How's this for building good karma? Orlando Sentinel reporter Sean Mussenden, a member of the pack of reporters waiting for Ted Williams' will to be filed, found $120 outside the Citrus County courthouse. Mussenden diligently searched for the owner of the cash, checking with bailiffs, clerks and lawyers from the nearby Public Defender's Office.
When no one had claimed the money after several days of searching, Mussenden decided to put it to good use: He purchased an enormous flower arrangement for the women who work in the clerk's office and signed it from "The Media Pack."
Who says journalists are heartless?
WAITING AND WAITING: Spending hours outside the courthouse waiting for some sort of break in the Williams case was taxing for even the most seasoned reporters. They whiled away the hours by reading books, chatting on cell phones and talking with one another.
But the sameness of the activities _ hours of waiting punctuated by brief news conferences outside the historic courthouse _ made the days tedious.
"Welcome to Groundhog Day," quipped CNN's Miami bureau chief John Zarella, referring to a Bill Murray movie in which the main character is stuck in the same day.
EASY CALL: The county's Planning and Development Review Board rarely makes an easy decision. The projects that come before the board sometimes pit developer against neighbor, or developer against nature, and the board must weigh everyone's rights under county codes.
So board member Marion Knudsen was relieved Thursday when Lecanto residents Eric, Michael and Jacqueline Heath brought forth a simple request to raise horses on their N Conrad Avenue tract.
"I'd rather see more animals than people, so I'm fine with it," Knudsen said.
ON THE RECORD: The online publication Salon recently interviewed comedian and author Al Franken. A local story came up during the session.
Salon: Continuing with the subject of good and evil, Carolyn Risher, the mayor of Inglis, Fla., recently issued a proclamation banning Satan from her 3-square-mile town.
If you could ban Satan from a 3-square-mile area, where would it be?
Franken: Are you asking this of everyone you talk to?
S: No, just you.
F: Three square miles, or circular? Can it be a radius of 3 miles?
S: It can be a radius. We can play fast and loose with this.
F: OK. Um, boy, that's a tough one.
S: It is a tough one, and you only get to pick one area to ban Satan from.
F: OK, hold on. Um, Battle Creek, Mich.
S: Why there?
F: I eat a lot of cereal.
_ Times staff writers Carrie Johnson, Bridget Hall Grumet and Sharon Wynne compiled this report.