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  • Cryptic words, then she dies
  • Running mates debate likely a clash of wit
  • Bush leads McBride in TV time
  • Political Junkie: County Web site's votehart link takes Hart by surprise
  • Film pairs teen pop culture with a sobering message
  • Around the state
  • Supreme Court considers grandparents' rights case
  • Lawyer: Noose wasn't racist symbol
  • Law limiting damage suits upheld on appeal

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    Around the state

    Compiled from Times wires
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published October 10, 2002

    Legislator charged with prescription drug fraud

    TALLAHASSEE -- An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for state Sen. Mandy Dawson on a prescription drug fraud charge, police said.

    Details of the charge were not immediately available. Tallahassee police Chief Walter McNeil said a statement would be issued today. Attempts to reach Dawson by phone late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, citing "three top political and law enforcement sources," reported that detectives questioned Dawson in the past month about a prescription obtained at a Tallahassee pharmacy. The prescription was allegedly altered by adding the figure "1" in front of the quantity of pills prescribed.

    Dawson, D-Fort Lauderdale, was elected to the state Senate in 1998 and served in the House for six years before that. She defeated two challengers in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary and faces Independent Fred Segal in the Nov. 5 general election.

    Post-Isidore mosquito swarms raise disease fears

    PENSACOLA -- Swarms of mosquitoes in the Florida Panhandle are being blamed on Tropical Storm Isidore, which had suspended spraying and left standing water that is ideal for breeding the bloodsucking insects.

    The storm soaked the Panhandle two weeks ago and raised worries about mosquitoes and the West Nile virus, which is spread by the insects. Three Escambia residents have tested positive for the virus and the county remains under a West Nile medical alert.

    "The populations really are spiking," said Keith Wilkins, director of neighborhood and environmental services for Escambia County. "We're seeing some of the biggest numbers we've ever seen."

    Wilkins said spraying, larvicide treatments of standing water and trapping have increased.

    The situation is similar in neighboring Santa Rosa County, said Tony Gomillion, county environmental control director.

    The campaign . . .

    BUSH CRIME PROPOSAL: Republican Gov. Jeb Bush announced a proposal to increase penalties for sex offenders and make it easier for victims to get restraining orders. Repeat offenders and dangerous first-time offenders would be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years to life. And sex crime victims could obtain restraining orders after a first assault. Currently, victims have to be attacked twice by the same person before they can seek a restraining order, said Bush, who tossed in a criticism of Democrat rival Bill McBride for not offering specific proposals on crime.

    McBRIDE ENDORSEMENT: The national Teamsters union endorsed Bill McBride for governor. "He has said he would have an open-door policy to our issues," said Ken Wood, Teamsters executive board president and president of Local 79 in Tampa. "He's willing to work to make it a better climate for unions to organize."

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