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Briefs: Gov. Crist says voter fraud claims may be exaggerated


Colleges step up fight against binge drinking

College leaders across the state are stepping up their fight against on-campus binge drinking.

The University of Central Florida banned alcoholic beverages at Knights football games. At the University of Florida in Gainesville, trustees are poised to approve a ban on drinking games, kegs and "beer balls," a smaller version of a keg, Florida Today reports.

This fall, the University of South Florida banned daytime drinking at a new campus bar and grill after students and faculty members were found drinking between classes.

"The problem isn't when you start drinking, it's how much you start drinking," Tom Hall, UCF's director of alcohol and other drug-prevention programming, told the newspaper.


'Donnie Brasco' balks at testifying at trial

The FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Mafia as "Donnie Brasco" is refusing to testify in the murder trial of a former Boston FBI agent.

Joseph Pistone won't take the stand unless news outlets are banned from taking video or still photos of him. A Miami judge refused Wednesday to issue such a ban.

Pistone was supposed to testify in support of former agent John Connolly, on trial for the 1982 slaying of a gambling executive. Connolly said in court he did not want Pistone to testify if there were questions about his safety. Pistone's career was the basis for a 1997 movie starring Johnny Depp.

Connolly could get life in prison if convicted of the slaying of former World Jai-Alai president John Callahan.


Convicted rapist loses bid for freedom again

Convicted killer and rapist Joseph "Crazy Joe" Spaziano lost another bid for freedom Wednesday.

The Florida Parole Commission rejected a tearful plea from his daughter and pushed back his prospective release date in 2060 — when he'd be 115 years old — by six months because he was disciplined last year for being disrespectful to prison officials.

Spaziano, 63, has been eligible for parole since 1998 from a sentence of life plus five years. He was convicted of raping a 16-year-old Orlando girl, beating her and slashing her eyes in 1974.


Growth management ballot bid tries again

State economists have submitted a third statement to the Florida Supreme Court on how much a proposed growth management initiative might cost taxpayers.

The justices rejected the first two financial statements for the proposed Hometown Democracy Amendment because they were vague and misleading.

Sponsors, who opposed the other statements, Wednesday said the new one is okay. They are collecting signatures to put it on the 2010 ballot. It would require voter approval of changes in local plans that say what kind of growth can take place and where.


Man hit during pole dance sues strip club

A Margate man is suing a Pompano Beach strip club after he says a performer's shoe flew off during a pole dance in January, shattering the mirrored ceiling and causing glass, as well as the shoe, to hit him.

The Booby Trap breached "its duty when its employee failed to perform her routine in (a) reasonably safe manner," according to the Broward Circuit Court lawsuit filed by Charles Privette, 35. He is seeking at least $15,000 in damages.

Times wires

Florida's governor says his fellow Republicans may be exaggerating claims of voter fraud in the state.

Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday that he has confidence in Secretary of State Kurt Browning, who says there's only been a scattering of isolated incidents.

Crist said in the closing days of any campaign "there are some who sort of enjoy chaos." There may be more of that going on than fraud, he said.

The Republican National Committee and GOP presidential candidate John McCain have accused an activist group of fraudulently registering people in Florida and other states. It has focused on young people, minorities and others seen as more likely to support Democrat Barack Obama.

Briefs: Gov. Crist says voter fraud claims may be exaggerated 10/15/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:57pm]
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