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In the state's newspapers today, a dead baby is found in a landfill, a first-grader is found to possess cocaine, snow is found in Florida, the dad of the Williams' tennis sisters is found to be slightly loopy (again), and the Republican Party in Tallahassee is found to be gracious (for a day at least).

As if that isn't enough, we have, after the jump: Those Whacky Germans, Ana Menendez' (Clean) Laundry, and A Bit on Altman

The Story of the Day (ah, remember that ol' feature at the Pulp?) comes from Dwayne Robinson in the Palm Beach Post. It's about a German national named Uwe Gerhard Lorenz who has been running around pretending to be an FBI agent. Key graph:


-- "It turns out, however, that Lorenz, 45, was a skinny-dipping, nanny-canoodling, police-impersonating German import who authorities believe shook down local motorists for cash and brandished his police persona like a 100-pound billy club."

Those are the kinds of sentences that make being a reporter in South Florida worthwhile -- and they could only come from this place.

-- Ana Menendez has a whimsical little column for the Thanksgiving holiday in today's Herald. Key passage:

My apartment doesn't have a washer-dryer, a minor inconvenience that it would be unseemly to complain about. So I'm not. But the communal machines are downstairs and on the alley, and, often out of laziness, I'll leave a load in the dryer overnight.

Several times over the past year, I've gone down to retrieve my clothes in the morning only to find that someone already has taken them out and folded them.

This is no small thing. In a city where someone will swipe the 14-year-old rims off your car, a stranger is going through the trouble of folding my towels and T-shirts into neat piles, something I rarely bother to do.

Who is this person? By what divine optimism is she or he moved to bring order to a stranger's life?

Yeah, you gotta hope it's a she. Because if it's a he, the guy might be doing more than folding some of the lighter garments ... nobody saw Uwe Gerhard Lorenz around there, did they?

-- And, lastly, Palm Beach Post writer Scott Eyman has a fine elegy to the great director Robert Altman in today's newspaper. He singles out 1974's California Split, about a couple of gamblers played by Elliot Gould and George Segal, as the best Altman film most people haven't seen. I hate to admit I'm one of those people, since I consider myself a pretty good Altman fan. My favorite Altman films: McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Player (Nashville, which most people would say is his finest achievement, is a close third; I dig Short Cuts in a huge way, too; M*A*S*H is entertaining, but never really got under my skin the way those others did). One thing is for sure: I'll be including Altman's work in my thanks over the turkey tomorrow.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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