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Deputy lied about war deployment

Thu., May 12, 2005, midnight

Cincinnati A former sheriff’s deputy lied about being deployed to war and improperly collected $21,000 in supplemental pay.

Brian Baer pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of theft in office. He has repaid about $10,000 and plans to pay back the rest, said his lawyer, Richard Goldberg.

Baer faces up to 18 months in jail at his sentencing June 9.

In February 2003, Baer told his supervisors in Hamilton County that he had been called to duty with the Army Reserve. He was released for medical reasons after two months but continued to cash supplemental paychecks from the county until December 2004, prosecutors said.

The county paid Baer the difference between his Army pay and what he was making as a corrections officer.

Woman, 70, survives fall from ninth floor

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A 70-year-old woman survived a nine-story fall from a condominium tower Wednesday when she landed on a canopy, officials said.

Gloria Jummati was cleaning her balcony at Coral Ridge Towers when she fell and landed on a first-floor canopy, according to the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue.

Jummati was alert and talking when rescuers arrived.

She was transported to Broward General Medical Center with a broken arm and other non-life-threatening injuries, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Nesting eagles delay Florida condo project

Naples, Fla. Eagles nesting in a dead pine tree have indefinitely delayed construction of an $8 million condominium complex approved four years ago.

In spite of the lag time, Collier County commissioners stuck to their guns and refused on a 4-1 vote Tuesday to allow construction to start on the 590-unit Cocohatchee Bay project until the pine tree falls.

Signature Properties estimates it could lose $8 million to $12 million every year construction is delayed. The developers offered to build a $250,000 fake tree as a substitute or preserve 100 acres of offsite wilderness.

When the North Naples project was approved in December 2000, the company said it would wait for Mother Nature to topple the tree. But as time passed and the pair of eagles stayed on, Signature wanted to move ahead on five 15- to 20-story towers with or without the tree.

The Collier County Audubon Society and the Florida Wildlife Federation backed the developer’s request based on the alternatives offered for wildlife protection.

But commissioners thought holding developers to promises was more important.

“I think we have to do the right thing and I think we did that today,” commission chairman Fred Coyle said after the vote. “I don’t think we can ever make a decision simply to avoid a potential lawsuit.”

Ice cream vendor ordered to cool off

Pittsburgh Throwing a punch at a boy complaining about the cost of his cold treat has landed an ice cream vendor in hot water.

Nazzareno Didiano, 44, was placed on probation and ordered to attend anger management classes after a trial Tuesday over the May 2004 incident.

The boy, now 14, told the judge that Didiano attacked him as he sat on his bike just blocks from an initial confrontation. The boy testified that Didiano pulled him off the bike, punched him in the face and slammed him into a wall.

Didiano acknowledged confronting the boy, but denied punching him. He said the boy had used various obscenities.

“He instigated the whole thing,” Didiano said. “I wanted to tell him I didn’t appreciate being talked to like that.”

Didiano, who was found guilty of simple assault, lost his job with Paul’s Ice Cream Co.


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