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Pilots accused of trying to fly drunk are in rehab

Published Sep. 3, 2005

Two America West pilots accused of being drunk when they tried to fly a jetliner have been in alcohol rehabilitation, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Lawyers for Thomas Porter Cloyd and Christopher Hughes have requested a hearing today to ask a judge to move their Aug. 1 court appearance because the pilots will be in alcohol rehabilitation in Arizona until Aug. 2, Assistant State Attorney Ronald Ramsingh said.

The men entered the 28-day program days after they were arrested July 1 in Miami, Ramsingh said.

James K. Rubin, Hughes' attorney, and William M. Pearson, attorney for Cloyd, didn't immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Hughes, 41, and Cloyd, 44, both had blood-alcohol levels above Florida's legal limit of 0.08 percent after they were ordered to return their Phoenix-bound plane carrying 124 passengers to the gate at Miami International airport.

They have pleaded innocent to felony counts of operating an aircraft under the influence and operating a motor vehicle under the influence. The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked their licenses.

Man gets life in prison

for sexually abusing boy

SARASOTA _ A former handyman was sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing a boy he lured into his home with Pokemon cards and video games.

Arthur Childs, 47, was arrested in October 2000 after nine boys told Sarasota County sheriff's deputies they had been fondled and sodomized.

Childs was sentenced Monday. He has spent nearly a decade behind bars for other molestation convictions and was found guilty last month of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy.

"He's molested his last kid," said sheriff's Detective Chris Iorio.

NAACP plans sanctions

over Crestview's rebel flag

CRESTVIEW _ A local NAACP official says the group is planning protests and economic sanctions against this Florida Panhandle city for refusing to haul down the Confederate battle flag.

It flies over a memorial to William "Uncle Bill" Lundy, who was Florida's last surviving Civil War veteran when he died in 1957.

Crestview's City Council on Monday unanimously reaffirmed a decision to keep the banner flying. It rejected a compromise offered by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to put the flag in a shadow box at the memorial or take it down and present it to Lundy's family.

"If the city doesn't respect the feelings of some people, some people ought not to respect the feelings of the city," said local NAACP chapter president Sabu Williams.

He said he would seek national NAACP support for protests and avoidance of certain Crestview businesses.

Bush names interim head

of state labor agency

TALLAHASSEE _ Gov. Jeb Bush has named Luci Hadi as interim director of the state Agency for Workforce Innovation, filling in for Tom McGurk, who resigned to run for Congress. Hadi, 56, had been deputy director of the agency, which formerly was the state Department of Labor.

McGurk resigned Friday to challenge U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd in the 2nd Congressional District in North Florida.

_ Wire reports