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    Tampa Bay briefs

    By Times staff writers

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 14, 2001

    Two workers injured in ambulance fire

    LARGO -- Two Sunstar Ambulance workers were injured Sunday when an ambulance at their headquarters caught fire.

    The fire started at about 9:45 a.m. when smoke rose from the oxygen compartment area on the ambulance, said Toni Rametta, a Sunstar operations manager. Workers tried to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher, but failed, Rametta said.

    Firefighters were called to the scene, 12490 Ulmerton Road, and they quickly doused the fire. The two workers were taken to Largo Medical Center where they were treated and released.

    100 mph chase ends in wreck and arrest

    A Tampa man faces robbery, battery and fleeing charges after he led police on a high speed chase down Interstate 75, Pasco County authorities said.

    Darling Manuel "Manny" Contes, a suspect in an earlier purse-snatching, reached speeds of more than 100 mph as he tried to elude officers Saturday morning, officials said. The chase ended when Contes crashed the Lexus he was driving into a guardrail.

    The pursuit stemmed from an incident in which Contes allegedly snatched a purse from a woman and assaulted her in Lutz.

    Contes was charged with strong-arm robbery, burglary battery, aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, fleeing to elude and reckless driving.

    Police investigating Sunday night shooting

    ST. PETERSBURG -- A man was severely injured Sunday after he was shot in the 4600 block of 13th Ave. S at 10:40 p.m.

    When rescue officials arrived the man was lying on the street. The man, whose identity was not available, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. St. Petersburg police were investigating the shooting late Sunday night.

    Housing agency may buy apartments in Oldsmar

    OLDSMAR -- The Pinellas County Housing Authority is considering purchasing an apartment complex in the city, but the project would not just be an effort to provide affordable housing, officials say.

    It would also be an investment.

    The housing authority, which owns and manages public and affordable housing units, has a contract to purchase the gated East Lake Club Apartments for about $16-million.

    The agency still is awaiting the results of studies and surveys before making a final decision on the price and whether it will purchase the 240-unit complex, which has entrances on Tampa and Curlew roads. The authority anticipates making a final decision on the purchase by June.

    If the purchase goes through, the complex most likely will continue to offer market-rate rent and perhaps some decreased rent for those who qualify, said Angel Tua, the housing authority's deputy executive director.

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