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Catholic center doesn't buy house it planned to use for sex offenders

The Catholic Action Center has decided not to purchase a home on Detroit Avenue that it had intended to use for housing registered sex offenders.

The center took possession of the house last month, but the plans were thrown into doubt after a heated meeting with neighbors. Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center, told neighbors at the meeting that she would not allow sex offenders to live in the house, but she was unsure whether the center would still buy the house and use it for non-sex offenders.

She said Tuesday that the home has been turned back over to its owner.

"We are actively pursuing other housing" for sex offenders, she said.

A task force is also forming to provide education to the public about sex crimes and laws regarding where sex offenders can live, Ramsey said. She said the task force also plans to work on legislative issues regarding housing for sex offenders.

Under tighter restrictions enacted in 2006, convicted sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools, public playgrounds and licensed day-care centers.

A bill pending in the state legislature would further restrict housing options.

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