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Pam Bondi prepares to become Florida's first female attorney general

Pam Bondi prepares to become Florida's first female attorney general

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Former Tampa prosecutor Pam Bondi, who will be sworn in Tuesday as Florida's first female attorney general, told supporters at Florida State University this morning that she didn't realize the importance of the distinction until she hit the campaign trail for the first time.

"Young girls would come up to me, 14, 15, and 16 and say 'I want to go to law school because of you. I want to be attorney general because of you.'"

Bondi and Lt. Gov.-elect Jennifer Carroll, who will be the first African-American to hold the job, were the guests of honor at a Salute to Women in Leadership breakfast kicking off two days of inaugural events for Gov.-elect Rick Scott. Like Bondi, Scott has also never held office.

Bondi spoke of being inspired by other women leaders, including the keynote speaker at the breakfast, fellow attorney and fellow Fox News legal commentator Greta Van Susteren, and Gulf Power CEO Susan Story, the master of ceremonies.

Nesmith retiring as Hillsborough County Fire Chief

Nesmith retiring as Hillsborough County Fire Chief

Hillsborough County, FL -- After 41 years of fire service, William (Bill) Nesmith, will retire on Jan. 15 from the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Nesmith, 62, joined Hillsborough County Fire Rescue as Assistant Chief in 1994 and was promoted to Fire Chief in 1996. Prior to that, he was with Tampa Fire Rescue for 24 years and retired as a Division Chief in 1994. 

"Over the 41 years of fire service, I have found a second family and the friendships will last forever," Chief Nesmith said on a statement. "I will cherish the time I spent in the fire service."

Janet Dacal to sing Nat'l Anthem at Outback Bowl

Janet Dacal to sing Nat'l Anthem at Outback Bowl

Tampa, Florida - Broadway singer-actress Janel Dacal will sing the National Anthem at the Outback Bowl here on New year's Day, event organizers announced today.

Dacal is currently playing Alice in Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland which holds its pre-Broadway engagement at theStraz Center Jan. 4-6. It opens on Broadway in the spring.

The Outback Bowl will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at 1 p.m. January 1st.


Red Cross needs stories, photos

Red Cross needs stories, photos

Tampa, FL - The American Red Cross Tampa Bay Chapter is collaborating with the St. Petersburg Museum of History located at 335 Second Ave., N.E. on an educational and historic exhibit highlighting local Red Cross history, volunteers and services.

St. Petersburg volunteers Helen Hilton, Mary Jo Shenk and Mary Anna Murphy are collecting and documenting photographs and memorabilia for the exhibit that will be open to the public February through May 2011.

The chapter is seeking photographs and stories of local disasters, First Aid/CPR, or other Red Cross classes or services. Red Cross volunteers, staff and especially clients who received assistance or training from the local chapters are urged to provide a high resolution scan of any photograph that they wish to have considered for inclusion in the exhibit.

The public is also asked to share their stories of how Red Cross helped them during difficult times or memorable courses,such as water safety classes that changed their lives. Any stories of how a Red Cross course helped save a life is encouraged.

Registered sex offender wanted for touching girls in Valrico Wal-Mart

Registered sex offender wanted for touching girls in Valrico Wal-Mart

Largo, FL -- Registered sex offender, Robert Smith is wanted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for touching several girls in a Valrico Wal-Mart on East Brandon Blvd. Saturday afternoon.

Detectives reviewed the surveillance video and observed Smith touched at least six young females on the buttocks then walked away. An 11-year-old victim's father saw the suspect touch his daughter and confronted him.

Warrants have been obtained for his arrest, but when officers went to his Largo residence to get him, he wasn't there. Detectives are asking other victims to notify the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200 if you were approached by Smith.

He was last seen driving a 1988 Maroon Ford Pick-Up Truck. TAG - R F U 11.  He faces two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation.

Representative named Chair of Justice Appropriations Committee

Representative named Chair of  Justice Appropriations Committee

Plant City, FL - State Representative Rich Glorioso (R) was one of many appointed in the committee and subcommittee assignments made for the 2011 sessions this week. The Plant City resident was appointed the Chairman of the Justice Appropriations Committee, which sets specific expenditures of money by the government, by House Speaker Dean Cannon on Friday.

Glorioso will head the committee with Rep. Charles McBurney of Jacksonville as his vice chair, the same position he held under former chair Sandra Adams.

For the full list of all committee assignments, visit Sunshine State News.

Great Hang Up: Teens talk texting

Great Hang Up: Teens talk texting

Gibsonton, Florida--There's no group that needs to learn more about the dangers of texting and driving than teenagers.  Using cell phones are nearly second nature to them.  But doing it behind the wheel can be deadly.

After taking part in a distracted driving challenge,  Morning Show anchor Ginger Gadsden sat down with a few teenagers to talk about the realities of distracted driving.

Every one of the students from East Bay High School in Gibsonton said they'd been in a car when someone talked on the phone.  Most had ridden with someone who was texting.  And some of them admitted doing both themselves.

"Sometimes if it's an emergency or something like that, I'll text my dad to tell him I'm late." said 18-year-old Ramsey Kravec.  "If I'm running late and I'm gonna be in trouble, I text my dad--I'm running late--before I get home."