Friday, June 06, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST June 06, 2008

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-Arsenic mixing with water supply could stall Everglades restoration
Concerns about arsenic mixing with water supplies threaten to further delay
Everglades restoration, water managers said Thursday. Pumping water deep into the ground and storing it there is a key part of themulti-billion-dollar project agreed to in 2000 to restore flows to the Everglades and protect South Florida's water supply.,0,3933666.story

-Medical supply companies protest rule changes
They say firms from elsewhere can't do the job
Companies that sell medical equipment in South Florida on Wednesday protested a controversial federal program that changes how much Medicare patients pay for the equipment and which companies can supply it.,0,828260.story

-Slump in home prices fuels record foreclosure rates
Home foreclosures and late payments nationwide set records over the firstthree months of the year and are expected to keep rising, stark signs of thehousing crisis' mounting damage to homeowners and the economy.
And South Florida is no exception as many residents stretched to buy homesthey couldn't afford as housing prices soared from 2000 to 2005.,0,1387009.story

-Broward schools chief: FPL rate hike will hurt education
State leaders should step in so cash-strapped school districts don't paymillions in higher rates to Florida Power & Light Co. to offset the powercompany's increased fuel costs, Broward Schools Superintendent James Nottersaid Thursday.,0,1837625.story

-More people are leaving Broward, but is that all bad?
Lighter traffic. Shorter checkout lines. Fewer students in class and lessstrain on natural resources. Is it such a bad thing that Broward County lostpopulation between 2006 and 2007? According to census estimates released inMarch, Broward's population stands at 1.76 million ... a drop of 13,154.,0,4823551.story

-Jury selection begins in homeless beating trial
The sensational case of two Broward men accused of beating a homeless man todeath with a baseball bat drew an unusual crowd of nearly 200 prospectivejurors to Broward Circuit Court on Thursday. The group was whittled as ajudge and lawyers try to find 12 jurors, plus at least three alternates,untainted by extensive media coverage and able to spend an estimated sixweeks listening to the details and rendering a verdict. The Jan. 12, 2006,attacks on three homeless men, two of whom survived, became national newsafter police released video-surveillance footage showing the beating ofJacques Pierre at a Florida Atlantic University building on Las OlasBoulevard. The tape shows Pierre, then 58, scrambling on the ground as hetries to fend off the blows of two smiling, baseball-bat-wielding teens.
Pierre survived.,0,965031.story

-Hispanic workers have high death rate, especially in construction industry
Hispanic workers die at higher rates than other laborers, with 1 in 3 deaths
occurring in the construction industry, a government study reportedThursday. Hispanics tend to hold more high-risk jobs than those in otherracial groups, but language and literacy barriers and poor training andsupervision also may be factors, researchers said. The leading causes ofdeath in recent years have been falls and highway-related accidents. Thestudy was done by health researchers in Massachusetts, Michigan and NewJersey and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's beingpublished this week in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.,0,6652792.story

Miami Herald
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-McCain defends position on Florida measures
Republican John McCain is getting criticism for opposing two issuesimportant to Florida: an Everglades restoration measure and a nationalhurricane insurance fund.

-Schools cut most optional summer-school programs
Hundreds of thousands of South Florida school children ended another schoolyear Thursday. For most, school doors won't reopen again until late August.

-Foreclosures surge in Florida
Rapidly declining property values touched off a new wave of home-loandelinquencies in Florida during the first three months of the year andpushed 77,000 homeowners into foreclosure, a signal that turmoil in thehousing market is far from over. The state ranked second in the country infailing loans, according to a report released Thursday by the MortgageBankers Association. California led the nation with 109,000 foreclosures.
The states with the next highest numbers -- Texas, Michigan and Ohio -- sawno more than 24,000 foreclosures during the same period. ''The problems inCalifornia and Florida are extraordinary,'' said Jay Brinkmann, vicepresident for research and economics with the MBA. ``They are the maindrivers of the national trend.''

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Disbarment Likely for Jack Thompson
The Florida Bar asked for an "enhanced disbarment" in the disciplinaryhearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendationmeans Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practicelaw again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Floridaspokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently endedin the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did nothave the authority to hear his case, a reader who sat in on the hearing toldus.

Fort Report
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-McCain's got explaining to do in Florida
As Sen. John McCain traveled the state this week urging Floridians to choose him for president, he found himself explaining his opposition to some Florida-friendly policies. The Arizona Republican opposes the creation of a
national catastrophe fund to spread Florida's storm insurance costs to other states.

-Crist quiet on global-warming bill
When the going got tough on a new global-warming bill on Washington'sCapitol Hill, self-fashioned global-warming fighter Charlie Crist got goingto Atlanta, to Sedona, Ariz., to New York and to Fort Lauderdale instead forevents that were more about hobnobbing and politics than policy.


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