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The week in review

A look back at the week's top stories

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 12, 2002

RACIST GRAFFITI: Authorities were trying to determine who painted racial slurs on the State Farm Insurance building on U.S. 19 in Homosassa Springs. The messages offended Alex Cifuentes, a painter working on the nearby Park Inn, so he covered the graffiti with a few swipes of white acrylic sealant.

MAN SENTENCED: Vernon Hembree, 24, convicted of killing a man in a drunken car wreck in 1999, was sentenced to serve a 12-year prison term. Hembree was mudslinging and drinking at a local bog on April 18, 1999, before climbing into his mud-splattered Jeep and driving west on Sandpiper Drive, authorities said. His vehicle collided with one driven by Carl Weber at about 8:40 p.m.

SMALL PROBLEM: The Inverness City Council refused to grant a 4-inch easement to Walgreens. That means the contractor will have to tear down the thick retaining wall -- again -- and rebuild it several inches to the west, so that it doesn't encroach on the city's right of way. The work will temporarily close one lane of two-lane S Apopka Avenue at one of the city's busiest intersections.

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: The Department of Children and Families' regional staff conducted a comprehensive review to make certain all children under court-ordered supervision were where they should be -- and that social workers were visiting them as required. The review comes as DCF tries to determine what happened to Rilya Wilson, the 5-year-old Miami girl who wasn't seen for 16 months while under department supervision.

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