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    Tampa Bay briefs

    By Times staff reports
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published June 22, 2002

    Equine encephalitis kills Hillsborough donkey

    Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson announced Friday the first case of eastern equine encephalitis in Hillsborough County. The victim: an Odessa donkey that died June 14.

    Bronson said in a news release that it is crucial all horse and donkey owners have their animals vaccinated against the disease.

    The donkey is the 12th animal this year to contract the disease. In addition, seven horses in the state contracted West Nile virus in 2002.

    Both diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. As rainfall increases, so does the mosquito population, which uses stagnant water as a breeding ground.

    Officials are urging citizens to remove any standing water from around their properties. Authorities also suggest wearing long sleeves and pants when possible to prevent being bitten.

    USF trustees vote to raise tuition

    The University of South Florida board of trustees on Friday agreed to raise tuition for next year, with the biggest increases hitting graduate students and those from out of state.

    The tuition increase is in line with those recently approved at other universities. The Legislature mandated increases for all 11 state universities in Florida, but allowed each college to raise tuition even more.

    Most of USF's 37,500 students will see a 5 percent increase. The university's roughly 10,000 graduate students will see a 10 percent increase and the 5,000 out-of-state students will experience a 20 percent increase.

    In-state students would pay $58.45 a credit hour for undergraduate classes and $147.67 a credit hour for graduate classes. Out-of-state students would pay $361.45 a credit hour for undergraduate classes and $616.88 for graduate classes.

    The tuition increase was approved in a conference call among members of the USF board of trustees. Two board members -- Connie Mack and student body president Michael Griffin -- voted against the increase.

    Airport baggage screener applications being taken

    The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday that it is accepting applications for federal baggage-screening positions at 30 more airports, including Tampa International Airport.

    The announcement, made in Washington by John W. Magaw, undersecretary for security, said the positions pay from $23,600 to $35,400, depending on an individual's experience and the salary structure of the region. The positions carry federal benefits including health insurance, life insurance, retirement, paid vacation and sick leave.

    Federal law mandates screeners for the nation's 429 commercial airports by Nov. 19.

    The screeners would replace those once hired by private security companies for the airlines.

    Candidates must be U.S. citizens and have a high school degree, a GED or equivalent, or one year of security or aviation screening experience.

    Applications are being accepted on line at or by toll-free calls to 1-877-631-5627.

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