Final Chapter in a Stunning Obsession?

St. Pete Beach parking officer Michael Mehill, 60, retired this week. There
will be no festive farewell party. A resident named Julie Gable filed her
first complaint against Mehill in 1999, that he seemed to be everywhere she
was, watching her, and she got her first restraining order, keeping him out
of her 'hood. At the police station, a notebook fell out of Mehill's duffel
bag with a detailed log of Gable's comings and goings, what she wore, who
visited her. Eventually, it came out in court that Mehill had been tracking
her for 15 yrs. He was told he needed to stop. He said he didn't think he
could, that seeing her was "magical." Another restraining order followed,
and a lawsuit against the city. Mehill continued to find ways to write his
tickets in her neighborhood. Last week, Pinellas-Pasco judge Philip Federico
banned Mehill not only from Gable's neighborhood but from the entire town.
(Mehill lives across the waterway in St. Petersburg.) Mehill's bosses, who
should have fired him five yrs ago, finally told him that they didn't think
he would be of much use anymore, seein' as how it is now illegal for him to
report to work. They should have added, "Dude, we tried to keep the dream
alive for ya as long as we could." [Tampa Tribune]

Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Mayor James Sowell of Pierson was obviously uncomfortable at one power
granted his office in 1926. An ordinance bars anyone from firing a gun in
the city limits except with "written authorization" from the mayor. Sowell
told a representative of the local gun club that they had too many members
for him to keep track of, so he told 'em, in public, "If you want to go
shoot a gun, don't tell nobody." [Daytona Beach News-Journal]

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam and the "White Rednecks"
The Washington, D.C., beltway scooper The Hotline says its source
said Republican Putnam (whose district is Polk County/little bit o'
Hillsborough) lamented the GOP's inability to get "the independent vote, the
women vote, the suburban vote," and added, "Heck, even the white rednecks
who go to church on Sunday didn't come out to vote for us." (Putnam's chief
of staff said Putnam didn't say "white.") [The Hotline]

Vise Tightens on Dept. of Children and Families
Yet another Florida judge (Pinellas-Pasco's Crockett Farnell) is holding the
Dept. of Children and Families secretary in contempt for ignoring his order
to remove mentally ill prisoners from jail to an appropriate facility.
According to a St. Petersburg Times editorial today, there are still more
than 300 mentally ill prisoners in jails. [St. Petersburg Times] [The F
State, 11-16-2006]

More Things To Worry About Today
Contractors working to enclose the balconies at Miami-Dade's Cherry Grove
Village apartment complex apparently failed to consider that it might rain
before they finished the job (thus, waterlogging 200 units) [Miami Herald] .
. . . . A first for the F State and for America: A speeder (103 mph on I-95)
has been charged with child abuse just because his kid was in the car [Palm
Beach Post
] . . . . . Imagine the shock when a guy with a machete walks in
to rob the Little Saints convenience store in Stuart, and the clerk pulls
out his own machete [] . . . . . Investigators of a big
fireball crash on I-75 near Tampa on Wednesday (1 dead, 2 injured) think the
cause was the guy under contract to cut grass on the median, whose mower was
zipping along at 25 mph in the fast lane around 9 p.m., i.e., dark (but he
said he often mows at night and there is no rule against it) [Tampa Tribune]
. . . . . Elementary school teacher Lucy Baldwin, 45, of St. Cloud at least
has some muscles on her (if not good judgment): She's in trouble for
wrestling a recalcitrant autistic kid into submission, on the floor, in her
classroom [Orlando Sentinel] . . . . . How'd you like to live 85 yrs, proud
of having raised a successful businessman and U.S. Congressman, and then
find out in the last stages of your terminal cancer that your kid had to
resign in disgrace for hitting on young Congressional pages? (Ed Foley died
on Tuesday.) [Associated Press via Bradenton Herald].

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