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Mother gets $1.5-million in day care death of child

Tekela Harris-Carter has received a $1.5-million settlement for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who died in August after being locked in a day care center van.

Day care center attorney Harrison Slaughter said Tuesday that Harris-Carter received the payment in October from the insurance company that holds the policies for Abundant Life Academy of Learning, which was caring for Zaniyah Hinson when she died.

Harris-Carter's attorneys, Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks, said a settlement had been reached, but they declined to give details Tuesday.

Zaniyah was locked in the day care center's van for hours last Aug. 11 after a lunchtime field trip. Court records show day care center workers failed to keep track of children or to check a list of the children's names, either before or after the trip.

Prosecutors have charged the day care center with aggravated manslaughter and Gail Besemer, the teacher who drove the van, with child neglect. Both cases could go to trial this summer.

Keep jewelry, return urn,

woman pleads to burglars

LAKELAND _ Amy Page said she isn't overly concerned about the loss of her gold jewelry, diamond earrings, three watches, a camcorder and appliances stolen from her home in a burglary last week.

But she also lost something she can't replace: an urn containing the ashes of her daughter.

Bracie Stover died in 1997 of sudden infant death syndrome when she was 2 months old.

Page hopes whoever took the urn will realize how important it is to her.

"If they could only just bring her back," Page said. "I don't have to know who they are."

Page, 29, a stagehand for Diamond Productions, was in Orlando, and her roommate Rita Ellis, 42, was at work when their home was burglarized March 13.

Ellis' room was ransacked, but Page thought at first that her room was left untouched.

It was several days before she found that the gold urn was gone.

The 4-by-6-inch urn was in a wooden box in which Page also kept photographs of Bracie, some of her daughter's toys and a letter she written to Bracie.

"They picked through all the stuff and just took the urn," Page said.

Miami Beach prohibits

living in public spaces

MIAMI BEACH _ The City Commission voted Wednesday to ban people from living in public spaces, which some advocates call a thinly veiled attack on the homeless.

The city ordinance bans "camping in public places" to "promote aesthetics, sanitation, public health and safety," City Manager Jorge Gonzalez said in a memo. The ordinance, approved by a 6-1 vote, defines camping as sleeping or "otherwise being in a temporary shelter out-of-doors."

Officers must offer violators a chance to stay in a homeless shelter. Violators face arrest and a fine if they refuse. If beds in shelters are not available, officers cannot arrest offenders or order them to leave.

The new rule is especially necessary at the beachfront Lummus Park, which is open 24 hours, Gonzalez said.

The ordinance complies with a 1992 federal court ruling that protects the homeless from police roundups and offers them social services to keep them off the streets, City Commissioner Jose Smith said.

_ Ledger and wire reports

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