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Tortoise case now in hands of state attorney

Published April 19, 2007



The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has finished investigating the removal of gopher tortoises from Wal-Mart's property in late March and turned its findings and its recommendation over Tuesday to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office for review. The office will determine whether to file criminal charges, but an official said Wednesday she could not comment on the investigation's findings. Wal-Mart and its consultant, Lotspeich and Associates of Winter Park, had obtained a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to relocate up to 10 tortoises from the site on U.S. 19 near the Anclote River. But before disturbing the animals, the retailer was first required to secure all of its other permits from other government agencies. And when the tortoises were removed March 23, some permits were still pending, officials have said.

Charity beauty show, lunch set

Friday is the deadline to purchase tickets to the Tarpon Springs Women Club's Make Me Beautiful charity luncheon and fashion show. The show will be 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 29 at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, 36750 U.S. 19 N. Tickets are $35. Call 376-9090 or 939-8163.


Dine '50s-style at community center

The Palm Harbor Community Center, 1500 16th St., is having a fundraising '50s dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. The event will include entertainment and meatloaf dinner. BYOB. Cost is $6 for center members and $7 for nonmembers. Organizers suggest making advanced paid reservations. Call (727) 771-6000.


Deputies schedule sobriety checks

About 30 Pinellas County deputies will conduct sobriety checkpoints from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the Dunedin Highland Middle School at 70 Patricia Ave. and from 12:30 to 3:30 a.m. Saturday at the Kmart at 26996 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. In 2005, Pinellas County had 1,631 alcohol-related crashes causing 1,162 injuries and 39 deaths.


Submerged land bill moves along

A bill that deals with submerged land off the Memorial Causeway is headed to a full vote by the Florida House after unanimous approval Wednesday by a House Council. The legislation is aimed at granting amnesty for any property owners in the Island Estates area who may have violated a 1925 state law by building private docks in the area. It also would allow future docks subject to voter approval. But what else it would allow has been subject to much debate, even among legislative staff who wrote in their analysis, released Wednesday, "It is unclear exactly what uses (for submerged land) the Legislature would be ratifying." The measure, House Bill 1585, has yet to be heard in the Senate.

Get green with your landscaping

How green are you? Learn Florida-friendly landscaping techniques with Cathy Quindiagon from Florida's Native Plant Society, and Bruce Turley, Wilcox Nurseries, at the Suncoast Sierra Club meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Moccasin Lake Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane. Call 526-5065.

[Last modified April 19, 2007, 07:25:26]

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