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Day-care owner faces 24 new charges

Published Oct. 16, 2005

FORT LAUDERDALE - A day-care center owner was charged Tuesday with combining commercial pornographic pictures with snapshots of children to form montages for "a sexual fantasy," police said. Police charged John W. Shaver, who already faces five counts of possession of child pornography, with 24 counts of sexual performance with a child, a third-degree felony, said police spokesman Ott Cefkin. "They do not relate to any physical contact (with a child)," Cefkin said of the latest charges. Shaver, who was arrested Jan. 28, attempted suicide on Feb. 2. On Friday, police announced that three children, who recently attended Shaver's preschool, had tested positive for gonorrhea of the throat. Baby Shamu flies to Ohio

ORLANDO - The original Baby Shamu killer whale has been flown from Florida's Sea World to the company's marine park in Aurora, Ohio, it was announced Tuesday. The 3,000-pound whale, the first born and raised successfully in captivity, was taken to the airport late Monday in a custom-made 5,000-gallon pool. The pool and the 5-year-old whale were loaded aboard a Boeing 747 cargo jet along with several penguins and two Pacific white-sided dolphins. The flight early Tuesday to the Ohio park also carried a dozen veterinarians, trainers and other attendants.

TV evangelists ordered to return money

BARTOW - A furious judge has ordered the leaders of a television evangelical group to pay back more than $800,000 they took from a 72-year-old woman, leaving her with only a few possessions. "When people do this kind of thing in the name of God, it becomes like evil incarnate," Circuit Judge E. Randolph Bentley said Monday in his ruling that Valeria Lust is entitled to repayment of the donations.

Bentley ruled that Jim Whittington of North Carolina-based Fountain of Life; Daniel Atwood of Miracle Cathedral in Erie, Pa.; and Ms. Lust's former housekeeper, Barbara Stevens, influenced Ms. Lust into giving away her money over a seven-month period in 1987. Ms. Stevens was sentenced to three years in prison after she pleaded guilty last July to conspiracy and grand theft charges relating to her relationship with Ms. Lust.

Agency offers Medigap shopping guide

The state Department of Insurance has published a free shopper's guide to Medigap insurance polices, the department announced Tuesday. The policies are intended pay for health costs not covered by Medicare. The guide contains basic information on the insurance, shopping tips, premium examples and a checklist. For a free copy, call (800) 342-2762.

Father won't be charged under gun law

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The father of a boy who fatally shot a friend will be placed in a pretrial intervention program rather than charged under the state's gun safety law, a prosecutor said. State Attorney Jim Appleman said Monday that the victim's family didn't want Larry V. Peters, whose pistol was used in the shooting, imprisoned. The new statute, which took effect Oct. 1, makes it a crime for a gun owner to leave a loaded and unlocked weapon in a place where it can be found by a child and used to threaten, injure or kill someone. It carries potential penalties of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Peters' son, Jason, 13, accidentally shot Robert Kenneth Guinn Jr., also 13, in the chest with the gun on Dec. 6, authorities said. Under the terms of the pretrial agreement, the father must forfeit the gun, make public service announcements, maintain a clean criminal record, stay in the county and make no change in his residence or employment.

Closed nightclub disciplined

PANAMA CITY BEACH - A nightclub that sold alcohol to minors had its license suspended for three days - while the business was closed anyway for the winter off-season. The Spinnaker II had faced a maximum penalty of $18,750 in fines and a 135-day license suspension after six employees were convicted of selling alcohol to minors. State officials opted for the light penalty because agents were unable to prove the club owners had not been diligent in attempting to prevent such violations. "This is one of the most disappointing experiences I've had in 20 years of law enforcement," said Police Chief Lee Sullivan.

- Compiled by DAVID CONYERS from wire reports