Dateline Florida

Published March 31, 2007


Wondering how loud the Grand Prix cars will be as they zoom the Thompson-Stevenson wedding this weekend? Yeah, we were too. The couple is having a reception at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club today, right next to the ninth turn of the LeMans series race. So we took a sound meter down to the front door of the yacht club during practice runs Friday morning. How loud? About 96 decibels. That's roughly 10 decibels louder than your typical wedding/dinner dance band, according to some comparison charts we checked. The typical rock concert gets up to 120 decibels, so, you know, there is that.

State offers a home-grown weight-loss plan

Pants tight? You're not alone. To help Floridians combat those extra pounds, state Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson on Wednesday unveiled a Web site aimed at getting Floridians to eat more fruits and veggies, especially the home-grown variety. The program, named Fruits and Veggies - More Matters, comes with a Web site (www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org) with tips to help families squeeze more produce into their diets.

Fortified homes, wallets

The checks are in the mail. That was the message from Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink on Friday to the first 10 Florida homeowners who will receive grant payments from the My Safe Florida Home program. Sink said the program to fortify homes against hurricanes issued almost $30,000 in grants to homeowners in five counties. More than 4,000 Floridians have applied for matching grants through the $250-million program, for which they can receive up to $5,000 to help with improvements.


- An odor of marijuana came from the car driven by one of three suspects arrested this week in connection with two rapes in Pasco County. A story Friday incorrectly reported what the arresting officer observed.

- The name of MacDill Air Force Base spokesman, Lt. Omar Villarreal, was misspelled in a story Friday.