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Hirings for jobs near kids require sex offense checks

By wire services
Published May 25, 2004

TALLAHASSEE - Local government agencies hiring or appointing someone to work at a park, playground, or day care center will have to check to make sure that person is not a registered sex offender, under a bill signed by Gov. Jeb Bush.

People who have committed certain sex crimes are designated sexual predators or sexual offenders by the courts under current state law. They're required to register with state officials, and law enforcement agencies are required to notify schools when such a person lives within a mile. But there was no requirement that local government agencies check sexual predator and offender records before appointing or hiring people, even in positions where they would be in contact with children.

Bush signed the bill (SB 1774) on Friday.

UF faculty's 4 percent pay boost largest since 1990

GAINESVILLE - University of Florida faculty will get a 4 percent base pay increase July 1 and a $1,000 bonus Dec. 1, the university announced Monday.

It is the largest full-year pay raise since faculty received a 4 percent raise in 1990.

"I believe it is important to recognize the tremendous effort of our faculty," said university president Bernie Machen. "I carefully reviewed the salary packages and made a commitment to make improvements that accurately reflect the quality of the university."

Man drowns after saving daughter from canoe spill

MIAMI LAKES - The father of a 5-year-old girl drowned after lifting her to safety after their canoe capsized in a lake.

Neither Ricky Sanders, 41, nor his daughter, Destiny, were wearing life jackets as they paddled in Lake Katherine, behind Sanders' apartment building, Sunday.

Neighbor Jessica Van Bibber said she noticed Sanders and Destiny laughing on the lake. Minutes later, the canoe had overturned and both were in the water, she said. Sanders struggled to right the canoe and lift Destiny back into it before he disappeared beneath the surface, said Van Bibber, who called 911.

"He put her back in the canoe and wasn't strong enough to get back in himself," said Miami-Dade County police spokeswoman Nelda Fonticiella.

Divers were still searching for Sanders' body Monday.

Scripps forms partnership with FSU's magnet lab

WEST PALM BEACH - The Scripps Research Institute's first academic partnership in Florida will be with the Florida State University's magnet lab, Scripps officials said.

The pairing will work on designing more effective drugs to fight disease, said Patrick Griffin, incoming director of Scripps Florida's drug metabolism program.

The potential for collaborations between Scripps and the state's universities was one of the benefits Gov. Jeb Bush touted when the state announced its plan to recruit the San Diego-based biotechnology firm.

The magnet lab boasts the most powerful magnets in the world.

Scientists will use a 10-foot, 13-ton, iron-encased magnet to create precise depictions of protein molecules, then use that data to determine how drugs can latch onto the protein and change its effects.

[Last modified May 24, 2004, 23:42:10]

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