Around the region

Key lime pie baker Kermit Carpenter, left, serves up free Key lime pie Friday to visitor Brett Bauer of Charlotte, N.C., outside Carpenter's Key Lime Pie Shoppe in Key West. Carpenter gave away hundreds of free slices to commemorate Key lime pie becoming the official pie for the state of Florida beginning today. The pie originated in the Florida Keys.

The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 30, 2006 at 11:59 p.m.

Horse retirement farm to be featured on CBS

  • The Retirement Home for Horses in Alachua will be featured on CBS' "Sunday Morning" program this weekend.
    The hourlong show begins at 9 a.m. CBS correspondent Martha Teichner returned to Mill Creek Farm recently to film the horses. She had covered the equine sanctuary in 1994 and according to owners Mary and Peter Gregory, the story generated such a large viewer response that extra phone operators were required to answer calls from viewers around the country.
    The Gregorys said the footage was later included among CBS' Top 50 "Sunday Morning" stories.
    The Gregorys founded the retirement home more than 20 years ago and now accept only horses rescued from shelters and experiment stations, abandoned or retired from a life of service. There are more than 100 horses living out their lives on the hundreds of acres of rolling land.
    The farm, located on State Road 235A three miles north of Santa Fe High School, is open to the public Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is two carrots.
    - Marina Blomberg

    Tampa soldier killed in Afghanistan

  • TAMPA - A soldier from Florida was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.
    Cpl. Aaron Griner, 24, from Tampa, died from his injuries when his vehicle struck a mine during combat in Helmand Province on Wednesday, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
    Griner was a health care specialist assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y.
    Griner, whose awards include a Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart, entered the Army in 2004 after completing basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., the statement said.
    He is survived by his wife, Amanda and son, Austin.
    - The Associated Press

    Porn-viewing judge to retire on Jan. 1

  • TALLAHASSEE - A judge who repeatedly viewed pornography on the computer in his chambers will receive a public reprimand and must retire at the end of his current term on Jan. 1, the Florida Supreme Court agreed Friday.
    The justices unanimously accepted a stipulation in which Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III of Clearwater admitted the pervasive porno-viewing. But he denied complaints that he failed to disclose a juror's note to lawyers at a sentencing hearing and showed inordinate interest in a young female prosecutor.
    Downey, 60, previously had announced his intention to retire at the end of his term. The stipulation with the Judicial Qualifications Commission also bars him from serving as a post-retirement senior judge or seeking appointment or election as a judge.
    The justices ordered Downey to appear before them Sept. 22 to receive his reprimand. The agreement also calls for him to sign a letter of apology to fellow judges and the public and to continue receiving counseling.
    Downey has served 21 years on the bench. He did not want to comment on the decision but planned to follow the stipulation, court spokesman Ron Stuart said.
    He accessed pornographic Internet sites from 2002 through 2005 and ignored repeated e-mail warnings from court technology staffers that he could infect the entire computer network with viruses from certain sites, according to the stipulation.
    It also states courthouse personnel were unwittingly exposed to pornographic images when they came to his office to remove the viruses.
    - The Associated Press

    Jury convicts woman of murdering daughter

  • ORLANDO - A jury has found a woman guilty of second-degree murder in the death of her 4-year-old daughter.
    Kenya Hill, 29, had faced up to life in prison on one count each of felony first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Jurors, however, downgraded the crime Thursday to second-degree murder.
    Hill's daughter, Kai Gadison, was found dead in 2004 in a filthy motel room shared with her mother and four siblings after Hill called 911. Kai died of blunt force trauma to the head, an autopsy report said.
    Days earlier a probation officer had notified Florida's child welfare agency that the family's living conditions were squalid and inappropriate for children. The agency changed how calls to its abuse hot line are handled in the wake of the girl's death.
    - The Associated Press
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