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They Went Off And Did It

I'm off this week, so postings will be sporadic, if at all, but a few quick things while I'm online. First, the Sun-Sentinel quietly made history on Sunday:

The front page had an advertisement on it.

It was an orange-colored two-column AT&T ad -- "fewest dropped calls" -- on the bottom right-hand corner of the newspaper. And it helps to confirm the theory propagated here that the redesign adding a larger "bottom drawer," or junk drawer to put it more aptly, full of chaotic colors and crap was, in part, a ploy to camoflauge the selling out of prominent news space to advertisers.

This also seems to be a part of the infamous "Transformative Change" stratagem, wherein Sun-Sentinel publisher Howard Greenberg et al want to more seamlessly combine news, marketing, and advertising. I call it the "Why Even Try Pretending Anymore?" initiative.

After the jump: Three Good Reads

Check out Rochelle E.B. Gilken and William Cooper Jr.'s story about the grieving midwestern councilman who has shacked up with a drug-addled beach chick. Riviera Beach politico Jim Jackson's wife died last year and now he's getting attacked in his sleep by his love bunny:

But by 5 a.m. Sunday, another argument ensued. Jackson told police he was in bed when she attacked him, cutting his face, arm and back with her nails and ring.

In response, Jackson said he punched her twice and threw her off the bed, causing her to bang her head.

"When I hit her, she fell down and hit her head on the end table. Otherwise, she would've beat me to death," he said.

"What was the fight over? I don't know," Jackson said. "She wanted money for something, and I wouldn't give it to her."

Invariably, he said, that "something" was drugs. He couldn't say what kind. "I don't know, the stuff they smoke in the pipe," he said. "I was trying to break her out of it."

Going back a day, you also have to check out Jamie Malernee's piece on a property-selling pastor who may be fleecing some members of his flock. Rev. Dennis Grant has bought some scrub land in Texas and selling it a a bit of paradise. One Lone Star property appraiser who knows the land, however, says it's more like Iraq. Great stuff all around.

Speaking of Iraq, if you somehow missed it, check out Jon Burstein's story on slots (yes, it was published Sunday over that AT&T ad, but as I told you, I' m not working and so am a bit slower than usual). What do slot machines have to do with a horrific war? Well, truthfully, not much, but like the war, a much-ballyhooed premise has been shattered. Yes, turns out slots aren't going to bring boom times to Broward. But the money is already spent, the politicians already bought, and we're already invested in the damn things, so we're in it for the long haul now.

In for a penny, in for a pound. Prediction: In five years, the place will have Vegas-style table games and Broward will truly become a gambling mecca.

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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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