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Florida Trooper Who Arrested Miami Cop Files Lawsuit

Florida Trooper Who Arrested Miami Cop Files Lawsuit | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

The Florida Highway Patrol trooper who pulled over a speeding Miami Police officer last year filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that several agencies illegally accessed her personal information to intimidate her, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

 

On Friday, Trooper Donna “Jane” Watts and lawyer Mirta Desir filed the 69-page lawsuit, which seeks more than $1 million in damages. It alleges that 88 officers from 25 jurisdictions, including her own, violated her privacy by illegally obtaining her personal information more than 200 times.

 

The lawsuit alleges that following the traffic stop, actions of other officers created a “life-threatening” situation for Watts. She said she now fears for her life, has become a “hermit,” and is even moving.

 

She continued to say she receives random phone calls -- some threatening -- and that vehicles stop in front of her driveway, according to the suit.

 

The privacy violations have caused her to start "to experience physical symptoms to include dry heaves and nausea when performing basic activities such as opening her mailbox, starting her ignition, or when being followed by a law enforcement vehicle for no apparent reason," the lawsuit said...

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Man in wheelchair stabbed to death in Central Florida McDonald’s during attempted robbery (VIDEO)

Man in wheelchair stabbed to death in Central Florida McDonald’s during attempted robbery (VIDEO) | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

ORLANDO, Fla. — A wheelchair-bound man was stabbed while waiting in line at an Orlando McDonald’s restaurant on Christmas Day.

 

Authorities identified the attacker as 38-year-old Jerry Tyson.

 

Investigators said Tyson first attempted to take the money the victim was paying with, then stabbed the victim when he refused to give up the cash.

 

The victim was stabbed in his abdomen. Paramedics took him from the West Colonial Drive restaurant to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

 

Officials said a K-9 unit tracked Tyson down. He was taken to an area hospital with dog bite injuries...

 

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Is This the New Miami Dolphins Logo?

Is This the New Miami Dolphins Logo? | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

The Miami Dolphins hinted earlier this year that they might soon change their logo, and at first we figured the change would only be minimal. After all, the team has been using variations of the same basic "jumping helmeted dolphins in the sun" motif for its entire existence, but then came word that the new logo could include a helmet-less dolphin.

Well, an image purporting to be the new logo has leaked, and it's quite a drastic change.

 

The image comes from Uni Watch's Twitter. The site isn't sure if it is legit, but Palm Beach Post Fins writer Ben Volin that he's hearing it is. The new image jives with reports Volin has made that not only would the Dolphin be helmet-less, but that it would also somewhat resemble the logo used for the team's stadium back when it was simply called Dolphin Stadium...

 

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Officers from neighboring communities give the entire Newtown, Connecticut police force Christmas off

Officers from neighboring communities give the entire Newtown, Connecticut police force Christmas off | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CNN) - On Christmas Day, thanks to a grassroots effort by their fellow law enforcement brethren in nearby communities, Newtown's police officers will be the recipients of a rare gift in their profession -- a holiday off, for the entire force.

 

"Patrol officers and sworn personnel will be given the day off to be home on Christmas. Officers from surrounding towns will be patrolling Newtown," police Sgt. Steve Santucci of Newtown told CNN.

 

Newtown police have been working nonstop since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. The school shooting claimed the lives of 20 children and six faculty members, leaving a close-knit community -- and its police force -- still reeling 10 days later.

 

"When something like this happens ... it's a police thing. We'll always try to help out neighboring towns. Any time there's a tragedy, we'll try our best to lend a helping hand," said Lt. Bob Kozlowsky of the Shelton, Connecticut, police department. "We've sent officers, dispatchers, and even our chief of police has gone to Newtown to help out. We've helped with dispatching, traffic, miscellaneous calls. Our chief of police has gone to assist their chief of police with administrative duties."

 

Amid a world elsewhere of holiday festivities but with one community in Connecticut lost in shock and mourning, officers from towns with names such as Monroe, Brookfield, Danbury, Bethel and Milford have given Newtown the gift of their time and their work.

 

On Christmas Day, those neighborly officers will take to the streets of Newtown again. For a time, for a day, it can be Christmas for the officers of Newtown and their families...

 

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Firefighters deliver donated presents to Florida family left homeless by fire

Firefighters deliver donated presents to Florida family left homeless by fire | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

Osceola County -- Amy Logsdon, her two sons and her husband said they have something to celebrate this Christmas – the love and support from the community. In just two days, hundreds of donations have filled the lobby of the St. Cloud Fire Station #31.

 

The Logsdons were asleep when an electrical fire started in the attic. In just minutes, the fire spread throughout their home and destroyed everything. The family was asleep when the fire broke out but a good Samaritan driving by saw flames shooting out of the home and banged on the door. He woke up the family and firefighters said he saved their lives. Their home had no working smoke detectors.

 

"It's a miracle that we're here,” Logsdon said. “It's even a bigger miracle how the community has pulled together and really helped us and lifted us through this really hard time."

 

"We're usually there on the worst day of their lives,” said Lt. Brian Nadler, of the St. Cloud fire department. Nadler was one of the firefighters who responded to the scene of the fire Sunday. “It's actually pretty nice to go there on a good day in their lives like right now, when we can actually bring Christmas to their house."

 

The family said a realtor even offered a rent-free home for six months. For now, the Logsdons are staying with family. And as 5-year-old Jackson, who has autism, and 13-year-old Zavier open up presents under the Christmas tree, they finally had something to smile about...

 

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Former Miami Hurricanes Football Coach Butch Davis Headed To FIU Golden Panthers: Report

Former Miami Hurricanes Football Coach Butch Davis Headed To FIU Golden Panthers: Report | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

The report picked up steam Monday afternoon when reporter Patrick Nohe of the Miami Herald tweeted that he “can confirm that the next head coach of FIU will be Butch Davis.

 

The school hasn’t confirmed the report and at least one source told CBS4 the report was completely untrue, but the rumor is building across the Internet. Davis has said in the past he would like to return to coaching, but earlier in December, ESPN’s Joe Schad said Davis wouldn’t take the FIU coaching position.

 

A potential hiring of Davis at FIU would make sense from the point of view that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia and Davis have a previous working relationship at the University of Miami. But there are several potential roadblocks that make a move by Davis a little more difficult.   

 

Davis would likely have to give up any money he’s receiving from the University of North Carolina, where he was fired just two years ago amidst an NCAA scandal. Davis would also be leaving a job as a special assistant to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

FIU is looking for a head coach after Garcia shocked the college football world by firing Mario Cristobal after one sub-par season followed two straight bowl berths and a share of the conference championship two years ago...

 

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Kevin Getchell's curator insight, January 14, 10:21 PM

Should a coaches tied to NCAA scandals continue to get jobs?

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Cigarette lighter mistaken for grenade leads to evacuation at Miami International Airport on Christmas Eve

Cigarette lighter mistaken for grenade leads to evacuation at Miami International Airport on Christmas Eve | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

MIAMI - A lighter was mistaken for a grenade at Miami International Airport, prompting a security scare on Christmas Eve, say Miami-Dade Police.

 

The item was found in a bag in Concourse J. The upper floor of concourses J through H was shut down for about an hour, said Marc Henderson, the Media Relations Manager for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department...

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5 hit by car at Florida Walmart, suffered minor injuries; driver likely had "medical issue"

5 hit by car at Florida Walmart, suffered minor injuries; driver likely had "medical issue" | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — Four adults and one child were hit by a car at an Orange City Walmart on Sunday afternoon and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

Police said the driver probably had a medical issue, which led to the crash...

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Buju Banton awaits ruling in mistrial request; defense alleges juror misconduct in drug case

Buju Banton awaits ruling in mistrial request; defense alleges juror misconduct in drug case | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

TAMPA -- One of the jurors who voted to convict reggae singer Buju Banton of drug charges denied Thursday that she improperly researched the case during the trial, despite an interview she gave with a reporter in which she appeared to say she did.

 

Jurors were told during the trial – as are jurors serving in virtually every trial – they were not to look at outside information on the case because they were supposed to make their decision based solely on the evidence introduced in court and the legal instructions provided by the judge.

 

Outside research by a juror could be considered misconduct and could lead to a mistrial – something Banton's lawyers are seeking. If they win, it would be the second mistrial for the Grammy-winning singer, whose first trial ended with jurors deadlocked.

 

U.S. District Judge James Moody reserved decision Thursday on the defense motion.

 

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is serving 10 years in federal prison and is likely to receive another five years after an appeals court reinstated a weapons offense dismissed by Moody.

 

Terri Wright, a juror in Banton's second trial in February, was quoted in the Miami New Times telling reporter Chris Sweeney in October that she researched parts of the case to have a better grasp during deliberations...

 

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Gun battle erupts outside Central Florida bar over lost purse, guard fatally shoots armed man

Gun battle erupts outside Central Florida bar over lost purse, guard fatally shoots armed man | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

BRANDON -- About 500 people jammed into the Boomerang Martini Bar in Brandon early Saturday morning to see an up-and-coming reggaeton star named Farruko perform at a Christmas party, but the event turned into bedlam, deputies say, when a fight over a lost purse lead to a parking lot gun battle that left one dead and two wounded.

 

Louis Kuilan-Maysonet, 28, was fatally shot by a club security officer after opening fire on two others, according to Samara Sodos, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

 

The fight started inside the club as it was closing, around 3 a.m., Sodos said. Kuilan-Maysonet started arguing with Christopher Gonzalez-Cartagena, 27. The argument began over a purse lost by Kuilan-Maysonet's girlfriend, Sodos said.

 

It was the second time in five years the location was the scene of a deadly shooting. In October 2007 when the club was called Club Fluid, Karen Williams, 36, was shot and killed...

 

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Miami Heat's D-Wade takes South Florida families on Target shopping spree (VIDEO)

Miami Heat's D-Wade takes South Florida families on Target shopping spree (VIDEO) | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

MIAMI - Dwyane Wade treated 10 South Florida families to $1,000 shopping sprees early Saturday morning at the Target in Midtown Miami.

 

The Wade's World Foundation partnered with Neighbors for Neighbors and local churches to find the families who needed some help during the holiday season. The families knew they were going to be given a generous shopping trip, but did not know the Heat star would be joining them until they got there...

 

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Miami elementary school teacher's assistant hid pen cam in ladies' staff restroom

Miami elementary school teacher's assistant hid pen cam in ladies' staff restroom | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it
Elliot Davis, 43, a teacher’s assistant at South Miami Heights Elementary School, put a pen camera inside an artificial plant in the hopes of recording female staff members as they removed their clothes, Miami-Dade Schools Police said in a report. On Thursday a teacher using the restroom noticed the pen and then brought it to the principal’s office, the report said. School security video showed Davis sneaking into the office, placing the pen in his pocket and then sneaking out, police said. Davis’ wife said she had no comment. Davis faces three counts of video voyeurism and charges of burglary and tampering with physical evidence, online Miami-Dade Corrections records said...
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Former Miami Hurricane and NFL star Mike Rumph named football coach at American Heritage in Plantation, Florida

Former Miami Hurricane and NFL star Mike Rumph named football coach at American Heritage in Plantation, Florida | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

A day after announcing that former Miami Dolphin Jeff Dellenbach would no longer be the school’s football coach, Plantation American Heritage replaced him with another former local star.

 

American Heritage named former University of Miami and NFL defensive back Mike Rumph its new football coach.

 

Rumph, 33, was named The Miami Herald’s Track and Field Coach of the Year and guided the Patriots’ boys’ and girls’ track and field teams to state championships this past May in his first season as the school’s head coach for that sport.

 

Rumph, a graduate of American Heritage-Delray and former first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, was a member of UM’s 2001 national championship team and played six seasons in the NFL, four of which came with the 49ers before brief stints with the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams. He retired in 2008...

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Miami New Times: 'Vote For Miami's Worst Cop of 2012'

Miami New Times: 'Vote For Miami's Worst Cop of 2012' | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

The quintet of contenders in Miami this year up have certainly done a heck of a job tarnishing the badge. There are so many bad police chiefs, we can't decide who deserves the top honor. So readers, please help us by voting for your pick for Miami's Worst Cop in 2012. Make your picks in the comments section or in the comments section on our Facebook page. We'll announce the winner before the New Year...

 

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‘U Killed My Son’ Message Found After South Florida Pain Clinic Fire (VIDEO)

‘U Killed My Son’ Message Found After South Florida Pain Clinic Fire (VIDEO) | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

Dealing with a fire at a Hollywood pain management clinic, firefighters found a message drawn in red on the side of the building: “U killed my son drug dealer.”

 

Now, authorities are investigating whether the message is linked to the fire, which is considered an arson case, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

 

The fire occurred at Hope Medical & Wellness in the 2800 block of Hollywood Boulevard on Tuesday night. The fire was extinguished and by early Wednesday, fire officials, a fire truck and several other vehicles still were at the damaged clinic building...

 

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Update: FIU calls Miami Herald report of Butch Davis hire "totally false"

Update: FIU calls Miami Herald report of Butch Davis hire "totally false" | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

UPDATED 8:39 p.m. ET: FIU athletic director Pete Garcia told the Miami Herald — the same paper that broke Davis’ apparent hiring — that “Butch Davis is not the FIU football coach. That story is totally false.”

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NORAD says they received a record number of calls from children -- and some adults -- to track Santa Claus

NORAD says they received a record number of calls from children -- and some adults -- to track Santa Claus | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Volunteers for the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa tracker have answered a record number of calls from children -- and some adults -- curious about when the man in the red suit will land at their house.

 

NORAD Spokeswoman 1st Lt. Stacey Fenton says that as of midnight Tuesday, trackers answered more than 111,000 calls. That's more than last year's record of 107,000.

 

NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955 when a newspaper ad listed the wrong phone number for kids to call Santa. They wound up calling the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor...

 

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Ex-MLB Player Ryan Freel, Who Suffered Multiple Concussions, Commits Suicide In Florida Home

Ex-MLB Player Ryan Freel, Who Suffered Multiple Concussions, Commits Suicide In Florida Home | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Freel, a former Major League Baseball player known for his fearless play but whose career was cut short after eight seasons by a series of head and other injuries, was found dead Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

 

Freel, who was 36, died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted shotgun wound, sheriff’s office spokesman Shannon Hartley wrote in an email Sunday. The medical examiner will make the final determination of the cause of death.

 

The Jacksonville native thrilled fans with his all-out style, yet it took a toll on his career. During his playing days, he once estimated he had sustained up to 10 concussions. Freel missed 30 games in 2007 after a collision with a teammate caused a concussion.

 

He was in center field when he collided with right fielder Norris Hopper’s elbow on May 28, 2007, an injury that caused Freel to be taken off the field in an ambulance. Freel sustained a concussion that caused headaches and an impaired memory, and he didn’t return until early July. He then suffered a season-ending knee surgery in August.

 

Freel also had trouble related to alcohol. He was arrested in northern Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, in April 2005 and was charged with drunken driving, careless driving and driving with an open container in a motor vehicle. A month later, he pleaded guilty.

 

The following January, he was arrested at a pool hall in Tampa, Fla., and charged with disorderly intoxication, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors settled the case by having Freel do community service...

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Miami Dolphins Will Try to Re-Sign Reggie Bush: Report

Miami Dolphins Will Try to Re-Sign Reggie Bush: Report | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

The Miami Dolphins offense has struggled mightily in 2012, but one of the lone bright spots for the 26th-ranked offense in the NFL has been running back Reggie Bush. As such, the team team will try to re-sign Bush this offseason when he becomes a free agent.

 

The team wants to bring Bush back in 2013, but only if the price is right. Before the 2011 season, the team signed him to a two-year deal worth $9.75 million with incentives.

 

Bush earned $4.5 million in 2012 with a $275,000 bonus for participating in offseason workouts. His performance over the last two seasons, by far his best as a pro, could raise his price tag significantly.

 

But Bush will likely have other suitors besides the Dolphins, which would make him a more expensive option. A source told the Herald that the team's interest in re-signing Bush is not absolute. Even though the Dolphins will have approximately $40 million worth of salary cap space this offseason, there are so many other areas in need of addressing that overpaying for Bush is not an option.

 

Regardless, Bush has been the team's best weapon on offense for two seasons. He has accounted for 23% of the Dolphin's all-purpose yards, as well as 8 of Miami's 28 offensive touchdowns. Backup RB Lamar Miller has shown some promise in limited action, but Bush is light years ahead of him in receiving and pass-blocking ability. He has also shaken off the injury concerns that dogged him in New Orleans...

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Woman pronounces "swimming" without "g," loses 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle: "I'm from Florida. The G is silent."

Woman pronounces "swimming" without "g," loses 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle: "I'm from Florida. The G is silent." | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- A Merritt Island woman's misfortune on the television show "Wheel of Fortune" is blowing up on the internet after a mispronunciation cost her thousands of dollars.

 

Renee Durette was trying to solve a puzzle based on a lyric from the "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

 

She answered: "Seven swans a-swimmin'"

 

Initially, it appeared that she had answered correctly, but not pronouncing the G on the end of the word "swimming" cost her the puzzle.

 

"Yeah, we can't accept that," said host Pat Sajak.

 

The next contestant, Amy, correctly pronounced the lyric and solved the puzzle, though she appeared confused about why Durette's answer didn't count.

 

Sajak clarified that Durette "kind of did it in the vernacular and left off the G."

 

Durette told NBC's "Today Show" that the show was taped three months ago, and she had to remain silent on what happened until she had a viewing party Wednesday.

 

"I'm from Florida. The G is silent," she told the "Today Show."

 

The mispronunciation cost her $3,850 and a chance at the bonus round...

 

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Florida Man Grew Marijuana to Keep Home Out of Foreclosure

Florida Man Grew Marijuana to Keep Home Out of Foreclosure | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

A Lake Worth man arrested for the hundreds of marijuana plants allegedly found in his house told deputies he grew the pot to save his home from foreclosure, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

 

Greg Baskin, 56, was arrested Thursday and faces charges including marijuana trafficking and possessing marijuana with intent to sell, according to online jail records. He was held in jail on $30,000 bond.

 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted to the illegal growing after a caller said Baskin has been growing the plants in his home for the last 14 years.

 

Deputies said one bedroom of the home acted as a "fully operational indoor cannabis manufacturing laboratory" where 60 12-inch plants grew, according to a report. There were also 120 other plants that sprouted in the room’s corner...

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Video released in violent Florida school bus crash; driver runs red light and plows into car and power pole

Video released in violent Florida school bus crash; driver runs red light and plows into car and power pole | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A school bus driver in Seminole County who ran a red light and plowed into a power pole earlier this month is off the job.

 

Video from inside the school bus shows the Dec. 4 crash as it happens.

 

Several special needs students were onboard when 66-year-old bus driver Jack Timmel ran a red light in front of Red Bug Lake Elementary, hit a car and then a power pole, according to officials.

 

Timmel turned in his letter of resignation the day after the accident and on Dec. 11 the school board approved it.

 

In the video, Timmel is seen trying to take control over the steering wheel after crashing into a car and running right into a light post.

 

According to FHP, Timmel struck a car making a left turn onto the same road he was traveling on...

 

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Florida Everglades python hunt begins January 12th: $1000 bounty for longest snake captured, $1500 for most snakes

Florida Everglades python hunt begins January 12th: $1000 bounty for longest snake captured, $1500 for most snakes | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

TAMPA -- The python arrived in Florida as an unusual pet for people with interests beyond dogs and cats. Now, some experts say, the species has taken over the Everglades and surrounding wildlife areas because of python owners who decided they could no longer handle that ever-lengthening stretch of muscle, teeth and hunger for living things.

 

The state has declared war, and next month will embark on a new campaign to get pythons out of the wilds of South Florida, one snake at a time.

 

The Python Challenge is a monthlong roundup that encourages snake hunters and regular people to scour the swamps near the Everglades, catch and dispatch — humanely — as many pythons as they can.

 

A $1,000 bounty is offered for the longest snake captured and a $1,500 prize for the most captured.

 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the hunt in hope of increasing public awareness about "how this invasive species is a threat to the Everglades ecosystem, including native wildlife."

The hunt begins Jan. 12. An entry fee of $25 will be charged per snake wrangler...

 

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After 18 Years, Three Trials And A Death Sentence, South Florida Man Acquitted Of Murder

After 18 Years, Three Trials And A Death Sentence, South Florida Man Acquitted Of Murder | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — In 1999, Seth Penalver was sentenced to die for a triple murder five years earlier. On Friday, after a third trial, a jury found him not guilty. Jurors deliberated about 10 days before finding the 39-year-old not guilty Friday. Penalver’s first trial, which ended in 1998, resulted in a mistrial due to a hung jury. Penalver went before a second jury in 1999. In that trial, he and his co-defendeant, Pablo Ibar, were convicted of all charges and sentenced to die. Ibar’s conviction was upheld a month later and he remains on death row. Penalver was much more fortunate. In 2006, the verdict against the 39-year-old was tossed by the Supreme Court. The High Court ruled the videotape which captured the crime did not conclusively prove Penalver was one of the killers... (Click pic to continue reading)
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NCAA president on University of Miami Hurricanes probe: These things take time

NCAA president on University of Miami Hurricanes probe: These things take time | The Billy Pulpit | Scoop.it

I spoke with NCAA president Mark Emmert this week for an upcoming story, but at the end of the interview I touched on the Oregon and Miami investigations.

 

Mainly, what's taking so long? It's been reported in several spots that the average NCAA investigation takes 11 to 12 months, yet Yahoo! Sports' first reports of Oregon's dealings with Willie Lyles surfaced in March 2011 (21 months ago). Booster/ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro's illicit benefits to a slew of Miami players were unveiled in August 2011 (16 months ago), also by Yahoo!.

 The Miami case has resorted to the NCAA giving ultimatums to former players, according to the Miami Herald. Talk, or you'll be implicated. 

"On average across investigations, we've been dropping pretty significantly," Emmert said. "We're pressed with that progress. When you look at any case, it's going to involve a lot of people that are no longer with that institution. It's just a lot harder to get all of the facts and takes a lot of time and energy. None of these things move as fast as you'd like.”

 

When asked about the "ultimatum story" and the appearance of a bullying tactic from the NCAA's investigative team, Emmert said he's aware of that report but is not in a position to comment...

 

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