Friday Night Blights

Two state football championship games will be played under a cloud this weekend. If Lakeland High wins the 5A championship tonight, it may have to give it back, depending on whether all-world running back Chris Rainey was joking or telling it like it is about how all those bored Lakelanders keep giving him money and things out of gratitude for jazzing up their Friday nights for three years. Miami Northwestern High plays tomorrow night for the 6A title, but star Antwain Easterling has been arrested ("presumed innocent," you know) for having sex with a 16-yr-old classmate. (He's 19; she's illegal.). [Tampa Tribune] [WPLG-TV (Miami)]

Richard Paey Is No Rush Limbaugh
Yr Editor gets in trouble with the Dittoheads whenever he mentions Richard Paey of Hudson, Fla., who possessed many hundreds of prescription painkillers just like Rush Limbaugh did (according to a Limbaugh admission during the investigation, even though Limbaugh later pleaded guilty, by arrangement, to possessing only a few). Limbaugh walked (with probation and treatment); Richard Paey is doing 25 years, mandatory-minimum. Furthermore, Paey is doing his 25 in a wheelchair, since he is paralyzed from a traffic accident, which is why he needs the drugs (unlike Limbaugh, who needed them because he thought he wasn't as happy as he deserved to be). Richard Paey is in the news again this week because an appeals court just turned down his latest, saying the sentencing judge was only following Florida law. That is, the main difference between Paey and Limbaugh is that Limbaugh admitted to an addiction and requested treatment, but Paey refused to because his point was that it's his right to alleviate excruciating pain. The state offered Paey the chance to plead down like Limbaugh did (from the legal presumption that possessing such huge amounts indicates distribution, whether or not there was actual distribution), but Paey refused. In the 2-1 appeals court decision, the majority recommended that Paey seek a pardon from the governor, because, of course (paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes), our courts are courts of law, not courts of justice. [St. Petersburg Times] [Paey background] [Limbaugh drug background]

Follow-Up: Your Daily Dose of DCF

Good news for DCF, and bad news: A Jacksonville appeals court told one of the three judges threatening to drop the hammer on the agency for not moving its mentally-ill prisoners from jail to treatment fast enough to back off. The postponement gives DCF more time to have meetings 'n' stuff and think of fancy arguments to use against its critics. And a private advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the agency itself (and not just on behalf of specific victims, which was a mixed strategy in that it gave DCF a defense of fairness, i.e., it would be unfair to bump up the specific victims in the lawsuits because other victims not in the lawsuit had been waiting for beds longer). [Florida Times-Union] [Tampa Tribune]

Hold on a Minute Here

(1) Indians have $965 million to invest? Well, Seminole Tribe of Florida does. It just agreed to buy the entire (almost) Hard Rock industry (124 cafes, 4 hotels, 2 casino hotels, 70,000 items of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, and some other stuff). [New York Times] (2) You're going to get more people to come to your games if you call your venue the Amway Arena? Well, the long-time owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team was the founder of Amway, and that hasn't been a secret, exactly, but neither has Rich DeVos put it on the marquee. Until now. [Orlando Sentinel]

Free-Lance Silicone Injector Gets a Break

Mark Hawkins, 42, pleaded guilty in Broward yesterday to 3rd degree murder and got 6 yrs in prison, meaning he'll soon be free with time served because he had originally been sentenced to 30 yrs for murder for injecting industrial-grade silicone as buttocks enhancements for very, very needy women, one of whom died. These were the "pumping parties" popular in South Florida several yrs ago. The original 2003 sentence was overturned because the prosecution relied on a medical examiner who, it turns out, wasn't all that, and the state thinks 3rd-degree is the best it can get now. [Miami Herald]

More Things To Worry About Today
Daniel Haviland was arrested after he road-raged a motorist who drove around a dead dog in the road, in that it was Haviland's dog, and he thought it was disrespectful not to come to a complete stop while he was removing the carcass [WBBH-TV (Fort Myers)] . . . . . Recidivist junk-car junkie Bob Biel is in trouble again for the 20 or so still in his yard in Cocoa, with accumulated fines so far totaling $65k [WKMG-TV (Orlando)] . . . . . Part-time Pinellas school bus driver Michael McKean was arrested for his other part-time endeavor, which is "pretending to be a cop," after he tailgated and harassed a driver whom he failed to recognize was a cop in an unmarked car (in fact, so unmarked that McKean's fake police car put it to shame) [WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)] . . . . . The Florida Supreme Court informed Sanford judge John Sloop that his services are no longer needed, whether or not his loony judiciality was caused by his self-diagnosed attention-deficit disorder [Orlando Sentinel] . . . . . Near the town of Glen St. Mary [directions: From Jacksonville, go west on I-10 until you doze off at the constant, total nothingness, and the turnoff to Glen St. Mary is right there], a motorist hit a deer, then carted it away by tying it to the front end of his car, and then accidentally hit a police cruiser because, y'know, he couldn't see very well [WFTV (Orlando)] . . . . . And here, courtesy of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, is a nice photo gallery of kids bein' really scared of Santa Claus [South Florida Sun-Sentinel].

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