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Watering restrictions have been tightened for Tampa Bay residents as a drought continues. People in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties already are limited to once-a-week lawn watering. On Tuesday the Southwest Florida Water Management District's governing board made the restrictions a little tougher. That means that if you do put in a new lawn, you can water every day for 30 days, and then every other day for another 30 days. People previously were allowed to water new plants every day for 60 days. The restrictions also mean residents should:

-Do their hand watering of outdoor plants before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

-Turn on fountains and waterfalls for no more than four hours a day, instead of eight.


Nader campaign exhorts the faithful

Ralph Nader, the Ecology Party presidential nominee, schooled his supporters on how to "make people angry enough to vote Nader-Gonzalez in 2008" at Ybor city's Cuban Club Tuesday night. More than 150 faithful listened as the three-time presidential candidate said both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain were slaves to corporations. Voting for him, Nader said, will give the Ecology Party's agenda political leverage.


Teacher wins diversity award

The Hillsborough School District on Tuesday night named Tonya Monique Spatcher Brinkley the 2008 winner of the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator Award. An exceptional student education specialist, she works with students with disabilities at Witter Elementary in North Tampa, where she created an annual Black History Month program. She has taught in Hillsborough schools for seven years. The other finalists were LaGretta Snowden, a music teacher at Lincoln Elementary, and Melissa Johnston-Enzor, a social worker at Mort Elementary.


Patient accused of stabbing doctor

An angry patient repeatedly stabbed an emergency room doctor at Brandon Regional Medical Center Tuesday, Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. The incident happened at 6:39 p.m. Carolyn Faulk, 30, of Plant City was being given her discharge order, Carter said, when she became angry, pulled a steak knife from her purse and began stabbing Dr. Marisel Juarbe. Juarbe suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening, Carter said. A detention deputy who was at the hospital checking on a family member pulled Faulk off Juarbe. She was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, Carter said.


Deputy avoided DUI, but loses job

Pasco Deputy Jose Berrios, 25, was clocked driving 98 mph in Tarpon Springs last month and admitted he had been drinking. He was never investigated for driving under the influence, but Pasco Sheriff Bob White fired Berrios Friday. Pinellas officials opened an investigation into Sgt. John Daniels' handling of the incident. Daniels let the deputies call for a ride home without even writing a speeding ticket.