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By Times Wires
Published December 7, 2007
Glitch delays shuttle launch until Saturday
NASA hopes to launch the space shuttle Atlantis at 3:43 p.m. Saturday after an attempt scheduled for Thursday was scrubbed. Engineers are trying to determine why two of four fuel sensors gave false readings Thursday. They decided it was unlikely they would find the cause in time to launch today. The sensors are an important safety system designed to ensure that the shuttle's three main engines do not cut off too soon or too late, either of which could prove disastrous. The chance of good weather for a launch Saturday is 60 percent.e_SClBTampa physician joins Hall of Fame
Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday named a Tampa physician/philanthropist to the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. Dr. Pallavi Patel, a board-certified pediatrician, was among three women selected by Crist. Patel and her family established a modern 50-bed charity hospital serving 100,000 villagers in her native India, as well as a recurring annual scholarship fund that allows underprivileged children to obtain a college education. She funded the construction of the University of South Florida Charter School for Underprivileged Children in Hillsborough County and has sponsored 25 orphans from India to visit the United State through a cross-cultural program. Patel is married to Dr. Kiran Patel. Together they are among Tampa's top charitable givers.
Troubled 'Idol' finalist says she's not guilty
Jessica Sierra waits for a hearing Thursday in a Tampa courtroom where she pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly intoxication and obstructing an officer without violence. She also denied violating the probation she began Nov. 19.
Message on banner still quite a mystery
An airplane flew over Tampa on Thursday with a cryptic banner message for the city's most famous strip-club owner. It said something like, "JOE REDNER WHAT WOULD U OR PONIES DO IF YOUR ATTORNEY SOLD U OUT." Curious, we called Luke Lirot, a lawyer who has represented Redner, to see whether he could explain. Lirot blamed Bill Bruckner of Florida Aerial Advertising, a Lirot client until they had a falling out. "For the record," Lirot said, "I never sold out a client in my life." Bruckner owned up to the banner but wouldn't explain its meaning. He suggested we call Redner, so we did, and he said this: "I have no idea what the hell he's talking about."