Woman leaves baby safely at fire station

Published May 15, 2007

TAMPA - An unidentified woman brought a newborn baby to the 1404 E 131st Ave. Hillsborough Fire Rescue station late Sunday night.

Paramedic Stan Hyatt brought the male baby to University Community Hospital's emergency room about midnight, he said.

The child appeared to be about 3 days old, healthy and unharmed, said hospital social worker Robert Brooks.

Under Florida's "safe haven" law, anyone can drop an unharmed baby up to 3 days old at any fire station or hospital, anonymously and with no questions asked.

The mother has 30 days to change her mind.

This marks the second baby dropped off in Hillsborough County under the safe haven law since its inception in 2000, and the 71st in Florida, according to adoption-advocacy group A Safe Haven for Newborns.


Boat builder finishes 1, 400-mile voyage

HUDSON - Hudson boat builder Ralph Brown finished the last leg of his 1, 400-mile oceanic trip on Friday, pulling into New York Harbor in his 21-foot flats boat.

Brown, owner of Dream Boats, took the trip from North Carolina to Bermuda to New York to prove that the shallow-water fishing boats he builds are also seaworthy.

He reported no problems with the boat handling 6-foot waves.


Pasco County changes 911 dispatch training

NEW PORT RICHEY - Prompted by an incident in which 911 dispatchers failed to help as a woman choked to death, Pasco County has changed its policy to require dispatchers to get emergency medical training before taking calls solo.

Since 1994, Pasco dispatchers were allowed to work up to a year before getting certified in emergency medical dispatch. If they answered a call requiring medical instructions, they were supposed to get a trained supervisor on the line.

Under the new policy, new hires will get emergency medical dispatch training as part of their orientation.

A trained dispatcher will be on the line with them until their training is complete.


9 candidates qualify for House 43 election

INVERNESS - Nine candidates will vie to replace state Rep. Charles Dean in a special election set for early next month.

Qualifying for the special election ended at noon Monday, revealing a diverse field of candidates - two Democrats, five Republicans, one nonaffiliated and one write-in - to fill the seat representing Citrus County and parts of Hernando and Levy counties.

Last month, Dean, the longtime Inverness Republican representative resigned his District 43 seat to seek the state Senate District 3 position left open when Gov. Charlie Crist recently appointed Nancy Argenziano to the state's Public Service Commission.


Mosque wins approval for expansion plans

BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County's lone mosque received approval Monday for a significant expansion.

The Barclay Avenue mosque plans to expand to more than seven times its current size, including 3, 790 square feet of assembly space for prayer.

Neighbors complained Monday about noise and traffic.

Dr. Husam Shuayb, a spokesman for the mosque, assured the board that the first daily prayers begin about 6 a.m., and that the last prayers of the day by 10:30 p.m. at the latest.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Anna-Liisa Covell noted that the commission did not restrict the hours at churches, and could not do so in this case.