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Mosquito board race gets off to early start

If candidates get extra credit for being early, then Stephanie McLeod should do well in the November 1998 elections.

While the election is still a year off, McLeod of Homosassa filed her paperwork a month ago with the Supervisor of Elections office.

She prequalified to run for a seat on the Mosquito Control Board.

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE CIRCUIT JUDGES, PART I: During John C. Barrett's murder retrial last month, the defendant told his attorney, Dan Snow, that Circuit Judge Michael Blackstone had made inappropriate comments to him in between court, while the judge was talking with the bailiffs near Barrett's holding cell.

"I would appreciate it if the court would refrain from speaking to my client without his attorney present," Snow told the judge in court.

"I never spoke to your client," Blackstone said.

"I believe, judge, that actually you were not speaking to my client but that you were talking while he was present," Snow said.

Blackstone, as he often was during the trial, was incredulous.

"Mr. Snow, I believe I was discussing my Little League football team with the bailiffs," Blackstone said. "Not your client."

Blackstone, clearly perturbed, promised it would not happen again.

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES, PART II: Later in the trial, when Barrett was testifying, Blackstone allowed him to go back to the defense table and get a glass of water he had left there _ without Snow in the courtroom.

When Snow returned, Blackstone asked the court reporter to make a note on the record.

"Let the record reflect, Mr. Snow, that you were not present in the courtroom when I advised your client he could take his glass of water with him to the stand," Blackstone said.

Snow, either oblivious or choosing to ignore the judge's sarcasm, thanked the judge.

_ Times staff writers Barbara Behrendt and Jamal Thalji compiled this report.

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