Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

Florida governor wants permission for recorded greetings at Tampa airport

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Tallahassee

Scott wants panel to okay recorded airport greetings

Gov. Rick Scott wants a state ethics panel to say it's okay for him to greet visitors with recorded messages at Tampa International Airport.

Scott's acting general counsel has asked the Florida Commission on Ethics whether or not it would violate state law to play the recorded greetings by Scott on airport shuttles.

The ethics commission will rule on the request during its June 15 meeting.

A draft opinion prepared by commission staff says Scott should be allowed to do the greetings, which would include his telling people that "Tampa Bay" is a "great place to live, work and play." The request comes shortly before Tampa will host the Republican National Convention.

Tallahassee

Drummer from Tampa faces hazing charge

A Florida A&M University marching band drummer from Tampa — who was "president" on the Marching 100's infamous Bus C, where Robert Champion was pummeled to death — faces a hazing charge in a separate incident that left a female drummer too woozy to perform.

Dante Martin, 25, is the 14th member of the ensemble to be charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing in the wake of the homicide investigation that led to the suspension of the band.

The previously undisclosed case against Martin is contained in nearly 150 pages of evidence released Wednesday by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting 11 people on felony charges and two others on misdemeanor charges in the death of Champion.

Champion, 26, a drum major, died Nov. 19 after a hazing aboard Bus C, parked outside the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

Martin, who is not charged in Champion's death, referred questions to an attorney.

State attorney spokeswoman Danielle Tavernier said Martin has not been arrested. He faces a charge of misdemeanor hazing, punishable by up to a year in jail.

Miami

Infection a threat to victim in face-chewing

A homeless man whose face was mostly chewed off in a bizarre attack faces a bigger threat from infection than from the injuries themselves, according to experts on facial reconstruction. He will require months of treatment to rebuild his features and will be permanently disfigured.

Though gruesome, such severe facial injuries are generally not life threatening. The most serious risk to Ronald Poppo as he remained hospitalized Wednesday was the germs that may have been introduced by the bites of the naked man who attacked him. One of the 65-year-old's eyes was also gouged out.

It's not clear why Poppo was attacked Saturday afternoon by 31-year-old Rudy Eugene alongside a busy highway.

A witness described Eugene ripping at Poppo's face with his mouth and growling at a Miami police officer who ordered him to get off the homeless man. The officer shot and killed Eugene.

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