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Hernando briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 27, 2000

Inmate group files lawsuits against jail

Jim Noble, president of the Spring Hill inmate advocacy group Freedom For Life, filed two lawsuits against the Hernando County Jail and its warden Thursday.

Noble, a law clerk for Plantation lawyer Michael Wolf, claims that Warden Jim Cooke has refused to let him interview two inmates who are Wolfe's clients.

According to one of the lawsuits, inmate Virginia Watts claims that jail staffers have beaten her and that she has been unfairly denied phone and personal visits.

Noble wanted to talk to her about this Thursday but was told he was not allowed to see Watts.

Cooke did not return a phone call for comment Thursday.

Fire destroys unoccupied Brooksville mobile home

Fire destroyed an unoccupied mobile home in Brooksville on Thursday.

An electrical short in a back bedroom caused the home at 2404 Leeson St. in Clover Leaf Farms to catch fire at 1:40 a.m., said Capt. Tim Mossgrove of the Brooksville Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived minutes after a neighbor called, but the home was already engulfed.

The mobile home, worth about $9,000, had been up for sale. No one was injured.

Squirrel causes power outage

More than 7,000 residents and businesses lost power Thursday when a squirrel caused an outage in central Hernando County, said Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative officials. The squirrel got into equipment at a power substation and caused "extensive damage" that left customers without power from 9:16 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., Withlacoochee spokesman Ernie Holzhauer said. Authorities rerouted power and were able to restore electricity in about an hour.

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