The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on March 24, 2000 · 102
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 102

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, March 24, 2000
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wwwheraldcom FRIDAY MARCH 24 2000 I S j I ! i I I I : r L v' tv- v 7 " v'n—v I " ' "i r scJ&s ?&? la v r i H : "s 4 u - ' ‘' - f '” A - -'I’" i -' - v r? r'r-vi wv i v- si ‘l 1 Stv - r f In -?? - $ V WJ&TWV -$K ’ - v ’ ' i i — 4! -fe-tlS A wv ’-' ?r ' r ' i - & 1 t ( ' v’sOaV vzS rTr-I f V k’TfA f V TyF L':-1 v r-? £&' 'x r i - — v r r ' V - r m ' J’j- JtrJ-wiiJt f' lx TODO REEVES HERALD FILE LAST YEAR’S EFFORT: During the 1999 cleanup in Broward Coun- Woods with pole and Christine Greatrey clear trash from the banks ty from left volunteer workers Ashley Woods Ashley Clark Robin of the C-11 Canal along Orange Drive in Davie ‘It’s just fantastic at the end of the day to see nearly 80 tons of trash removed from the water’ -DOROTHY NOLL co-char of volunteer cleanup committee Waterway cleanup set for Broward BY ADAM RAMIREZ aramirezfherald com About 3000 Broward County residents are expected to don old clothes and plastic gloves Saturday and pick up tons of trash from the county’s canals and waterways The 23rd annual Waterway Cleanup will target Broward’s 300 miles of navigable waterways Last year about 76 tons of trash were yanked out of the water and organizers expect similar results this weekend Twenty seven sites — from Deerfield Beach to Hollywood — will be cleaned of all types of trash from the water Among the stranger items found in previous years: A skeleton a stolen car a safe from a robbery the night before and kitchen appliances “We find some crazy stuff — but mostly it’s palm fronds coconuts cans and bottles we pull out” said Dorothy Noll co-chair of this year’s volunteer cleanup committee Of the 3000 volunteers expected about 500 will be boaters willing to get their boats loaded down with muck and trash "I moved here 11 years ago and went to my first cleanup and I was hooked” Noll said “It’s just fantastic at the end of the day to see nearly 80 tons of trash removed from the water We have a ball getting real dirty” The Waterway Cleanup is one of Broward’s largest environmental events that reaps visible rewards in one day Noll said Volunteers will go to their designated cleanup sites and clean the water and shoreline A coordinator will direct trash removal and distribute T-shirts The cleanup will run from 9 am to 1 pm Volunteers who work the shift are invited to celebrate their efforts at a “trash bash” at Rick’s Patio Bar at 2175 State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale from 2 to 6 pm For information about Waterway Cleanup call the event’s sponsor Marine Industries Association of South Florida at 954-525-2733 or 1-800-BOAT-001 Fliers with a complete list of sites are available at all Broward Publix supermarkets Noll said COUNTING ON THE FUTURE: North Fork Elementary teacher Sheryl Lubitz gives her second-grade class a population lesson Students get math lesson from census BY MAN0L0 BARCO mbarccxaJherald com Nineteen second-graders at North Fork Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale got a different 'kind of counting lesson Thursday James F Holmes regional director for the US Census Bureau visited to teach them the importance of the 2000 Census “The census is about our future” Holmes said emphasizing that the count will affect funding for teachers afterschool programs and other areas 'that touch kids’ lives Visits to schools all over the country are part of the Census Bureau’s campaign to encourage people to fill out the survey arriving now in mailboxes In some households the children are the only English speakers And Census spokesman Lance C Robertson said offi cials believe children were widely undercounted in the 1990 Census The North Fork students heard the message Said 7-year-old Kemar Edwards “It’s very important because it will make your life better” Dog searches for woman’s remains DEFUNIAK SPRINGS — (AP) — A specially trained dog was kept searching Thursday for the possible remains of an Atlanta-area woman who disappeared from a beachside motel parking lot in 1992 said a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Authorities have declined to say what prompted their renewed search for Pamela June Ray 36 near this Florida Panhandle city The dog trained to pick up the’ scent of remains and blood this' week has searched hundreds of acres of scrub and pine trees near where the remains of another woman were uncovered four years ago FDLE spokeswoman Lisa Lag-ergren said Wednesday 5 Ray’s sister Rhonda Bishop 1 has repeatedly said the case is i similar to the 1989 disappear-1 ance of pregnant 29-year-old Donna Callahan from a con-- venience store where Callahan worked near Gulf Breeze about 70 miles southwest of DeFuniak Springs Ray of Villa Rica Ga van- Authorities have declined to say what prompted their renewed search for Pamela June Ray 36 who disappeared in 1992 from a DeFuniak Springs parking lot ished from Panama City Beach about 50 miles southeast of here Two men half-brothers William Alex Wells and Mark Riebe are serving life sentences at a Florida prison in Callahan’s murder They were convicted after her body was recovered from the search site in 1996 Panama City Beach Police Capt Mike Mooring said Riebe has been questioned repeatedly about Ray’s disappearance over the past three years but Mooring declined further comment Lagergren said the privately owned dog Eagle from Midland Mich has uncovered some evidence but the material could just be animal remains She said it will take weeks or months of laboratory tests to determine what the material is Ray vanished in the early morning of Aug 12 1992 after leaving her two young children Brandi and Shayne locked in a car with her keys and purse while waiting for a motel room to become available Callahan also left behind her car and purse when she disappeared This is not the first time police have revived the search for Ray employing cadaver dogs horseback patrols and helicopters They have followed various leads including tips from psychics and calls generated by the television program Unsolved Mysteries Before you invest your hard-earned money invest some time Read “Your Money” in Sunday’s Business section Police say clerk stole identities Woman linked to credit fraud BY VICKIE CHACHERE Associated Press TAMPA — A woman detectives say collected 350 people’s identities for a long-running credit card scam even snared her parents’ social security numbers — both reportedly 1 police employees — for possible use in the fraud scheme Authorities caught up with Elnetta Denise Brown a 28-year-old former data entry clerk after more than two years of investigating according to the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office when she finally let her real identity shine through That was when Brown used a credit card — obtained through one of her pilfered personalities — to pay for a family Christmas portrait Clerks at the shop noticed that she picked up merchandise in a new minivan bearing personalized license plate tags with her real last name Hillsborough Detective Skip Pask said On the long list of social security numbers Brown kept detectives found the social security numbers of Brown’s parents both of whom work for the identification unit at the Miami-Dade Police Department according to Pask Officials at that police department though refused to say whether Brown’s parents work there SIXTY APPLICATIONS Police estimate from her long list of people whose identities she took that Brown obtained credit cards under 15 to 20 names Authorities said she had 60 credit card applications among the papers they seized as evidence “She had been doing it for so long she got comfortable” said Pask who specializes in tracking identity theft and has been trying to break Brown’s alleged scheme since 1998 “As recently as the day we were trying to arrest her she was opening another account” Brown was arrested Wednesday on one count of organized fraud 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal — identification and 19 counts of credit card fraud according to a Hillsborough County Sher-I Police say Elnetta Denise Brown even snared her parents’ social security numbers for possible use in the fraud scheme iff s release She was freed on $5000 bond and her attorney Brian Gonzalez said he believes the sheriffs office is exaggerating the extent of the scheme Gonzalez said Brown may have had a list with 350 names and other identifying information but she didn’t use them all And he denied she sought out jobs handling other people’s confidential information in order to get the names social security numbers and other pertinent facts “It’s not nearly as complicated as anyone would want to believe” Gonzalez said “You or I could do it with half a brain” Pask said Brown sought jobs as a data entry clerk where she would be handling confidential information Among the numerous places she worked was a lab processing preemployment drug screening samples Pask said SIMILAR NAMES He said she selected names similar to hers so that if anyone asked for additional identification she would have an easy explanation He said she rented apartments around Tampa for a month at a time under the false names and would wait for the credit card offers to arrive by mail Then she would move before the bills started to come in “The real people would get the hate mail” Pask said Gonzalez said he could not confirm Brown’s former employment and denied that his client had concocted the elaborate fraud scheme “We are going to try to get the case resolved” Gonzalez said “We haven’t made any admission our position is we are going to meet with the state attorney’s office on this There’s a lot that’s overblown” Jt Car race curtails victim’s freedom Woman needs i constant care BY JOHNNY DIAZ jodiazheraldcom Until two weeks ago 86-year-old Hannah Cukell was proud of her independence But a horrific two-car crash that may have involved a third car and street racing took away most of her freedom as well as the lives of two of her friends The 16-year-old who was driving the other car also 1 died ' Now Cukell who practiced i aerobics and went out for dinners needs help getting out of bed and has to have dinners 1 brought to her in a nursing home in Tennessee “The accident was the death of her life as she had known it for 26 years” said Cukell’s daughter Wendy Roizen 50 “A very important chapter in her life will be put to an end Her support system — her friends — are gone” On March 6 police said Dale Quimby 18 was seen speeding alongside Hollywood Hills sophomore Michael Yousko’s ' car on Stirling Road after school Yousko 16 and his passenger Hope Forbes 14 hit a median and flew into the path of a car carrying five elderly women Yousko was killed Cukell’s friends Belle Poms 82 and driver Mary Steinberg 84 also died Edith Haber 82 and Forbes were recently released from the hospital Sarah Blum 84 is still in the hospital Cukell suffered a broken fe- i mur and is injured from head to j toe 4 FORCED TO MOVE But what was more painful 1 for Cukell said her daughter was when she had to leave her Hollywood home of 26 years-where she had lived indepen- j dently She has moved to Mem- “ I phis for round-the-clock care' i by nurses and nearby family j “They weren’t just women in their 80s They lived their " lives” Roizen said “Gone are j the daily phone calls with Sa-7 rah Blum and Mary Steinberg gone are the outings to the bal-j 1 let theater movies dinners i and meetings Gone is her sup- - 1 portive community of Carriage 1 i Hills” “ 1 Police have not charged any- one in the crash Last week Da- vie police impounded Quim-by’s car j “We are still looking at some j things” Davie Lt Gary Killam “ said “It may take several weeks" GOING HOME The women were on their - i way home from the David Post vj nack Jewish Community Cen- i ter in Davie - i Steinberg was driving Blum -sat to her right Cukell sat in the middle of the back seat be- I tween Poms on the right and Haber j i From her seat Cukell said j she saw the crash unfold She saw Yousko’s car fly into them from an angle All the women except Cu- kell were unconscious “She saw her friend Belle take her last breath” Roizen said Back in Memphis Roizen sees the impact the crash has had on her mother’s life and her own Once fiercely independent Cukell relies on help during re- “ habilitation sessions at a nurs-"" ing home ' She also gets counseling be- cause she witnessed Poms’ death j ' Also after Medicare co-payments are deducted the family will have to pay a percentage of “ the hospital and rehabilitation care Roizen hopes teen drivers ‘ and their parents learn from this crash “Parents need to think twice before they give a child a car and the responsibility of it” she said “It is not a toy It is a responsibility” i i i I I f if

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