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Dateline Florida

Published June 8, 2007



The headache's over: McMullen-Booth Road reopened to traffic Thursday, a week ahead of schedule. The road, one of North Pinellas' biggest arteries, had been closed to repair a CSX railroad crossing between Drew Street and State Road 590. Pinellas officials attributed good weather and friendly dealings between CSX and private contractors for the early finish. The project cost $750, 000 and was paid for by the Penny for Pinellas sales tax.

UF offers $50K for Kevorkian

Jack Kevorkian's first public speaking engagement may be at the University of Florida. Kevorkian, 79, has accepted an offer to speak at UF on Oct. 1, his attorney said Thursday, according to the Detroit News. Kevorkian was paroled from prison on June 1 after serving eight years of a 10- to 25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of a 52-year-old man with Lou Gehrig's disease. As part of his parole, Kevorkian will first have to obtain permission to travel outside Michigan from his parole officer.

Juror throws wrench into trial

A language problem emerged Thursday in the trial of Bosnian Serb refugee Branko Popic, and it had nothing to do with Popic's native Serbo-Croatian. After three days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, a Spanish-speaking juror asked U.S. District Judge James Moody to be dismissed from service because of language difficulties. Asked to elaborate, the juror said, "I cannot explain myself." Moody will decide today whether to allow her to continue with an interpreter or replace her with an alternate. Popic, a 59-year-old St. Petersburg resident, is accused of falsifying immigration papers.

[Last modified June 7, 2007, 23:45:17]

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