Around the Region - Jan. 20

Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 19, 2009 at 9:14 p.m.


Moms' hunger strike ends

DORAL Two South Florida moms who staged a weeklong hunger strike to protest cuts to public education funding have ended their protest.

Malexys Morales and Bibiana Salmon hadn't eaten since Jan. 12 and were camped out near Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School, trying to draw attention to cuts in education funding with their strike.

The two got news they'd been waiting for Monday: Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho pledged not to cut arts and music or drop a program that allows high school students to take additional electives.

The school district says its intention all along has been to preserve programs that are important to parents and students.

The Associated Press

Missing child's body found in lake

SUNRISE Divers have found the body of a missing 6-year-old boy in a Sunrise lake in Broward County.

According to Sunrise Police, 6-year-old Gianfranco Rivoli disappeared shortly after 3 p.m. Monday. Authorities and family members scoured the neighborhood for the boy, who suffered from a physical disability.

Divers found the child's body in the lake behind his family's home late Monday afternoon.

The Associated Press

Graham grandson considering role

FORT LAUDERDALE A high-profile South Florida megachurch known for fire-and-brimstone preaching wants a grandson of Billy Graham as its new pastor.

If Tullian Tchividjian (TUH'lee-uhn chuh-VI-dee-uhn) accepts, he'd assume the seat at Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge Presbyterian left vacant by the death of longtime pastor D. James Kennedy.

Kennedy died in September 2007. He was well-known as an architect of the religious right whose image on Christian broadcasting was beamed around the globe.

Being discussed is a merger of Tchividjian's small church with the larger Coral Ridge congregation. Tchividjian put out a statement Monday saying only if agreeable terms can be reached will the churches merge and he assume the role of pastor.

The Associated Press

One dies in fight at retirement center

FORT MYERS Authorities say a 72-year-old Fort Myers man is dead after an apparent fight at a retirement center.

According to a police report, officers from the Fort Myers Police Department responded to a possible assault at the Hidden Oaks Retirement Center on Sunday night.

Witnesses told investigators that medical services were needed after a fight broke out between two men.

Chrisanto Beltran had already died by the time police arrived at the center. Another man, Kenneth Knauf, 87, of Fort Myers was taken to a hospital.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of death.

The Associated Press

Deputy shoots, wounds shoplifter

LAKE PARK The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says a deputy shot and wounded a suspected shoplifter Sunday night.

According to a news release, loss prevention officers saw a man stuff clothing into bags at a Wal-Mart. The deputy tried to stop the man after he left the Lake Park store.

But the Jeep Wrangler the suspect was riding in accelerated toward the deputy and he fired his weapon.

Authorities later found Broderick Hay behind a Riviera Beach home.

Hay had gun shot wounds and a bag of clothes was nearby.

Hay, who has been charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, was taken to a hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave.

The Associated Press

37 arrested in cockfighting raid

MULBERRY Polk County authorities say 37 people were arrested and 109 roosters were removed when a cockfight in Mulberry was raided over the weekend.

According to a news release, investigators also found about $30,000 in cash, a loaded .38 caliber handgun and .22 caliber rifle when they responded to the scene Saturday night.

Two suspects struck two deputy sheriffs during the raid, and authorities used Tasers to subdue two suspects.

The Associated Press

Child tell police mom is hiding

FORT PIERCE A Fort Pierce woman ended up in jail because of a little girl with a big mouth.

Police went to the home of 22-year-old Tawanna Davis on Friday to serve warrants for assault, harassing phone calls and violation probation carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Officers say two men and a woman at the house told officers that Davis had left, but then a 4-year old child approached one of the officers and revealed that Davis was under a bed.

Officers found Davis exactly where the child said she would be.

She was arrested and being held without bail.

Compiled from The Associated Press

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