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Alligator bites handler's arm at Sunken Gardens

The last show of the day had the most drama when an alligator handler was bitten Tuesday in the arm at Sunken Gardens.

The 24-year-old man, whose name was not available, told paramedics that the alligator surprised him. The man said he was used to handling much bigger gators _ not skinnier, lankier reptiles like the one that bit him.

"Its head turned almost completely around to get him," said paramedic David Nasworthy.

The man had one puncture wound and several minor scrapes on his right bicep, but he was not seriously injured. Ray Turner, whose family owns Sunken Gardens, said fewer than a dozen customers were in the audience when the handler was attacked.

Spring Hill man slain after argument

SPRING HILL _ A 45-year-old man was shot dead after an argument with his wife Tuesday in their Hernando County home, authorities said.

The shooting occurred at 6073 Dorset Road at about 8:50 p.m. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says Lowraine DiGiaimo, 48, is a suspect in the slaying of her husband, Thomas J. DiGiaimo, who was shot in the neck with a .38-caliber weapon.

Infant lung patient breathing on her own

TAMPA _ An 18-month-old Palm Harbor baby who has already undergone two lung transplants was breathing on her own again Tuesday after being hospitalized June 16 with pneumonia.

Meagan Craig continued to recover Tuesday at Tampa General Hospital and was taken off a ventilator, a machine she had depended on to help her breathe, said Meagan's mother Diane Craig.

Mrs. Craig expects her daughter may be home in a week. Meagan had to undergo the first lung transplant last year because she suffered from a rare genetic disease and the second transplant a few months later when an infection ravaged her new lungs.

In Short

TEACHER FINED: A teacher at Pinellas Park High School was fined $610 in court costs but was spared probation during his sentencing for a battery conviction Tuesday. Norman Eugene Clark was convicted last month of grabbing a 14-year-old student and threatening to spank her. Clark returned to court Tuesday, but County Judge Patrick Caddell decided to withhold an adjudication of guilt and only charge him court costs. Clarkrecently retired after 26 years of teaching.

_ Compiled from staff reports