Dateline Florida

Published May 8, 2007

Planned Parenthood offers free Plan B emergency pills

Tampa Bay Planned Parenthood chapters are offering free emergency contraception today from noon to 6 p.m. One per customer, please. "We want this to be something every woman of childbearing age has in her medicine cabinet, " said Wendy Grassi, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. Known as the morning-after pill and sold as Plan B, the drug prevents pregnancy if used within 120 hours. Pharmacies dispense it over the counter to those 18 and older or with a prescription for those younger than 18. "Prevention is the key to reducing the number of abortions in Florida, and every woman deserves every chance to prevent an unintended pregnancy, " said Barbara Zdravecky of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

Pot-smoking judge apologizes

A judge who briefly heard arguments in cases involving Anna Nicole Smith's death apologized Monday and agreed to undergo drug testing for six months on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Judge Lawrence Korda, 49, who police say was seen smoking marijuana under a tree in a public park, faced Judge Nelson Bailey and read a public apology. Korda must complete 25 hours of community service and a drug and alcohol course. He said he knows he may face additional sanctions from the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which regulates judges, the Miami Herald reports.

Wildfires scorching 7, 000 acres

The state is parched and winds are gusty, making for wicked wildfire conditions. State officials Monday monitored a large fire on the east coast and wildfires in Lake County and the Panhandle that forced evacuations. About 20 homes in Walton County were evacuated Monday morning as a 300-acre fire threatened the area. Causing the most concern: a 6, 100-acre fire about 4 miles west of Ormond Beach on Florida's east coast and a 600-acre fire in Lake County that prompted a mandatory evacuation in the Wekiva River area.

Summer pre-K classes offered

Parents with 4- and 5-year-olds may now enroll in the Hillsborough school district's summer prekindergarten classes. The free program runs from June 11 to July 23 at these elementary schools: Buckhorn, Bryan, Clark, Clair Mel, Egypt Lake, Essrig, Gibsonton, Gorrie, McDonald, Potter, Seffner, Sessums, Shaw, Sheehy, Symmes, Town and Country and Wimauma. For information, call (813) 272-4840 or visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us and click on voluntary prekindergarten.