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Cheer up! Not all the news is the bad kind

Some days, the news around here seems to be of a single subject: bad.

We've got your crime, all variety of crime. We've got gas prices that require taking out a second mortgage for a fill­up. We've got plans for a giant Confederate flag to welcome visitors, not to mention a big pornography trial. Oh, and more crime.

So for your consideration, some good news in the news.

Item: Two teenagers are charged in a pointless and heartbreaking rampage through a Hillsborough County cemetery. Statues of angels are shattered, tombstones shoved over, flowers smashed. One witness to the havoc that these unthinking kids wrought was a man who had come to visit the grave of his 9-year-old granddaughter.

Wait, we're getting to the good news part.

So what did the mother of the 14-year-old boy facing felony charges have to say about it?

That her kid didn't do it?

That police or schools or drugs or violent video games are to blame?

That the boy is himself some sort of victim?

Nope. What 33-year-old Theresa Moore of Riverview said was that her son should apologize to the people he hurt and work community service hours until he's an adult, including cleaning up his own mess. She spoke of embarrassment and outrage and consequences. She made her son watch the families on the news.

"I've always tried to teach him better than this," she said.

A parent with a kid who's done wrong, big wrong, talking personal responsibility. There's some news.

Item: In an irksome example of our litigious itch, a woman sued the city of Tampa over an 1861 promissory note for military supplies purchased from her great-grandfather's store. She claimed the historic piece of paper documenting the loan meant she was owed the original $299.58, plus 8 percent annual interest, to total $22.6-million.

Now that takes some starch, hitting up a budget-strapped city for a century-and-a-half-old debt that never cost you a cent.

Last week, after being bombarded with some good defenses from the city's lawyers, the frivolous and mildly offensive lawsuit was quietly dropped.

And a delicious postscript: The city gets its attorneys fees paid, not to mention the original of that historically significant note.

Item: A boy getting stuck in a tree and rescued still makes news.

Item: Celebrity son Nick Bollea, serving time in the Pinellas County Jail for the irresponsible car wreck that horribly damaged his friend, did not get to tell authorities how to do their jobs this week. Even if he is heir to the famous Hulkster.

Sentenced to eight months in the local pokey, Bollea apparently did not like his solitary confinement cell. Authorities said he had to be there because he's a juvenile in an adult jail who doesn't turn 18 until next month.

Bollea wanted to be on house arrest until he turns 18, or do his time in minimum security. A judge declined.

His jail time, which does include a weekday job in the inmate property section and access to books and magazines, admittedly does not sound fun. But jail rarely does.

Thursday he was transferred to a cell with juveniles.

Still, like Paris Hilton before him, Bollea got a lesson he apparently missed before: that sometimes, the rules apply even to you.

Cheer up! Not all the news is the bad kind 06/05/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2008 8:49pm]
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