A bookstore owner was acquitted Wednesday on charges that he let his clerks sell adult comic books to two teen-agers, one of them an undercover operative for the police department. A judge acquitted Bill Hatfield, 37, owner of Novel Ideas, of selling the comic book The Score to minors. The judge said Hatfield, who was not in the store at the time of the purchase, did not know the comic book would be sold to a minor.Two more charged in cross burnings
BARTOW _ Two more men were charged Wednesday with torching crosses on the lawns of two families in rural Kathleen. The arrests of Robert J. Dickson and Larry Layne, both of Lakeland, bring to four the number accused of burning crudely made, oil-soaked pine crosses on March 24. The 7-foot crosses were set afire outside the mobile homes of a black family and a white woman who has black friends.
Manatee evades capture after 2 months
HUTCHINSON ISLAND _ A manatee that was sucked through a large pipe into a nuclear plant cooling pond two months ago eluded rescuers again Wednesday. So far, the 1,200-pound sea mammal nicknamed Natalie has not been nabbed by divers, floating traps, anchored traps, and lettuce and hyacinth lures and even the taped chatter of other manatees. "This one is obviously very bright," said Florida Power & Light Co. spokesman Ray Golden. Biologists are not sure the pond contains sufficient food for the manatee, and she has refused to eat offerings from her human landlords.
Sex therapists accused of lying
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. _ A husband-and-wife sex therapy team who built a national reputation with how-to videos and Caribbean sex retreats have been charged with lying about their academic credentials. Fred Shotz was charged Tuesday with misrepresenting his education and falsely claiming to be a doctor. Linda Shotz was charged with perjury for testifying in a 1988 court proceeding that she held a doctorate. The charges were filed after several women complained that they lost custody of their children because of testimony by the Shotzes that persuaded judges to rule against them.
Investors sue Dade schools over class
MIAMI _ Six investors have sued the Dade County School Board, along with a stockbroker and his company, charging they have lost up to $100,000 because of an adult investment class in a high school. The suit accuses broker James P. McCormick, the teacher of the course, of taking advantage of his financially naive students to sell them unsuitable limited partnerships. The lawsuit is another of about $2-billion in lawsuits nationwide against Prudential Securities over its aggressive sale of $6-billion in limited partnerships during the 1980s. The school system is accused of failing to supervise McCormick while he taught investments for seven years at Southwest Dade High School.
Officer assails judge, storms out
JACKSONVILLE _ A fired police officer called a judge and a city lawyer names and stormed out of the judge's office, slamming the door, after the judge threw out her case against the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. After Cathy Thomas slammed the door behind her Tuesday, Circuit Judge Lawrence D. Fay paused for a few seconds, then bolted from behind his desk and began chasing her down a hallway. Mrs. Thomas ducked down a courthouse stairwell and eluded the 66-year-old judge. Fay said he did not plan to hold the woman in contempt of court. "I was just going to fuss at her a little bit," he said. Mrs. Thomas was fired in April after being accused of spending too much time in a restaurant when she was supposed to be walking a beat.
Briefly . . .
JACKSONVILLE _ Petty Officer 3rd Class Daryl Young was shot in the leg and robbed of a necklace and his tennis shoes Monday outside a nightclub, four days after a safe return from combat aboard the USS Saratoga.
FORT LAUDERDALE _ Prosecutors in Hong Kong have agreed to drop their request that a 34-year-old Florida woman be extradited to Hong Kong to face charges she hacked her Chinese husband to death and then buried him in their back yard. Instead, Norda Serrano Winkler will be committed to a mental institution in the United States.
MIAMI _ A jury on Tuesday convicted James Kelly, 24, of robbing the home of Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez and pointing a gun at his wife in September.
_ Compiled by RANDY ROGUSKI from wire reports