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Jail begins process of going smokeless



LARGO _ On March 1 the inmates of the Pinellas County jail will go smoke-free as a smoking ban goes into effect. No cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, matches, lighters or any other product associated with tobacco use will be allowed. Friday was the last day inmates were allowed to buy cigarettes at the jail's commissary. Officials say the ban is intended to make the jail safer and cleaner.

Man sentenced to 12 years in boy's death

LARGO _ A man charged with indirectly causing the death of a 3-year-old Clearwater boy last year during a drug deal was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison. Christopher C. Williams, 23, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. Prosecutors said Williams and Damuel M. Battle threw a brick and a bottle at a car driven by Terry Wayne Giles after Giles tried to escape without paying in a drug deal. In the confusion, the car backed over Lamar Ford, who was playing in a yard nearby. Battle was sentenced to 13 years in prison and Giles was sentenced to 15 years.

St. Petersburg may ask

for fishing restrictions

ST. PETERSBURG _ Concerned about mullet that can't escape Coffee Pot Bayou to spawn and about fishermen who annoy waterfront residents from October to January _ St. Petersburg administrators are recommending a ban on commercial mullet fishing north of The Pier. The City Council will consider next week asking the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission to close Tampa Bay just north of The Pier to commercial gill netting.