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Memo to kleptomaniacs: Steer clear of pro shop

NOW THAT'S REALLY ROUGH: A few weeks ago, Citrus Slices marveled at the sign in Citrus Memorial Hospital's waiting room for children: "Unattended children will be sold to the Cookie Monster."

At Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club, life is even rougher. The sign at the pro shop: "Shoplifters will be beaten to death."

TIME TO SIGN UP: State Rep. Helen Spivey is sticking to her one-sign policy.

In 1994, when Spivey was elected to the House, she prided herself on carrying only one campaign sign. She refused to add to the proliferation of signs that littered county roads.

Now that she's running for re-election, Spivey is following the same course. In fact, her campaign letterhead shows a woman (presumably Spivey) carrying a simple placard.

"Still only one sign," the caption reads.

A CAPTIVE CUSTOMER BASE: The Crystal River City Council was discussing updating the city code last week when someone mentioned increasing fees at the city cemetery.

That prompted council member George Otto to ask, "I know it's dead people, but do we have any idea who's using that cemetery now?"

Mayor Curtis Rich was quick to answer: "It's just like they say, people are dying to get in there."

CAN YOU DIG IT?: Later, former council member Earnest Olsen had a suggestion for the current money-conscious council.

Rather than paying the council members a salary, "We could pay them in cemetery plots and hope for the best," he said.

THE BOSS IS AWOL: School officials took a break toward the end of the long School Board meeting last week to share some cake in honor of Superintendent James Hughes and the 17th anniversary of his 29th birthday.

As the break dragged on, some administrators wandered back into the meeting room, hoping the meeting would resume so they could get home before sunrise.

Finally, Chairman Mark Stone tried to draw everyone together and was looking especially for Hughes.

Administrator Bonnie Hardiman headed out to look for him, noting, "It's so hard to tell your boss he's late."

HERE'S YOUR ALIBI: Once the board was back in session, members began to discuss other business when the cellular phone of an audience member sounded.

"It's for you," Stone joked to the bus driver whose phone rang.

"I'm not here," offered board member Janet Herndon.

Stone seemed more interested in proving he really was at a board meeting so late. "I AM here," he said.

_ Times staff writers Jim Ross and Barbara Behrendt contributed to this report.

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