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Jeb's proposed tuition hike won't be as high

Gov. Jeb Bush still wants to raise college tuition next fall, but not by the 5 percent for in-state students he proposed earlier. Bush would like to use anticipated state revenue to lower the increase, but he doesn't know by how much. The governor's change of heart comes less than 24 hours after students rallied to oppose his plan at the Old Capitol.

Big ear, if you can hear,

your owner is calling

Now hear this. The sheriff in Citrus County is keeping an eye out for a missing ear that's about 4 feet tall. It's fiberglass, it's heavy, and it's gone. It disappeared from the Advanced Family Hearing sign in Crystal River. There are no suspects.

School chief, state not

synched on merit pay

When top state officials rolled out their merit pay plan for teachers last week, their news release listed Pinellas school superintendent Clayton Wilcox as a big supporter. Not so, Wilcox told the School Board on Tuesday. He likes the idea of merit pay, but not the state's plan - bonuses based on FCAT scores. Wilcox said the state must boost regular pay before adding incentives. Teachers want added pay for great performance, not "a system that pits them against colleagues."

Cat shot with arrow

on road to recovery

A little black cat named Midnight was found in Port Richey, impaled and cowering under a utility trailer with a 2-foot arrow protruding from her left side. After emergency surgery, she is doing better. The arrow is out, and Midnight is eating and walking. What's more, an anonymous donor has agreed to pay for the animal's surgery expenses, more than $1,000. The search for the archer is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's tipline toll-free at 1-800-706-2488.

DVDs, books to inform

about Islam's holy one

Fight media with media. After a Danish newspaper's cartoon about Mohammed triggered Muslim outrage, American Muslims launched a campaign Tuesday to give away DVDs and books describing the prophet's life. The Council on American-Islamic Relations hopes to show why Mohammed is so revered. "Had those editors known the history of Mohammed, they would not have depicted him in that way," said Ahmed Bedier, CAIR's Central Florida director. For a DVD or book, visit www.cair.com/Muhammad. Though offended by the Mohammed cartoon, CAIR officials have denounced the violence that followed.

Gill net fishing banned

after dead whale found

The death of an endangered right whale last month has prompted federal officials to temporarily ban gill net fishing off the Florida and Georgia coasts through the end of their calving season. Through March 31 there will be no gill net fishing from Savannah, Ga., to Sebastian Inlet, on Florida's East Coast.

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