A construction crew accidentally severed a 20-inch reclaimed water line Friday evening, leaving Clearwater Beach, Sand Key and the Island Estates neighborhood without reclaimed water indefinitely. Misener Marine Construction, which is building 126 boat slips for the city on Clearwater Harbor, cut the line, city officials said. They don't know how quickly it can be repaired. Aside from irrigating residents' lawns, reclaimed water is used by some large beach hotels as a secondary water source for air-conditioning chillers.
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Deputy suspended for February DUI
An off-duty deputy who crashed a personal vehicle while intoxicated served a one-week suspension from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, according to a memo released Friday. On Feb. 23, Deputy Wade Nordby, 41, collided with a concrete barrier in Dunedin, causing the car to roll on its roof. A passenger in the car sustained minor injuries. When deputies arrived, they noticed that Nordby exhibited signs of intoxication. His blood alcohol level tested as high as 0.166, more than twice the legal limit. An internal investigation concluded Nordby violated both the law and the Sheriff's Office standard of conduct. Nordby completed his 40 hours of suspension May 7-11. The deputy also was found guilty of a DUI charge and sentenced to probation and community service, court records show. Nordby, with the Sheriff's Office since October 2006, still works the day shift as a deputy in the north district. He earns $56,978 a year.
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Corporal named DOT's top officer
A Tarpon Springs police corporal has been named the Department of Transportation's 2009 Florida Law Enforcement Challenge Officer of the Year. Cpl. Steve Gassen, 42, was recognized for the achievement at an awards ceremony in Orlando on Friday. The traffic safety awards program is sponsored by the Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Program, a grant-funded program of the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Gassen has distinguished himself in a variety of ways, officials said, including "removing impaired drivers from the public roadways and issuing citations related to failing to wear seat belts and speeding." Last year, Gassen won the five-year achievement award presented by RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers) Tampa Bay for the highest number of DUI arrests for Tarpon Springs police.