On this Wednesday, a national story dominates the local headlines:
- Sen. Ted Kennedy died late last night at age 77.
- The Broward School District made a huge cut to its construction budget, reports Akilah Johnson in the Sun-Sentinel, reducing it from about $3 billion to $1.3 billion. Readers of Pulp learned this was coming more than a month ago and how it's part of a grueling hangover that comes after the district spent like a drunken (but politically motivated) sailor during the housing boom. In Bob Norman's most recent post, superintendent Jim Notter says he doesn't have a "crystal ball." August, and he's already dropping hints to the family about holiday presents! If there's no crystal ball, a magic 8-ball will at least give us a chance at improving the district next year.
- Despite signs that Charlie Crist was getting cozy with FPL, the Sun-Sentinel's Megan Matz reports that the governor forcefully stated his opposition to the public utility's proposed rate hike.
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- A chilling day of testimony in the Dunbar Village rape case, as the defendant who was 14 on the night of the crime takes the stand. Susan Spencer-Wendel reports in the Palm Beach Post that Avion Lawson showed no sign of remorse and by way of explanation said only, "I wasn't in my right state of mind." WPBF's Jim Abath has video of the testimony.
- Oh hell, it isn't local, but everybody at the water cooler's going to be talking about the latest video from the story in Brevard County about the 15-year-old whose mother allegedly caught her working as a stripper. Yesterday a couple of TV news crews made the mistake of bringing cameras to the front porch, and grandma came out swinging a hoe. Not that TV media have been alone in this creepy bit of news exploitation. How long was the headline "teenage stripper" on the Sun-Sentinel's front page? It seemed like at least 48 hours, an uncommonly long time for an article that has no local angle but that is liable to land a great many Google hits.