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Voting machines tested, cleared in 2006 election
Published February 7, 2008
Federal investigators say faulty voting machines likely didn't contribute to the large number of undervotes in the District 13 congressional election in 2006.
An investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office says that testing of Sarasota County's ATM-style voting machines revealed no mechanical problems.
Democrat Christine Jennings lost the election by 369 votes to Republican Vern Buchanan. She called for the congressional investigation after finding out that Sarasota County's voting machines failed to record more than 18,000 votes. The GAO says it's more likely that voters skipped the race on the ballot, either intentionally or by mistake.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
First lady helps kids in restoration effort
First lady Laura Bush helped local fifth-graders plant gumbo limbo trees at Everglades National Park, telling them native trees protect water quality and wildlife habitats.
Wednesday's tree planting was part of a major restoration effort aimed at bringing wetland prairie back to soil severely depleted by farming.
Bush also announced a national essay contest on behalf of the National Park Foundation, encouraging children to write about how they can protect their national parks. The winner will receive a trip to the Everglades to star in an electronic field trip which will be viewed nationally.
FORT MYERS BEACH
Teenage girl dies after fall from hotel
A 16-year-old girl fell to her death from a high-rise hotel on Fort Myers Beach.
Lee County deputies are still trying to figure out if Corine Frutos accidentally fell or jumped from one of the upper floors of the DiamondHead resort hotel early Tuesday. They've ruled out foul play.
Corine's mother reported her missing late Monday after she walked away from her home a short distance from the hotel.
A newspaper delivery person discovered her body on a fourth-floor roof of the hotel.
Corine was a member of the Cypress Lake High School soccer team. It was scheduled to play in the state semifinals Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.