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Boy Scouts to Allow Transgender Boys; Convicted Nova Prof. Found Dead; Boiler Explosion in Haverford
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 01/31/17 2:13 am | updated: 01/31/17 2:13 am
The Boys Scouts of American announced Monday that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys' only programs. The organization made the decision to base enrollment on the gender a parent or child lists on the application to become a scout. The previous policy relied on the gender listed on the child's birth certificate. A spokeswoman for the organization says it made the decision based on states and communities changing how gender is defined. "For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs," the statement said. "However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state."

A former Villanova University history professor scheduled to begin a 20-month prison term on child pornography charges was found dead over the weekend. 60-year-old Christopher Haas was declared dead at 5:10 p.m. on Saturday according to David Daugherty, chief deputy coroner for Chester County. He did not disclose the cause or manner of death but did say that it was not suspicious. Scott Godshall, Haas' attorney, was supposed to drive his client to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst federal prison today to begin his prison term. He said the timing of the death was "worrisome" but that Haas seemed to be in good spirits last week. Haas was arrested in March 2016 after a four year investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He was charged with hundreds of counts of possessing child pornography which he had on his school laptop. In September, he pled guilty to one count of accessing the internet with the intent to view child exploitation images.

A boiler explosion rocked a Delaware County grade school at dawn on Monday and will keep classes canceled all week. It happened at 5:45 a.m. at Saints Colman-John Neumann School on the 300 block of Highland Lane in Haverford Township. It was first discovered when staff arrived at the school and noticed no heat and the smell of gas. That's when they found one of two boilers had blown. "This incident occurred prior to the arrival of any students or school administrators. Thankfully, no one was injured," said Kenneth A. Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. A structural engineer was called out to assess the building. PECO crews were also on the scene. Both boilers will be replaced in the building and that could taken until Thursday to complete.

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