot measure limiting payday loans

A group of community and religious leaders is proposing a Missouri ballot measure that would effectively limit the cost of payday loans. The secretary of state's office on Tuesday approved the wording of a proposed ballot summary, allowing supporters to begin a petition drive to put the question on a statewide ballot.

(via Wikimedia Commons/AlexiusHoratius)

An attorney for a man sexually abused by a southwestern Illinois priest says his client soon will receive $6.3 million related to a lawsuit the man won against the Diocese of Belleville.

Mike Weilmuenster tells the Belleville News-Democrat that a court hearing Wednesday in St. Clair County could involve the payout to James Wisniewski of Champaign.

A southern Illinois appeals court has refused to overturn a $5 million jury award against the Diocese of Belleville to a former altar boy who claimed he was sexually abused by a priest.