Dontae Morris, accused of killing two Tampa police officers and three others, can have videoconference visits from his mother and grandmother, Hillsborough jail officials say. Morris, 25, in jail since his July 3, 2010, arrest, was cut off from outside communication two months ago. Police believed he was misusing phone, mail and visitation privileges to endanger witnesses. Morris' attorney argued the "extreme isolation," including being separated from the general population, was inhumane. Col. Jim Previtera said Morris may schedule the visits, which will be monitored, starting Monday.
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Officials say iPads are still a good deal
Hillsborough County school officials released more details Thursday on their plan to buy 900 iPads for two middle schools. Under the proposal offered by Apple, each iPad 2 will cost $479, which includes a $20 bulk discount. Hillsborough also is buying carts, warranties, adapters, deployment services, and a laptop to run each cart. The projected total cost is $900,000 in federal grant money, but that could drop depending on enrollment for the new single-gender magnet programs at Franklin and Ferrell middle schools, said spokesman Stephen Hegarty. School Board members say they've heard complaints over this week's unanimous vote to buy the iPads, but said training included in that cost should help teachers take full advantage of the devices. For more, visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.