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Week in Review

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 27, 2002

WESTCHASE SCHOOL REMAINS INTACT: After a little more than two hours of debate and public comment from about 50 parents, the Hillsborough County School Board voted Tuesday to keep all of Westchase's children at Westchase Elementary School -- and to accommodate several nearby neighborhoods as well.

Children from Pebblebrook, Sheldon Estates, Meadow Brook and Three Lakes will continue to attend Westchase Elementary. Under an earlier proposal, they would have attended the new Bryant Elementary. Drawing new boundaries has become critical as Westchase's student population creeps toward 1,500 students. The school was built for 938. Bryant, set to open on Nine Eagles Road in August, is intended to relieve that overcrowding.

Residents of Fawn Ridge lost their bid to be included in the Westchase Elementary zone. The 151 students in that development will have to attend Bryant. And the bus driving them there will pass Westchase Elementary on the way to school.

ROMEO RECOVERING: Rep. Sara Romeo, D-Lutz, said Monday that she is recovering from breast cancer. In a written statement, Romeo said a successful lumpectomy was performed at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center recently. "I am joining thousands of women in the Tampa Bay area who will continue to live healthy, cancer-free lives thanks to the Moffitt Cancer Center," Romeo said. She plans to rejoin her colleagues in the Legislature next week. Romeo, 52, had a brain tumor removed at Moffitt in May 2001. The 2-inch tumor was not malignant, she said. She discovered the tumor during a legislative session but postponed surgery until the session was over.

WAL-MART GREETER SHOT: A Wal-Mart greeter standing near the store's garden center was shot in the back with a pellet gun in a drive-by shooting Monday night, deputies said. David Hewchuk, 42, of Largo was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he was treated and released. About 9 p.m., Hewchuk saw two rifles poking out of a Honda that was being driven through the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 3801 Tampa Road. Hewchuk turned around, ran toward the store and was hit by a pellet, said Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Cal Dennie. "It's a big deal because it frightened the guy," Dennie said. "He looks and sees two rifles pointed at him. He thought they were real."

Store officials said that after he was shot, Hewchuk notified a manager and was taken to the hospital.

Investigators are looking into whether the shooters were friends of a Tampa resident who was arrested at the store earlier in the evening. The store's loss prevention officer had reported seeing that shopper trying to steal a radar detector by concealing it in his pants.

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