Here's your mainstream media highlights to read and discuss.
A- Palm Beach Post: Hello? Is stupid there?
FORT PIERCE — Police arrested five people in connection to an early Sunday morning armed robbery of a waterfront restaurant.
At around 1:20 a.m., police were called to Mangrove Mattie's at 1640 Seaway Drive, where a restaurant manager and dishwasher reported they had been confronted by robbers wearing masks and demanding money from a safe, according to a police news release.
The manager was hit in the head with a gun and a frying pan, the release states, and one of the robbers grabbed the manager's cell phone before fleeing. Soon after, police stopped a suspicious vehicle driving over the Seaway bridge toward the mainland, the release shows. When officers called the manager's cell phone, the phone rang inside the vehicle, police said.
B- Herald: Downtown Wal-Mart is controversial.
''Horrors!!'' resident Sharon Dodge recently wrote to City Hall.
Another resident chimed in: ``There goes the neighborhood!''
And this, from a City Commission aide: ``Visualize a Wal-Mart customer in his pick-up truck, and family of four, driving past tuxedo-clad PAC center guests arriving simultaneously.''
C- Herald: Carol Brady ate at Pasha's on Saturday night!
Florence Henderson dined al fresco Saturday evening at Pasha's on Lincoln Road with a tall, attractive, 60-ish man. (They later were spied holding hands). ''A special friend,'' is how she describes Dr. Jesse Rogers, ''a wonderful chiropractor in Fort Lauderdale,'' Henderson says, according to pal Jean Ann Ryan, who directed the entertainer four years ago in Florida Follies.
The TV icon -- who will forever be known as Carol Brady -- was just as personable and smiley as she seemed on The Brady Bunch. She said she had just returned from performing in Russia.
D- Herald: He can be roommates with Posada!
Several Cuban exile organizations have launched a campaign to persuade President Bush to pardon convicted Cuban exile militant Eduardo Arocena, reputed mastermind of Omega 7, whose group was blamed for numerous bombings in Miami and New York.
Arocena, now 65, was sentenced to life plus 35 years in prison for gunning down a Cuban diplomat and for several bombings in the New York City area. Also, a federal jury in Miami convicted Arocena of planting nine bombs over a four-year period in the Miami area.
E- Herald: This is called "legal immigration" by those who are against "illegal immigration."
It was a run-of-the-mill immigrant-smuggling case -- a boatload of Cubans brought from the island for $10,000 a head -- until the smugglers made a serious goof.
As often happens, the alleged smugglers held onto their passengers until relatives paid their fee. Except that one relative they phoned to demand cash from happens to be a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. He promptly alerted agents at his sister agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to documents filed in Miami federal court.
The officer and an ICE agent then set up a late-night meeting at a drugstore parking lot, swapped the cousin for $10,000 in cash and signaled a waiting ICE SWAT team, which arrested the two alleged smugglers.
Now the pair find themselves indicted not just for alien-smuggling, but also on the rarer and more-serious charge of hostage-taking. The accused smugglers, Niovel Chirino Alvarez, 33, and Lazaro Martinez Padron, 21, face life in prison if convicted.
F- Sun-Sentinel: A famous local bartender in Fort Lauderdale died too young last week.
If you've been to the Southport Raw Bar on Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale, you probably knew the bartender they called "Big Al."
Big Al died of heart failure last week, a sudden and shocking loss at a local institution.
He was 47.
By coincidence, Restaurant Gal also mentions Big Al in her latest post.
G- WPLG: The Palm Restaurant in Coral Gables closes its doors.
H- NBC6: No back-to-school tax-free week this year.