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Florida Briefs: Officials: Hospital workers fired after stealing patient information

HOLLYWOOD

Hospital: Workers took patient information

Memorial Healthcare System has fired two employees after officials say they stole information on hospital patients in an attempt to file phony tax returns.

Hospital spokeswoman Kerting Baldwin told the South Florida Sun Sentinel the former employees are under criminal investigation. She says Memorial sent letters Thursday to about 9,500 patients whose identities could have been exposed.

It was not immediately clear whether any of the IDs were used to file fake tax returns. No medical records were taken.

Baldwin says the hospital detected the breach on Jan. 27. She says former patients whose information may be affected should receive letters by April 25. The hospital is providing a free year of credit monitoring to these patients.

Memorial Healthcare System operates five hospitals in Broward County.

DEERFIELD BEACH

Man struck by Tri-Rail commuter train, killed

Authorities say a Tri-Rail commuter train struck and killed a man who was pushing a bicycle along the tracks.

The Broward Sheriff's Office says the man was killed instantly Thursday when the train hit him near Deerfield Beach.

Investigators say the Tri-Rail train was carrying 130 passengers when the engineer spotted a man walking south along the track. The train was also heading south as the horn sounded. But the man didn't move from the train's path and was struck.

The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy on the man, who appeared to be in his 50s. The victim has not yet been identified.

Officials say no one else was injured in the crash.

MIAMI

Irene deemed deadly enough for retirement

Irene is being retired from the list of storm names because the 2011 hurricane killed 49 people and caused more than $15 billion in damage.

A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the name will be replaced by Irma. Irene was retired Friday from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization's hurricane committee.

The report says storm names are reused every six years unless retired for causing considerable casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.

Five people were killed in the Dominican Republic after Hurricane Irene stormed through the Caribbean last August. Three died in Haiti. And 41 died in the U.S. when Irene barreled up the Eastern Seaboard.

OCALA

Man convicted of killing estranged wife

A north Florida man has been convicted of killing his estranged wife.

A Marion County jury found 30-year-old Joshua Fulgham guilty Thursday of first-degree murder and kidnapping. He faces a possible death sentence.

Authorities say Fulgham and his girlfriend, 27-year-old Emilia Carr, kidnapped Fulgham's wife, Heather Strong, in February 2009, bound her to a chair and suffocated her with a plastic bag inside a storage trailer.

Fulgham and his wife had two children and were in a custody battle.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that Carr was convicted and sentenced to death last year.

Florida Briefs: Officials: Hospital workers fired after stealing patient information 04/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 13, 2012 10:29pm]
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