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Ex-boot camp guard sues Sheriff's Office
Published February 2, 2008
A former juvenile boot camp guard exonerated in the beating death of a Panama City teenager is suing the Bay County Sheriff's Office for wrongful termination. Charles Helms Jr. was among seven former camp guards and a nurse acquitted by an all-white jury last year in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. A video showed the guards slamming Anderson on the ground and dragging his limp body around an exercise yard. Jurors agreed with defense attorneys that the teen died of a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. Civil rights leaders continue to push for federal charges against the eight. Helms is seeking a court order for the Sheriff's Office to give him a proper notice of the allegations against him and an opportunity to respond, his lawyer said.
$80M state grant goes for genetic research
The University of Miami received $80-million in a state grant to expand its nascent genetic research institute, Gov. Charlie Crist announced Friday in South Florida's latest move to expand its biotech research hub. The institute, established last year, focuses on using human genome research to prevent, detect and treat human diseases. The money from the state's Innovation Incentive Fund will enable the university's Miller School of Medicine to add an estimated 300 research and technology jobs, 120 to be filled by the end of the year. The Institute for Human Genomics was started by acclaimed husband-and-wife team of geneticists Margaret Pericak-Vance and Dr. Jeffery Vance, who left Duke University for Miami in January 2007. They have since brought with them more than 80 members of their team. Pericak-Vance heads the institute. Vance will lead a new genetics department within the medical school.