News

House refuses to dismiss Sansom case

TALLAHASSEE — A House panel has refused to dismiss an ethics complaint against former Speaker Ray Sansom.

The House Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, though, left the door open Tuesday for the Destin Republican to file a revised motion.

The panel had twice postponed action so Sansom could find a new lawyer.

Sansom is accused of violating ethics rules by allegedly steering millions of dollars to Northwest Florida State College and then accepting a job at the school.

Legal motions in a separate criminal case are set for a court hearing Feb. 19.

Sansom, originally indicted last year on official misconduct and perjury charges, is facing new criminal charges of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft.

Cops: Woman charged in lotto winner’s death

TAMPA — A woman who befriended a Florida lottery winner who later went missing was charged Tuesday as an accessory after the fact in his slaying, five days after his body was found buried in her backyard.

Dorice “DeeDee” Moore, 37, was charged as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the slaying of Abraham Shakespeare, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said. Moore has denied hurting Shakespeare, 43. No one else has been arrested.

Sketch released in case of slain model in trash

NORTH MIAMI — North Miami police have released a sketch of a man seen with a model hours before her body was found burning in a trash bin.

Police spokesman Lt. Neal Cuevas says the man is a person they want to speak to regarding the case of 26-year-old Paula Sladewski. Cuevas says detectives are waiting for forensic test results, but no further information about the investigation has been released.

Sladewski, an aspiring model, went missing Jan. 3. Her charred body was found in a trash bin later that day. She was visiting from California with her boyfriend.

Surveillance video shows her leaving a club as others come and go.

Obama nominating Florida A&M VP for Commerce post

TALLAHASSEE — A Florida A&M vice president is being tapped by President Barack Obama for a position in the administration.

The school announced Tuesday that Larry Robinson was told last week that Obama plans to nominate him to serve as an assistant secretary of commerce. The appointment requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Memphis State University in 1979. He earned a doctorate in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984. He has also served as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Child burned by boiling oil in hospital

CORAL SPRINGS — A Coral Springs child is being treated at a hospital with severe burns from boiling oil that fell on him.

The 13-month-old was being treated Tuesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Burn Unit. His condition was not immediately known.

Authorities say he was injured in his home Monday night when a deep fryer tipped over, spilling boiling oil onto him. His mother was cooking at the time. Police say the boy had burns to more than 35 percent of his body. An investigation continues.

Officials confirm childhood cancer cluster

THE ACREAGE — Health officials in South Florida have confirmed a cluster of childhood cancer cases in one Palm Beach County community, though the cause remains uncertain.

Officials confirmed higher than normal rates of brain tumors and cancer among children in The Acreage, a semirural community about 20 miles northwest of West Palm Beach.

Investigators have interviewed affected families to try and determine any commonalities.

The state Department of Environmental Protection concluded last year that some homes in The Acreage have wells with elevated levels of radium and other radioactive substances that could result from natural causes.

The study also found ground water quality was “generally good.”

Men sentenced in illegal lobster harvest case

KEY WEST — Two South Florida men have been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to illegally harvesting lobsters off the Florida Keys.

Prosecutors say John Buckheim and Nick Demauro harvested lobsters by diving on illegal artificial habitats. Records state the men sold the lobsters to a seafood company for a total of $45,974.

No charges for man who shot 4 suspected burglars

COCOA — Authorities say a Florida man who shot four teens accused of trespassing onto his property acted within his rights and will not be charged with a crime.

Cocoa police say Richard Evans told the teens to get off his property, and shot them in belief he was protecting his family against burglars who were possibly armed.

The four suspects were injured and taken to area hospitals for treatment. Evans was shot as well when he set his gun down and it accidentally discharged. None of their injuries are believed to be life threatening.

Elderly couple call 911 before murder-suicide

FRUITLAND PARK — An elderly Lake County man reportedly called 911 before killing his wife and then himself.

The Lake County sheriff’s office reports that the 80-year-old man told an emergency dispatcher what he was planning Monday morning.

The husband told the dispatcher that he and his 79-year-old wife wanted to commit suicide because of health problems. The dispatchers heard what sounded like two shots and sent deputies to the home to investigate.

Deputies arrived a short time later and found the couple dead, along with a firearm.

— Herald wire reports

  Comments