Around the Region

Published: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 12:15 a.m.

Larger classes, hiring freeze ahead for USF

* The University of South Florida faces some serious belt tightening ahead - about $52 million in the next two years.

It will mean larger classes, a hiring freeze and possible layoffs, though specifics are still to be worked out, said USF Provost Ralph Wilcox.

The cuts are coming out of Tallahassee, since money for the state's colleges and universities are tied to tax revenue, USF President Judy Genshaft announced Thursday. With revenues down, that means less money for schools and the need to cut USF's budget by 15 percent.

-The (Lakeland) Ledger

Police call off search after finding body

* NORTH PORT - Authorities in North Port called off the search for a 21-year-old woman Saturday after a body was found buried in a wooded area.

The body, a female, has not yet been identified.

Denise Amber Lee was taken from her home on Thursday. Her husband came home to find their two young children alone.

Authorities later arrested Michael Lee King on kidnapping charges. The 37-year-old is being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail. Police have not found a connection between him and Lee.

Nearly 300 officers and volunteers had been looking for Lee,a Charlotte County sheriff's lieutenant's daughter.

A news conference with police and Lee's family was scheduled for Sunday.

- The Associated Press

Bank group suggests customer dress code

* SARASOTA - Responding to a more than one-third hike in bank robbery, the Florida Bankers Association is urging its members to adopt new rules.

Not additional guards or cameras, but a dress code for customers.

The group rolled out a "No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses" program, which includes lobby signs asking customers to remove those items before approaching a teller.

Those who refuse would be directed to an area with more security or a more experienced teller.

"Bankers aren't just going to hope robbers won't come," FBA president Alex Sanchez said. "The 'No Hats' program is one more layer of protection for banks, employees and bank customers."

The dress code is optional, and some banks say they have no plans to adopt it.

- The Associated Press

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