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Prison program under investigation

State law enforcement officials are examining business transactions at a prison industries program that already has led to three firings. Officials say the three former employees set up at least two companies to do contract work for the state-sponsored program in violation of conflict-of-interest rules. Other activities under investigation include the alleged purchase of goods and services in violation of agency policy, according to a news release. The amount of money involved in the transactions appears to be about $20,000 or less, according to one official of the agency, Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises Inc. (PRIDE). The office involved is in West Palm Beach.Task force to study cable franchises

TALLAHASSEE _ Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth has appointed an office task force to consider recommending that cities and counties place a moratorium on long-term cable television franchises. In a news release, Butterworth noted that federal officials appear to be moving toward regulation of some aspects of cable TV. He also pointed to several "disturbing questions" raised by cable company practices, including the recent attempted use of "negative option" marketing. In negative option marketing, a company charges a customer for a premium channel unless the customer specifically refuses it.

Irishmen get 4 years on missile deal

FORT LAUDERDALE _ Three Irishmen convicted of conspiring to buy a Stinger missile for the Irish Republican Army were sentenced Friday to four years and three months in prison. Kevin McKinley of Riviera Beach, Seamus Moley of Toronto and Joseph McColgan of Dundalk, Ireland, were found guilty last December on two of five charges in U.S. District Court.

Court asked to reverse Cruse conviction

TALLAHASSEE _ A defense attorney claimed Friday that prosecutors withheld evidence backing the insanity claims of William Cruse, sentenced to die for killing six in a shooting spree at a Palm Bay shopping center April 23, 1987. James Wulchak, an assistant public defender in Daytona Beach, told the Florida Supreme Court that Cruse's six murder convictions and two death sentences should be reversed because the state didn't disclose preliminary opinions from two psychiatrists indicating that Cruse may have been too insane to bear responsibility for his actions.

Lifeguards charge anti-Semitism

MIAMI BEACH _ Miami Beach commissioners have agreed to an outside investigation into charges that Jewish lifeguards employed by the city have been the targets of anti-Semitic slurs and harassment. At least six of the patrol's Jewish lifeguards felt they had been unfairly treated because of their religion, said a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

_ Compiled from staff and wire reports

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