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Owner can have steak and the dog a bone?

Cats and dogs sleeping together is one thing, but humans and dogs dining together? It could happen under legislation that would let local governments allow restaurants with outdoor seating to open to dogs. No city or restaurant would be required to offer the special variance from state law barring dogs from restaurants. But the option would be there, thanks to Orlando restaurants clamoring for the right to accommodate dogs. "We've got designer restaurants and designer dogs, and (people) would like to have a designer cup of coffee with their designer dog," said Kathy Russell, Orlando's director of government relations.

Lottery's Lady Luck smiles on Hernando

Hernando County seems to have all the luck. Three Hernando folks have won big bucks in the Florida Lottery in the past two months. Cheryl Bloom, 58, of Spring Hill won the $1-million "Cash for the Holidays" New Year's Eve drawing. Harry J. Fish, 74, of Spring Hill won the $900,000 Mega Money jackpot in late January. And Wednesday, the Lottery announced that a ticket bought in Spring Hill will split a $2-million Mega Ball jackpot. (The winner was not identified). "The county's just been really lucky," lottery spokesman Alfred Bea said. "A lot of people are going to start moving into your county."

Crist, Davis lead poll in contest for governor

For those of you paying attention to the governor's race, a new poll shows Attorney General Charlie Crist with a 9-point lead over Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher in the Republican race and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa with a lead of more than 2 to 1 over state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua among Democratic voters. Both Democrats trailed Crist in comparisons conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

TIA passenger counts set another record

And the people keep coming. Despite the expectations of Tampa International Airport officials that more than two years of record-setting passenger counts would stop this year, January set another one. Passengers for the month totalled nearly 775,000, more than 21,000 higher than January a year ago. That's a 2.8 percent increase over January 2005. "Well, at least we're out of double-digit growth," said Louis Miller, the airport's executive director, who hopes the growth slows along with the need for a new terminal complex.

CORRECTION

A fatal shooting Monday night in the Town 'N County area was preceded by an argument at a weekend carnival at Webb Middle School. The carnival was not a school function. Because of incorrect information from the carnival organizer, a story Wednesday was wrong on that point.

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