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By Compiled from Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 12, 2000


Inquiry into oil spill extends as cost climbs

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The investigation of this week's oil spill has extended to Jacksonville and New Orleans, where the U.S. Coast Guard is obtaining oil samples from ships that passed the southeast Florida coast.

Investigators have boarded 38 vessels so far, most at Port Everglades and the Port of Miami, to take oil samples and check records, Petty Officer Robert Suddarth said Friday.

They sent the samples by overnight mail to the Coast Guard Marine Safety laboratory in Groton, Conn., where scientists will try to match one of them chemically to the oil that washed up on South Florida's beaches this week. Testing will begin Monday.

Work crews had hauled away most of the oil and oil-soaked debris by Friday as the cost of the cleanup hit $180,000.

Teen says he prefers death to life term, records say

WEST PALM BEACH -- A 13-year-old boy accused in the fatal shooting of a middle school teacher on the final day of classes said he would rather be executed than spend his life in prison, according to court documents.

Nathaniel Brazill is charged with first-degree murder in the May 26 shooting of Lake Worth Middle School teacher Barry Grunow, 35. He faces life in prison if convicted.

"If they give me life, I'll ask for the electric chair because I took somebody's life," Brazill told a cellmate at Palm Beach Regional Detention Center.

However, Brazill cannot be executed because he is under 16.

Brazill's attorney, Robert Udell, dismissed his client's remarks as typical of defendants charged with serious crimes.

Suits say car seizure ordinances are unfair

MIAMI -- Attorneys are attacking ordinances in Miami, Hollywood and Fort Pierce that allow the seizure of cars during prostitution, marijuana and littering arrests.

A car owner whose husband was arrested on a solicitation charge is the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit covering 10,000-plus Miami cases.

In three years, Miami has plowed $6-million in ordinance collections on more than 9,500 seizures into the city budget.

David Glantz, a lawyer who is involved with the three lawsuits, finds numerous problems with the ordinances, which carry no exceptions for innocent owners even though opponents say state law requires it.

Similar ordinances have been adopted in Tampa, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Ocala, Lake Worth, Hallandale and Miami Beach.

Officials investigate death of prison inmate

Kevin J. Bacon, serving a four-year, 11-month prison term for cocaine possession and delivering, died Friday morning at Wakulla Correction Institution in Crawfordville.

Bacon, 27, was unresponsive when found by prison staff at 5:50 a.m. Prison medical staff administered CPR until emergency medical workers arrived at 6:45 a.m. The 6-foot, 323-pound Bacon was pronounced dead 14 minutes later. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the death, which does not appear to be the result of foul play, according to the Department of Corrections.

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