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Students rally over boot camp death case

Published October 20, 2006


College students rallied at the Florida Capitol Thursday and called for the completion of a criminal investigation of the death of a teenager who was roughed up by guards at a juvenile boot camp. They said they want a special prosecutor to issue findings before the Nov. 7 election. Some carried brooms to signify that they think the case of Martin Lee Anderson, 14, who died after the videotaped January altercation at the camp in Panama City, is being swept under the rug. They covered the Capitol entrance with signs picturing Anderson with the message, "His Blood Is On Your Hands." A federal judge this week set an April 16 trial for the Anderson family's damages lawsuit against the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Ex-city official gets prison for bribery

A former West Palm Beach commissioner and state legislator was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for taking bribes to harass businesses so they could be bought at bargain prices. Ray Liberti, 60, admitted in May to accepting $66,000 and a $2,000 Tag Heuer watch from investors - one was actually an undercover FBI agent - who wanted to buy a massage parlor and a nightclub. To drive down the prices, he made false health and city code complaints about the businesses, persuaded police to conduct a prostitution investigation involving them and even posed over the telephone as a newspaper reporter, threatening to write a negative story. Liberti was a state representative for 14 years and was elected to the West Palm Beach commission in 2001.

Admiral to lead Latin command

The first Navy admiral to oversee U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean took the helm Thursday at the Southern Command. Adm. James Stavridis, who spent 29 months as a senior aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, replaces Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, who becomes supreme allied commander of NATO forces in Europe.

Two brothers die in apartment fire

Two brothers, believed to be 1 and 2 years old, died Thursday morning before firefighters could pull them out of a burning bedroom in the Pine Meadows Apartments complex in south Fort Myers, authorities said. The News Press reported on its Web site that they were Sean Pitts, 1, and Nathan Pitts, 2, who lived with their mother, Jessica Pitts. The fire may have started in a sofa.

Baby has urgent need for surgery

If Justin Mota had been born in the United States, he might have had surgery to repair his heart defect within days. But the lifesaving surgery the 15-day-old needs is not available in the Dominican Republic, so his parents rushed him to Miami this week with the help of the International Kids Fund to seek U.S. surgeons' help. The Jackson Memorial Medical Center charity is raising $60,000 to help pay for connecting Justin's aorta and pulmonary artery to the correct heart chamber. He will die if the condition is left untreated, doctors said. Want to donate? Go online at, call 1-877-453-5437 or mail it to the International Kids Fund, P.O. Box 012297, Miami, FL 33101.


[Last modified October 20, 2006, 01:23:02]

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