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News and notes

Sentencing comes for star pitcher Gooden

By Times Staff
Published April 5, 2006

Dwight Gooden will find out this morning whether he has used up his last strike. In November, the legendary former Mets and Yankees pitcher was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving, resisting an officer without violence, and fleeing and eluding a police officer. But last month, the 41-year-old Gooden admitted he had violated probation by using cocaine. He has been in jail since without bail. Gooden is scheduled to appear before a Hillsborough County judge at 8:30 a.m. to learn his fate. He faces up to five years in state prison.

Grand Prix's street cred loses out in TV land

Race organizers confirmed Tuesday that attendance was up this year at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Mayor Rick Baker estimated about 100,000 people bought tickets to the three-day event. Tim Ramsberger, the race's general manager, said that's about right, though company policy forbids him from disclosing the exact figure. Last year an estimated 65,000 bought tickets. But while more people watched in person this year, fewer tuned in to the live ESPN broadcast. The race drew only a 0.3 rating, which means about 312,000 households were watching, ESPN officials said. That's down from last year's 0.4 rating, or 326,000 households.

Is it walking on water if the water is frozen?

Jesus may have walked on ice, not water, theorizes a Florida State University professor of oceanography. Writing in the Journal of Paleolimnology , Doron Nof and his colleagues point out that unusual freezing processes probably occurred 1,500 to 2,500 years ago that could have created patches of floating ice over parts of the freshwater Sea of Galilee. Salty springs along the western shore, an area Jesus frequented, would kept unfrozen water flowing around the ice, which might have been thick enough to walk on. This could create the illusion of walking on water, though Nof's group was careful to conclude, "Whether this happened or not is an issue for religion scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and believers to decide on."

Picking grapefruit is a sour experience

University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft showed up to accept a Women of Distinction award from the Girl Scouts on Tuesday sporting a cast on her left wrist. She broke it Saturday falling from a 6-foot ladder while picking grapefruit from a tree in her backyard. Fortunately, she's right handed.

We won't see this again for another century

At two minutes and three seconds after 1 this morning, the time and date was 01:02:03 04/05/06. That precise arrangement of numbers won't happen again for 100 years.

[Last modified April 5, 2006, 00:37:15]

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