State Rep. Dave Thomas, R-Sarasota, announced Friday he will seek the Republican nomination for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Andy Ireland. Thomas, a 46-year-old ophthalmologist who has spent eight years in the state House, said if elected he would focus on the economy, the environment and health care. Ireland announced last month he would not seek a ninth term.
Beach ban lifted
DAYTONA BEACH _ A ban against nighttime beach driving has been lifted to relieve traffic congestion during the annual invasion of college students on spring break. Traffic will be allowed on a 2.3-mile stretch of "The World's Most Famous Beach" until 3 a.m. from March 9 to March 29.