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Digest

Autism center to open in Tampa in August

By TIMES WIRES
Published December 20, 2006


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A group that runs schools for students with special needs aims to open the Florida Center of Autism Excellence in Tampa in August. The school, funded with $700,000 in state money, would serve children in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, Manatee and Polk counties, relying on its national network of educators and its existing curriculum to get moving quickly. Educational Services of America will manage the program, which hopes to win a charter from each county or the state. "We specialize in trying to be the safety net for the public school systems," said organization president Mark Claypool.

Breast implant case yields $4.6M award

A woman disfigured by a man dubbed the Butcher of South Beach has won $4.6-million in damages this week, the Miami Herald reports. Reinaldo Silvestre is now in prison for practicing medicine without a license after he was nabbed in Belize, where he was teaching in a medical school. Jinette Bernal went to Silvestre for breast implants but instead lost nearly all of her breast tissue, leaving her looking as if she had undergone a double mastectomy, her attorney, Spencer Aronfeld, said.

USF to house Davis' political legacy

Rep. Jim Davis' political career stopped short of the Governor's Mansion, but records from his 18 years of public service will be preserved in the special collections department at the University of South Florida library. His files will be housed along with the papers of politicians, including former Gov. LeRoy Collins.

Back in the suds

The beer will be flowing again next month at Gasparilla after a one-year hiatus. Budweiser and Pepin Distributing have signed a three-year deal. 3B

Where will they go?

A plan to move 300 residents from a public housing complex sold to a developer for condominiums isn't sitting well with some St. Petersburg officials. 6B

[Last modified December 19, 2006, 23:42:46]


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