Graham family gives $1.5M to UF

By Times Wires
Published December 6, 2007


Former Sen. Bob Graham and his family are donating $1.5 million to the Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.

Graham, his brother William A. Graham and the Philip L. Graham Fund are making the donation to establish the Philip L. Graham Program Fund to provide support for graduate and undergraduate programs in public leadership.

Bob Graham served as governor from 1979 to 1987 and was elected to the Senate in 1986, where he served three consecutive terms.

The Grahams' late brother, Philip, was publisher of the Washington Post until his death in 1963.


Police sergeant loses job for suing family

Casselberry authorities say a police sergeant has been fired for suing a family after she slipped and fell while trying to rescue a 1-year-old boy from drowning.

Casselberry police Chief John Pavlis fired Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn on Tuesday.

Eichhorn has dropped her negligence lawsuit. It claimed there was water on the floor at Joey Cosmillo's home when police arrived. Eichhorn claimed she broke her knee and missed two months of work after she slid on the wet floor.

The boy suffered brain damage and can no longer walk, talk or swallow. He lives in a nursing home and eats and breathes through tubes.

Pavlis said the lawsuit brought public ridicule to the agency and damaged its reputation.


Defendant smashes up court during trial

A child rape defendant smashed a courtroom computer as a prosecutor, just a few feet away, asked a jury to find him guilty.

Antonio Rosales, 41, an undocumented worker from Guatemala, also knocked over the defense table before he was tackled by Seminole County deputies, pinned to the ground, then hauled out of the courtroom.

Rosales, who is indigent and has been in jail since his arrest in 2003, was barefoot and in ankle chains at the time.

The outburst came as Assistant State Attorney Anna Valentini was giving her closing argument.

Rosales is charged with kidnapping, attempted murder and child rape.

If convicted, he would get a mandatory sentence of life in prison.


Pesky red palm mite shows up in Florida

A destructive mite that can ruin palm trees has been found in Palm Beach County, state agriculture officials said Wednesday.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said one red palm mite was found on a coconut palm this week. It's the first ever confirmed report of the pest in the United States, Bronson said.

Red palm mites have become a prominent pest throughout the Caribbean, and officials have expected it to arrive in this country. It damages the leaves of palm trees, turning them yellow, ruining their value as ornamentals. Eventually, it can kill the tree.


Missing body found, buried 2 plots away

Miguel Toledo's body has been found - two plots away from where he should have been at Dade South Memorial Park.

And now, the remains of Toledo's widow, Ondina, can join Toledo's in eternal repose. But not at this cemetery.

She died in October and wanted to be buried with her late husband, but when workers dug up the plot that supposedly held him, it was empty.

"This is from an error that occurred 17 years ago, before our ownership of Dade South," cemetery spokeswoman Diana De Armas said. "We are deeply sorry about what happened. However, we have worked tirelessly to resolve this."

The cemetery offered to pay for a new casket and burial, as well as to repay the family for the price of the plot plus 10 percent interest. Lawyer Stewart Greenberg said the family's lawsuit against the cemetery's owners, SCI Florida, will continue.

Times wires