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  • 2 top state officials opt for D.C.

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
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  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    2 top state officials opt for D.C.


    © St. Petersburg Times, published March 31, 2001

    TALLAHASSEE -- Two of Gov. Jeb Bush's top officials are leaving the Florida Bush administration for the one in Washington.

    Robin Higgins, who is Gov. Jeb Bush's veterans affairs secretary, will become undersecretary for memorial affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. She will oversee national veterans' cemeteries and monuments.

    Ruben King-Shaw, Florida's top health care industry regulator, will be deputy administrator and chief operating officer of the federal Health Care Financing Agency, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid.

    King-Shaw, a former health maintenance organization executive in South Florida, has served two years as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. He will leave Tallahassee in May. A replacement has not been chosen.

    Higgins is a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps. She served as a deputy in the veterans affairs agency under former President George Bush. In 1988, her husband, a Marine colonel, was captured in Lebanon with other hostages. Rich Higgins eventually was murdered. Higgins plans to leave Florida after the legislative session. Her replacement has not been named.

    Another Bush favorite, Mel Martinez, the former Orange County administrator, is the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Florida Parks Director Fran Mainella is being considered to head the National Park Service.

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