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News In Brief

Menorah fought in Michigan; no creche in Providence, R.I.

An official of the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday the group will ask the city commission of Grand Rapids, Mich., to overturn a decision to allow a Jewish organization to erect a menorah on city property. Last Friday, the city gave permission to the Chabad House to erect a 20-foot-tall menorah on the downtown Calder Plaza for the eight days of Hanukkah, which begins tonight.

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Elsewhere, a Roman Catholic group in Providence, R.I., decided Sunday not to install a Nativity scene or creche on the steps of City Hall for the first time in four years. Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, under pressure from the Jewish Community Council, said a creche at City Hall would probably start a debate about the separation of church and state, and the meaning of Christmas would be left on the shelf.