Deputies: Fla. man accused of strangling mother
(Information in the following story is from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com)
PALM COAST, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man faces manslaughter charges in the death of his mother.
Authorities say 62-year-old Richard Guyton Mathews is being held on $250,000 bail at the Flagler County Jail after his Wednesday afternoon arrest.
The Daytona Beach News Journal reports Mary Shaw Mathews was found dead Feb. 21 inside her home.
Flagler County Sheriff's officials say her body on a living room chair with no apparent signs of trauma. An employee of a funeral home called deputies a few days later and told them a "highly intoxicated" Mathews broke down while discussing funeral arrangements and told them his mother asked him to kill her.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy and ruled she died by strangulation. Toxicology reports showed high levels of medications in her body.
FATAL MOBILE HOME FIRE
Body found inside burning north Fla. mobile home
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - An investigation is underway after firefighters in Jacksonville found a body inside a burning mobile home.
The body was discovered early Thursday.
The Florida Times-Union reports the State Fire Marshal's Office and detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are investigating the cause of the fire.
The victim's name has not been released.
No further details were immediately available.
Trayvon Martin's dad speaks about son in NY
NEW YORK (AP) - The father of Trayvon Martin hopes his son's death re-ignites the fight for civil rights and teaches tolerance.
Tracy Martin spoke to an audience at Nassau Community College on Wednesday.
According to Newsday, Martin said he would like to see his son's name "in the history books of modern days, taking his place beside Emmett Till."
Till was killed in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of flirting with a white woman.
Martin's son was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who later was acquitted of second-degree murder under Florida's "stand your ground" law.
ULTRA FEST-GUARD TRAMPLED
Police union chief wants more Miami cops at Ultra
MIAMI (AP) - The head of Miami's police union says the Ultra Music Festival should replace private security guards with city police officers.
In a proposal sent Wednesday to city commissioners, Miami Fraternal Order of Police President Javier Ortiz said security guards lack the training, experience and authority to handle crowds at the annual festival.
A guard was seriously injured after being trampled by gate-crashers at Ultra in March. City officials are considering whether to halt the three-day festival.
Ortiz also says concert-goers would be subject to pat-downs by officers, and he would prohibit duffel bags, cameras, computers, drugs, weapons and outside food and beverages.
Ultra recently hired the outgoing Miami Beach police chief as its new security director. An internal review of the festival's security is pending.
HEALTH CARE FRAUD ARREST
Fla. doc faces 200 counts of health care fraud
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Gainesville doctor has been charged with more than 200 counts of health care fraud
U.S. Attorney's officials say 57-year-old Ona Colasante surrendered Tuesday after being indicted by a grand jury.
According to the indictment, Colasante made money billing the government for medical tests, including substance abuse counseling and smoking cessation, that patient never received. She allegedly used that money to buy non-FDA-approved drugs and devices from pharmacies outside the country.
According to the indictment, Colasante then charged the government for administering those drugs. Officials say she gave the drugs to patients without their knowledge or consent.
A message left for her attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.
A trial is set for June. If convicted, Colasante faces 10 years in prison for each of the health care fraud counts.
TAMPA HOMICIDE DETECTIVE
Tampa homicide detective on leave during probe
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The federal criminal investigation of a Tampa police homicide detective has forced prosecutors and police officials to review cases in which he played a part.
The Tampa Tribune reports that Tampa Police relieved Eric Houston of his investigative duties and placed him on administrative leave on April 3 after the investigation began.
Officials say the nature of the probe remains a mystery to most within the department.
Also unclear Wednesday was whether the investigation will have any effect on the integrity of evidence provided by Houston in homicide prosecutions.
Houston worked on high-profile cases involving convicted cop killer Dontae Morris and Julie Schenecker, who is scheduled to go on trial next week on charges she killed her two teenage children.
Miami Beach opposes Beckham's soccer stadium plan
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Miami Beach officials and residents say building a Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami would create a traffic nightmare.
The city held a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss David Beckham's proposal to build a 25,000-seat stadium on Miami-Dade County land.
Miami Beach commissioners passed a symbolic vote earlier this month welcoming professional soccer to South Florida but opposing the stadium proposal. The Miami Herald reports that residents echoed those sentiments, saying a stadium at the port would add to the heavy traffic already clogging the highway that connects Miami Beach with downtown Miami.
A traffic expert for the city of Miami Beach says a preliminary analysis of the stadium proposal shows that the number of vehicles per hour on the MacArthur Causeway would increase from 2,700 to 5,100.
Chiquita asks court to toss terror payments case
MIAMI (AP) - Produce giant Chiquita Brands International is asking a federal appeals court to toss out lawsuits filed against it in the U.S. by thousands of Colombians whose relatives were killed in a bloody civil war.
An 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel will hear arguments Thursday.
Chiquita once had huge banana operations in Colombia. The company says the lawsuits should be dismissed because Chiquita can't be directly linked to each killing, despite paying $1.7 million to a right-wing paramilitary group.
Lawyers for the Colombians say Chiquita should be held liable, even if executives didn't know specifics about the death squad killings.
Chiquita pleaded guilty in 2007 to U.S. criminal charges over the payments and paid a $25 million fine. The company insists the payments were made under duress.
Singer Marc Anthony to produce album in English
MIAMI (AP) - Marc Anthony's latest Spanish-language album "3.0" is a hit, and his single "Vivir mi vida" topped the charts for 18 weeks. But Anthony isn't satisfied. He wants to reconquer a broader market with a new project in English.
Anthony announced at the 25th Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami on Wednesday that he is working on a pop album. The conference culminates with its award show Thursday. Anthony is nominated in 15 categories.
Anthony says he doesn't have a release date or a record label yet. Sony Music Latin has the exclusive rights only to his Spanish-language music.
The "Newyorican" salsa singer has produced two albums in English, but much of his fame and success has come from his Spanish-language songs.
University to students: no selfies at graduation
(Information in the following story is from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - In the coming weeks, graduates of the University of South Florida will be able to frame their diplomas - but not a selfie of their walk across the commencement stage.
The university's Division of Student Affairs is warning students against inappropriate behavior at the ceremonies at the SunDome and elsewhere, including taking "selfies" on stage with President Judy Genshaft or other dignitaries.
A school official told The Tampa Tribune that taking selfies would slow the commencement down.
The school sent a notice to all graduating seniors, and ads are being placed in the student newspaper requesting that students also refrain from "stepping," ''marching" or "strolling."
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