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This dog isn't easy to spot

A behind-the-scenes look at Citrus County.

SEE SPOT RUN or OUT, OUT DAMNED SPOT: When Citrus County Animal Control workers collared a Dalmatian in the north part of the county last week, he was covered with the black spots typical of the breed.

Not for long.

Since his capture, kennel workers have noticed many of the dog's spots fading. Apparently somebody thought the dog needed more spots than nature gave him. So with pen in hand, additional spots were carefully drawn in, giving him the regal Dalmatian look.

Time, however, has not been kind. The once-proud black spots are now gray splotches. Soon they will be but memory.

Their passing, however, will not go unnoted. The dog's name?

Fadeout, of course.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: The Citrus County Chronicle forum is always good for a laugh. Candidates make gaffes, pass out silly mementos and issue one-liners.

But at a gathering Thursday at the National Guard Armory in Crystal River, it was the candidates' signs, not the candidates, that drew the most attention.

First there was Democrat Helen Spivey's sign.

The sign (yup, just one) urged voters to cast their ballots Nov. 8. Crossed out below were the dates for the two previous primary elections.

Helen vowed to have only one sign and she stood by it.

Then there were her opponents', er, signs. Republican Gene Keith decided to take his message up and away in balloons featuring his name.

Filled with helium, they floated high above the crowd. Still, some wags couldn't help wondering if the balloons' source of levitation wasn't all the hot air in the room.

EAGLE EYES: The bald eagles on Gary Bartell's campaign signs are endangered species.

Bartell made about 20 eagle heads by hand to roost atop his signs, which are vertical, narrow and double-sided. But someone has been stealing them.

Bartell cut the heads with a jigsaw. Then he and his family hand-painted them.

Bartell, who is running for reelection to the County Commission, said he was slightly flattered but added, "It was a lot of work."

_ Staff writers Jeffrey Brainard, T. Christian Miller and Ron Thompson contributed to this report.