Dateline Florida

By Times Wires
Published January 24, 2008

Brighter days ahead for our sodden region

The Tampa Bay area has been pretty soggy this week, but the weather should brighten by the weekend. The National Weather Service says 1.63 inches of rain fell at St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport during the 24 hours that ended at 7 a.m. Wednesday, and 0.77 inches during the same period at Tampa International Airport. During that period, as much as 6 inches of rain fell in Zephyrhills in Pasco County, where parts of the downtown flooded. Bay News 9 reports that about 5 inches of rain fell on Wesley Chapel and Land O'Lakes, as well as spots in northwest Hillsborough County. The chance of rain for much of the bay area drops to 20 percent today, with sunny weather also predicted for Friday and Saturday, when highs should be back in the mid 70s.

Heaven only knows if this will sell

The minimum bid to buy a 7-foot-square slab of granite that some say shows Jesus on the cross: $4,999.99. The auction opened Tuesday night and concludes at 3:25 p.m. Feb. 1. So far, it's drawn lurkers but no actual bidders. The slab is being offered on eBay by a Pinellas County granite distributor. More than 75 people viewed the item in the first hour, said Tom Finkbiner, owner of the iSoldit on eBay store in St. Petersburg, which is handling the sale. All bidders must qualify before a bid is posted.

Activists organize to fight Rays' stadium plan

A group of community activists opposing the Tampa Bay Rays' plans to build a new baseball stadium at Al Lang Field are organizing under the name Preserve Our Wallets and Our Waterfront, one of their leaders announced during a WMNF radio interview on Wednesday. Lorraine Margeson said the group will fight any plan to use tax dollars to build a new stadium for the Rays. (The Rays' plan calls for using tax dollars from the redevelopment of Tropicana Field, but not tax dollars currently being used by the city). "We don't need this blob on the waterfront," Margeson said.


Sherman Dorn is an education professor at the University of South Florida. A story Wednesday incorrectly stated his subject discipline.