In other items: A protest vigil at a parish slated for closure by the Boston Archdiocese ended yesterday when police sealed off the 114-year-old church after its final Mass; seven people in Ohio were stabbed in a fight at a birthday party for a 2-year-old girl; and an airline passenger whose identity was apparently stolen...

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Raleigh, N.C.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted the Carolinas yesterday, knocking out power to thousands and causing hundreds of accidents on one of the busiest travel and shopping days of the year. At least two people were killed in North Carolina.

Portions of eastern North Carolina received more than 9 inches of snow, surprising residents who often go an entire winter without snow. About 10,000 people were without power.

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As much as 14 inches of snow fell in eastern Virginia.

Farther south, freezing rain coated trees and power lines with ice, knocking out power to more than 25,000 homes and businesses in central and northeastern South Carolina.


Natick, Mass.


Church protest ends under threat of arrest

A protest vigil at a parish slated for closure by the Boston Archdiocese ended yesterday when police sealed off the 114-year-old church after its final Mass and ordered parishioners to leave.

About a dozen parishioners had resumed the vigil at Sacred Heart Church yesterday morning after two church members, Anne Green and Leo Ryan, were arrested for refusing to leave after Christmas Eve Mass on Friday night.

But after several hours, police entered the building and told the parishioners they would be arrested if they didn’t leave. No arrests were made.

Brendan Melchiorri, 14, who left Sacred Heart weeping with the other evicted parishioners, said the closure was “one of the worst days of my entire life.”

The closure is part of a reorganization announced last spring by Archbishop Sean O’Malley. Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said there was no decision to take a harder line against the protests.

“The decisions made at Sacred Heart were based on circumstances particular to this parish,” she said.


Akron, Ohio


Seven stabbed in fight at birthday party

Seven people were stabbed in a fight at a birthday party for a 2-year-old girl, and police said yesterday they charged two men with assault.

The little girl was not injured, police said.

The victims of the melee Saturday night were hospitalized, and at least one required surgery, said police Sgt. Terry Hudnall.

Tam T. Nguyen, 25, and Vi Tran, 35, were charged. Nguyen was jailed, and Tran was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered in the fight, said Hudnall, adding more charges were expected to be filed.

The people at the party were Vietnamese and police had to call in interpreters to talk with witnesses and victims. “We have no idea right now what started the fight,” police Lt. Rick Edwards said.


Key West, Fla.


Detained flier’s identity was stolen

An airline passenger whose identity was apparently stolen by someone on a federal no-fly list was briefly detained yesterday, before his fingerprints cleared him, the FBI said.

The Delta Air Lines flight from Colombia was diverted to Naval Air Station Key West, and the passenger and his luggage were removed before the plane continued to its destination of Atlanta.

After fingerprinting the passenger, immigration officials and FBI agents released him, said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela.

“His name is on the list because somebody who is on the list stole his identity,” Orihuela said.

The FBI did not release the passenger’s name.