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  • Legislature 2001
  • Around the state

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    Around the state

    Compiled from Times wires

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 19, 2001

    Baby girl's body found in trash bin

    MIAMI -- A baby girl was found dead Wednesday in a trash bin on Key Biscayne -- the second newborn thrown away in South Florida in a month and at least the fourth in the state this year.

    Maintenance workers discovered the body while replacing the trash bin, said Miami-Dade police Sgt. Pete Andreu. A medical examiner hadn't determined the cause of death.

    The discovery came less than two weeks after 17-year-old Aimee Lee Weiss was arrested and accused of putting her newborn infant son in a plastic bag on March 26 and throwing the body into a canal in Tamarac, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. She is being held on an open charge of murder.

    In February, a newborn baby was found alive, stuffed in a plastic bag and tossed into a Lake Worth back yard. The baby's 15-year-old mother told police she gave birth in a toilet. Also in February, the body of a baby girl was found floating in a Vero Beach ditch. A medical examiner said there was a high probability the baby was alive when thrown into the water.

    Last year the Legislature passed a law that allows mothers to leave new babies at hospitals or fire stations with no questions asked, in the hope that infants would not be abandoned in places where they could die.

    Judge: Tree cutters need warrant

    MIAMI -- The state must get a search warrant before workers can enter a resident's yard to cut down citrus trees infected with canker, a judge ruled Wednesday.

    In his order, Circuit Judge Ronald M. Friedman said the statute the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was working under was unconstitutional. By not requiring warrants, the statute violates Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches and seizures, the judge said.

    The state plans to appeal.

    Challenger of racist policy dies

    MIAMI -- Charles Thompson, whose stand against a discriminatory tipping policy at a trendy Miami Beach restaurant garnered national attention, has died at age 41.

    Thompson, who had worked at American Express as an auditor until late 1999, died April 7 after a lengthy illness that his family would not disclose.

    In October 1999, Thompson, who was black, noticed that Thai Toni's restaurant had added a mandatory 15 percent tip to his bill. When he confronted owner Hiromi Takarada and pointed out that white diners' checks did not include a mandatory tip, Takarada replied: "Black people don't tip well." Thompson called police, and Takarada made a similar statement to an officer.

    After Thompson filed a lawsuit, protesters picketed the restaurant and the national media picked up the story. Takarada apologized and paid the state a $15,000 fine for violating its anti-discrimination statutes.

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