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Aid to neighbors fulfills Chiles wish

On what would have been Lawton Chiles' last day as governor, his top immigration aide on Monday announced plans to help Florida's hurricane-hit neighbors in the Caribbean and Central America.

"The governor discussed doing this before the end of his term," Mark Schlakman said a day before Gov.-elect Jeb Bush was scheduled to take office.

A budget transfer that became final Monday shifts $200,000 in federal money Florida has for immigration programs to the International Volunteer Corps, an organization run by the Florida Association of Voluntary Agencies for Caribbean Action, which sends private and government experts to Florida's neighboring nations.

Now there will be more volunteers to help the countries devastated by Hurricanes Georges and Mitch.

Georges killed 617 people in September when it battered Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A month later, Hurricane Mitch killed an estimated 10,000 people and caused massive flood damage in Honduras, Nicaragua and neighboring countries.

15-year-old held in fatal

shooting behind nightclub

GAINESVILLE _ A 15-year-old boy has been charged with killing a man behind a nightclub after a dispute over $40 and cigars, police said.

Kareem Jamal Robinson, 15, turned himself in to deputies a day after allegedly shooting Delvin Carnell Carey, 20, on New Year's Eve behind the Village Traffic.

Robinson turned himself in about 1 a.m. Saturday. He was charged with murder and taken to Alachua Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

State attorney Rod Smith said he hasn't decided whether to try Robinson as an adult.

Court sticks with ruling

voiding tobacco damages

JACKSONVILLE _ An appeals court has denied a rehearing on a decision that tossed out a $750,000 verdict won by a smoker more than two years ago against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee denied the motion for a new hearing sought by Grady Carter on Dec. 31.

"It was kind of expected," Carter, 68, of Orange Park said Monday. "We are going to take it on to the (Florida) Supreme Court."

The 1996 verdict in Jacksonville was only the second time in 40 years of anti-smoking litigation that a tobacco company was ordered to pay damages.

Carter sued Brown & Williamson, blaming it for the lung cancer he developed after smoking for 44 years. A Jacksonville jury ruled that the cigarettes were a defective product and that their makers were negligent for not warning people of the danger.

But in June, the appeals court ruled 3-0 that the lawsuit "was filed more than four years after Grady Carter knew or should have known .


. that he had a smoking-related disease." And even if Carter had sued on time, the appeals court said, the verdict would have been reversed because of a 1969 federal law that bars lawsuits that argue the wording of the cigarette warning label is inadequate.

Slain death row inmate

also had Florida conviction

PARCHMAN, Miss. _ A fellow death row inmate on Monday fatally stabbed Donald Leroy Evans, who once confessed to dozens of murders and led police in several states on fruitless searches for victim's bodies, authorities said.

In July 1995, Evans pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale to the 1985 killing of Ira Jean Smith. He received a life sentence.

"We don't mourn him. We simply close his file," said Harrison County District Attorney Cono Caranna, who prosecuted Evans in the 1991 rape and strangulation of a 10-year-old girl abducted in Gulfport. He was sentenced to death after a 1993 trial.

Evans, 41, was attacked at the Mississippi State Penitentiary with a makeshift knife while being led back to his cell after a shower, prison officials said. Jimmy Mack, the inmate who allegedly stabbed him, was being taken to the shower at the time.

_ Wire reports