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By Wire services
Published August 24, 2006

School Board candidates will try to impress tonight

Pinellas County voters have a chance tonight to see School Board candidates face each other before the Sept. 5 primary.

The Pinellas County Council of PTAs will host a School Board candidates forum from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Gus A. Stavros Institute, 12100 Starkey Road in Largo.

Sixteen candidates, including four sitting board members, have filed to run for four seats. Two of the races are open to voters countywide and two are open to voters in Seminole, Pinellas Park, Kenneth City, Gulfport, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg and the gulf beaches.

Among potential topics at tonight's forum are the future of racial desegregation in Pinellas public schools, student discipline and teacher morale.

Lottery tickets are stolen from Brandon gas station

BRANDON - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of $89,000 worth of lottery tickets from a Brandon BP station where a manager disappeared recently.

A grand theft complaint filed this week says someone removed the tickets from the store between June 22 and Tuesday, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Officers are also investigating the Aug. 14 disappearance of the manager of the Parsons Road store, Ramiz Abed, 34.

The two investigations are not linked, Carter said.

She said detectives think Abed went to meet someone after turning the store over to relatives.

Ahmad Issa, Abed's cousin, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But Tuesday, after the theft report was filed and before the Sheriff's Office released information, Issa said by phone that he knew nothing about missing lottery tickets.

Carter said the theft report was filed by Ibrahim Issa, 53, who a clerk at the store said was Abed's uncle. The clerk said he was a new employee and also knew nothing about the missing tickets.

[Last modified August 24, 2006, 01:18:32]

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