Thursday, November 29, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST November 29, 2007

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Holy Cross to close pediatrics unit due to dwindling number of patients

By Jamie Malernee
November 29, 2007

Holy Cross Hospital is closing its pediatric unit because of dwindlingpatients at the Fort Lauderdale hospital, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

After Dec. 3, children requiring hospitalization beyond emergency room carewill be transferred to one of two other Broward hospitals that specialize inpediatrics: the Chris Evert Children's Hospital at Broward General MedicalCenter in Fort Lauderdale or Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital at MemorialRegional in Hollywood.

Holy Cross' 10-bed pediatric unit averages only two or three patients eachday, said spokeswoman Christine W. Moncrieffe. The 11 employees in the unitwill not be laid off and have already been offered positions elsewhere, sheadded.

"In pediatrics, more and more treatment is being delivered on an outpatientbasis," she said. "Those patients requiring hospitalization need a highlevel of care that can best be found in specialized centers."

Holy Cross - Broward County's only Catholic hospital - will still deliverbabies, continue running its neonatal intensive care unit and offer accessto pediatricians through its medical group, according to a news conference.The hospital's CEO, John C. Johnson, stated in the release that declininghospitalization rates are a national trend.

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Water-sharing plan between Broward, Palm Beach stalls

By Andy Reid
November 29, 2007

Despite warnings of a worsening drought, a water-sharing proposal thatcould help supplies in Broward and Palm Beach counties remains stuck inpolitical limbo.

The South Florida Water Management District has been slow to deliverprojections needed to show whether rock mines converted to a reservoir nearRoyal Palm Beach could capture enough "extra" water for it to be sent southto replenish community well fields.

The district, which manages water supplies from Orlando to the Keys,contends it has been busy working on other water projects.

Also standing in the way of the proposal that surfaced a year ago is thedebate over how to divvy up the water. In addition, the district must decidewhether to get into another land deal with a mining company connected to acorruption scandal that forced a county commissioner from office.

"We are kind of at a standstill," said Palm Beach County Water UtilitiesDirector Bevin Beaudet. "That water is being wasted."

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Florida shouldn't give away highways

November 27, 2007

ISSUE: Report puts lease values on highways, bridges.

The billions of dollars that Florida could get in highway leases sound good,but it's the fine print that remains troubling. Gov. Charlie Crist and stateofficials must proceed slowly on this path to avoid signing giveaway dealsthe Sunshine State will later regret.

Leasing highways, roads and bridges is on the front burner because of amisguided bill the Legislature approved last spring. The measure permits theleasing of state roads and highways, minus those operated by Florida'sTurnpike.

Now a state Department of Transportation study estimates that leases oncertain properties, like the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, could fetch$1.3 billion over 50 years. Tempting numbers, but the concessions affixed tothose leases ought to concern Floridians.

For starters, no one gives you money for nothing. The private companies thatwould lease the roads and bridges would have the ability to jack up tollsand fees. That's how they would recover their investment and earn theirprofit.

Much higher tolls are no small consideration. Florida depends on cheaptransportation costs, for both tourism and to keep the cost of goods down.

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Miami Herald

Broward minister charged in teen's pregnancy

Posted on Thu, Nov. 29, 2007

A Broward minister was charged with sexual battery after he impregnated ateen congregant of a small neighborhood church, authorities said Wednesday.

Plantation police charged the Rev. Cory Cortezis Lewis, 33, with sexualbattery on a victim between 12 and 18 by a custodian.

He was booked into Broward County jail Nov. 20 and bailed out the next day.

The church, at 2889 NW Sixth Ct., is the Fort Lauderdale-area branch of theChurch Of God By Faith, in Jacksonville.


Lewis knew the teen her entire life, acting as both her minister andgodfather, Plantation police spokesman Detective Phil Toman said. In 2006,he brought her to an empty house and a vacant business in Plantation, wherehe had sex with her on multiple occasions, Toman said.

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