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Inverness fisherman drowns in Lake Hernando

INVERNESS - A lone angler apparently fell overboard and drowned Saturday morning in Lake Hernando on the east side of Citrus County.

Richard "Dick" Richie, 70, of Inverness was found floating approximately 250 yards east of the public boat ramp at Hernando Beach.

An experienced angler, Richie had recently joined the Floral City Anglers and arrived at the lake around 7 a.m. Saturday to take part in the group's 2nd Annual Bass and Speck "Funament," according to the sheriff's office.

Later in the morning, witnesses saw a boat adrift and body floating in the lake a short distance from the boat ramp.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the accident.

Castor hailed during gay pride event

TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor stood onstage at Saturday's Winter Pride festival and was greeted as a hero.

"I will stand by you and lead the fight for equal rights for all," she said, addressing a crowd of several hundred gay man and lesbians who had gathered at Lowry Park.

The audience leapt to its collective feet, clapping and cheering.

In the spring, Castor was the lone dissenting vote when the County Commission passed a measure forbidding county government from recognizing gay-pride displays or events. Since then, the gay community has embraced her.

Castor has returned the sentiment, often sniping her colleagues on the commission. She is leaving the county board, and running for Congress in the 11th Congressional District, which covers most of Tampa and a portion of south St. Petersburg.

"Their actions last year in trying to ban gay pride, if you look around you, you can see they had absolutely no effect at all," she said on Saturday.