Sarasota Herald-Tribune _FL_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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101 US FL: Extradited Colombian Drug Kingpin Says He's Innocent Of ChargesSun, 05 Dec 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Molinski, Dan Area:Florida Lines:87 Added:12/06/2004

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, the most powerful Colombian drug trafficker ever extradited to the United States, said he was innocent in an interview shortly before he was flown to Miami.

"I feel innocent of the charges they are making against me and I will respond to them," he told the radio station W. Excerpts were published Sunday by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

Rodriguez Orejuela, 65, is charged along with his brother Miguel with running a drug network that produced 80 percent of the U.S. cocaine supply in the 1990s.

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102 US FL: Charlotte's Sheriff Says Heroin Use Is Increasing In CountyFri, 12 Nov 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Scarcella, Michael A. Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:11/12/2004

Charlotte County - Authorities are concerned about a rise in heroin use in the county, where four men have been charged with dealing heroin in the past two weeks.

Sheriff Bill Cameron said Wednesday at an anti-drug alliance meeting that local heroin use is increasing. Sheriff-elect John Davenport has promised to hire more detectives for the agency's narcotics unit.

Deputies on Wednesday arrested Kalier Rosado, 20, of Port Charlotte, on charges of trafficking heroin and cocaine. Rosado was being held at the county jail Thursday with bail set at $750,000.

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103 US FL: Cops To Cut Down Tree That Draws CrimeWed, 25 Aug 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:, Area:Florida Lines:59 Added:08/28/2004

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies think they have found a solution for getting rid of drug dealers and prostitutes who congregate under a giant oak tree: chop it down.

The sheriff's office is seeking permission to have the tree removed from a county right of way on Cypress Street.

"We're not attacking the tree," Deputy Don Hess said. "The tree hasn't hurt anybody."

But Hess said it provides cover for drug dealers and prostitutes and their customers. He said 30 to 40 arrests per month stem from criminal activity at the oak.

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104 US FL: LTE: Why Students Support Drug TestTue, 20 Jul 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Vets, Jessica Area:Florida Lines:50 Added:07/20/2004

Regarding Tom Lyons' column on drug testing for all students at Sarasota Military Academy being potentially destructive for American rights:

My son will be attending SMA as a freshman this fall. He is not only proud to be part of a school that has high standards for their students but supports the drug testing for all.

It gives students a way out when faced with other teens who make the "destructive decisions" to experiment with or use drugs. This school policy is no different than applying for a job with a company that promotes a drug-free workplace, which most businesses do now. The worst that could happen is that someone would test positive and get early intervention.

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105 US FL: LTE: Drug Tests Are Part Of 'Real World'Sun, 11 Jul 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Beckner, Susan Area:Florida Lines:35 Added:07/13/2004

I am writing you regarding Tom Lyons' commentary of July 6, "Drug testing for all students may be destructive for American rights." I may be mistaken, but I always thought that students' years in public schools were supposed to prepare them for their adult lives -- they learn how read, write, add, think critically and learn about what is expected of them so they can succeed in the adult world.

Tom Lyons and the parents who are upset about mandatory drug testing at Sarasota Military Academy must not have been out in the "real world" lately.

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106 US FL: Drug Testing For All Students May Be Destructive ForTue, 06 Jul 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Lyons, Tom Area:Florida Lines:93 Added:07/08/2004

The new drug test policy at Sarasota Military Academy worries Vannessa Kegel.

Her daughter, Stephanie, is supposed to be a sophomore there in the fall, and she really liked her freshman year, including the strict rules.

The military style suits her, because she wants to become a military lawyer.

The charter school, paid for by the Sarasota County school district, has 420 students, a waiting list and well-known principal Dan Kennedy, once the Sarasota High principal.

Kennedy just sent a letter to notify parents that to attend this fall, the students will have to take a urine test for drug use. And throughout the year, kids will be chosen by lottery to be tested again.

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107 US FL: Value Of School Drug Testing Still Being Hotly DebatedSun, 23 May 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Denardo, Christina Area:Florida Lines:174 Added:05/25/2004

The announcement is about as routine as any over the high school's public address system.

Just before classes begin, a voice reads the names of about 30 student athletes and asks them to report to the office. No reason is given, but most students already know why: The school wants to test them for drugs.

In the war on drugs, the students at Frostproof Middle/Senior High School in Polk County are on the latest front line. While they casually wait their turn, talking about classes or the latest movies, their parents, educators and government officials fiercely debate whether 14- and 15-year-old kids should be required to provide urine samples in school.

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108 US FL: PUB LTE: Drug Testing And FCAT ScoresFri, 14 May 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Perrella, Vikki Area:Florida Lines:47 Added:05/19/2004

This is in response to the Charlotte County School Board's plans for random drug tests for students.

It's another half-baked idea from a group of people who can't seem to understand that their job is to see to the education of students. Looking at the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores leads one to conclude that they ought to be looking for new jobs, because they aren't doing the job they were elected to do. Forty-five percent of the eighth-graders in Charlotte County did not pass the FCAT for reading (up from a 41 percent failure rate in 2003); 60 percent of the ninth-graders did not pass the FCAT for reading; and 67 percent of the 10th-graders did not pass the FCAT for reading (up from 59 percent in 2003).

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109 US FL: Column: Schools Should Stick To What They Do Best AndSun, 16 May 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Ernst, Eric Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:05/17/2004

Children in the Charlotte County school system will be tested randomly for drugs and alcohol, the School Board announced this week. Not right away, but maybe starting the next school year or soon afterward.

The same day this news appeared in the Herald-Tribune, another story reported the problems 10th-graders have had with the state reading test. Many of them, too many of them, can't pass it.

The juxtaposition of the two stories begs the question: How do we want our public school district to expend its limited resources? Do we want our educators to teach our children to read, write and develop critical thinking, or do we want them to probe their bodies for drugs?

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110 Colombia: UN: Colombia Is Humanitarian CatastropheMon, 10 May 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Lederer, Edith M. Area:Colombia Lines:70 Added:05/12/2004

UNITED NATIONS -- The drug-fueled war in Colombia has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western hemisphere, with more than 2 million people displaced and Indian tribes threatened with extinction, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Monday.

In the last four years, the number of people forced to flee their homes has increased by about 1 million, Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland said. Colombia now has the third-largest number of displaced people in the world - behind Congo and Sudan, he said.

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111 US FL: Palm Beach County Schools Using Drug Detection KitsFri, 05 Mar 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:, Area:Florida Lines:49 Added:03/06/2004

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Students in Palm Beach County suspected of using drugs are now subject to a new type of drug testing that's administered with a swab and an aerosol spray.

Administrators at all 23 county high schools are being trained to use the test whenever they have a "reasonable suspicion" that a student is using illegal drugs, said schools Police Chief Jim Kelly.

The school district is one of 22 across the country, and the only one in Florida, taking part in a free trial program that puts the drug detection kits in schools.

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112 US FL: Herald-Tribune Analyzes '02 Teen Drug Use SurveySun, 11 Jan 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Davis, Chris Area:Florida Lines:140 Added:01/11/2004

The 2002 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey reported that the state's biggest teen drug problem wasn't in Miami, Tampa or any county with an urban center.

According to the survey, Charlotte County ranks as the state's worst when it comes to teen substance abuse.

The Herald-Tribune analyzed the results and methodology of the survey. The review included interviews with experts in the field of surveys and teen drug use, as well as with representatives of the company that created and administered the survey. The goal of the analysis was to answer some of the questions a skeptic of the survey's findings would have, such as:

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113 US FL: PUB LTE: Ban On Ephedra Appears SelectiveMon, 05 Jan 2004
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Barnett, Danee Area:Florida Lines:31 Added:01/07/2004

Re: Ephedra ban:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking.

The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency reports that 105,000 Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported 564 Viagra-related deaths in 1999 alone. According to the Institute of Medicine, 7,400 Americans die each year because of prescription drug errors.

My point is not that cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration, but rather why ephedra with 155 deaths over a period of eight years? What does this mean and what will be next? In 2004, let us all be alert, aware and protective of our great and free society. We have so much to lose.

Danee Barnett, Longboat Key


114 US FL: Paper: Prescription Drug Deaths RiseSun, 30 Nov 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:12/01/2003

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. A small group of Florida doctors are drugging the poor at taxpayer expense and exploiting the Medicaid system by prescribing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of dangerous drugs, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Regulators have largely failed to curb excesses in billing as pain-relief patches, sleeping pills, tranquilizers and other highly abused drugs have poured out of pharmacies over the past three years, feeding a booming black market and adding to a torrent of fatal overdoses.

"This is a crime in plain sight," said David Moye, director of economic crimes and health care fraud for the Florida Attorney General's Office.

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115 US CA: L.A. Judge Rules No Prison for Three Medical Marijuana Center WorkersTue, 25 Nov 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Nguyen, Daisy Area:California Lines:94 Added:11/25/2003

LOS ANGELES -- A federal judged cited a "lesser harm doctrine" when he ruled Monday that three men who pleaded guilty to running a West Hollywood medical marijuana center would receive no prison time.

U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz expressed admiration for the men's work in helping sick patients during the sentencing hearing in which he ordered they serve only one year of probation and up to 250 hours of community service. The each also were ordered to pay a $100 fee, but their bail of $25,000 was exonerated.

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116 US FL: Editorial: Better Policy For PrisonsMon, 24 Nov 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:62 Added:11/24/2003

Plan To Videotape Use Of Chemical Irritants Makes Sense

Whether or not there's any substance to a federal lawsuit accusing some Florida corrections officers of torturing inmates with pepper spray and tear gas, a recent proposal by the state Department of Corrections to "tighten" procedures for using chemical irritants is wise.

The proposal would require most uses of chemicals on prisoners to be videotaped.

The policy proposal, which would take effect after a public-hearing period, is in response to the lawsuit, DOC Secretary James V. Crosby Jr. told Herald-Tribune reporter Michael A. Scarcella.

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117 US FL: Drug-Dose Suspect Has Record Of AbuseSun, 09 Nov 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Allen, Jenny Lee Area:Florida Lines:141 Added:11/15/2003

PORT CHARLOTTE -- The tattooed man jailed on charges he injected his girlfriend's 4-year-old with heroin has a history of inflicting domestic abuse, civil court records show.

Women here have obtained three temporary restraining orders against Shawn Edward Malsky in the past five years for alleged abuse against them or their children. Documents detail the acts of a man who reportedly bruised the cheek of a girlfriend's daughter when the child refused to eat, and who tried to strangle his wife in front of her children.

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118 US FL: LTE: Revealing Undercover Work Is BadThu, 30 Oct 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Schwartz, Tom Area:Florida Lines:44 Added:10/31/2003

The Herald-Tribune has acted irresponsibly by printing an article, editorial and columns regarding the reverse sting operations carried out in Sarasota by Sarasota Police Department undercover detectives working with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. In a weak attempt to present some level of investigative reporting, the paper has done little more than endanger the lives of dedicated police officers and their families. It is not newsworthy that high-level crime goes on in Anytown, U.S.A. Criminals do business in nice places and stay in nice hotels. To ignore that fact is sophomoric and will certainly not make crime go away.

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119 US FL: Editorial: Treat Inmates' AddictionsMon, 20 Oct 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:62 Added:10/20/2003

Florida Should Restore Funding Of Drug Programs

Addiction is a disastrous thing, but Rush Limbaugh is a lucky man in one respect: He can afford rehabilitation therapy for his drug habit. Thousands of offenders in Florida's jails and prisons aren't so fortunate.

For them, substance-abuse treatment is often out of reach, even when they've been ordered to get it. The state doesn't fund enough program slots to accommodate the thousands of offenders who need help.

Even in good times, Florida was far from generous in funding drug and alcohol treatment. But in the fiscal crunch of the past two years, the dollars haven't even matched inflation, much less population growth. Millions of dollars have been slashed from the Department of Corrections' treatment budget.

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120 US FL: Editorial: Rush's TreatmentTue, 14 Oct 2003
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:45 Added:10/14/2003

Will Limbaugh's Experience Change View Of Addiction?

It is tempting to respond to Rush Limbaugh's dramatic revelation last week about his addiction to painkillers with the same dismissive disdain the popular radio host has aimed at other drug addicts in the past.

It is tempting to throw words from Limbaugh's show back in his face: "And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."

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