NEW YORK — St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is embarking on a multimillion-dollar renovation.
The $175 million facelift of the Fifth Avenue church is set to begin at the end of April and last at least two years. The 2,200-seat white marble cathedral opened in 1879.
Scaffolding and netting reportedly will go up inside and outside the church. The work will include replacing crumbling marble blocks and refitting stained-glass windows from the 1870s. It will be done every day, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., stopping for daily Masses.
The cathedral gets more than 5.5 million visitors a year. Funeral Masses for many notables have been held at St. Patrick’s, including Babe Ruth and Robert F. Kennedy.
NEW YORK – The New York Police Department was beefing up security at the city’s synagogues and other Jewish sites for the Passover holiday following a deadly attack on a religious school in France last month.
Authorities stressed that there had been no specific threats reported in the city for the weeklong holiday, which started at sundown Friday.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said there would be heightened security and the deployment of armed roving counterterrorism units. “We’ll ensure that coverage is more than adequate in those neighborhoods, adding foot posts, visits by officers to synagogues, outreach ... and a heightened presence of anti-crime,” Kelly said.
The department has kept a constant eye on militant groups for signs they might attack in New York, which has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. The city faces constant threats in al-Qaida, the Hezbollah guerrilla group and so-called homegrown terrorists, Kelly said.
CINCINNATI – A gay student whose high school prohibited him from wearing a T-shirt designed to urge tolerance of gays is suing the school, saying it violated his freedom of expression.
The mother of the 16-year-old filed the federal lawsuit on his behalf against Wayne Local School District and its Waynesville High School principal. It claims the teen has been threatened by school officials with suspension if he wears the shirt, which bears the message “Jesus is Not a Homophobe,” the lawsuit says. Officials at the public school told him the shirt is “sexual in nature” and inappropriate.
The teen said he wants to wear the shirt at school April 20 to show support for the Day of Silence, an annual event held nationally for students to draw attention to bullying and harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The lawsuit asks the court to order school officials to allow him to wear the shirt and to pay him unspecified “nominal” damages and attorneys’ fees.
District Superintendent Patrick Dubbs said Tuesday that he had not seen the lawsuit, but was “disappointed that it has gotten to this point.”