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Times bureau chief wins Society on Aging award

Lucy Morgan, Times' associate editor and Tallahassee bureau chief, has received the American Society on Aging's media award for local/regional reporting for her series, "What Price Dignity?"

The award, considered one of the top competitions for aging issues in journalism, honors Morgan's account of dealing with her mother's final years in a nursing home and death, as well as later stories on end-of-life issues. The judges called Morgan's work "a powerful, poignant story that captured the broader issues."

The series began as a first-person account in September 1995, but grew into more stories later that year about others seeking quality care and dignity during their loved ones' final years.

Morgan, who has won numerous journalism awards including the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1985, received the award last week during the American Society on Aging's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Prosecutors to seek death penalty in slaying case

TAMPA _ Prosecutors made it official Monday: They will seek death penalty in their case against convicted rapist Lawrence Singleton, who has pleaded innocent to first-degree murder.

Hillsborough County prosecutors notified defense lawyers that this would be a death penalty case during a hearing at which they dropped their request to view some of Singleton's psychiatric records.

Singleton, who raped a teen-age hitchhiker and chopped her arms off with an ax in California 19 years ago, is accused of fatally stabbing prostitute Roxanne Hayes in his living room last month.

"They framed me the first time, but this time I did it," Singleton, 69, said on his way to jail Feb. 19, just after his arrest. He was still jailed Monday without bail.

His arrest came 10 years after he was paroled for the rape.

Callers want to adopt dog of hospice cancer patient

Forty-six people have called a Pinellas Park hospice to ask about adopting Trouble, a dog whose owner is dying of cancer, a spokeswoman for Hospice of the Florida Suncoast said Monday.

The Times published an article on Friday about Bill Drifmeyer, a retired bus driver who is living in Hospice House Woodside, a home for terminally ill people. Drifmeyer, 78, of Palm Harbor, is looking for someone who will care for the brown-and-black mixed breed after his death.

"A lot of people really, really wanted this dog," said Sandy Rex, residences director for Hospice, a non-profit agency. She said Drifmeyer has not decided how he will choose among the prospective owners.

Trouble stays overnight in a Pinellas Park kennel and visits Drifmeyer during the day.