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Baby is stable after spinal surgery

LARGO _ Michael Schaffer, the 6-month-old Largo baby who had spinal surgery Friday, was in stable condition Monday afternoon in a Baltimore hospital. "He's progressing fine and resting comfortably," said his maternal grandmother, Hazel Seiverd of Tampa. Mrs. Seiverd said the baby, born with a rare type of dwarfism called camptomelic dysplasia, was in surgery for 11 hours Friday while doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital attached bone from Michael's leg to his spine to keep it from curving. Doctors had told Michael's parents, Vonnie and Tom Schaffer, that their baby would have been paralyzed before his 13-month birthday if he had not had the surgery.Law to make parking violators pay up

CLEARWATER _ It will be tougher to skirt unpaid parking tickets under an ordinance adopted last week by the Pinellas County Commission. The new law gives tax collectors the authority to withhold automobile registrations or validation stickers from drivers with three or more unpaid parking tickets. Officials say the ordinance is aimed primarily at businesses that fail to pay parking tickets.

Veteran who traveled nation to sign book

PALM HARBOR _ Bob Wieland, who lost both legs when he stepped on a land mine in Vietnam and then walked across America, will be in Palm Harbor today autographing his book, One Step at A Time. Wieland spent three-and-a-half years walking on his hands and what remained of his legs. He has been featured on the television program Wide World of Sports and will be the subject of a motion picture. He will be at Haynes Better Books, 4317 U.S. 19 N, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today. The store is about a half-mile north of the Innisbrook Resort.

Tar pot and kerosene tanks catch fire

CLEARWATER _ A tar pot caught fire and two kerosene tanks exploded Monday morning at a construction site at Sunset Point Road and Highland Avenue, officials said. The roofing equipment sat on a trailer that was connected to a pickup truck, all of which was destroyed in the fire, said Lt. Paul Revelia, of the Clearwater Fire Department.

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