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Golf club drops noise suit; hog farmer is "outraged'

(ran SS edition of Metro & State)

Golfers at the Florida Club will soon be hitting balls off pig-decorated tees, eating pork sandwiches and dodging a new "yield for pig crossing" sign at the 15th hole.

And Florida Club officials will no longer be battling hog farmer Paul Thompson in court.

On Wednesday they dropped their 1998 lawsuit in which they accused their neighbor Thompson of playing loud music for his 135 animals to harass golfers and thwart home sales. Instead of fighting in court, club officials decided to capitalize on the infamous squabble that has drawn worldwide attention.

"I'm outraged," Thompson said upon learning the battle was over. "It's been going on for 2{ years, and it's cost me a lot of time, money and aggravation."

Florida Club president Bob Kramer said the suit was dropped because the music levels from Thompson's farm has dropped significantly in recent weeks and because a landscaped berm recently added near the farm has further reduced the intrusion.

Thompson denied that he has ever reduced the music he plays to keep his pigs fat and happy.

Shelter where teen tried

to hang himself is sued

FORT LAUDERDALE _ The parents of a 15-year-old who tried to hang himself at an Oakland Park shelter for troubled youths are suing the shelter's parent company.

Anthony Dumas has been in a coma since June 12, when police said a Lippman Family Shelter employee took Polaroid photos of him as he was hanging unconscious from a belt tied to his bunk bed.

Dumas' brain was deprived of oxygen for several minutes from the time he was found by his roommate and three youth care specialists until police cut him down. He suffered severe brain damage and his medical bills are nearing $1-million, said Dumas family attorney David Fuchs.

Dumas was moved from Broward General Medical Center to Miami Children's Hospital on Tuesday, the same day his mother Shirley Finley and father Walter Dumas filed suit against Lutheran Ministries of Florida Inc., the Tampa-based agency that runs the 28-bed shelter.

"We're looking for justice," Fuchs said Wednesday. "Anthony's parents are not in it for the money, but they are looking for resources to take care of him for rest of his life."

The teen is connected to a ventilator and requires 24-hour care.

First too much, now too

little water in Okeechobee

Swinging from one extreme to the other, water managers who drew down a bloated Lake Okeechobee last spring declared a new emergency Wednesday to deal with a lake that's now too low to stave off the potential of water shortages this winter.

They now say there is "a 90 percent chance" they will have to impose mandatory water-use restrictions by the end of this winter.

To address the nagging water deficit, due in part to miserly summer rain, the South Florida Water Management District governing board called on people from West Palm Beach to the Florida Keys to voluntarily conserve water. For lakeside communities that draw directly from the lake, the board issued a water shortage warning as well.

The 730-square-mile lake stood at 11.8 feet above sea level Wednesday, more than 3 feet lower than it was in early April.

5 convicted of obstructing

justice in trial bribe case

MIAMI _ Five men were convicted Wednesday of obstructing justice for men accused of being cocaine kingpins who won a notorious acquittal from a jury with a bribed foreman.

Charges against the underlings centered on payoffs following the arrests of Willie Falcon and Sal Magluta to help defend them or keep witnesses out of court.

Falcon and Magluta were found innocent in 1996 of charges that they generated $2-billion in profits by running cocaine through Miami in the 1980s.

The jury foreman was convicted in July of pocketing nearly $500,000 in bribes to throw the case and was sentenced to 17{ years in prison.

Falcon and Magluta have been indicted on charges that they engineered the verdict from behind bars with payments to jurors and to assassins who killed three witnesses. They face trial later.

_ Wire reports