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Reno's birthday message: We can win

Celebrating her 64th birthday, Janet Reno declared Sunday that her campaign for governor has the momentum to overcome a fundraising disadvantage in her race to defeat Gov. Jeb Bush.

Wrapping up a weekend of dancing in South Beach and a gala for party die-hards in Fort Lauderdale, Reno greeted supporters at a barbecue at her homestead on the edge of the Everglades.

"We can get elected in this state without big money," Reno said to the roar of 300 people gathered in the back yard.

Todd Harris, a Bush campaign spokesman, noted the irony that Reno's campaign has outspent both the Bush and McBride campaigns.

"The Reno people are kidding themselves if they think that you can run a statewide campaign in a state as big as Florida for no money," Harris said.

Elite Coast Guard unit

to be in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE _ An elite Coast Guard security team will be stationed next summer in Jacksonville, which was among six cities chosen for the job.

The Maritime Safety and Security Team will have 70 active-duty guardsmen and two boats.

Jacksonville was picked because of its military and economic importance, said Lt. Tracey Cooper, deputy group commander for U.S. Coast Guard Group Mayport.

Puget Sound, Wash., San Pedro, Calif., Tidewater, Va., and Houston-Galveston, Texas, are to receive teams this year, with New York City and Jacksonville receiving theirs next summer.

The primary focus in Jacksonville will be maritime law enforcement and providing security to the ports of Jacksonville, Fernandina and Canaveral in Florida and Kings Bay and Brunswick in Georgia.

DCF fires worker who

neglected checks on child

WEST PALM BEACH _ A longtime state foster-care counselor was fired after she admitted leaving an 8-year-old boy with his grandmother in Indiana for four years without making sure child welfare workers visited him.

Louise Taggart was fired July 8 by the Department of Children and Families.

Taggart left another 8-year-old child in Michigan unchecked for a year, her dismissal letter said. The department has since confirmed that both children are safe, said Lori Day, deputy district administrator for DCF's Palm Beach County district.

_ Times wire reports