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The Jessica Lunsford tragedy

After 5 days, jury pool for Couey stands at 43

By TIMES WIRES
Published February 21, 2007


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MIAMI

Working an extra-long day Tuesday didn't produce extra jury candidates for the upcoming trial of John Couey, who is accused of killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.

After more than eight hours of questions about pretrial publicity, personal hardships and the need for an impartial panel, only 10 potential jurors advanced to a second round of questioning, planned for Monday.

The pace was a bit off last week's of 12 jurors moving forward each day.

The five-day total now stands at 43. Circuit Judge Ric Howard said the court is two-thirds of the way to his goal of a pool of 75.

YANKEETOWN

Developers sue town over resort hotel plans

Developers filed suit against 17 Yankeetown residents and the town Monday, alleging that officials were covertly trying to thwart their application to build a resort hotel on the Withlacoochee River.

Representatives from Izaak Walton Investors LLC delivered a copy of the lawsuit to the Town Council Monday night.

The developers seek damages for lack of due process and alleged Sunshine Law violations regarding their project.

TAMPA

County pressures city to up ante for Merck

Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Jim Norman is making a last-ditch push for Tampa to increase its share of the public subsidy of a proposed new venture for H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Norman spoke with Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio Tuesday and followed up with a letter asking that the city put $7-million cash into the deal, instead of the $800,000 it already has pledged.

Today commissioners consider their end of the subsidy: $20-million in cash and another $8-million for the property.

Moffitt Cancer Center is planning to create a for-profit venture called M2Gen with pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. Together, they plan to research ways to tailor cancer treatment to patients based on the distinct genetic characteristics of their tumors. Merck says it will invest nearly $100-million.

ORLANDO

Injured manatee dies at SeaWorld

An injured manatee rescued from Three Sisters Springs over the weekend has died at SeaWorld in Orlando.

The manatee, which appeared as if it had been injured in a boat collision, was herded in the spring into a net and then driven to SeaWorld, where workers tried to provide medical aid.

TAMPA

Lightning exec pleads not guilty to DUI

Ron Campbell, president of the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence.

Campbell was arrested Jan. 20 on Dale Mabry Highway near Lemon Street. He refused a Breathalyzer test.

His next court date has not been set.

[Last modified February 21, 2007, 05:49:55]


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