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Virus silences Leesburg cricket farm

LEESBURG

Virus silences Central Florida cricket farm

A large commercial insect farm that provided millions of crickets to Florida theme parks, zoos and reptile owners has been silenced by a quick-spreading virus. The Lucky Lure Cricket Farm in Central Florida has been forced to file for bankruptcy after a virus contaminated the facility and wiped out the cricket colonies earlier this year. The densovirus is also believed to have destroyed similar farms in Europe and has caused a nationwide shortage of crickets, a staple food for pet lizards and other reptiles. Beth Payne, the farm's owner, says she has invested thousands of dollars to sterilize the facility. She has tried restarting the operation four times without success.

MIAMI

Six arrested in ritzy burglary ring

Six people have been arrested in what authorities are calling a high-end burglary ring that targeted upscale homes and took in jewelry totaling more than $2 million. Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators say more than four dozen burglaries took place between June 2009 and May, targeting upscale homes in gated communities from Miami to Jupiter. The burglars would usually enter through a rear sliding glass door and take jewelry including rings, gold bracelets, watches and other expensive items. In one case, the burglars took a safe with $500,000 worth of jewelry and drove off in the homeowner's Bentley.

Associated Press

Virus silences Leesburg cricket farm 06/22/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11:00pm]
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