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Florida Aquarium celebrates 3 years

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

Though it's a few weeks late, the Florida Aquarium is celebrating its third anniversary this weekend with a three-piece Caribbean band and a $3 ticket price.

The aquarium turned three years old on March 31, but officials wanted to wait until the end of the tourist season to have a birthday party.

"It was purely a business decision," said David Dorman, the aquarium's marketing director. "Our busiest season is in March, and we could have lost too much money if we held the celebration then."

And the aquarium wouldn't have had as much to celebrate. It wasn't until early April that the aquarium learned the deficit spell had been lifted. March was the first profitable month in a fiscal year marred with layoffs and lower than expected attendance.

April is also on track to be profitable, Dorman said. And the launch of a new fish and reptile exhibit this summer should keep the streak going, officials said.

The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The $3 admission special for adults and children _ the regular price is $10.95 for adults and $5.95 for children _ runs Friday through Sunday.

_ JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

New courthouse

to be reopened

The new Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse is scheduled to re-open today for bankruptcy court proceedings.

The courthouse had been closed for a week while workers repaired electrical damage from a water leak that affected several floors.

Work is continuing on a number of security-related problems that prevent the use of the building for criminal proceedings.

_ LARRY DOUGHERTY

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