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Around the state

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 17, 2002

Panel to examine dearth of nursing home insurors

A 2001 law limiting lawsuits against nursing homes has not done enough to restore insurance coverage for Florida's nursing homes, Senate President Jim King and House Speaker Johnnie Byrd agreed Monday.

So the two Republicans appointed a joint committee to look at ways to persuade insurers to return to Florida.

Sen. Lisa Carlton, R-Osprey, will chair the joint select committee. Rep. Carole Green, R-Fort Myers, will be vice chairwoman.

King said he and Byrd created the committee to re-evaluate the data previously collected, evaluate new and different remedies, and make recommendations to the Legislature. No deadline has been set for the recommendations.

Higher ed chancellor appointee changes mind

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida lost its new college and universities chancellor on Monday, two weeks before he was expected to start his new job.

In announcing he has turned down the job, Daniel S. Papp cited "changed circumstances and remaining uncertainties about the roles and responsibilities of the position."

Papp, who accepted the position of chancellor of the state's Division of Colleges and Universities in August, will remain in Georgia's educational system. He was to begin his Florida duties Jan. 1.

He did not elaborate about his concerns with the state's system, but a statement from the Florida Board of Education said Papp notified the board that a factor in his decision was the passage of Amendment 11, which will create a Board of Governors for the university system.

Man guilty of molesting girl he met on Internet

BRADENTON -- A man pleaded no contest Monday to charges in connection with the sexual molestation of a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet.

Randall L. Manzenberger, 21, was found guilty and could be sentenced in January to up to three years in prison.

He was arrested, authorities said, after he made contact with the girl on www.facethejury.com and then met with her at a school and at a church in May and had sexual contact with her.

People post their pictures on www.facethejury.com so others can rate their looks and contact them. Participants are supposed to be 18 or older.

Hillsborough County school officials last month alerted principals and parents about the Web site after learning of Manzenberger's arrest and finding at least three dozen profiles they think were posted by students in 16 Hillsborough schools.

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