Dateline Florida

Published May 29, 2007

Leaping lizard! Terror stalking a town may live!

A 4 1/2-foot monitor lizard that terrorized Casselberry residents for months is down, but maybe not out. A police officer shot the reptile Sunday as it sunbathed on the banks of a retention pond. The 80-pound reptile took cover in the water and hasn't been seen since. "There's no doubt that the thing was shot, " Casselberry police Lt. Dennis Stewart told the Orlando Sentinel. Whether it's dead is another matter. Residents say they want to see a carcass before they let their children out to play again. The carnivorous lizard had evaded police and wildlife officers for months. Authorities said the lizard was likely a pet that escaped or was illegally dumped.

Lasses and laddies, keep your eyes and pants up

Call it a potty compromise. The owners of McGuire's Irish Pub have struck a deal with the state over confusing bathroom door signs that purposely send men into the women's room and vice versa. Under an agreement with Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the restaurants in Destin and Pensacola will install an additional set of doors inside the joke doors to prevent any embarrassing incidents, the Associated Press reports. The state had threatened the owners with closure. The restaurants have 30 days to make the changes.

Smack, smack, smack in the name of love

Love is in the air, not to mention on your windshield. It's love bug mating season and carwash operators are reaping all the benefits. On a serious note, the Florida Highway Patrol warns drivers to be cautious of the swarming critters because, when splattered on your windshield, they can limit visibility as much as smog or smoke. At a service plaza off Florida's Turnpike this weekend, tourists snapped pictures of the black and orange bodies stuck to their cars. "Isn't it pretty?" Sunny Singh of Greenacres said sarcastically to a Miami Herald reporter as he eyed the bugs spread like seeded jam across the grille of his silver Lexus.