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Briefs: Federal funds will help Florida Panhandle in recovery

WASHINGTON

Federal funds to aid flooded Panhandle

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster for nearly a dozen counties in the Florida Panhandle, which was struck by severe storms, flooding, tornadoes and straight-line winds last month.

Tuesday's order calls for federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

Federal funding will be available to the state, eligible local governments and some nonprofit organizations to repair damage caused by the severe weather, which began March 26. Counties included in the order are Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington.

FRUITLAND PARK

Escaped monkey falls for junk food

After spending six weeks on the lam from his circus owners, Reggie the monkey has been captured.

On March 13, Reggie escaped from the Liebel Family Circus when the troupe did a show at a Central Florida flea market. Nearby residents, officials and circus members searched for the primate for weeks.

Then Monday, residents and employees of a mobile home park spotted the monkey hanging from a tree.

They fed the monkey soda, potato chips and Twinkies until the owner of the circus came to grab him.

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE

SO MUCH LITTER, SO FEW FINES PAID

Flicking a piece of gum or a cigarette out a car window in Florida could bring a $100 fine for littering, but a review of records shows the state hasn't collected much money.

Florida politicians doubled penalties for littering three years ago from $50 to $100. Since then, litterers have paid the state about $213,000, or $71,000 a year. About a third of Florida counties have never collected a single fine under the new law, according to data provided by the state.

Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Mark Welch said enforcing the law can be difficult. "We're all driving down the road and we see something fly out from a group of cars," Welch said. "You have to be able to prove who threw it."

Briefs: Federal funds will help Florida Panhandle in recovery 04/21/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:54pm]
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