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News and notes

Published September 9, 2006

The sodden state of the Sunshine State

Yet another rainy weekend is in store. Sound familiar? It should. After a slow start this year, rainfall has picked up significantly in recent months. Totals for June and July were well above average. August was about normal, but September already has exceeded the average. And total rainfall has reached the average for the entire year, with more than three months to go. The increasing rains are a result of southwesterly flow of air across west central Florida.

Pot o' gold at end of rainbow turns to dust

The name of the game is the Swipe and Win progressive jackpot, but to Freddy Howard it feels more like the win and swipe. Officials at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Hollywood paraded Howard around after telling him he had won nearly $260,000. But nearly 15 hours later they gave him the bad news: He had won nothing. "They just said, 'You know the jackpot that you won? We're not going to pay it,' " said Howard, 53, of Sunny Isles Beach. "It was like I was in a movie. I couldn't believe it." The casino acknowledges the mistake but says a verification process showed that Howard did not actually win. He can forget about suing: As part of the Seminole reservation, the casino is not governed by state or local laws.

Somebody up there telling her something?

So much for the old saw about lightning never striking twice. It's happened to Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings while flying in planes. The latest incident was Friday as she flew from Tallahassee to Miami. "The good news is that planes don't fall out of the air if they're hit by lightning," Jennings said in Tampa as she promoted a new state job-training initiative. She said the propeller wound up with a couple of pings. She noted she was once flying with Gov. Jeb Bush when his plane was hit by lightning. "It's my second time. So somebody must be trying to tell me something."

[Last modified September 8, 2006, 23:47:32]

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