Saturday, February 03, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 03, 2007

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Express Gay News

Time for BSO to police Wilton Manors?
Vehicle search raises serious Fourth Amendment concerns

Friday, February 02, 2007

About a year and a half ago when former Wilton Manors Police Chief RichardWierzbicki announced his retirement, some members of the gay communityrushed to the defense of the beleaguered Manors police department, believingthat a small local police force would be more sensitive to the concerns ofgay residents than the behemoth known as the Broward Sheriff's Office. Butafter recent events came to light, many people are now reassessing that

On Nov. 29, a Wilton Manors police officer stopped John Pfaff, a local gayresident, allegedly because a tag light was out on his Chevy pickup truck.During the stop, Officer Gary Blocker asked Pfaff for permission to searchhis person and his vehicle. Pfaff said he consented to the search because hehad nothing to hide and felt intimidated by a man with a badge and a gun. Ashe began the search, Blocker asked Pfaff if he would "find anything strangelike a cock ring, lube or condoms," according to Pfaff's complaint.


Express Gay News

Two gay men robbed, one beaten in Manors
Police to hold prevention seminar for gays as nationwide crime wave hits S.Fla.

Feb. 02, 2007

Two gay men were robbed and one was beaten Jan. 17 on 6th Avenue about fourblocks from the Shoppes of Wilton Manors.

James Brummett, 28, said the attack occurred as he and his friend werewalking home after leaving the Alibi, a local gay bar. As the two walked up6th Avenue, Brummett said he noticed four young people walking behind them.

As the pair neared the intersection of 6th Avenue and 26th Street, two ofthe strangers came charging at them. One of the strangers pointed a gun intheir faces, Brummett recalled. While they were distracted by the twocharging at them, two other suspects came up from behind them, Brummettsaid. One of them punched Brummett, knocking him to the ground, he said.

Brummett said he was repeatedly kicked in the head while lying on theground. He said one of the suspects repeatedly called him a "nigger" as hekicked him in the head, even though Brummett is white. Brummett said hedidn't
recall the suspects using any anti-gay slurs.


Express Gay News

More Local News
First Diverse Minority Pride set for March 3-4
Friday, February 02, 2007

The area's first Diverse Minority Pride event is planned for March 3-4 atMills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.

The event will be a "two-day outdoor event celebrating and welcoming theminority GLBT community and its friends," said Sonia Mitchell, chairpersonof Diverse Minority Pride of South Florida in a press statement. In aninterview with the Express, Mitchell said the event is a way to bring thevarious ethnic and minority groups within the gay community together. Shesaid everyone is welcome.

"I believe in communities," Mitchell said. "Everyone is secluded in theirown little corners. This will allow them to be one big group, not littlepockets of people. This is not about one group of people; if you ask me, weare all minorities. It's a chance to get to know your neighbor."


St. Petersburg Times

Crist just can't win paternity debate
Sue Carlton
Published February 2, 2007

Forget for a minute the real issues being debated in our state, likeinsurance, paper ballots and stem cell research.

There's a question of paternity out there. And on this one, Gov. CharlieCrist can't win.

Think about it. If Crist agrees to take a test to prove he's not the fatherof an adopted St. Petersburg teenager, he has to surrender some privacy,maybe some dignity.

Take that test, and you pave the way for strapping on a lie detector cuffany time somebody with a shred of evidence points a finger at you.

Take the test, and let the sideshow that follows be a distraction from theserious business of trying to fix what ails this state.


Drugs from Canada seized in So. Fla

By Bob LaMendola
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 3, 2007

Federal officials confiscated at least 37 packages of medicine from Canadashipped to South Florida consumers in late January, despite an Octoberpromise to stop targeting drugs imported for personal use.

A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Friday said in a brief statementthat Canadian pharmacy shipments were detained at Miami InternationalAirport for strictly routine reasons.

But South Florida seniors, Canadian pharmacy officials and Sen. Bill Nelson,D-Florida, said the number of seizures was far more than normal andquestioned if the Bush administration is reviving its controversial driveagainst Canadian drugs, which cost less but are banned in the United States.

"Not this again," said Tamarac retiree Norman Steinman, whose box of Diovanblood pressure pills was seized Jan. 25. "We thought this had ended inOctober. They say one thing and do another thing. It's not right that theywon't let people save money on drugs."


Crist, legislators back $240 million package for S. Florida's sports teams

By Linda Kleindienst and Sarah Talalay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 2, 2007

Tallahassee · State taxpayers could foot the bill for up to $240 millionworth of stadium construction and renovations for South Florida's four prosports teams under a plan that has won a preliminary nod from Gov. CharlieCrist and legislative leaders.

"I think it is an economic development issue. I think it is important thesemajor league teams stay within the state of Florida," Crist, who once servedas general counsel for Minor League Baseball, said Thursday.

"We need to continue to nurture [the teams]," he said. "They provide jobsfor an awful lot of hardworking people throughout our state."

Crist budget stresses education and justice

Proposal envisions teacher bonuses, tax breaks for consumers.
By Linda Kleindienst
Tallahassee Bureau Chief

February 3, 2007

TALLAHASSEE · Gov. Charlie Crist unveiled his first state budget Friday, a$71.2 billion spending plan that pours money into building classrooms forFlorida's schoolchildren and prison cells for criminals, while providingbonuses for the best teachers and millions in tax breaks for consumers.

Many of the new governor's spending priorities reflect promises he made lastyear on the campaign trail, especially in the areas of public safety,health, education and economic development.

The spending plan includes $20 million to fund non-embryonic stem cellresearch and $32.5 million to replace controversial touch-screen votingmachines with machines that create a paper trail in time for the 2008presidential election. It also sets aside $2.35 billion in reserves as ahedge against an economic downturn or to help pay for a natural disasterlike a hurricane.

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