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By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000

2nd District Court of Appeal

Seven judges on the 2nd District Court of Appeal easily kept their seats in a merit retention vote in Tuesday's election. The judges who won a new six-year term are John R. Blue, 66, Darryl C. Casanueva, 49, Charles A. Davis Jr., 52, Oliver L. Green, 67, Emiliano Jose (E.J.) Salcines, 62, Thomas E. Stringer Sr., 64, and Edward F. Threadgill Jr., 68. The appellate court is based in Lakeland and includes Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Charlotte, Collier, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Polk and Sarasota counties. Judges hear criminal and civil appeals from state courts in those counties.

5th District Court of Appeal

Emerson Thompson, a judge on the 5th District Court of Appeal, was well on his way to securing another six-year term. Thompson had no opponent Tuesday. Like all appellate judges, he stood for merit retention, which means voters chose whether they wanted to retain him for another term. Early returns showed voters were strongly supporting Thompson. Judges on the 5th District Court of Appeal hear appeals from the circuit courts in 13 Central Florida counties, including Citrus and Hernando.

Florida Supreme Court

Three Florida Supreme Court justices facing a merit retention vote in Tuesday's election overwhelmingly retained their seats. Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara J. Pariente and Peggy A. Quince each retained their seats to the state's highest court. No Florida justice has ever been rejected from office, and the three faced no organized opposition. In early returns, each justice was winning retention by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio. Lewis, 52, a former private attorney from Miami; Pariente, 51, a former personal injury attorney from West Palm Beach; and Quince, 52, a former Tampa-based judge for the 2nd District Court of Appeal, were appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Beverly Hills taxing district

BEVERLY HILLS -- Residents of one of Citrus County's oldest planned communities on Tuesday endorsed taxing themselves additionally to raise money for sprucing up their neighborhoods. The measure, which is only advisory in nature, passed easily with 62 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting. Results of the non-binding referendum to create a municipal service benefit unit -- a taxing district commonly called an MSBU -- now go to the Citrus County Commission. The commission will hold two public hearings before deciding whether to create the tax district. Commissioners have agreed that the MSBU would charge no more than $9 per lot annually to raise money for such projects as grass mowing, street lighting and beautification of public spaces.

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