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City examining plans to keep clerks safe

ST. PETERSBURG _ The City Council asked its attorneys Thursday to write an ordinance that would help protect convenience store clerks. Similar laws have been approved recently in other Florida communities, including Hillsborough County. "Robbery is increasing, there are more guns on the streets, actions of the drug dealers are unpredictable, crime is occurring outside the high-crime areas, and (convenience store) clerks are being shot for less than $50," said council member Dean Staples, who proposed the new ordinance. Some council members suggested requiring two clerks during night shifts, but no decisions were made Thursday. The lawyers were asked to have a suggested ordinance written by March 22.

U.S. Census Bureau to open local office

ST. PETERSBURG _ The U.S. Census Bureau today will kick off the decennial census season with the opening of its St. Petersburg office. Refreshments will be available today from 8 to 11 a.m. at the office, 9549 Koger Blvd., Suite 210. The public is invited. The St. Petersburg office coordinates the census for southern Pinellas County. The bureau still is accepting applications for temporary jobs as census takers or office workers. For information, call the office at 578-3700.