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39-year-old man dies in morning motorcycle crash

By Times staff writers
Published October 16, 2003

TAMPA - A 39-year-old man died Wednesday morning after the motorcycle he was driving struck a van.

George Fajardo of 7004 Creek Drive was driving south on Sheldon Road when a van in the northbound lane tried to turn left onto Mohr Road.

Fajardo struck the van and was thrown from the motorcycle, Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies said.

The van overturned, and the driver, Moliza Santiago-Monyalvo, was trapped inside.

Santiago-Monyalvo, 34, of 10106 Singing Oaks Court, suffered minor injuries, officials said. Deputies said this is the third motorcycle fatality in the Town 'N Country area in the past 10 days.

City attorney remains in fair condition after fall

TAMPA - City Attorney Fred Karl was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon at Tampa General Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The 79-year-old lawyer was hospitalized Sunday after he fell at his house on Harbour Island. Karl, who has Parkinson's disease, suffered some internal bleeding in his head, his family said.

Karl became city attorney after Mayor Pam Iorio took office in April. He has served as a justice of the Florida Supreme Court, a state legislator, Hillsborough County attorney and administrator, and president of Tampa General Hospital.

Officials recover stolen security plans

TAMPA - A binder containing maps, paperwork and security plans of the city's water treatment plant has been found.

The paperwork was stolen Monday night from of a truck parked at the AmeriSuites Hotel on 30th Street.

It was found two days later in a car that had been stolen in Plant City.

A 1995 Honda was abandoned at 1620 E Idell St. in Tampa. Police say the owner of the Honda claimed the car, then discovered some discarded and stolen goods inside. The binder was among the items left behind. Tampa police recovered the binder Wednesday.

City officials said the binder did not contain sensitive information about the workings of the water treatment plant.

It had been taken from a truck that belonged to an employee of a firm hired to help design and put into place security enhancements at the water treatment plant on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Study will look at possible bay area commuter rail

Proponents of a commuter rail system connecting Tampa Bay will know by February if there could be enough riders to make the system pay for itself, state Sen. Jim Sebesta said Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Transportation has agreed to pay for a feasibility study gauging whether a commuter rail system in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties would attract enough people.

Sebesta, R-St. Petersburg, chairman of the Florida Senate's Transportation Committee, said the feasibility study would be part of a larger study for the DOT and would be ready in February.

If a commuter rail system is to be built, the money it makes will have to be enough to pay off the bonds used for construction, Sebesta said.

He said if the study says the demand for light rail won't support the bonds, the system won't be built.

"I don't think that's going to happen," he said. "I think there are enough people who are sick and tired of commuter traffic.

"I don't want to spend a dime on this thing until I know it's going to fly."

Man in critical condition after gunshot wounds

ST. PETERSBURG - A 26-year-old man was in critical condition Wednesday after he was shot at 16331/2 17th St. S.

Luis R. Medina, who was wanted by authorities on a worthless check charge, was on an upstairs porch when he was shot at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the head and neck area, police said. He is expected to recover.

No arrests were made.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was drug-related. Officers recovered a rifle, marijuana and other drugs inside the residence.

11 a.m. Sunday beer sales okayed Hillsborough-wide

Hillsborough County commissioners on Wednesday approved allowing residents in unincorporated parts of the county to buy beer at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Following the lead of other regional governments, commissioners voted 4-3 to approve the change after no one showed up at a public hearing to speak in opposition. Commissioners Ken Hagan and Ronda Storms and Chairman Tom Scott voted against no. Bars and stores previously couldn't sell alcohol before 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The Tampa City Council approved a similar change last month, as did the St. Petersburg City Council earlier this year. Hillsborough commissioners backing the change said they needed to follow suit so as not to put county businesses at a disadvantage.

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