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News of the Weird: Sex Offender-ville
“With its neatly cut lawns and luscious tropical vegetation,” wrote a BBC News reporter in July, Miracle Village, Fla., is an “idyllic rural community” of 200 residents — about half of whom are registered sex offenders, attracted to the settlement near Lake Okeechobee because laws and ordinances elsewhere in Florida harshly restrict where they can live (e.g., not within a half-mile of a school or park). Incumbent residents might have been apprehensive in 2009 when a pastor started the local rehabilitation ministry (one even called it a “nightmare on Elm Street”), but since then, no one could recall a single impropriety involving an offender, and lately, 10 to 20 more applications arrive each week (screened to keep out diagnosed pedophiles and those with a history of drugs or violence).
By Chuck Shepherd
October 1, 2013