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Maybe you caught the episode of Dirty Jobs featuring two men who dive for golf balls and sell them on the internet in quantities large enough to earn them six figures. Jerry Gunderson must have seen the show too. He went diving for balls at the Deer Creek Country Club in Deerfield Beach. And died. He was 75.

You've almost certainly heard of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Florida's version of Joe Arpaio (you know, the Arizona sheriff who piles up publicity at the expense of his perps and civil right). "I could write the inside story on criminals who hide under the cover of free speech," Judd once said proudly about his crusade on porn, however legal the nakediditty of the pictures. But Judd this week isn't getting the publicity he relishes. The Ledger reports on a video showing eight or nine of his cops "playing a Nintendo Wii bowling game while serving a search warrant in March," and celebrating their strikes like juveniles at a bowling alley. To Judd, "This is not a major breach of discipline." He calls it only a "major breach of embarrassment," because cops should by all means help themselves to video games when they're supposed to be searching for evidence.

The Washington-based Corporation for Enterprise Development just released its 2009 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, which looks at wealth, poverty and the financial security of families in the United States. There were a few A's, especially in new England and the Midwest. But Florida scored a C, having the second-to-worst proportion of residents without health insurance and one of the poorest education-spending records in the country. On the other hand it has the third-highest rate of small-business ownership, the seventh-highest for women owneing businesses and the fourth highest for minorities. You can read the full state profile here.

Florida Power & Light is asking the Public Service Commission to approve a 30 percent rate hike, which would work out to an increase of between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion for its customers. The company, taking a page out of Detroit's automakers' travel habits, has been jetting to Tallahassee on its corporate aircraft to lobby for the increase, which would be partly used to build an expansion to FPL's nuclear power capacity, none of which would benefit customers for at least a decade. If that's not enough to worry customers, here's more: A Nuclear Regulatory Commission report released on Tuesday documents the halt of a start-up of one of FPL's nuclear generators at its St. Lucie County plant when a primary safety valve "was leaking past its seat." The generator was shut down temporarily.

 

 

 

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