Dateline Florida

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 26, 2007

12 days of work, a lifetime of neon memories

Are you one of those people who delight in the sights and sounds of the midway? Who never met a funnel cake you didn't like? Who's a sucker for trying your hand at that balloon dart game just one more time? Then this could be your dream job: Florida State Fair officials are hiring now for the Feb. 7-18 fair. They need people to take tickets, help with guest relations, drive the trolley and more. Apply at the fair's employment office, outside the Orient Road security gate off Orient Road at the fairgrounds. For more information, call (813) 621-7821.

With famous name like his, no thanks

A new Web site called Myfamousname.com is hoping to attract the Saddam Husseins, Lizzie Bordens and Charles Mansons of the world for a chance to make big bucks. Craig Dixon, who launched the Web site in June, says members with famous names can go there to post their stories, meet other celeb namesakes, and possibly get picked to endorse products. Not every candidate is thrilled. "No thanks," says Fidel Castro, a 49-year-old Cape Coral water irrigation technician and not the ailing communist leader. He was once a political prisoner in Cuba and says his wasn't a good name to have.

Time to update the graying plates

Florida manatees are getting a makeover. The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unveiled a new design for the "Save the Manatees" specialty license plate. Proceeds from the new plate, designed by Margaritaville Merchandising senior artist Nancy Blauers, will continue to fund manatee research and conservation programs. In fiscal 2006-07, sales of the plate statewide brought in more than $1.3-million. To purchase the new manatee plate, visit your local tax collector's office or log on to www.buyaplate.com. They cost $20 above your vehicle registration fee. "With the sales from this plate, we hope to generate revenues that will sustain valuable manatee research and conservation for years to come," said wildlife commission regional director Greg Holder.