In other items: Uncle to be honored for rescue attempt; Roanoke neighborhood to be sprayed for moths; and veteran charged in theft from VFW.

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Twenty-six men have filed two lawsuits against the Seattle Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church and the Congregation of Christian Brothers religious order, claiming past sexual abuse at Briscoe Memorial School, a now-defunct boarding school in Kent, and at Seattle’s O’Dea High School.

The suits were filed Friday in King County Superior Court.

Both Briscoe, which closed in 1970, and O’Dea were owned by the Seattle archdiocese and managed by the Christian Brothers.

The abuses alleged in the suits range from the 1940s to the 1970s. Plaintiffs described physical and sexual abuse at Briscoe, including whippings and beatings, late-night molestations, oral sex and rape.

Brother Daniel Casey, with the Christian Brothers-Brother Rice Province, said he hadn’t seen the lawsuits and declined to comment. Brothers with the Christian Brothers-Eastern American Province and their attorneys did not return calls seeking comment.

Greg Magnoni, Seattle archdiocese spokesman, said “we’re confident [the Christian Brothers] will respond appropriately to these lawsuits.”


Uncle to be honored for rescue attempt

A Tacoma man who died trying to rescue his drowning nephew in January is among 20 people who will be awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism today in Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey Glenn Russell, 38, died trying to save Joseph B. Bailey, 8, from drowning in Orick, Calif., Jan. 2.

The boy was pulled into the rough surf when Russell, his uncle, ran in after him.

Russell’s body was recovered more than a quarter-mile away; the boy’s body was not found.


Roanoke area to be sprayed for moths

The state of Washington plans to spray a 12-acre section of Seattle’s Roanoke neighborhood with an insecticide designed to kill voracious gypsy-moth caterpillars.

The plan calls for using trucks to spray foliage and trees with the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk), the state Department of Agriculture announced yesterday.

The state Department of Health says the insecticide is widely used and has been shown to have little effect on animals other than gypsy-moth caterpillars. Some people have complained of mild skin reactions; eyes, nose and throat irritation; and worsening of asthma or allergies after aerial spraying. The Department of Health recommends that people stay inside for 30 minutes after spraying.

The Department of Agriculture reported finding five moths in the targeted section of the Roanoke neighborhood.


Veteran charged in theft from VFW

A 50-year-old Bellevue man has been charged with stealing up to $500 in donations from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Redmond.

Robert S. Gabrio was a veteran who had been working as a cook at the post for about a year, post officials said. According to prosecutors, on Dec. 13 Gabrio stole money that had been set aside to help homeless people; to buy teddy bears for troops’ kids; and to help the post’s honor guard.

Gabrio was charged Friday in King County District Court in Redmond with third-degree theft, a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Times staff and news services