New Publix will shirink trek for groceries

Published March 21, 2007


Good news for U.S. 41 residents who are tired of making the trek south to State Road 54 to get groceries: Publix is opening Thursday at 8 a.m. at Connerton's Arbor Square commercial center. It will be the first major supermarket to open north of State Road 54 on U.S. 41. Ribbon-cutting is at 7:30 a.m. The supermarket anchors a 14-acre strip mall which features a restaurant, a dry cleaner and a bank.


Editor loses job over columns

Gary Hatrick, editor of the Zephyrhills News, was fired from his job last week over disagreements with the paper's owner over his outspoken columns and collection of Superman figurines he kept at the office, he said Tuesday. Hatrick, 50, said he was not surprised by the firing. He had refused to sign a letter from owner Barry Scripps demanding that his columns be approved by the paper's business manager before publication. A recent column compared Zephyrhills City Council member Danny Burgess to Adolf Hitler. Hatrick wrote later that the comparison was sarcastic, but that one of Burgess' proposals was "Hitleresque." Scripps did not return a message seeking comment.


Property buyers sue nudist resort

Forty-one people who bought properties in Caliente Resorts sued the nudist community Friday and accused it of using a "bait-and-switch" tactic to sell them mobile homes, called "Casitas." In the lawsuit, they said Caliente doubled lot prices from what it had first advertised after locking buyers into lease and purchase agreements. The agreements were signed between 1996 and 2004. Caliente's lots went for sale only in November 2006. By then, Caliente had raised the lot price from about $50,000 to $100,000. In a letter he sent to members, Chuck Foster, Caliente's vice president, said the lot prices reflected real estate trends, and noted that the buyers had never contracted to lock in lower prices. In the lawsuit, the buyers also said Caliente threatened to end their right to use the resort's amenities. In his letter, Foster said club use would be suspended or ended if the buyers "attempt to force the sale of any Casita lot at any lower price ... to deprive Caliente of the fair value of its property."


Play's opening night postponed

Because of last-minute scheduling conflicts in the auditorium at St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs campus, opening night of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit has been postponed until Thursday. Those who had a ticket for tonight's performance may either get a refund or exchange the ticket for a performance at 7 p.m. Thursday or Friday, March 29 or 30, or 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, March 31 or April 1. Call (727) 712-5762.


Steve Valdez is Hillsborough County's community relations manager. A story Tuesday listed an incorrect job title.