1. This week the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its annual boating accident report. In 2011, 65 people died in Florida waters. So far in 2012, 28 people have lost their lives. “The frequency of boating accidents in Florida and their causes would probably shock most people,” said Investigator Andy Bickel, of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, in a news release. “We want to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and deaths on Florida waters,” Bickel said. Drowning is the leading cause of death in boating accidents, statistics show.
2. Disaster relief is available for residents or business owners who suffered damages, large or small, sustained during Tropical Storm Debby and not covered by personal insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with state and local agencies, has made federal assistance available to several counties in Florida affected by the storm, including Pinellas County. Funds may help with home repairs, rental assistance, medical expenses, unemployment assistance, transportation or other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. The first step is to register a claim with FEMA using one of several methods: go online to www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA(3362) (or 800-462-7585/TTY).The deadline to apply for benefits is 60 days from the date of the disaster declaration, July 3.
3. The Florida Association of Counties has presented Pinellas County Commission Vice Chairman Kenneth T. Welch and Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala with that organization’s Presidential Advocacy Award. The awards ceremony took place during the 2012 FAC Annual Conference & Exposition in Orange County. The Presidential Advocacy Award is presented to county commissioners who show a commitment to protecting local control and advocating on behalf of home rule in Tallahassee.
4. St. Petersburg Police and Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County is asking for assistance from the public to help locate . If you have any information, you can call 1-800-873-TIPS(8477), go online to CrimeStoppersOfPinellas.org.
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