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Authorities to be out in force over holiday

Police agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area plan to saturate the streets and highways this weekend with officers watching for drunken drivers.

They also will be looking for seat belt violations and reckless drivers.

Until midnight on Monday, the Florida Highway Patrol will team up with police departments and sheriff's offices in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

In Hillsborough County, surveillance will be especially strong along Interstates 4, 75 and 275, and Dale Mabry Highway. In Pinellas, enforcement will be concentrated around the Howard Frankland, Bayside and Skyway bridges.

Last year during the New Year's Eve holiday, 24 people died statewide in traffic crashes. Nearly half of those crashes were alcohol-related, and 79 percent of the drivers and passengers were not wearing seat belts.

Gun thought to be used

in mom's killing is found

Mounted volunteers for the Citrus County Sheriff's Office found a gun in thick woods Friday along the suspected getaway route of a man accused of shooting his mother to death outside a convenience store two days earlier.

The volunteers also found a blue shirt about a quarter mile from the gun. The shirt matches a description of a witness in the alleged matricide Wednesday, said sheriff's spokeswoman Ronda Hemminger Evan.

Evan said the shirt and gun likely would have been discarded before a deputy saw the van driven by James Utsey, 30, of Inglis, on W Dunklin Street and attempted to pull it over.

Investigators say Utsey killed his mother, Barbara Utsey, 64, a well-known community activist, outside the Coastal food mart on State Road 488 Wednesday after chasing her car into the parking lot.

The gun was found off N Matsonford Avenue at about 3:15 p.m.

NAACP state conference president to give address

ST. PETERSBURG _ Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, will give the keynote address at the St. Petersburg chapter's annual Emancipation Proclamation Service at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 955 20th St. S, St. Petersburg. Music will be performed by the Alumni Singers. The public also is invited to meet the newly elected NAACP officers. For information, call Gwen Reese, 867-2675.

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