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Brush fire brought under control

Volunteer firefighters contained a 10-acre brush fire that threatened to burn out of control Friday afternoon. The fire started about 11 a.m. in woods near Longfellow Street and streaked toward County Road 490, said Fred Beckner, county fire training officer. No structures were damaged, although the fire threatened a mobile home and burned two abandoned vehicles, Beckner said. Gusting winds and plenty of foliage fueled the brush fire and worried fire officials, who called in volunteers from nearly every fire company in the county for support. Firefighters from the Florida Division of Forestry also brought two bulldozers to help battle the blaze, Beckner said. The fire was contained by about 1:30 p.m.

Nurse shortage bill clears Senate

TALLAHASSEE _ Legislation that state Sen. Anna Cowin, R-Leesburg, sponsored concerning the state's nursing shortage passed the Senate on Thursday. The measure sets aside $1-million to increase efforts to retain and attract qualified nurses. The Department of Health will disburse the money during the 2002-03 fiscal year. Hospitals could apply for grants and use the money to retain nurses and recruit from out of state, a news release from Cowin's office said. The measure is part of a broader package known as the "Nursing Shortage Solution Act." The state House of Representatives has passed the act, which is now headed to Gov. Jeb Bush's office for review, Cowin's office said. Cowin represents Senate District 11, which includes east Citrus.

EGG HUNT: Melissa Gonzalez helps her son Aaron, 6; daughter Ariana, 3, in front of Aaron; and Tyler Kendrick, 2, gather eggs Wednesday at the Lakes Region Library.

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