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Memo: even wife hit voting snag

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 20, 2007


Things have gotten even weirder in the messy 13th Congressional District race in Sarasota. As part of the litigation over the more than 18,000 undervotes in the November election, losing Democratic candidate Christine Jennings found evidence that even Republican winner Vern Buchanan's wife, Sandy, had trouble getting her vote to register. "Mrs. Buchanan indicated that she had to hit the button more than once, I think she said three times - to record her vote for Mr. Buchanan," wrote Buchanan campaign communications director Sally Tibbetts in a Dec. 26 internal memo to campaign manager Ron Turner. Jennings wants an investigation by independent experts to get to the bottom of this. Buchanan, who was sworn in, wants to move on.

Can't hang up? You could be addicted

Sick of cell phone users who can't seem to put them down, even when they're in the bathroom or driving through rush hour? Well, it turns out they might be addicted. A University of Florida psychologist who studies Internet and other technology addictions finds that a growing number of people are so tied to their phones that they feel anxious and incomplete without them. Signs of trouble: not being able to get through a meal or a movie without dialing or taking a call.

Deputies say man faked abduction

Kasi R. Gatschenberger figured she was doing the right thing when she called deputies to say that her boyfriend told her he had been kidnapped. But the call landed Michael Brian Maple, 22, of Gibsonton in jail. Deputies say he made up the story. When his girlfriend delivered $200 in ransom, deputies found Maple hiding, waiting to nab it. Instead, deputies nabbed him, arresting him on charges of false report of a crime, theft and resisting arrest, records show.

Corrections

- Incorrect personnel numbers for U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, appeared in a chart Friday. In 2006, SOCom had 52,846 workers, up from 45,655 in 2001.

- Eileen Carver of Tampa died Dec. 19 at St. Joseph's Hospital from injuries suffered in a Dec. 11 car crash. A news item Dec. 21 gave an incorrect date for the crash and named a different hospital.

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