Dateline Florida

Published March 15, 2007


If you're helping mosquitoes breed in Pinellas County, be ready to open your wallet. Fed up with residents who fail to rid their property of old tires, fouled ponds and other skeeter love nests, Pinellas has passed an ordinance that will subject these stubborn folks to fines. And if the offending standing water harbors mosquito-borne illnesses, the county can put a lien on the offender's property to cover the cost of eradication and cleanup. The fines start at $188 and double for each subsequent offense up to $500.

Portable generators must go out - way out

Remember this for the next hurricane: Merely placing a portable generator outside doesn't make you safe. A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine examined 44 cases in which people suffered nonfatal carbon monoxide poisoning caused by portable generators during Florida's 2004 hurricane season. In 22 of them, generators were outside. David Van Sickle, the study's lead author, recommends placing the generator as far away from your home as possible and buying a carbon monoxide detector for use inside.

Judge to woman: Get used to jail

Natalie Rodriques, 21, got out of jail in January after her first DUI charge. But a judge Wednesday told her to get used to being behind bars now that she faces a second DUI, which police charged her with after they said she hit and killed a pedestrian this week. "This woman will not be getting out of jail for a very long time," Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich said. Rodriques cried but followed Heinrich's advice to remain silent.

Penny makes names

Opponents of tax, which voters passed Tuesday, appear to have had some impact.

Pilgrim the pit bull survives to seek home

Pilgrim, a young pit bullterrier mix found starved nearly to death on Thanksgiving, is finally ready for a new home. He was found chained behind a Tampa house and moved to Pet Pal Rescue in St. Petersburg, where he was nursed back to health. Only homeowners without cats or small children are eligible to adopt him. If interested, call (727) 328-7738.