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Florida urologist warns away Obama supporters

MOUNT DORA — A Florida urologist is so upset with the new health care bill he posted a sign at his practice warning President Barack Obama’s supporters to find another doctor.

The notice on Dr. Jack Cassell’s Mount Dora office says: “If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere.”

Cassell says he’s not turning away patients, because that would be unethical. But the 56-year-old says it’s OK with him if any Obama supporters chose not to see him after reading the sign.

The urologist also keeps Republican materials in the waiting room.

Experts say Cassell is toeing a thin line between right and wrong. Doctors can’t legally discriminate on the basis of a patient’s race, gender or religion, but laws don’t explicitly protect political opinions.

Authorities release 911 call in fatal Disney bus crash

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The recording of a 911 call made moments after a 9-year-old boy was killed in a collision with a Walt Disney World bus has been released.

During the nine-minute recording, an unidentified woman tells the dispatcher there is nothing that could be done to help save the child. He was declared dead at the scene.

The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the boy as Chase Brubaker of St. Petersburg. Authorities say his bicycle veered off the sidewalk and struck the side of a passenger bus.

Investigators say he was then pulled under the right rear tire.

Brubaker’s family has contested that account, telling the St. Petersburg Times and The Tampa Tribune that an 11-year-old friend riding nearby said the boy’s bike never left the sidewalk.

Authorities: Corrections officer dead in DUI crash

ORLANDO — A state corrections officer is dead after authorities say he was struck by a drunken driver while riding his motorcycle home from work.

The Florida Highway Patrol says 38-year-old Jason Clay Russo was on his 2003 Honda motorcycle Friday morning when a 1996 Lexus crossed into his path and collided with the motorcycle.

Sgt. Kim Montes says Russo worked at the Central Florida Reception Center and was still in his uniform when he was thrown from the motorcycle and killed.

The driver of the Honda, 28-year-old Okevin Moradian has been charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and refusal to submit to a DUI test. He is being held on $10,250 bond.

Lake Okeechobee water levels higher than normal

PAHOKEE — Officials say water levels in Lake Okeechobee are above normal because of an unusually rainy dry season.

Lake levels sat at about 14.6 feet above sea level this week, about 2.5 feet higher than this time last year and more than 4 feet higher than in 2008.

The higher levels have raised concerns about the lake’s aging Herbert Hoover Dike, in the midst of a decades-long effort to strengthen its earthen walls.

Since Jan. 1, the Army Corps of Engineers has dumped 22 billion gallons out to sea to lower water levels. The corps tries to keep levels below 15.5 feet. It serves as backup water supply for South Florida residents and irrigation for area farmers, but water must be released when it gets too high, in part, to relieve pressure on the dike.

Sink says FDLE probe of state GOP improper

TALLAHASSEE — Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink says Attorney General Bill McCollum shouldn’t have had the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigate the Florida Republican Party.

Sink suggested Friday that state or federal prosecutors investigate instead of an agency that McCollum, a GOP leader, helps run as a Florida Cabinet member.

Gov. Charlie Crist agreed federal prosecutors should investigate due to potential income tax implications. A McCollum spokeswoman said FDLE at this time is the “appropriate authority” but McCollum doesn’t object to others also investigating. The investigation focuses on allegations a former party chairman steered money to his consulting firm.

Sink, a Democrat, and McCollum are running for governor.

Chef has 9 reasons his octopus tastes better

TARPON SPRINGS — Nineopus. Novopus. Freak of nature.

Whatever you want to call it, the nine-legged octopus probably had a leg up on all the other creatures in the Gulf of Mexico — until it was caught and found its way to Hellas Bakery and Restaurant.

Head Chef Emmanuel Psomas says he was steaming the octopus Thursday when he discovered that it seemed, well, leggier than normal. Psomas says he’s cooked octopus for 40 years and has never seen one with an extra leg.

He says he counted the legs three times in disbelief.

“I’m like, this can’t be,” Psomas said. “I’ve seen a lot of octopus.”

He’s keeping the octopus in his refrigerator for now, but he plans to enjoy it soon with a bit of vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs.

While unusual, marine experts say the extra leg on the octopus is likely due to genetic mutation.

— Herald wire services

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