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Loan assistance for needy

The NAACP and NationsBank will open an economic development center here next month to help low- and middle-income people get financial assistance. The center won't lend money. Instead, it will assist mortgage and business loan applicants through classes and workshops. It will act as a liaison between the applicant and NationsBank, ushering clients through the loan process. It will be staffed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and serve clients from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys, the Miami Herald reported Saturday.

Alligator attacks, kills boy

HOBE SOUND _ A 10-year-old Lantana boy died after being attacked Saturday by an alligator. The boy, identified by a Martin County sheriff's dispatcher as Bradley Weidenhamer, had been canoeing with his family at J.

D. Dickinson State Park. He had gotten out of the craft and was wading in the Loxahatchee River about 1:30 p.m. when an alligator seized him. Witnesses told investigators from the state Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission that the animal pulled the boy under water. No one else was hurt. Bradley was taken by helicopter to Jupiter Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A professional alligator trapper was called to the park, which reopened after the animal was captured Saturday night. "It was an 11{-footer," said commission duty officer Molly Williams. "It was too big for our scale, but it weighed about 350 to 400 pounds." The animal was killed and a necropsy, or animal autopsy, begun immediately. Results were expected this morning.

All-white club could nix bid

JACKSONVILLE _ A Jacksonville lawyer's membership in the all-white Florida Yacht Club could bring opposition to his bid to become president of the Florida Bar. John A. DeVault III confirmed his membership in the club but said he is "in the group that is fighting to bring about a change within the club." The yacht club has been at the center of controversy since last month when news reports said a black dentist had been denied membership. A black lawyers association in Jacksonville said Friday it will consider DeVault's membership before deciding whether to endorse him.

Even Samaritans have limits

JACKSONVILLE _ Russell Tucker knew he had made a mistake giving a ride to a stranger when the man ran out of a bank with his hands full of money stained by an exploding dye pack. "Let's go. Let's go," the man yelled to Tucker. "You can't get in my car, not with that smoking money," Tucker responded. The robber ran to a nearby McDonald's and stole a car from a woman in the drive-through lane. Patrolman L.

H. Terry heard the theft report, saw the car and followed it. The robber abandoned the car, and Terry followed on foot. The officer found $140 of dyed money on Charles Timothy Pinkney, 29, of Jacksonville who was charged with two counts of robbery. Tucker told police Pinkney had asked for a ride to 1st Performance Bank so he could cash a check.