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The Palm Beach Post msl SECTION B SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1997 GROWERS UNHAPPY Proposed guidelines to make produce safe from food-borne illnesses are called burdensome. BUSINESS, 9B RAPIST SENTENCED A Hobe Sound man is sentenced to 30 years for raping two women. STORY, 2B LOCAL NEWS .--,-.Jfc- .iVy.,., ifcts &&&&&ii .gTiWr-rfMNl.rfw I Pal-Mar Yes, Rachael, there's Santa Claus B scrub and Talisman key buys , . rv CYTV W - 1 f l -n t 1 i 1 t. VI 'i t I t) 1 I t i . '"- K' lr '-j ; . f The coastal parcel kept its lead and the sugar tract jumped ahead as a 1 conservation priority considered y critical to Everglades restoration. By Shirish Date Palm Beach Post Staff Writer y TALLAHASSEE A piece of coastal scrub on the border of Palm Beach and Martin counties kept its top spot on a key state land-buying priority list Friday, as the so-called Talisman sugar tract considered critical to Everglades restoration jumped to the fifth spot. Other pieces of environmentally sensitive land in Martin and St. Lucie counties also ranked in the top 15 on the list of multi-agency purchases for 1998-99 high enough to have a decent chance of actually getting portions purchased. Among them: Atlantic Ridge in Martin County, at No. 7; Hutchinson Island-Blind Creek in St. Lucie County, at No. 9, Allapattah Flats in Martin County; at No. 14; and the Indian River Lagoon Blueway, with land in five counties including Martin and St. Lucie, at No. 15. "That's going to be right on the cusp," the Nature Conservancy's George Willson said of the Blueway project. The "bargain-shared" projects on the list receive half of the purchase money from the state, the rest from other sources - which can include the county, the federal government or the local water district. Which means that just because a project ranks highly on the list doesn't mean it will immediately get state money. Of the $160 million available from Preservation 2000 bond money each year, about one-fourth of that, or $40 million, is typically spent on the "bargain-shared" list When local and federal contributions are added that can account for $80 million in land purchases. The total value of the top 15 projects on the list is many times that figure. The value of the Pal-Mar and Atlantic Ridge projects is about $80 million, for example. Most of the projects on this year's list were ranked similarly last year. The Pal-Mar tract, for instance, was No. 1, and Atlantic Ridge was No. 2. A notable exception was the Talisman tract, which jumped from No. 24 to No. 5. Although that change would help the project get state money and in that sense is good news, it doesn't mean a purchase is imminent, said John Neuharth, spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District The tract's owner, Talisman Sugar's parent company, St. Joe Corp., has already turned down a $102 million offer from the water district. The 52,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee has been appraised at $110 million. Environmentalists want the Talisman land to be used as part of a complex system to store and clean BOB SHANLEYStaff Photographer STUART - Wide-eyed Rachael Zarker, 1, seems spellbound as Santa's McHale, of Port St. Lucie. It was cool enough for a cozy hood, and today entourage passes during the Soroptimist Holiday Parade on East Ocean will bring more of the same - mostly sunny and cool with a high of 68 Boulevard Friday night. Rachael is held by her great-aunt, Eileen and a low of 45. Tomorrow's outlook is a tad cooler. Dropped lawsuit costs county 9 parcels nances designating how the nine parcels may be used during hearings next month before Administrative Law Judge Larry Sartin. The county also is gearing up for another round of challenges against the city's plan to annex 1,000 more acres over the next few months. The City Commission will consider annexation ordinances involving seven additional parcels on Monday. The county will have 30 days to appeal the annexations in court or the land-use designations before DOA, or both, Coffin said. An additional 26 parcels will be discussed during public hearings Monday and in January. Each time the city approves the annexations and land-use ordinances for particular parcels, the county will have new 30-day periods to appeal. within the city of Stuart, he said. Those two cases (the annexation suit and the DOA challenge) are two separate cases that are not related," Coffin said. "The issues are different." County Commissioner Donna Melzer said she eventually figured out that the county had lost the nine parcels of taxable property. But initially, she said, "I didn't know we dropped them and I don't know if I would have gone with it." Melzer said she understood that the county's attorneys realized they "didn't have much of a case" in court because the county failed to make objections during the city's public hearing process. "We hadn't done anything to make a record for the appeal," she said. The county will continue to challenge ordi The suit, dropped without commissioners' approval, gives nine taxable tracts to Stuart. By Pat Moore Palm Beach Post Staff Writer STUART When Martin County's attorney dropped an annexation lawsuit Monday without the permission or knowledge of county commissioners nine parcels of land officially became part of Stuart, City Attorney Carl Coffin said Friday. The county is challenging land-use designations for the nine parcels at the north and south ends of the city with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, but that land is now taxable property Please see LAND-BUYINGSB Two critics being tried for perjury The Port St. Lucie men are charged with lying about a land deal. By Teresa Lane Palm Beach Post Staff Writer FORT PIERCE Government critics Sean Murphy and Bill Wilmore didn't like Port St Lucie's costly utility expansion and perjured themselves in an effort to stop it, a prosecutor told Fishing for warmer temperatures JENSEN BEACH Albert 'B.' didn't let the cooler temperatures Friday keep him from fishing. Instead, he pulled out his 30-year-old wool suit to keep him warm while dropping a line off the Jensen Public Beach. The fishing was cold, too. Albert only caught two fish, but said it would still make a nice meal. ; h ' :--( f - ' ; ""I" " i - .: ;'.: I 5,,., .. .. ; ,),. (5(A-. - -4- ,- ....-.-.. -f.",'--- " ' ;m-t 1 4 """"V"' -' - ' -.i...;y-" m- . . f 'i ;.,v. ' 2 - ' . " , I1",-1- f.r imM-M - .... .Mffe--as-- , jurors in open ing trial state 4i Judge guts , family's lawsuit But claims made in the case of a man who died of a drug overdose in the county jail could be refiled. By Noah Bierman Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Family members of a Fort Pierce man who. died of a drug . overdose after a night in the county jail had parts of their lawsuit dismissed this week by a federal judge. The parents of Anderson Lee Tate Jr., 22, sued numerous law enforcement agencies, individuals and a jail health-care contractor in February, claiming Tate's civil rights were violated. The night before Tate died last year, a videotape from the jail showed him as he sat restrained for several .hours pleading for help while deputies either ignored or taunted him. Chief U.S. District Judge Edward Davis in Miami left open the possibility that most of the family's claims that he dismissed , could be refiled, but defense attorneys say Davis' ruling makes the family's case more difficult to prove. They have to allege more things and they have to be able to prove those allegations. That be- comes more difficult," said John Brennan, an attorney for the city Flense see mV8B JASON NUHLEStaff Photographer ments Friday. But Murphy and an attorney for Wilmore, a former school bus driver, say their actions weren't criminal because, in the end, they St. Lucie's veteran teachers get 3 percent raise Murphy wouldn't have affected the city's utility project anyway. It'll be up to a six-person jury Monday to decide whether the pair are guilty of a crime that could land them in prison for up to five years, but more likely would result in a one-year county jail sentence or less. The Port St. Lucie residents were arrested in December 1996 after admitting to investigators they had predated a land-sale contract and then lied about it in sworn depositions to give we could do with our tight finances." Negotiators agreed to form a committee to find ways to take teacher performance into account when granting raises. "There's a high level of trust between the teachers and board," school board member John Carvelli said. "The settlement looks good for both." Board members will be asked to approve the settlement at Tuesday night's meeting. Union members will also have to ratify the proposed settlement. an agreement with the teachers union Friday which will give veteran teachers a 3 percent raise. And it's retroactive to July, meaning about 1,000 teachers will get five months of the raise in one check, hopefully on Dec. 19, union President Clara Cook said. Non-instructional workers with the same amount of seniority will also get the retroactive raise. Cook said the agreement was a compromise that wouldn't make the district's teachers very happy. "Are we happy with this? No. It's not anything to celebrate be cause it's just so minimal but that's all our district has and we realize that" she said. The younger teachers got raises in July according to the standard salary schedule. The raises for the teachers who have been there longer were to compensate for the fact that the long-term teachers have topped the salary scale and no one got cost-of-living increases this year, Cook explained. "We appreciate the patience of the teachers," Superintendent Bill Vogel said. "This is the best 7 The raise is retroactive to July, so they should get five months of the raise in one check. By Jim Reeder and Susana Nesmith . Palm Beach Post Staff Writer FORT PIERCE Teachers who have worked in St. Lucie County schools for 23 years or more have something to look forward to in their paychecks, just in time for the holidays. The school district reached Please see LANDSB.