Dateline Florida

Published April 14, 2007


Tom Farrell of West Palm Beach had one request before he died: His obituary should refer to him by his CB radio handle. Which led to this sentence in the Palm Beach Post this week: TOM P. FARRELL "Florida Panty Snatcher" Age 64 of West Palm Beach, FL passed away on April 9, 2007 after a long illness. His sister, Cecelia Sommers, told Post columnist Frank Cerabino the story: One day in his younger years the shy Farrell was at a truck stop when other drivers started teasing him. He returned to his truck to find a pair of women's panties waiting for him. "He carried those panties hanging from the rearview mirror for about five years," his sister said. "And other truckers started calling him the Florida Panty Snatcher."

A $100,000 Jeopardy prize

The answer: A local contestant competing on Jeopardy. The question: Who is Kaitlin Welborn of Tampa, a 20-year-old University of Pennsylvania student. Welborn and 14 other undergraduates from around the nation will compete in the Jeopardy! 2007 College Championship, scheduled to tape April 21-22 at the University of Southern California. Thousands auditioned at schools nationwide. The winner will take home $100,000. The competition will air over two weeks between April 30 and May 11.

A robber, but one with manners

A gunman robbing an Altamonte Springs convenience store allowed the clerk to call 911 and apologized after the woman said she might be having a heart attack. But he still took $30 and cigarettes, authorities said. The masked man entered the Kangaroo Express store last Saturday and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at 60-year-old clerk Mary Parker, according to surveillance audio/video released Thursday. She started hyperventilating and pleaded with the gunman for help. He let Parker call 911. Before leaving he said: "You have a good day. I'm sorry this had to happen."

A free day at MOSI

In the market for adventure on a budget? How about touring the human body? Or pedaling a bicycle across a 98-foot-long steel cable suspended 30 feet in the air? Those are two of 350 exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry, which offers free admission from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday only. This includes a screening of the IMAX movie Hurricane on the Bayou. MOSI is at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 987-6100 or go to www.mosi.org.

A wet, windy night

Severe weather is expected early Sunday after a squall line and storm front bring heavy winds to the Gulf Coast. Gusts could reach above 50 mph between midnight and 8 a.m. The National Weather Service is advising mariners to postpone trips into the gulf and urging people to stay tuned to local media, as conditions may worsen. "It's going be a rough night," said John McMichael, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Ruskin.