News and notes

Published August 16, 2006

Ejected shirts might fit museum of news

We know what happened to the "Support the Troops" T-shirt that got Beverly Young, above, kicked out of the State of the Union address. And now we know the fate of the other T-shirt ousted from the event in January. Cindy Sheehan's politically charged shirt, which reads, "2,245 dead. How many more?" is in her closet, she wrote in response to an e-mail inquiry by the St. Petersburg Times. Sheehan, a vocal opponent of the Iraq war and frequent critic of President Bush's, was led from the gallery 15 minutes before the president's speech after she unzipped her jacket to reveal the garment. Sheehan says the Newseum in Washington, D.C., which will get the T-shirt worn by Young, wife of Rep C.W. Bill Young, also asked to display hers, but Sheehan has not responded.

It may take a miracle to convert saltwater

Another snag is delaying Tampa Bay Water's desalination plant. It was supposed to go into operation three years ago, taking salty water from the bay and producing 25-million gallons of drinking water a day. But the Apollo Beach plant failed to work properly, so the utility shut it down, paid off the contractor and hired someone else to fix it. The fix was supposed to be done by October, but now American Water-Pridesa is telling the utility that the job won't be finished by then. The company blamed late delivery of pump drives and other technical woes. So it expects to have the plant running again a few days before Christmas. The utility staff has asked the contractor what it would take to finish the plant by the original deadline, but so far no one has produced any blueprints for a time machine.

Rain gauges get a fillup after dry spell

Normally one of the rainiest months, August was off to a slow start this year, with most areas reporting little more than a trace halfway through the month. That changed late Monday and early Tuesday as thundershowers pounded many spots. One area of Apollo Beach reported 6 inches. Look for more of the same. Forecasters predict about a 50 percent chance of rain through the week.

The scent of a woman on her way to jail

Maybe Brenda Hammonds was tired of sweating. St. Pete Beach police say she shoplifted 49 containers of deodorant from a Publix store Monday and ran. Police arrested Hammonds, 48, soon after on a charge of retail theft.