Across Florida

By Times Wires
Published March 6, 2007

Teenager gets probation for role in beating

DAYTONA BEACH - One of several teenagers charged in the 2005 beating death of a homeless man was sentenced to one year of probation Monday, authorities said. Phi Huynh, 17, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery as part of a plea agreement, said Assistant State Attorney Ed Davis. Huynh initially was charged with aggravated battery in connection to the fatal beating of 53-year-old Michael Roberts, but prosecutors and the teen's attorney came to an agreement for his plea on the lesser charge because he was not present at the fatal beating. Four other teenagers have pleaded guilty to the fatal beating and are serving prison terms, ranging from 22 to 35 years. The beatings reportedly took place on three separate occasions. Roberts' body remained in the woods until a mother of one of the teens called authorities three days after the killing to report she had overheard something about a beating.


Advocate promises more active role

TALLAHASSEE - Florida's new chief financial officer and her newly appointed insurance consumer advocate said Monday they want the office to be more active and effective, with a bigger role in insurance rate cases. The insurance consumer advocate, Bob Milligan, said he would like lawmakers to give him the power to order insurance companies to produce documents, and the ability to intervene as a party in cases involving insurance companies and to appeal regulators' decisions. The former Marine general was appointed last month by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Milligan served as the state's comptroller from 1995 to 2003 before the office was merged with the insurance commissioner into the CFO's Office.


'Cavett Show' drummer, 82, dies

LONGBOAT KEY - Bobby Rosengarden, the versatile jazz drummer and talk show bandleader who played bongos for Harry Belafonte and laid down a beat for Jimi Hendrix during a Dick Cavett Show performance, has died, his family confirmed Monday. He was 82. Mr. Rosengarden died Feb. 27 of kidney failure, his wife, Sharon, said. Mr. Rosengarden played percussion for Duke Ellington, Igor Stravinsky, Dick Hyman, Arlo Guthrie and many other musicians. In an e-mail, Cavett said Mr. Rosengarden added a clever, subversive tone to his show. "It was only later when my musically aware wife would point out that when Jan Morris entered to talk about her sex change, the band played, There'll Be Some Changes Made," Cavett said. "There were hundreds of these. Some were of an extremely lewd connotation. Luckily, the censor was dumber about music than I was."


Police department has MySpace page

MIAMI - The Miami-Dade Police Department has created its own MySpace page to discourage sexual predators who visit the popular social networking Web site, a press release said. The press release said parents "have an option of allowing their child to have an account as long as they include MDPD as one of their friends." The department's page has tips on safely using social networking sites and links to public safety Web sites such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.