Aquarium improvesexhibit facilities

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 20, 2008


The Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Tuesday unveiled a $600,000 improvement project. Among the upgrades:

- Underwater viewing windows where guests can see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

- Renovated "stingray beach" touch tank, improved turtle and large fish exhibits.

- 125-seat theater with a screen 26 feet long and 7 feet high.

- 10-foot-tall solid bronze statue of Winter the dolphin.


GOP activist named to expressway board

Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday appointed local Republican activist Greg Truax to the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority.

Truax succeeds board member Alba Lopez-Isa, who left the authority last summer.

The authority, which operates the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, was a source of much controversy in late 2006 and early 2007, but it has steered clear of trouble under new leadership.

Truax, 56, is president of Tampa Bay Publishing Inc. During Crist's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Truax was chairman of his Hillsborough County campaign team.


Woman, firefighter hospitalized by blaze

An elderly woman and a firefighter were hospitalized after a small fire filled the woman's Palm Harbor townhouse with smoke Tuesday night.

Rescuers evacuated the eight-unit building at 2971 Bonaventure Circle at about 8:30 p.m. and quickly extinguished the fire, which started on a mattress on the second floor. Deputies said they don't suspect arson.

Rita Lewis, 71, and the firefighter, whose name was not released, were taken to Mease Countryside Hospital by ambulance. Another person in the condo refused treatment.


Fund set up for girl who almost drowned

The mother of a 6-year-old girl with a rare condition who was hospitalized last week after being found unconscious in a pool has set up a fund to help ease the mounting medical bills.

Hannah Werner, already suffering from a condition called Aicardi Syndrome, fell into a backyard pool in St. Petersburg on Feb. 11.

Since then, she's been in pediatric intensive care at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Those interested in contributing can visit any area Washington Mutual bank and donate to the Hannah Werner fund, care of Jennifer Werner.