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PALIN TO RETURN TO BAY AREA ON SUNDAY

TAMPA

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to campaign in Tampa on Sunday, as well as in Central Florida. Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, who has drawn large crowds, recently visited Clearwater.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Biden visit will end Democrat drought

Vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was making plans for a rally Monday at Sims Park, local officials said, setting the stage for the first major appearance by a Democratic contender since Jimmy Carter noshed on peanut butter ice cream at Southgate Plaza three decades ago. After that, no major Democrat made a significant campaign stop, but Republicans have.

Man is charged in traffic death

A 37-year-old Holiday man was charged Thursday with driving under the influence manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter for a February crash that killed a woman. The Florida Highway Patrol says Ronald Lee Gramling had a blood-alcohol level of 0.089 when he crashed into a Kia Sedona driven by Denise Anne Dennis, 35, of Holiday, on Feb. 1.

Man gets 18 years for abduction

Samuel David Carter, 28, of New Port Richey was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges he kidnapped a man at gunpoint over a drug debt. According to authorities, Carter took the man in October 2005 from his truck at a 7-Eleven on U.S. 19 by putting a gun in his face. He then took the man to a house to try to settle the debt. Carter has been in and out of jail and prison for most of the last dozen years.

DADE CITY

Man, 79, dies when hit by train

A 79-year-old man died Wednesday when his Ford slipped into the path of a 32-car train loaded with produce. Robert Stephens pulled in front of the CSX train at a dirt road southeast of Dade City. Though the Highway Patrol said some witnesses said Stephens waited to pull onto the tracks until the train was near, his family doesn't believe the death was suicide.

PORT RICHEY

Ex-Tarpon manager now in Port Richey

The former city manager of Tarpon Springs has been hired to oversee Port Richey's growth management department and redevelopment projects. Ellen Posivach, 56, began work on Tuesday as assistant city manager to head community redevelopment agency projects such as resurfacing and sidewalk installation, and to take the helm of growth management. City Manager Richard Reade hired Posivach on a three-month trial basis. If she stays on a full year, she would earn an annual salary of $60,000. Posivach left Tarpon Springs in April amid city commissioners' concerns about her management style.

AREAWIDE

Cool weather finally is near

Get ready for some wet weather this weekend, which will be followed by the first good cool blast of the fall. A low-pressure system will keep our skies cloudy through most of the weekend, bringing thunderstorms and cooler temperatures.

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