CASTLE ROCK, COLO.

Civil liberties groups sue over vouchers, claim religious freedom violated

Three civil liberties organizations have filed a lawsuit challenging a school voucher plan adopted by Douglas County.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

ACLU Colorado director Mark Silverstein says the voucher plan violates the Colorado Constitution's religious liberty provisions, which bar the use of public funds for religious schools.

The district plans to designate up to 500 children as public school students in order to obtain per-pupil educational funds from the state to help them pay private school tuition.

Douglas County officials say the program includes "rigorous accountability measures" and that district believes that every student should be empowered to find their best educational fit.

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LOUISVILLE, KY.

Evangelist pleads guilty to wire fraud in Ky. oil-and-gas scheme to defraud church-goers

A traveling evangelist has pleaded guilty to 17 counts of wire fraud for an oil-and-gas investment scheme that cost churchgoers more than $700,000 over 15 years.

Ernest Cadick, 60, entered the plea as trial was set to begin in federal court, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Cadick was accused of soliciting investments for oil-and-gas businesses, then spending the money on himself. Cadick would quote Scripture and pray with potential victims over investments, prosecutors said.

The Rev. Bob Rodgers, pastor at Louisville's Evangel World Prayer Center, said some of his church members invested with Cadick and lost their life savings.

Cadick's attorneys did not comment. Sentencing will be Sept. 12 before U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II.

- The Associated Press

- The Associated Press

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