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In Brief - News - Dec. 20, 2013

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The Associated Press

Man emerges as focus of shooting

RENO, Nev. — A 51-year-old man from rural Northern California has emerged as the focus of the investigation into a Reno hospital shooting.
Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood says his agency helped Reno police execute a search warrant Wednesday at the home of Alan Oliver Frazier near Lake Almanor.
Reno police have not confirmed whether Frazier was the gunman who shot three people and killed himself at a urology clinic this week. They have been trying to notify next of kin before releasing a name.
Reno police say there was only one suspect in the shooting.
Hagwood says Frazier lived alone and had no significant contact with law enforcement in about two decades living in Plumas County.

Pastor defrocked after wedding

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday who violated religious doctrine by officiating his son’s gay wedding and then, after being suspended, defiantly refused to resign.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer met briefly with the Board of Ordained Ministry at church offices in suburban Philadelphia. Schaefer apparently made good on an earlier vow that he wouldn’t voluntarily surrender his credentials as ordered by a religious jury.
Officials had no choice but to terminate his ministerial office, church spokesman John Coleman said afterward.
“When asked to surrender his credentials as required by the verdict, he refused to do so,” Coleman said. “Therefore, because of his decision, the board was compelled by the jury’s decision to deem his credentials surrendered.”
Schaefer left the building without commenting. He planned to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon at a Methodist church in Philadelphia where an associate minister was defrocked in 2005 for being in a lesbian relationship.
Last month, a church jury suspended Schaefer for 30 days for performing the 2007 wedding of his gay son in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions are legal. Although the Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members, it rejects the practice of homosexuality as “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bars clergy from performing same-sex unions.

Woman claims lottery winning

ATLANTA  — On her way to work, Ira Curry heard on the radio that one of the winning lottery ticket numbers was her family’s lucky No. 7. She called home, her daughter checked the ticket and in an instant, Curry was a multi-millionaire.
Curry came forward Wednesday to collect half of the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second largest in U.S. history. She’ll take the lump sum of about $120 million after taxes, which will be given to her in about a week or two. The other winning ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif. The winner there has one year to come forward.
Curry, her husband and other family members came to the lottery headquarters in Atlanta to claim the prize.