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Lightning shows `impressive' restraint against Boston, coach says. Sports, 1C

In the know

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Monday, May 16, 2011 | 50¢


Another expense we cannot afford

Once an annoyance, traffic tickets are now a hardship for many.

Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine, above, making his second start in place of injured Jeff Niemann, couldn't help the Rays as they fall to the Orioles. Securing first place in the American League East might be a lot tougher for the Rays unless they can patch the hole in the No. 5 spot of their pitching rotation and solidify some long relief in their bullpen. Sports,1C

French politics are upended, and there are concerns about bailouts in Europe.

Times wires

Arrest of IMF chief shocks

Once a major issue in Florida, climate change now concerns few in the state government. Tampa Bay,1B

State not worried about rising tides

Lots of changes on networks this fall

Eric Deggans analyzes the rumors and confirms changes in the fall lineups on the TV networks. Etc, 2B

Backup plan for government's bills

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations. Nation, 2A

Tips on how to avoid bull sharks

May in Florida marks the return of bull sharks, which are the culprits in most fatal encounters with swimmers. Tampa Bay,1B

Chris Robinson, 64, waits for his speeding ticket after being pulled over by police for driving 48 mph in a 35 mph zone on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg. Robinson said the ticket is hard to pay because he lives on Social Security.



Times Staff Writer



Cooler, less humid

8 a.m. Noon 4 p.m. 8 p.m. 10% rain chance. More, 7C


ST. PETERSBURG osemary Smith saw the motorcycle cop's flashing lights behind her, and her eyes immediately started to well up. She was going 17 mph over the speed limit and faced a $256 fine, the officer told her after she pulled into a parking lot off Fourth Street N. As she fought back tears, her life story spilled out. She was a full-time college student, her only income from part-time work as a bank teller. She had a wedding coming up in November.


"I've got house bills to pay," said Smith, 21, visibly shaken as she clutched the wheel of her blue Saturn. "I'm freaking out." Motorists complaining about tickets is nothing new for traffic cops. But officers say they are sensing growing distress. "A day doesn't go by when I don't see someone cry," said Officer Mauricio Steffek. "They can't believe how much the ticket costs. They'll tell me, `Give me a break. I don't have a job now. I'm falling behind the mortgage or car payments.'" Once a minor, if stressful, inconvenience, the everyday traffic citation is becoming a life altering breaking point for many.

And more and more, drivers aren't paying them -- creating a ripple effect in city and county budgets across Tampa Bay. In St. Petersburg, the money collected from traffic tickets has dropped from $681,000 in 2008 to $494,214 in 2010. It's projected to dwindle even further this year -- despite the fact that police handed out 1,500 more tickets last year than they did in 2008. "It's a drastic drop that means we have to find revenue from other places," said Tim Finch, St. Petersburg's director of budget and management. "It makes it tougher on other departments." Pinellas County has seen its ticket rev.


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Bush blazes education trail

Several states are adopting the ex-governor's testing-based reforms.

powerhouse and champion of vouchers and charter schools. His latest recognition: the Bradley Foundation, a conservative group that says it shies away from lauding politicians. Last week, it gave the Republican its Bradley Prize, a distinction that carries a $250,000 stipend. "The reforms that he put in place during his two terms as Florida governor in many ways lead the country in elementary and secondary education," said



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Miami Herald

Vol. 127 No. 296 © Times Publishing Co.

WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush left the governor's office in 2007, but his influence still holds sway in Tallahassee, and now in state capitols from New Jersey to Oregon, where lawmakers are eager to adopt his education reform efforts. Since leaving Tallahassee, the popular former Florida governor has developed a national reputation as an education reform

Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive officer of the Bradley Foundation, which has spent more than $40 million over the past 20 years in support of charter schools and voucher programs -- including as a donor to Bush's education foundation. "He put in place programs that have clearly raised academic standards. It's measurable, demonstrable. We're also really impressed by what he con.

See BUSH, 7A

Jeb Bush's star power makes him the "standard bearer" for education reform, supporters say.

Special to the Times


NEW YORK -- Charges that International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a maid in his hotel room in New York generated shock and revulsion on Sunday in his home country of France and raised questions on efforts to fix Europe's debt crisis. The longtime Socialist Party figure and former French finance minister has been cited in opinion polls as the strongest potential challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy in presidential elec- Dominique tions sched- Strauss-Kahn uled a year has backed from now. But bailouts in that equation Europe. was disrupted, commentators said. At the same time, the IMF, which plays a key role in efforts to control the European debt crisis, named an acting leader, first deputy managing director John Lipsky, and said it remains "fully functioning and operational" despite Saturday's arrest of its managing director. But Strauss-Kahn has been a muscular advocate for aiding Greece, Ireland and Portugal as they have fought to avoid insolvency. A default by a developed European economy would shock the global financial markets and endanger the nascent economic recovery in the United States. He had been due in Germany on Sunday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel about increasing aid to Greece, and then was to join European Union finance ministers in Brussels today and Tuesday. The IMF, which is based in Washington, is responsible for one-third of Greece's loans. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested less than four hours after the alleged assault, plucked from a Paris-bound Air France flight that was about to leave John F. Kennedy International Airport. The well-dressed, thrice-married father of four was alone when he checked into the luxury Sofitel hotel, not far from Manhattan's Times Square, on Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn't clear why he was in New York. The maid, 32, told authorities

See IMF, 4A

Israeli troops kill at least 14 as protesters march from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank.

New York Times

Thousands demonstrate at Israeli borders U.S.-Pakistan relations

Tensions have risen since bin Laden's death.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry warned Sunday that already shaky U.S.-Pakistani relations have reached a critical juncture as calls grow in the United States to cut some of the billions of dollars in aid to Islamabad after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's killing. Kerry, who spoke in Afghanistan before traveling to Pakistan, said sober and serious discussion was needed to resolve the widening rift amid growing suspicion that Pakistan's security forces were complicit in harboring al-Qaida's leader, who was killed May 2 in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs not far from Islamabad.

Associated Press

precarious, Kerry says

JERUSALEM -- Israel's borders erupted in deadly clashes on Sunday as thousands of Palestinians -- marching from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank -- confronted Israeli troops to mark the anniversary of Israel's creation. More than a dozen people were reported killed and scores injured. With an unprecedented wave of coordinated protests, the popular uprisings that have swept the region for the first time touched Israel directly. Like those other protests, plans for this one spread over social media, including Facebook, but there were also signs of official support in Lebanon and Syria, where analysts said leaders were using the Palestinian cause to deflect attention from internal problems. At the Lebanese border, Israeli troops shot at hundreds of Palestinians trying to force their way across. The Lebanese military said 10 protesters



Protesters carry a Palestinian boy after he was injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters who approached the border with Israel during a rally in the southern border village of Maroun al-Ras, Lebanon, on Sunday.

Associated Press


For its part, Pakistan is angry that it was not told about the raid in Abbottabad until after it was completed. That prompted accusations that its sovereignty had been violated. Kerry is chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the most senior U.S. official to travel to Pakistan since the raid occurred. He sounded a positive tone. "I think for the moment we want to be hopeful and optimistic that we can work our way through this, get over this hiccup, and find a positive path forward," he said. But he made clear that patience was running thin in



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