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EGGS HOLD PROMISEFOR WHOOPING CRANES

HOMOSASSA SPRINGS

Officials at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park may just have the first two viable eggs of endangered whooping cranes ever produced by captive whooping cranes in Florida.

While the eggs look promising, there is no proof they are viable but officials hope that in about three weeks they will be chicks.

Billy Brooks, a recovery biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said if the eggs are fertile, they are likely bound for one of the whooping crane reintroduction or research programs in Maryland.

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Brooksville

Deputy quits amidjail suicide inquiry

A Hernando County detention deputy has resigned in connection with the suicide of inmate Charles Michael DeHart.

DeHart hanged himself in his cell last year.

An internal affairs investigation concluded that Deputy Stephen Sirmones had not checked on DeHart in the hour and 45 minutes before the suicide.

The sheriff's unit had not identified DeHart as a suicide risk, but because of a recent outburst had put him in a special unit that requires checks at 15-minute intervals.

Sirmones resigned before the investigation concluded.

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