TROOPERS ON LOOKOUT FOR DRUNKEN DRIVERS
The Florida Highway Patrol isn't kidding about cracking down on drunk and aggressive drivers during the Labor Day weekend. All uniformed personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, will be patrolling interstates and major state roads, and volunteer auxiliary troopers will be helping. The holiday weekend, which starts today, caps off the summer driving season. The agency is asking motorists to dial *FHP (*347) to report problem drivers.
Noisemakers safe, for now
Tampa police get about 80 calls a month regarding noisy car stereos, but they told the City Council Thursday that for now they can't do much about them. That's because of a recent 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling that overturned the state law banning car stereos audible at 25 feet. Residents still can file a complaint online at tampagov.net under "Customer Service Center." If they include the car's description and tag number, police will send the owner a letter asking that the volume be kept down. But police aren't happy with that option. Their hope: the Florida Supreme Court upholds the existing law or the Legislature rewrites it.
Tickets gone for touring USS 'Independence,' due in today
Anyone hoping for a free tour of a U.S. Navy warship arriving in St. Petersburg this weekend is out of luck if he or she didn't get a ticket during the first hour they were offered Thursday. About 1,200 tickets set aside for the public were gone within 52 minutes of the announced noon giveaway. The remaining allotment went to such organizations as the Boy Scouts and ROTC groups for a total giveaway of 3,000 tickets. The USS Independence will be at St. Petersburg's port for the Labor Day weekend. Only 150 people can be aboard the 418-foot ship at any time, hence the ticketing system. The Independence is scheduled to arrive in port at 10 a.m. today from Jacksonville, so people driving over the Sunshine Skyway before then could catch a glimpse before it docks. You can also view it from these areas in St. Petersburg: Bay Vista Park, 7000 Fourth St. S; from the top of the St. Petersburg Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE; Lassing Park, 18th through 22nd avenues S; Poynter Park, at 1000 Third St. S via 11th Avenue S.; or the city's panoramic webcam (Camera 1) at stpete.org/webcam.