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Woman's body found; death declared a homicide

Published Sep. 27, 2005

The death of a young woman whose body was found in the Cross Florida Barge Canal early Saturday has been ruled a homicide.

Detectives from the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said the woman's nude body was discovered by boaters about 6:30 a.m. Saturday. It lay partly in the water and partly on the south bank of the barge canal, about 100 yards west of U.S. 19, authorities said. The barge canal is on the county line between Citrus and Levy counties. The woman was black and 20 to 30 years old, authorities said, and she died 12 hours or less before the discovery of the body.

Detectives did not release the cause of death or the victim's identity.

High school senior reinstated into school's honor society

INDIALANTIC _ A senior at a Catholic high school who was dismissed from the National Honor Society in January has been reinstated, allowing him to graduate with honors, his attorney said.

A Melbourne Central Catholic High School faculty panel expelled class salutatorian Stephen Watt, 16, from the society for an inability to "uphold the principles of morality and ethics taught by the school," a faculty adviser wrote.

Watt was disrespectful to a teacher during a classroom discussion about the purpose of marriage, principal Joe Mancini said.

Watt appealed the decision in February but was not reinstated until an agreement was reached Friday between the Watt family and the Diocese of Orlando, according to Burton Green, the family's attorney.

The argument occurred last October in teacher Kevin Shaughnessy's religion class. Shaughnessy told the class that Roman Catholic doctrine asserts that the purpose of marriage is procreation.

Stephen, who was raised Catholic but no longer practices the religion, said he questioned whether the world needs more babies and disagreed when Shaughnessy said the world's population is declining.