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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida • Page 45
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida • Page 45

Fort Myers, Florida
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THE NEWS-PRESS, SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2000 7D State Exiles have memorial off Cuban wast IN BRIEF State closing regions' corrections offices GAINESVILLE The Florida Department of Corrections is closing offices in Gainesville, Tampa and Tallahassee and eliminating more than 300 jobs statewide. The offices handle administrative functions for prisons in their region. other offices in Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and -t Orlando will remain open and assume the closed offices' duties. "It's part of a statewide consolida-tfon," said C. J.

Drake, a Department of Corrections SDokesman. He said mi closings were caused by cuts to izens, aren't allowed to enter our own country we want to encourage Cubans to return home to help the dissidents." The event is meant to remember the Cubans who drowned when their tugboat was overturned on July 13, 1994, by the Cuban coast guard. The flotilla left Key West late Friday and came within 13 miles of Havana shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday, When they came one mile from Cuban territorial waters, the group was warned by a nearby U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

After requesting permission from the Coast Guard, the group was allowed to hold its ceremony 12'a miles from Cuba. There were no signs of Cuban gunboats during the ceremony. Two planes from the Miami-based Cuban group Brothers to the Rescue flew overhead. "This is harmful to Castro," said Anna Teresa Bonnin, 56, as she held up a large mirror. "That is why the Coast Guard doesn't want us so close.

They are under orders from Fidel because he knows this will harm him." Those on the boats accused the U.S. government of conspiring with Cuban President Fidel Castro during the custody fight over Elian, which ended with the boy's return to Cuba with his father on June 28. Tr Associated Press FLORIDA STRAITS Dozens of Cuban-Americans held a memorial service in international waters off Havana on Saturday, throwing flowers from their boats to remember 41 Cubans who drowned trying to leave the island six years ago. They also joined in prayer for Elian Gonzalez, the 6-year-old Cuban boy found floating alone off the Florida coast in November and whose journey home became a half-year international custody battle. From their nine boats just outside Cuba's territorial waters, about 12 miles from the communist island, the 60 boaters sang the Cuban national anthem and used mirrors to reflect flashes of sunlight toward Cuba in an effort to communicate, A cheer rose from the group when a similar light flashed from the Havana skyline.

"That was a very important aspect of what we did today," said Ramon Saul Sanchez, leader of the Democracy Movement, a Miami-based anti-Castro group that organizes the annual flotilla. "It's a demonstration that the people on the island are reaching out to the international community. "It's a shame that we, as Cuban cit -imK' The Associated Press SUN SIGNALS: Using a large mirror on the top deck of the Sea King, front, a group of Cuban exiles flash sunlight toward Havana, Cuba, on Saturday in the Florida Straits following a memorial service honoring the 41 Cubans who lost their lives July 13, 1994, as they tried to flee Cuba. The service also was held to honor 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez. Police arrest 70 in crackdown on lap dancing me uepanmem Duaget lor tne liscal year that began July 1.

Statewide, 361 jobs will be affected, with some people being laid off and others offered transfers to other Reenters. All the job cuts will be in positions, and no correctional 'Officers or parole officers will be trimmed. During this spring's legislative ses-, sion, Florida lawmakers cut $62.5 mU- lion from the DOC's $1.6 billion al budget. Besides the cuts announced week, another 1,208 vacant posi- -tions will not be filled. Hillsborough, Orange counties offer perks to attract law school TAMPA The Hillsborough Commission says it will spend million to lure Florida University's new law school to Tampa.

The commissioners voted to give local property taxes to the school if it chooses the city and Tampa commissioners to pledge money or land. "Hillsborough County commission-" ers are taking the lead on this issue," Commissioner Tom Scott said. Meanwhile Orange County and Orlando, which also want the school, 'are offering to rent the school four floors of an office building for $1 a year while its campus is built. "This would be a great thing," Orange County Chairman Mel Martinez said. "It would really fit "nicely into the plans for helping downtown." The Legislature last spring 'approved new law schools at Florida and Miami's Florida International University, both primari-- ry for minority and part-time students.

The Associated Press TAMPA Seven months after ordering an end to lap dancing in Tampa strip clubs, police raided a series of clubs and arrested 70 dancers and customers. The raids, staged shortly before midnight Friday and lasting until the early morning hours on Saturday, were the first enforcement of the controversial ordinance that banned defied the ordinance since it was approved by the city council in December. Marquees advertised lap dances and challenged city police to enforce the ordinance, which is also the subject of a federal court challenge. Among the clubs raided was Mons Venus. Mons Venus is owned by Joe Redner, regarded as the king of Tampa's nude dance industry and a one-time city council candidate.

Sixteen of Redner's dancers were dancers from performing within six feet of a patron or another dancer. "We just decided to go ahead and start enforcing it," said City Attorney Jim Palermo. He said the raids were planned for weeks. Of those arrested, 41 were dancers. Included among them were two teen-age girls who were too young to be performing in the clubs at all, police said.

Two dancers at a nightclub called the arrested, as were 1 1 customers. "I think the mayor is a punk," Redner said, vowing not to comply with the ordinance. City officials said they have been taking a measured approach to the ordinance while the first lawsuits over it go through the court system. Officials also said they wanted to give customers time to learn of the ordinance before they began making arrests. Seven Seas were also charged with lewd and lascivious conduct when police caught them having sex on stage.

Tampa Police spokeswoman Lt. Jane Castor said most of those arrested were released on their own recognizance and ordered to appear in court on the misdemeanor charge. Those convicted would face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Tampa's nude clubs had openly DO YOU Serial killer directs authorities to body HAVE Skeletal remains of teen-age girl found The Associated Press OXFORD Convicted serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz led author To enjoy the benefits of restored vision today, choose asurgeon you can one with experience, dedication and excellence. Here are a few reasons why you should choose Dr.

Jonathan M. Frantz of Florida Eye Health for your cataract surgery: performs thousands of successful cataract surgeries specializes in the no injection, no patch cataract removal technique performs surgery at Suncoast Surgery Center, conveniently located on-site at Fort Myers office complex 1 files your insurance and supplemental forms for your surgery offers convenient locations in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS Board-Certified Ophthalmologist ities Saturday to the skeletal remains of a teen-age girl, a day after admitting to authorities he killed her and her traveling companion three years ago. Resendiz, 39, told Marion County sheriff's detectives i Lawmakers agreed that Florida school should be located somewhere in central Florida even 4 though the main campus of the black university is in Tallahassee. Lakeland and Daytona Beach are also competing for the school, which Florida wants to open next year.

Volusia deputy's award voided "Ion appeal; new trial ordered DAYTONA BEACH An appeals court voided a $364,000 award Volusia County had been ordered to pay to a former sheriffs lieutenant who claimed his civil rights were vio- lated when he was charged with gold smuggling 10 years ago. II The 5th District Court of Appeal on Friday ruled the trial judge was wrong to allow a witness in the case, a for-l'. mer FBI agent, to go beyond the scope of his expertise in giving testi- mony for former Lt. James Kemp. The civil award came last year, after a jury found that Sheriff Bob Vogel and two deputies violated Kemp's rights during and after his prosecution on charges that he tried to smuggle eold into the United States.

Cataract Specialist RESENDIZ teen-agers were the first of ll people he has admitted to killing in Florida, Texas, Illinois and Kentucky. Most of the killings took place on or near railroad tracks. Resendiz was sentenced to death in Texas two months ago for the 1998 murder of a Houston-area physician. The Mexican drifter became the prime suspect in the Florida slayings early this year after Owens sent him a letter Inquiring about Howell's death and Von Huben's disappearance. In a return letter, Resendiz said he killed a man and teen-age girl and gave investigators information about the slayings.

Resendiz told investigators he believe the couple were anti-Christians, Lumpkin said. He said he met Howell and Von Huben on March 21, 1997, the day of Howell's killing, at a switching station near Jacksonville. The couple decided to catch a ride with Resendiz in a grain car to find work picking oranges. Resendiz said that he and Howell left the car when the train stopped at a switching station and that he killed him with a broken air brake coupling, a three-foot long rubber hose with brass fittings on each end. He said he returned to the car, and after several miles, ordered Von Huben out.

Then, he said, he strangled the teen, wrapped her in a blanket and clothes and covered her body with leaves. Hyou think you may have cataracts, call us today for a complimentary evaluation 418-0999 800-581-0999 i rise Best ot A' FLORIDA EYE HEALTH Better Vision In Sight tM ntriEiT mm mi hkoi uvouiii mim war ra ninni nr. own imn. iiimiubid kx wmin 101 ui ttm una. iuu, mmu mm kiioiwb i iiwt mm i) mw KsnaK to iw wrtniuHf hi nc it docihmhd fie.

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ofkh ixfwn tut- i. sooo during an interview in Texas that he killed Jesse Howell, 19, with a railroad air brake coupling and that he strangled Wendy Von Huben about eight hours later. Howell's body was found on March 23, 1997, on tracks running through Belleview a central Florida town about halfway between Tampa and Jacksonville. Saturday, a search team following Resendiz's directions found skeletal remains wrapped in a blanket and camouflage jacket about 15 miles to the south. DNA taken from Von Huben's family will be compared to the remains to help identify the body, Major Patti Lumpkin said.

Resendiz told Lumpkin and Detective Jeff Owens that the two Do you want to maintain your Lifestyle and Independence? Then Marriott Calusa Harbour is for you. "The 5th DCA objected to Kemp's key witness being allowed to "inject Vhis own interpretation" of reports, '5 depositions and trial testimony. A i new trial was ordered. i Kemp was acquitted of the federal smuggling charge in 1991. Police: Abandoned baby may have been in garage for a day HOT AMnn A nourVtnrn Knv abandoned at a downtown hotel may have been in the facility's garage for a I day before he was found, investiga- tors said Friday.

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21 The baby boy was found last. Monday by a construction worker in rhe parking garage of the Sheraton Points Hotel. At the time, paramedics thought the was less than an hour old. However, detectives said Friday in their statement that the baby may have Seen placed in the garage last Sunday. The boy was taken to a hospital where he was in good condition and ZTKe was placed in the custody of the 2" Department of Children and Families.

If the mother is found, charges like-H ly will be filed against her, police said. 5 Disney World hotel waiter taken hostage leaving resort LAKE BUENA VISTA The room Z' service waiter who was taken hostage at a Walt Disney World hotel won't be returning to his job and dropped his threat to sue the theme park resort, his attorney said Friday. Raphael Carmona has decided to his $700-a-week job at the Boardwalk Inn and most likely find 5 another job in the food service indus- try, said Mick O'Brien, his Orlando attorney. "He came to an amicable resolution with Disney and he's going to move on with his life," O'Brien said. Carmona agreed to drop a threat of a lawsuit against Disney as part of a worker's compensation settlement.

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Garcia's conversation with her as any type of offer for sex, then she is honestly mistaken," he said at the time. If convicted, Garcia could face anything from suspension to firing, and could lose his state police certification. The charge against Garcia marks the latest in a series of high-profile arrests made on Biscayne Boulevard in recent years. July 5, a high-ranking Archdiocese of Miami priest, the Rev. Patrick H.

O'Neill, was charged with offering to commit prostitution. The same night Garcia was spotted, Norman Lindeblad, executive director of Miami-Dade Schools' Office of Professional Standards, was charged with soliciting a prostitute. His case is still pending. In January 1999, Atlanta Falcons football star Eugene Robinson was arrested on the eve of the Super Bowl after he propositioned a decoy officer. Robinson avoided jail in a deal under which he completed a diversion program.

A month later, Miami-Dade County Judge Reginald Richardson was acquitted of soliciting an undercover Miami Police officer for prostitution in February 1998 The Associated Press MIAMI A high-ranking Miami police officer spotted talking three weeks ago with an undercover officer posing as a prostitute has now been charged with soliciting to commit prostitution. Maj. Juan Garcia, an 18-year veteran of the department who once was a top contender for police chief, leads the department's elite Special Investigations Section, which carries out high level probes of drug- and money-laundering. Garcia, 40, was reassigned to a desk job the day after the June 24 incident, according to Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez. "His gun and badge have been taken away from him," said Martinez.

i But the respected senior officer will still receive his $73,600 yearly salary while the case is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Michael Spivack. Garcia was not arrested when he stopped last month to speak with the decoy officer on a main Miami thoroughfare, and then fled. That's because the charge is a misdemeanor, and department policy is not to chase suspects in misdemeanor cases. He will not be arrested now, either, for the same reason. Instead, state attorney spokesman Don Ungurait said, Garcia was given a notice to appear in court for arraign- Visit, call (941)322-3333.

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