The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida on August 24, 1995 · Page 136
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The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida · Page 136

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Orlando, Florida
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Thursday, August 24, 1995
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Page 136
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VOLUSIA V The Orlando Sentinel, Thursday, August 24, 1995 D-3 Grand jury takes up boy-in-trunk sla By Pat LaMee OF THE SENTINEL STAFF David D. Porter SENTINEL COLUMNIST If you have pride, fly your colors Have you ever seen the rainbow flag? About two years ago I started noticing it on the bumpers of cars and trucks all over Central Florida. At first I thought it was the standard for some new country or a political movement. One day when I was out at Florida Mall, I saw a guy parking a car with the rainbow sticker on the back window. So I popped the question. He told me that flag is a symbol of gay pride. To tell the truth I was a little embarrassed because I had no intention of getting into his personal business. Knowing how easy it is for some folks to hate people or things that they do not understand, I'm impressed that man and many other gay people who display that flag or the pink triangle symbol are willing to tell the world something very personal about themselves. Heck, a few months ago when I was visiting New York I didn't see nearly as many expressions of gay pride as I see here in Florida. Such symbols are important to build and protect the self-esteem of a persecuted people. I'm not gay, but as a black man I have a sense of how gay people must feel to be hated for something that they have no control over. I didn't choose my skin color. They didn't choose their sexual orientation. We were dealt a hand by God, and now we and the rest of society must learn to live with it. My family has a close friend who is gay. For the sake of this column I'll call her Sally. I remember when Sally was very young, we always sensed there was something a little different about her. Among other things, Sally never liked to wear dresses or play with dolls. In my mind I have compared Sally's behavior with that of my daughter, who is 6 years old and who enjoys pretty, frilly dresses and little-girl games. No doubt many heterosexual women went through a tomboy phase when they were young. In Sally's case, though, her childhood behavior turned out to be an early indicator of her sexual orientation as an adult. Even though Sally never lost the love of her family she has not had an easy life. In her early adulthood she wrestled with many internal conflicts, dropped out of college, bummed around on a bunch of dead-end jobs. But along the way, she came to terms with who she is and she's doing well today. Over the years I have worked with people who are gay. None of them ever hit on me. What I found is that they could do their jobs. Some had a good sense of humor. Some did not. Some liked the same movies, food and music that I and other straight colleagues enjoyed. Some did not. In other words, gay people are just folks. As far as I'm concerned, what someone else does in his or her bedroom isn't any of my business as long as they aren't exploiting children or using force. I must admit that there are a lot of things that I do not know or do not understand about gay people. And certainly there are points of view some people in the gay community may have that I may not share. But that does not shake my fundamental belief that people should be free to be who they are without fear of being hassled. I get very concerned when I read stories about thugs attacking gay people, or politicians who try to enact laws to deny gay people protection from discrimination. The way I see it, those with the deepest hatred for gay people probably have serious questions about their own sexual orientation. Such individuals are bullies. They may be picking on gay people today, but Lord knows who will be their target of torment tomorrow. I'm reminded of the importance j of standing up against such bullies by a quote attributed to Martin Nie-moller, a German Lutheran pastor who died in a concentration camp during World War II: "In Germany the Nazis came for the communists, and I did not speak up because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew ... Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant so I didn't speak up. Then they came for me. By that time there was no one to speak up for anyone." DELAND Grand jury members on Wednesday heard the first round of testimony regarding evidence in the asphyxiation death of an 8-year-old New Smyrna Beach boy. State Attorney Steve Alexander presented several witnesses who gave details about the death of Dimitric Moore on April 23. Alexander declined to name those who testified or to discuss suspects in the slaying. The presentation of evidence was not completed Wednesday, and additional witnesses will be brought to the jury panel in two to four weeks, Alexander said. "We are trying to do a very fair and thorough review of the circumstances of the boy's death," he said. "Next month we expect to have more information to give jurors along with new witnesses." Several New Smyrna Beach investigators heavily involved in the case, including Lt Wade Kirby, Detective Michael Broulette and Gordon Rogers, police spokesman, are expected to testify before the panel. The grand jury will eventually decide whether investigators have enough information to charge someone with the homicide. No information about the testimony or questions from jurors was released due to the secrecy of grand jury procedures. The boy's mother Ora Moore, 37, has not been eliminated from a pool of suspects, said Steve Cotter, spokesman for Alexander. Moore denies any involvement in the slaying. Moore has voluntarily taken three polygraph tests during which police kept asking if she was responsible for Dimitric's death, she has said. Police have said the tests revealed inconsistencies in her statements. Moore's attorney James Crock described the procedural delay as "unfortunate because it will take longer for police to find the real killer." Moore reported Dimitric missing at 9 p.m. April 23, and his nude body was found the next afternoon in her car parked in front of their Jefferson Street home. The same jurors Wednesday heard testimony in the stabbing death last July 30 of Barry Moehring, 45, owner of the Catalina Motel, 1400 N. Atlantic Ave. Suspect Anthony Joseph Ferreira, 23, of New Bedford, Mass., was indicted on first-degree murder charges and attempted armed robbery. Anger aimed at water districts Buddy MacKay says the governor's office may need more control over the boards guarding the state's water. By Craig Quintana OF THE SENTINEL STAFF Things are fine now, but if a statewide commission recommends that Florida's water districts need shaking up, then by all means give more power to the governor's office. That unsurprising message came from Lt. Gov. Buddy Mac-Kay, who spoke to the Water Mangement District Review Commission Wednesday in Orlando. The commission began deliberations on changes it will recommend for the five districts Florida's primary water guardians. Critics, led by farmers and state Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford, charge the tax-levying districts are out of control. Some say the semi-independent, governor-appointed boards ANGELA PETERSONTHE ORLANDO SENTINEL Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay spoke to Water District Review Commission on Wednesday. should be elected and therefore accountable to taxpayers. "If you all decide you need to do something radical, give us more power," MacKay said. When elected in 1990, Gov. Lawton Chiles told the districts to cut their budgets, cut staff and change unpopular policies. In 1994, after Chiles beat Jeb Bush in a close election, the governor's office got the message that farmers are still angry, MacKay said. Again, arms were twist ed. Independently elected board members could become immune to the governor's influence, he said. State Sen. John McKay, a Bradenton Republican and commission member, noted the governor has little formal power to dictate, asked "what teeth do you need?" The lieutenant governor noted that his office recently criticized the South Florida district's pro posed 24.7-percent budget increase. Reacting to the criticism and public anger, the district's governing board ordered a $20 million cut in the final budget to be approved in September. "We're hammering the daylights out of them to get that down," Buddy MacKay said. John McKay said the panel may consider giving the governor the power to fire the district executive directors or a formal role in budget approval. Boys who defaced temple left partial signatures DELTONA Two Deltona boys who were charged Wednesday with defacing a synagogue with racist graffiti were caught because they left partial signatures next to their work, Volusia deputies said. Temple Shalom members found a swastika, references to the Ku Klux Klan and racial slurs scrawled on the back of their building Tuesday afternoon. They also found the words "Timothy S." and "Mike T." The boys, ages 12 and 14, were each charged with one count of defacing a church, deputies said. They were released into their parents' custody. The boys attend middle school in Deltona. Capt. Jake Ehrhart, who runs the sheriffs Deltona office, said the boys told deputies they found a felt-tipped marker Tuesday and decided to mark up the temple. Orange City may again consider new license fees ORANGE CITY A move to retool the city's occupational license fees was shoved aside Tuesday night, but may come back to the City Council again next month. The occupational license ordinance recommended by a citizens' committee that studied the fee structure for several weeks was voted down Tuesday night. The fees would affect nearly 700 people in the city who must buy business licenses. A few people spoke against the fees at Tuesday night's meeting. Mostly real estate agents and beauty salon owners have complained about the new fees. Committee members said overall the fees are actually lower, although r Q How is life at the Altamonte Bay Club Apartments since a possible sinkhole formed there on July 27? A Life is quiet these days for residents in 24 apartments that were evacuated after the depression broke the complex wall and cracked the nearby sidewalk. The apartment's manager put the residents up at a hotel at company expense for about a week. Ground-penetrating radar detected underground cavities with sinkhole characteristics. For 10 days, a contractor pumped liquid concrete into 10 spots to a depth of 100 feet. Once the building was deemed safe by city and apartment officials, residents returned home. The complex is trying to get a permit to rebuild the complex wall. Some regrading of the sidewalk and landscaping also have to be done. The ordeal was a learning experience, said the complex's Vanessa O'Connell. "Our company trains us very well as far as handling natural disasters, though we never really covered sinkholes," she said. "I know a lot more about sinkholes now than I did before." Call us with your ideal (407) 420-5780 or write to Follow-up c0 77w Orlando Sentinel. 633 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32801 they would be higher for some occupations. Woman says ex-husband took gun and fired at her NEW SMYRNA BEACH A woman taking refuge from her ex-husband nearly became a domestic-violence statistic when he grabbed a .38-caliber revolver from her car and fired at her, deputies said Wednesday. Volusia deputies said the woman, whose name wasn't released, had driven to the New Smyrna Beach sheriffs substation because her ex-husband spotted her car Wednesday morning and started following her, ramming the car with his truck. The woman told deputies her ex-husband grabbed a revolver from her glove compartment and fired one shot that lodged in the driver's side door. She wasn't hurt. Michael Madorma, 35, of 203V4 Smith St., was held without bond Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and carrying a con cealed firearm, a Volusia County Branch Jail spokeswoman said. Taking parking spaces for disabled is under fire ORANGE CITY City officials passed a new parking law Tuesday night that is designed to crack down on those who park illegally in spaces meant for the disabled. City Council members did say, however, that they plan to phase in enforcement of the new rules over a 60-day period, so city officials have time to order new signs and tell business owners about the rules. The rules increase the fines for parking in spaces set aside for the disabled up to $250 in some cases. The police department previously had little recourse for enforcing violations such as parking in spots reserved for the disabled or in fire lanes because no parking ordinance was on the books, city officials said. Cleanup of storage unit turns up body In Titusville TITUSVILLE A decomposing body stuffed inside a garbage can I was discovered Wednesday inside a storage unit, police said. Two employees at All Purpose Warehouse, 100 N. Palm Ave., found the remains while cleaning out the 5-foot by 5-foot unit, for which rent had not been paid, said police spokesman Jay Cullen. Officials could not immediately tell the sex, race or approximate age of the victim, Cullen said. An autopsy is scheduled for today. Longtime UCF executive for finance plans to retire The University of Central Florida's vice president of administration and finance has announced he will resign as of Oct. 1. John Bolte, 65, who has been with UCF since it opened in 1968, told university president John Hitt he was leaving the university to "pursue private business interests." He started as a physics professor, but added the title of assistant director of academic affairs in July 1968. He became vice president of administration and finance, the university's chief financial officer, in 1986, and currently earns $108,500 a year. Picketin by polic may start Orange City officers have been urged to protest the lack of an agreement with the city. Six points are in dispute. By Mickie Anderson OF THE SENTINEL STAFF 3 ORANGE CITY City police officers soon may find themselves carrying picket signs in their spare time. After eight months of negotiations between the Police Benevolent Association and city administrators, about 20 officers represented by the union thought they had their first contract ready for signatures. But last week, City Council members rejected several provisions of the contract that union members say are crucial for an agreement. Pat McGuire, executive director for the Coastal Florida PBA, said he will recommend to the troops at a meeting next week that they begin picketing near City Hall. City officials are to meet with police officers this morning and issue a statement about the negotiations. There are some 37 points covered in the proposed contract, McGuire said, and the council rejected six. City officials have said they can't talk about the contract because their strategy in union negotiations, under the law, is secret. In a department that has sometimes asked its officers to buy their own guns and handcuffs, none of the problems between the council and the officers concern money. The proposed contract would give officers, who haven't had a raise in three years, a 20-step pay plan. The raises would range from nothing for rookies on the force less than a year to 7 percent for some veterans. Some of the biggest haggling points between the cops and the council include: Whether the city can change an officer's terms of employment anything from changing the officer's work hours to whether he can go home for lunch without negotiating it first. The union wants those terms negotiated; council members want the city free to make those changes. Officers want to earn time and a half for sitting in court waiting to testify on days when they are supposed to be off; council members only want to pay extra if the officer has worked 84 hours in a two-week period. When an officer is injured in the line of duty, the officers want to be allowed to supplement their workers' compensation pay (two-thirds the normal salary) with vacation or sick pay so their paycheck isn't cut by a third. City Council members said no. The council wants a physical fitness and drug-testing program implemented. Police say the physical fitness program is fine, but they object to the city having access to an officer's medical records. Officers also object to random drug testing without a "reasonable suspicion" that the officer is using drugs. The PBA has represented Orange City's police force for about 10 years, but this would be officers' first union contract. Other city employees are trying to negotiate a National Association of Government Employees contract. Fugitive brother sought in student's killing caught in Edgewater By Pat LaMee OF THE SENTINEL EDGEWATER One of Florida's top eight most-wanted violent fugitives was arrested Wednesday at his brother's Edge-water home. A ccffhbined effort by Edgewater polic and a Volusia County Sheriffs special forces unit led to the arrest of Linnie D. Franklin, 20, of Daytona Beach, who is on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's most-wanted list, officials said. Franklin and his brother Richard Frank-line, 21, were charged last year with blasting so many gunshots into a Bethune-Cookman College student's legs that he bled to death. Richard Frankline was convicted in July of the first-degree murder of the student, Greg Roper, and was sentenced to life in prison, court records show. Linnie Franklin, who had escaped capture for seven months, was located at the 2505 Indian Palm home of his brother Lorenzo Franklin, at 2:45 p.m., officials said. He will face trial for Roper's slaying, police said. Edgewater police alerted Daytona Beach officers that Lorenzo Franklin was driving a 1991 blue Sunbird that had been taken in a Daytona carjacking Tuesday. When Lorenzo and a woman left his home, police took them into custody and learned Linnie Franklin had stolen the car and was in that house. Deputies received a search warrant and entered the home, and Linnie Franklin was captured as he jumped out a window. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and carjacking, police said. Lorenzo Franklin was charged with auto theft and harboring a fugitive.

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