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Contractor sues developer of mall
By Times Staff
Published August 21, 2007
A construction company has sued the developer of a jumbo-size mall under construction in Wesley Chapel, alleging breach of contract.
In the suit, Orlando's VMS Builders Inc. said it had a $2-million contract to build a retail store at the Grove at Wesley Chapel being built at the northwest corner of County Road 54 and Interstate 75.
The mall developer, Echo Developers LLC, terminated the contract but still owes the builder more than $300,000, the suit claims. An attorney for VMS could not be reached, and a spokeswoman for the mall would not comment Monday.
Big-box stores including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods have signed contracts for spots in the $175-million mall, scheduled to open this year.
Cat dies in blaze at mobile home park
Pinellas authorities are investigating a fire that destroyed a mobile home around 3 a.m. Monday in the Capri Mobile Home Park off U.S. 19, near Sunset Point Road.
David McAuliffe, 45, said he was awakened by the meows of his cat, Scooby-Do, as his home filled with smoke. McAuliffe told authorities and his mother that he ran out of his mobile home to get a hose but it was too late - the cat died.
McAuliffe's home and vehicle were destroyed; two neighboring mobile homes were damaged as well, but no one was hurt.
County opens hotline for ethics complaints
Hernando County has started an ethics hotline for residents to report concerns anonymously.
The calls are received by an independent facilitator and forwarded on to a response team composed of County Administrator Gary Kuhl, Sheriff Richard Nugent and Peggy Prentice, audit services manager for the clerk of the circuit court.
Prentice said that three complaints have been lodged since notices about it were first posted internally in May as well as one other similar complaint called into the county and one mailed. Three of those were referred to other agencies. Two were investigated and closed.
Fire captain inspects his district's hydrants
The city water department may have fallen years behind on its inspections of fire hydrants, but one Tampa fire captain recently took matters into his own hands.
Capt. Terry Gray at Fire Station 10 in East Tampa launched a survey of all the hydrants in his territory early this month.
With about 25 percent of the job done, he discovered 13 hydrants with problems.
Six of those had valves blocked by landscaping, street signs, fences and other items that at best would make the hydrants difficult to use in a fire. City officials couldn't provide the total number of hydrants in the territory.
Alzheimer's patient missing since Sunday
The search continued Monday for an 87-year-old Alzheimer's patient who went for a walk and didn't come home.
Ernest Joseph Russo left his home at 8833 Manos Circle just after noon Sunday, according to a sheriff's incident report. Russo suffers from dementia and a heart problem. Relatives told a deputy that he has wandered away before, but he's usually found in a short time. He once got all the way to Gulf View Square Mall, more than 8 miles away, according to reports.