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State briefs

By Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 2, 2000

Bradshaw, awaiting birth, resigns as governor's aide

TALLAHASSEE -- Sally Bradshaw, chief of staff for Gov. Jeb Bush, resigned Friday to await the birth of her second child and spend six months being a mother.

For 10 years Bradshaw has worked for Bush, managing his two campaigns for governor, running a foundation he started after losing in 1994 and serving as chief of staff since January 1999.

"Sally Bradshaw will be impossible to replace," Bush said Friday.

Bradshaw, 35, said she decided to resign the $118,000-a-year job rather than take maternity leave because she needs the time to spend with the baby, which is due at month's end, and 4-year-old son Bennett.

After six months at home, Bradshaw said, she'll decide what to do next. Since that would likely coincide with a re-election campaign for Bush, many speculate that she will go straight to the campaign. But Bradshaw said she hasn't made a decision.

Her husband, Paul Bradshaw, is a lawyer and lobbyist who once worked for the State Department of Community Affairs.

Flight attendant's death linked to stray blankets

MIAMI -- Investigators say insulation blankets left unfastened in the cargo hold of an American Airlines plane partially blocked both valves that control cabin pressure, possibly contributing to the death of a flight attendant during an emergency evacuation.

Jose Chiu, 34, was killed when the left front door of the Airbus A300 "exploded open" and he was thrown to the tarmac at Miami International Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report shows.

The captain, Neal Talbot, 44, had reported trouble pressurizing the plane shortly after departure from Miami for Haiti. After returning to Miami for an emergency landing, the captain said he was unable to depressurize the plane, then ordered an evacuation because he believed there was a fire on board, the NTSB report says.

Chiu, the lead flight attendant, pried open the door with difficulty and was catapulted 40 feet or more from the plane.

Jorge Prellezo, NTSB regional director, said the insulation blankets, normally secured with plastic fasteners, were somehow dislodged and partially blocked the pressurization valves.

Petitions may force vote on repeal of gay rights law

MIAMI -- Foes of a Miami-Dade County gay-rights ordinance turned in petitions Friday containing thousands of signatures in a bid to give voters the opportunity to repeal it.

Take Back Miami-Dade County members said more than 59,000 signatures were submitted to the county clerk's office. If at least 35,000 signatures are verified, the referendum will be put on the ballot in the next countywide election.

The County Commission's 1998 amendment to Miami-Dade's civil rights law makes it illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodation based on sexual orientation.

In 1977, county voters overturned a similar law after former beauty queen Anita Bryant led a crusade against it.

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