tampabay.com

Dateline Florida

By TIMES WIRES
Published April 5, 2007


RAMP TO BE CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST MAY 1

If you are headed to downtown St. Petersburg, plan on taking Interstate 175 until at least May 1. That's the target date the state set to repair the on-ramp connecting I-275 S and I-375. The eastbound I-375 on-ramp was severely damaged last week when a tanker carrying 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel crashed into a wall and set off a huge explosion and fire, killing Penn Tank Lines driver Ronald Kennedy. How much are the repairs going to cost? The Department of Transportation says it has no estimate, but plans to seek reimbursement from Penn Tank Lines' insurer, Custard Insurance.

It's risky to be a Florida panther

A 3-year-old male panther was found dead on Interstate 75 on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper discovered the panther in the median at mile marker 98 near the Alligator Alley toll plaza. It is the sixth panther fatality on a Florida road this year.

A $578,000 going-away present

A chief fundraiser for Florida Atlantic University is leaving with $578,000 in severance barely a year into his six-year contract. Lawrence Davenport gets the cash despite a contract saying he gets nothing if he leaves voluntarily. Davenport's contract with the FAU Foundation states that if he is fired, he receives two years of pay, as long as he remains unemployed. "We thought it's best to go ahead and honor the severance package, even though it's a resignation," said FAU president Frank Brogan.