News and notes

Published July 27, 2006

A thank-you note that no one can overlook

Why is St. Petersburg College thanking Gov. Jeb Bush with a billboard in Tallahassee? SPC president Carl Kuttler said he and student leaders agreed to spend $2,300 in vending machine proceeds on the billboard, about 10 blocks from the Governor's Mansion, after Bush spoke at graduation ceremonies this spring and took the time to shake every graduate's hand. Plus, he's helped the college launch a four-year teaching program and win an Apple Computer contract to train iPod technicians. "His impact on our students will last a lifetime," Kuttler said. But the billboard will last only a month.

'Brownie' to tell what Katrina taught him

Florida emergency managers gather in Sarasota today for midyear work sessions. Among the topics: "Effective Public Communications in a Crisis - Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina." The speaker: Michael Brown, who ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency during that particularly sad chapter in the nation's history. Apparently some lessons are learned the hard way.

Dear Lord: Send some house buyers - please

So it's come to this: The once-booming housing market is so bad that real estate agents in Manatee County are calling on a higher power. Re/Max Gulfstream agent Tierney Foster helped organize a call to prayer today at a Baptist church in East Manatee, the Bradenton Herald reports. Pastor Daniel Witte of Risen Savior Lutheran Church said there's no guarantee prayer can help the real estate market. "I've seen God answer prayers very swiftly, and I've seen him not answer what seems like dire needs," Witte said. "Sometimes God doesn't give immediate healing. He has a better plan."

Guide dog may be put to death for dogfight

Bob Jardine of Winter Haven is blind and takes his guide dog, Miden, wherever he goes. But now his beloved German shepherd faces a possible death sentence because of a confrontation last month with a 10-pound Maltese named Buddy, the Ledger of Lakeland reports. Polk County animal service investigators call Miden vicious. "They're trying to make my dog vicious because he was trying to protect me," said Jardine, 66. "My dog is trained to keep me safe." But Buddy's owner, Angie Horton, says her dog's four hours of surgery shows Miden has a vicious side. A hearing officer takes evidence in Bartow on Friday.