tampabay.com

Invisible ickies no match for UF reasearchers with microwaves

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 23, 2007


University of Florida researchers have made a finding that hits close to home: Nuking kitchen sponges and plastic scrubbers for two minutes in the microwave can knock out the bacteria and viruses that cause food-borne illnesses. "People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave," said Gabriel Bitton, a UF environmental engineering professor and expert on wastewater microbiology. He and other UF researchers are co-authors of a paper on the research in the December issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.

Another Jeb Bush pick tells Crist: Never mind

Phil Handy joins another Jeb Bush appointee in bowing out of key leadership roles in Florida schools after once saying they planned to stay on under new Gov. Charlie Crist. Education Commissioner John Winn quit Jan. 12. Handy wrote Crist that the governor's decision to withdraw 283 Bush appointments, including his, gave him an opportunity to reflect. "That reflection has led me to decide against standing for renomination," Handy wrote. Handy and Winn were among the chief promoters of such Bush policies as vouchers and school grading based on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Next cool front is still warmer than your fridge

After several days of unseasonably warm weather, a cool front moving through the Tampa Bay area is going to drop temperatures below seasonal averages. The projected highs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are about 66 degrees, nearly 15 degrees below the daytime highs of the last several days. And, yes, that was rain Monday. The next two days could bring a little more.

Dear What's-Your-Name: This letter is important

Pay no attention to that strange name on the envelope: It's just a glitch. The Pinellas school system placed automated calls Monday to the homes of more than 2,600 students who got some confusing mail over the weekend. The letters went to all fifth- and eighth-graders outlining their options when applying for a middle or high school, now through March 24. But the names were incorrect on some of them. The letters went to the right addresses, so the district is advising students to disregard the name. The other information in the letter is correct.

Snapshot of schools

Starting next week, 15,000 students in Florida will take a nationwide test to see how our state stacks up.