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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

John and Charlotte Henderson (Longhorn Village Senior Living)

Recognized

John and Charlotte Henderson have a combined age of 211, making them the oldest married couple alive, according to Guinness World Records. At 106 and 105 years old, respectively, they will celebrate their 80th anniversary on Dec. 15. John and Charlotte met at the University of Texas at Austin in 1934 and married five years later, KTXA-TV reported. Both are reportedly in good health. John told KTXA that the secret to a strong marriage is a moderate lifestyle and being cordial to your spouse.


 

Billy Hathorn

Billy Hathorn

Mortgaged

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has mortgaged Philmont Scout Ranch, one of the BSA’s largest and most valuable properties, according to documents obtained by MinistryWatch.com. The Boy Scouts filed the mortgage in Colfax County, N.M., where Philmont is located, in March. The document places a mortgage on the entire Philmont property—which covers more than 140,000 acres, or about 220 square miles—in northeastern New Mexico. JP Morgan Chase Bank holds the mortgage, and the filing states that “the lien secured by this Mortgage shall not at any one time exceed $450,000,000.” BSA has suffered membership drops in recent years, and in August, a group called Abused in Scouting filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia on behalf of a former Scout who claims he was abused by a Scout leader.


 

Brian Melley/AP

Ruben Martinez Jr. (Brian Melley/AP)

Released

A man wrongly convicted for a string of armed robberies has been released after 11 years in prison. Ruben Martinez Jr. was brought to trial in 2008, accused of stealing multiple times from a Los Angeles auto body shop. Martinez claimed he was at his job during two of the robberies. Witnesses contradicted each other, with two saying he was not the robber and one saying he was. Despite this conflict and the lack of physical evidence, the judge gave Martinez a sentence of almost 48 years in prison. After two unsuccessful appeals, he was able to bring the District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit onto his case. These investigators found witnesses, records, and pay stubs proving Martinez’s alibi, and Judge William Ryan vacated his conviction. “It was God’s strength that got me through this,” he said at a press conference.


 

Approved

The British Parliament has approved a bill that would allow opposite-sex couples to register for civil partnerships. Previously, this legal option was only available to same-sex couples. The change came after a man and woman brought a case before the U.K. Supreme Court arguing they should receive the financial aid of a civil partnership without having to get married. The court ruled in their favor, saying the British limits on civil partnership were a breach of human rights, since many couples oppose traditional marriage.


 

Dropped

Fast-food giant Chick-fil-A announced on Nov. 18 it would end its multiyear donations to two organizations that have faced criticism from LGBT advocacy groups. In 2018 the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $115,000 to the Salvation Army and $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which affirms heterosexual marriage. But in 2020, Chick-fil-A says it will instead give $9 million to other nonprofits focusing on homelessness, hunger, and education. The restaurant promised a boost in funding to Covenant House International, an organization that helps homeless and trafficked youth and describes itself as LGBT “affirming.” Chick-fil-A President Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow the new funding priorities would help the company “be clear about who we are.”