Dateline Florida

Published March 23, 2007

Before you let your monkeys loose, read this

No longer all wrapped up in your pet python? Don't turn it loose in the wild - you can turn it in at the state's second Non-native Pet Amnesty Day on Saturday in Clearwater. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Crest Lake Park, anyone with an exotic pet can turn it in to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which will place it in a new home. State officials hope this amnesty day goes better than its first one, held in Orlando in the spring. It drew six people. Part of the problem, explained the wildlife commission's Scott Hardin: "Unbeknownst to us, there was a large reptile expo going on virtually next door."

This voting thing might be worth it

Not to be outdone by City Council candidate Joe Redner's offer of free admission to his Mons Venus strip club to anyone with an "I Voted" sticker, District 7 candidate Joseph Caetano is making his own offer to sticker wearers: a free coffee or ice cream at his Java Joes, 16039 Tampa Palms Blvd. The freebies don't stop there. Redner also offers a free week at his South Tampa health club, Xtreme Total Health and Fitness. Caetano faces Frank Margarella in the runoff March 27. Redner faces incumbent Gwen Miller.

Your good deed today: Give blood

The blood supply is at dangerously low levels in the Tampa Bay area, Florida Blood Services warns. Officials there say patient blood use continues to outpace donations. Blood types O positive and B negative are particularly needed. To donate, call 1-800-68-BLOOD (25663) or click on www.fbsblood.org.

RV mogul opens wallet for school

Lazydays RV Center founder Don Wallace and his wife, Erika, parents of two Gorrie Elementary students, have paid off the school's multipurpose building with a $1.4-million donation to Gorrie's foundation, said Christina Boe, a foundation board member. An initial $500,000 from the Wallaces kickstarted fundraising for the nearly 10,000-square-foot, $2.1-million Gorrie Coliseum. Parents, teachers and students raised money as well. That's not all the Wallaces stirred up at the Gorrie Gala auction. They also bid $7,100 to have the first spot in the after-school pickup line.

This illegal alien can stay (and sit)

Dockworkers at Port Everglades found a stowaway last week in a shipping container from Venezuela, but immigration services won't be getting involved. The stowaway, a 3-month-old dog, apparently survived a six-day trip from Maracaibo, Venezuela. "We opened the container and the dog started running out," dock supervisor Rene Pedraza told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Just started looking for food and water."


An incorrect photo appears with a story featuring Plant High senior Zack Midulla today in some regional sections that were printed in advance. Midulla is pictured here.


To Adam with love

Adam Sandler has a new movie out, but what's his best movie so far? See a top 10 list for fans at blogs.tampabay.com/80s.