The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on April 4, 1992 · 159
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 159

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Tampa, Florida
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Saturday, April 4, 1992
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159
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mm ! Citms Lake f o,.: o I A i jci vii iy oumier ana Lane Sumter I LUJ THE TAMPA TRIBUNE Saturday, April 4, 1992 CITRUSSUMTER COUNTIES MHSBN Sheriff questions judge's orders Citrus County Sheriff Charles Dean has asked a circuit judge to decide whether he has to comply with Citrus County Judge Gary Graham's orders to allow prisoners out on work release. Graham recently sentenced five people to county jail with the stipulation they be released during the day to go to work or school and return to jail at night. Dean said he has no work release program and the orders may be forcing him to violate state law that says work release programs have to be approved by the county commission with consent of the sheriff. Inverness attorney Richard "Spike" Fitzpatrick filed the complaint Wednesday on behalf of the sheriff's office. Last week, Fitzpatrick received an attorney general's opinion that the sheriff is violating state law by letting inmates out on work release when there is no work release in place. A hearing date has not been set. Celebration planned for young children In observance of the Week of the Young Child, a celebration has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the lawn of the old Citrus County Courthouse. Families and children of all ages are invited to show their support for young children during the celebration, which is observed nationwide, April 5 to 11. Refreshments will be served. For information, call the Childhood Development Services at 637-2667. Weed control schedule announced The Citrus County Division of Aquatic Services has announced its locations for next week's aquatic herbicide treatments and mechanical harvesting. Chemical treatments will be spread on the Inverness and Floral City pools, Point Lonesome and Ho-mosassa Shores canals, waters near River Lakes Manor, Halls River Estates, Chassahowitzka Village, Tsala Apopka Retreats east, Rivers End Camp, Chassahowitzka River Shores and the east portion of Little Lake Henderson, Tsala Apopka Lake, Little Lake Spivey, Homosassa River and the Crystal River. Chemical treatments will be applied to waters clogged with hyacinth, pondweed, egeria, dollar bonnets, sal-vinia, cattails and water lettuce, coontail and milfoil. All treatments are contingent on weather conditions and water quality. Areas treated with chemicals will be identified with warning signs indicating the date and necessary water-use restrictions. For information, call 746-5000. D Up With People show scheduled Members of the Up With People international song and dance troupe will present its new show, "Rhythm of the World" at 8 p.m. April 17 and 3 and 8 p.m. April 18 at the Curtis Peterson Auditorium. The two-hour musical extravaganza is being sponsored by the Homosassa Springs Rotary Club. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and are on sale at all Barnett and First Florida banks, Citrus National Bank in Crystal River and Mid-State Federal Bank in Beverly Hills and from Homosassa Springs Rotary Club members. All proceeds will benefit local community services. The show, with a cast of 100, celebrates the diversity of cultures and ideas and is driven by sights and sounds of current International music. Local young people are invited to interview for one of the five international casts after the show. Auditions are not required. For information, call 746-9000, Ext. 278. J7T ABATE make effort to clean up road Members of ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) will pick up trash along part of County Road 486 this morning as part of the county's Adopt-A-Highway program. The cleanup effort will be from 8 to 10 a.m., between U.S. Highway 41 and Citrus Hills, said Michael Weller, an ABATE spokesman. Anyone wishing to help should meet members at the Chicken King at U.S. Highway 41 and County Road 486. A Tribune Staff Report Commrtt ee votes for coinity-ran jail By GEORGE WILKENS Tribune Staff Writer INVERNESS Citrus County should operate its new jail for at least three years before considering private proposals to manage the facility, a committee recommended Friday. The county Corrections Facilities Planning Committee recommendation tables a taxpayer group's effort to get the county to seek proposals from one or more of the dozen companies that operate jails around the country, including two in Florida. The committee decision followed two hours of debate, including comments by Sheriff Charles S. Dean and three of his corrections officers who oppose privately operated jails, and a presentation by a proponent, a criminology professor who has studied jail privatization since it began in the early 1980s. "I've heard people disagree with the concept of privatization, question its constitutionality," University of Florida Professor Charles W. Thomas told the committee. "I don't think I've ever heard anyone outright lie about it," he said. "I've seen stacked decks, but never like this." Thomas rebutted comments by corrections officers who previously worked at the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) jail in neighboring Hernando County. The officers said the company had little concern for employee safety, provided fewer employee benefits and violated state law by selling cigarettes to underage inmates and disposing of contraband drugs rather than reporting them to the sheriffs office. Donald Miller, a sergeant at the Citrus County jail who worked for CCA for a year, said the company failed to properly screen prospective employees. A man hired to transport inmates to doctor appointments did not have a driver's license, although the man worked three months before the employer learned that, said Miller. Thomas said private companies have nothing to gain and everything to lose by not screening employees, adding that the turnover rate is lower than in government-run jails, reducing recruiting and training costs. "Every single study that's been done over the last 10 years shows not only cost savings, but consequential cost savings," said Thomas. At four, 500-bed jails in Texas, savings amounted to 15 percent, he said. Potential savings are unknown if the county does not request a proposal, he said. Carmine Petrangelo, president of the Citrus County Taxpayers Association, which pushed the 18-member committee to recom-See PANEL, Page 3 r4j!W4ijUBia&ftt- eft11 I 5 ' A h r v .'',.-M" , ; Getting framed Leon Hicks of. Modern Plumbing in Lecanto paints around the window of a building that is being refurbished - ! Tribune photograph by ANDY JONES for lease by the company. The building is located on State Road 44. 3rd candidate enters race for sheriff By STEVE ORLANDO Tribune Staff Writer BUSHNELL The race for Sumter County sheriff gained another candidate Thursday when former Coleman police Chief Harold Huffman announced for the post. Huffman, who announced as an independent, joins 12-year incumbent Jamie Adams and former state attorney's investigator Gerard King, both Democrats, in the race. Huffman, 51, is a corrections officer with the Lake County Sheriff's Office and is the fifth employee of that department to run for sheriff in other counties. Huffman served as Coleman's police chief from July 1988 until July 1990. He also ran unsuccessfully in 1990 for the seat still held by 16-term Incumbent Coleman Mayor J. L. Rowe. See EX-CHIEF, Page 3 Reported abduction comes on heels of warnings to pupils By KEITH MORELLI Tribune Staff Writer INVERNESS Teachers and pupils at Citrus Springs Elementary School were warned earlier this year about a man that tried to lure a child into his van near the site of a reported abduction Thursday. Principal Archie Dabney said Friday that sometime within the past two months, a parent told him that a man tried to coax a pupil from the school Into his van. ' Dabney said pupils were told of the incident and warned about the dangers of talking to strangers. "We made sure the sheriffs office knew what was going on," Dabney said. He said he has had no other reports of the man. He said teachers and parents also were told of the , incident, which occurred in Pine Ridge in the north-See POLICE, Page 3 A I , l V. I .: r-r 1 '-, S If !', ( W -. Tribune photograph by BOBBY PEACOCK The right pace Ernest Tice, 65, and great-granddaughter Brittany Isaacson, 14 months, are taking life a little slower than the posted speed Friday afternoon in front of Moss Oaks community on U.S. Highway 41 in Inverness. '71 death brings TV show to Sumter By STEVE ORLANDO Tribune Staff Writer BUSHNELL A crew with the NBC-TV program "Unsolved Mysteries" will be in Sumter County next month taping a segment on the 1971 strangulation death of an unidentified woman. The crew will be in the area for three days beginning around May 23, program director Johanna De-metrakas said Friday. They will tape scenes along the Lake Panasoffkee bridge on Interstate 75, where the body of a woman known only as Little Miss Panasoffkee was found 21 years ago. Scenes also will be shot at the cemetery near Wildwood where the victim's body was exhumed in 1986 after Sumter County Sheriff Jamie Adams revived the investigation. A broadcast date for the segment has not been scheduled. "Unsolved Mysteries" is in its fourth season. Demetrakas said more than 40 percent of the cases featured on the show have been solved after they were aired. Adams is counting on the Little Miss Panasoffkee case being among them. "This is our last shot at identifying this young lady. I know there's somebody somewhere that loves her," said Adams. "I want her to be See TV, Page 3 Dance teachers get probation, must pay victims By CHRIS KAUFFMANN Tribune Staff Writer BROOKSVILLE The music stopped Friday for three dance instructors accused of organized fraud as a judge ordered them to tango no more in Florida and Missouri for the next five years. Dennis Earl Kelly, 54, Charles Thomas Holder, 25, and Kenneth Carl Kinchen, 35, were sentenced to five years probation, fined and ordered to pay restitution to their victims in a plea agreement reached with the state attorney's office. As part of the special conditions of their sentence, they are prohibited from working in the dance studio business in Florida and Missouri for the duration of their probation. Missouri was included because they have connections to a man wanted by both states in a dance fraud scheme, Assistant State Attorney Donald Scaglione said. The men also were ordered to cooperate with law enforcement officials concerning other related investigations. They can get early termination of probation but only if their cooperation specifically satisfies Scaglione. Scaglione said Friday such satisfaction will be very difficult to come by. Kelly, who was a district manager for Fred Astaire Dance Studio at the time of his arrest, said after his sentencing that he is "numb" but glad It's over. Kinchen, an Orlando instructor, declined to comment and Holder, also an instructor, could not be reached for comment. The men were accused of bilking elderly and widowed clients out of their life savings. The charges concerned about five victims and about $150,000, investigators have said. The agreement generally pleased the men's victims, several of whom showed up Friday to watch the sentencing. Betty Selvltella, who lost about $46,000 in the scheme, told Circuit Judge Jack Springstead the sentences should help "stop this type of scam," and it would help other people avoid going through what she did. Victims and Springstead singled out state attorney investigator Glenn Hurst for putting the case together, something the judge said he rarely does. Hurst had worked on the case for more than 18 months. It was only through Hurst's efforts, Springstead said, that "this criminal activity was brought to light." The Judge called it the "tip of the iceberg" and said the investigation could proceed on a statewide, even national, basis. In an indication the Investigation is beginning to See TEACHERS, Page 3

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