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Regulators close red snapper season

Less than two months into the year, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced the commercial quota of 2.04-million pounds of red snapper has been reached, and the season will be closed in all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at noon on Saturday. The season will be opened again on Jan. 1, 1993, said Andrew Kemmerer, director of the Southeast Region of NMFS. Ironically, commercial fishermen say red snapper are now so plentiful that large catches have driven prices down.

U.S. Senate protects Keys from drilling

WASHINGTON _ The U.S. Senate voted to protect the Florida Keys from offshore oil and gas drilling for the remainder of the decade, but refused to extend the drilling ban along the rest of the state's coast. The 53-45 vote Wednesday bans drilling in the Gulf south of Naples through 2000 and sets up an unfunded buy-back program for 73 active leases near the Keys.

Ethics case urged against ex-lawmaker

TALLAHASSEE _ State ethics officials are recommending an investigation into allegations that a high-ranking member of Gov. Lawton Chiles' administration misused his position when he was a state senator, a newspaper reported Thursday. Former Sen. George Stuart Jr., now secretary of the Department of Professional Regulation, was accused in a secret complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics of using his influence to help the investment banking business he worked for get business. The complaint was included in documents obtained by the Tampa Tribune. The September 1990 complaint was filed after disclosures by the Tribune that Stuart's employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., got business after he had proposed legislation to help finance a $213-million expressway project in his hometown.

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