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© St. Petersburg Times, published May 6, 2001

Friends of library celebrate first year

Friends of the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library celebrated their first anniversary last week and chose the occasion to honor County Commissioner Jim Norman for helping the group make progress in bringing a library to the area.

Friends president Maureen Gauzza presented Norman with a "No. 1 Best Friends" plaque.

"You're a dynamo group, an action sort of group that's making things happen," Norman said.

The county has committed to building a library in the community if organizers can find a suitable site.

Also at the meeting was Westchase author J.D. Wetterling, whose novel Son of Thunder is based on his experiences as an F-100 fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. Wetterling flew 268 combat missions and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Air Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He was top gun in every fighter squadron in which he served.

Free car seat inspection offered

Car seats save lives, but it is important that they be installed properly.

Tampa Police and State Farm Insurance will make representatives available to perform free inspections from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12 at Hunter's Green Elementary School.

The free program is part of TPD Buckles Kids Up and State Farm Child Safety Day. "Any seat is great, as long as it is installed correctly," said Maryanne Hunsberger, a community service officer with Tampa Police.

Having a child safety seat installed by a trained professional can lower the chances of injury in a crash by as much as 74 percent, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies.

Representatives will be available to check that seats have not been recalled by manufacturers. They also will offer free child identification cards with photographs and fingerprints.

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