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Most overdose deaths tied to prescriptions
By Times Wires
Published December 5, 2007
State officials say prescription drugs accounted for nearly three-fourths of the 7,741 overdose deaths in Florida last year.
The statistic was presented to Gov. Charlie Crist and the state Cabinet at a drug abuse seminar Tuesday.
"I guess it has this cloak of legality about it because they're made by a legitimate company instead of grown in somebody's field somewhere," Crist said. "Nevertheless, it's just as detrimental, can be just as destructive, so we again just have to work that much harder."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also released numbers showing that 3,980 autopsied bodies in the first six months of 2007 had one or more drugs in their systems, mostly prescription drugs at lethal and nonlethal levels.
Dad gets Cuban girl in custody settlement
A Cuban girl at the center of an international custody dispute will be given to her father, under a settlement approved by a judge Tuesday.
The settlement was reached last week. Under its terms, Cuban farmer Rafael Izquierdo and his 5-year-old daughter are to remain in the United States until 2010, during which time her foster parents will have regular visits with her.
"I think it's the right thing to do," Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen said at the hearing.
The foster parents, former sports agent Joe Cubas and his wife, Maria, cared for the girl and her half brother when their mother became suicidal after she emigrated from Cuba to the United States in 2005. The Cubases, who live in Coral Gables, have adopted the girl's brother and wanted to adopt her, too.
Arrests of illegal immigrants up 77%
The number of illegal immigrants arrested during the 2007 fiscal year increased by 77 percent from last year, state immigration officials said Tuesday.
Authorities also deported a record number of people who committed crimes or were ordered to leave the country by a judge but remained.
The 2,579 arrests are part of a nationwide effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to track and detain immigrants who stay after they are ordered to leave.
Lawyer revives suit against date Web site
A Pittsburgh lawyer has revived his lawsuit against a date-dissing Web site where, he says, postings falsely claimed he was unfaithful and had sexually transmitted diseases.
Todd Hollis sued DontDateHimGirl.com and its creator in Miami federal court. A Pennsylvania judge tossed Hollis' lawsuit in April over a jurisdiction question.
The lawsuit says Tasha Cunningham of Pinecrest conspired with the site's female users to defame Hollis and other men. Hollis wants more than $75,000 in damages.
Cunningham refused to answer questions about the suit.