Two American journalists held in Libya to be released

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May 17, 2011, 4:46 pm

(NECN: Lauren Collins, Rochester, NH) - Word that James Foley and three other journalists detained in Libya were in court Tuesday and will soon be released brings hope to his friends and neighbors in Rochester, New Hampshire.

"We're just excited.  It's like Christmas," says Mel Flanigan, owner of Mel Flanigan's Pub on Main Street.

Foley's outspoken parents -John and Diane - have advocated for his release ever since his April 5th capture.  

They're cautiously optimistic that reports of his imminent release are true, but tell NECN off camera they've been disappointed before and are holding their breath - and comment - until they know for sure.  

Similar sentiments from the guarded mother of freelance writer and New Haven, Connecticut native Claire Gillis, who's the other American held captive for the last 42 days.

"Nobody's forgotten him," says Flanigan.

More than 38,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Foley's release and his story is being closely watched in his hometown.

"We have the posters, the Foley family gave us the buttons, we have it on our Facebook."

Flanigan has known the Foley family for years.  Choked up at the thought that this unimaginable drama may soon be over, she says the family is strong.

"I know they prayed and they willed their son back and he's coming home."

Tags: Lauren Collins, Libya, journalists
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