Everyone (Not Just Capt. Nowak) Has a Dark Side

Astronaut Love has, as they say, sucked all the oxygen out of the news cycles in the F State. If you're behind the curve, the go-to sites are WFTV and the Orlando Sentinel (which also has links to charging documents), and an odd website has out-of-the-way biographical stuff on Colleen Shipman. But remember this important lesson: Everyone . . . everyone has a dark side. (Some have several, of course.) Some of us (through luck or skill) are more successful at containing our side(s). (Of course, NASA might try spending more than the current four hours [of the prospective-astronaut sessions] in psych-evaluation to help discover those sides.) [WFTV (Orlando)] [Orlando Sentinel] [Oddculture.com, via Fark.com]

High Flyer Without a Clue
The blissfully optimistic Enrique Fernandez, 36, is in lockup in Marco Island after a preposterous check-kiting scheme in which he "bought" homes for $5M and $8M, and a fast yacht at $322k, by writing checks for down payments but with no money in the bank, and without evidence (so far) that he had tried to flip the properties. In other words, he thought . . . no, it couldn't be. Said a police investigator, "He was trying to convince us he was not committing any type of fraud." [Naples Daily News]

Proof That This Is the Land of Opportunity
Once again, a cartoonish F State "psychic" has swindled someone out of lots of money (in Bradenton), but we need to look more closely. The victim wanted magical help with his construction business and so gave her $32,000 cash to bless, which she absconded with. But the broader message to take is a pro-American, pro-F-State testimonial: This is a land in which a person dumb enough to give $32,000 to a hokey stranger has nonetheless (a) created a business, to begin with, and (b) amassed $32,000 with it.  [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

An Orange County judge will decide tomorrow who owns political consultant Doug Guetzloe's 80-some cartons of personal/professional papers: Guetzloe (who let his storage-locker lease expire) or WKMG-TV (which received them as a gift from a man who bought the contents from the storage company for $10)? The station has been under a restraining order this week but nevertheless raked Guetzloe on one issue yesterday that it says was independent of the papers: Guetzloe's statement that he spent only his own money trying to defeat a Daytona Beach city commissioner in 2003 (when, actually, most of the money apparently came from strip-club owners, though Guetzloe wouldn't want that to get out because he has too many, y'know, faith-based clients). [WKMG-TV (Orlando)]

Your Daily Loser
The very tacky Catherine Lafreniere, 40, accused by Melbourne police of embezzlement, was formerly treasurer of the Lady Bulldogs Basketball Boosters, during which she allegedly ripped off those hard-working kids for $3,000 by writing checks to herself. [Florida Today]

More Things To Worry About Today
Finally, the Manatee County Library system decides that it's a library, not a public bathing spa [Sarasota Herald-Tribune] . . . . . An awesome (as in awesome-awful) series of photos of the aftermath of the Groundhog Day Tornado [UltimateChase.com] . . . . . Well, one hopes so: "Anti-Murder Bill May Easily Become Law" [Gainesville Sun] (Actually it refers to the proposal to summarily re-imprison violent felons for virtually any tiny, tiny violation of their probation) . . . . . Daytona Beach judge Steven deLaroche, 43, resigned, the victim (said accusers) of too many fixed traffic tickets [Daytona Beach News-Journal] . . . . . And I give you your Citizen of the Year, as selected by the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club . . K.Hay! (our beloved former secretary of state, Congresswoman, and Senate candidate) [Sarasota Herald-Tribune].

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