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Bank robber takes a cab to heist, then stops at 7-eleven

By TIMES WIRES
Published July 1, 2007


ORLANDO

A man took a taxi to the Washington Mutual branch at E. Colonial Drive and Bumby Avenue just after 9 Saturday morning and asked the cab driver to wait for him while he went inside to do his "business."

The "business" was robbing the bank. When he hopped back in, he was driven to a 7-Eleven, Orlando police Lt. Randy Groetsch said.

Investigators plan to review surveillance tapes at the convenience store, Groetsch said.

TALLAHASSEE

Panther deaths now three over 2006 record

The recent deaths of three panthers on state roads brought this year's total to 14, exceeding the previous record of 11, wildlife officials said.

Eleven panthers were killed by vehicles in 2006.

In recent years, panthers have rebounded from the brink of extinction, from roughly 30 to about 100 on the southwestern edge of the Everglades.

The commission said 139 panther deaths have been documented since 1997 - 63 of which were previously live-captured and equipped with radio collars for research.

MIAMI

Bid for U.S. citizenship is finally successful

A 105-year-old Cuban-born man finally had his wish fulfilled - he became a U.S. citizen.

Jose Temprana celebrated by sipping champagne with friends at the Hispanic Community Center in Miami on Friday.

"I feel different, " said Temprana, who served 30 years in Cuban jails. "Satisfied, very happy. It was worth the wait."

Temprana was released from a Cuban prison at age 93. He applied for a humanitarian visa and flew to Miami.

Once here, he worked to get his citizenship but fell short twice.

WEST PALM BEACH

Okeechobee level hits another record low

Lake Okeechobee's water level keeps dropping.

Water managers reported Saturday that the lake's water level reached a record low of 8.88 feet above sea level, passing the previous mark of 8.89 feet set June 1.

Conditions have been so dry in Central Florida that water has not flowed from the Kissimmee River into the lake in more than seven months, the district said. Rain needs to fall over basins north of the lake to re-establish flows from the river, said Geoff Shaughnessy, a senior meteorologist with the district.