Expect the unexpected, Bill Richardson's teachers told him in dentalschool, but how often does the unexpected include a root canal on a 300-pound white Bengal tiger? After 2-year-old Madras broke his two lower fangs last week while gnawing on a bone in his dinner, trainers with the Clyde Beatty and Cole Bros. Circus, which spends winters in DeLand, called Richardson. The Deland dentist was assisted by eight people as he performed the root canal outdoors Thursday. Circus trainer Kathleen Umstead massaged Madras and repeatedly whispered, "How's Mama's baby?" as she held a 2-by-4 in his mouth to make sure it didn't close. Richardson filled the teeth with a cement mixture and filed them with a buffer. But Madras will always carry a memento:
Richardson's initials are etched into his left fang.
Chain-saw holdup is cut short LAKE CITY - A woman wielding a chain saw was stymied in her attempt to hold up a motel clerk when she was tackled by the clerk's brother, police said. Karen Lee Joachimi, 20, of Lake City was drunk when she entered the Howard Johnson Motel late Wednesday night, police Sgt. Billie Carter said Friday. She picked up a chain saw that was sitting in an office and demanded money from clerk Lucille Ferry, but Ms. Joachimi did not start the saw. Ms. Joachimi struck the clerk in the head with the saw and ran toward the door with $300, police said. But Ms. Ferry's brother Walter Swearengin, who was visiting, jumped over a
counter, tackled Ms. Joachimi and held her until police arrived. Ms. Joachimi was being held Friday in the Columbia County jail on $86,000 bail on charges of armed robbery, grand theft and aggravated battery.
City says sunset worth $4,000 KEY WEST - The carnival atmosphere during the popular sunset ceremony at the Mallory Dock will be considerably dampened by a $4,000-a-month fee vendors must now pay the city, the vendors association said Friday. The new fee - up from the $150 the Cultural Preservation Society once paid Key West for the right to sell at the dock - was approved Thursday night by the city commission. "I feel it was a conspiracy from the beginning," said an angry Diane Dodson, president of the society. "I believe that the developers and the businessmen in this town want to control Mallory Dock for their gain, and this was just a way to remove the sunset operation as we know it." The society already is paying $3,730 for insurance, garbage pickup and salaries
for Ms. Dodson and the dock master. The society planned to substitute the sunset ceremony Friday with a silent protest by the juggling acts, one-man bands, jewelry and noodle sellers who gather at the dock to sell to tourists.
Correction The name of Weeki Wachee Spring mermaid Wendy Sidell was misspelled in a story Thursday.