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Fumes sicken at least 50 students

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2000


PINELLAS PARK -- At least 50 students at Cross Bayou Elementary School complained of upset stomachs Tuesday after asphalt fumes from a nearby driveway resurfacing project drifted into the school.

No one was injured or transported to a hospital during the incident at the school, 6886 102nd Ave. N. Some students and staff members were examined at the scene by paramedics, and some left early.

An asphalt company was paving and sealing a driveway in a trailer park next to the school, said Pinellas schools spokesman Ron Stone.

Stone said letters will be mailed home to parents, and school was dismissed at its regular time, 1:50 p.m.

Police: Stockbroker death a suicide

PINELLAS PARK -- A man whose body was discovered in a trash bin on U.S. 19 shot himself in the head, police said Tuesday.

Kenneth B. Mooney, a 28-year-old stockbroker, was found Monday by lawn workers at Scott Buick on U.S. 19. The revolver was still in his hand, said Sgt. Sandy Forseth, Pinellas Park police spokesman.

"It's a suicide," Forseth said.

Mooney, who worked for Sterling Enterprises, had been reported missing by his sister after not showing up for work Monday, police said.

Fake bomb triggers evacuation

BRANDON -- About 40 homes were evacuated Tuesday morning after a county worker found a 2-foot-long PVC pipe with wires attached to a battery.

Nearly six hours later, a Hillsborough Sheriff's Office bomb squad concluded the pipe was not a bomb -- just something made to look like one.

Robert Helms, a 12-year employee of the county's water department, discovered the device while working in the dried-up retention pond behind the 800 block of Windsor Circle.

He called 911 at 9:44 a.m.

Homes were evacuated, and nearby Limona Elementary School moved about 150 students into the media center and cafeteria as a precaution. Limona students who normally walk or ride their bicycles had to take a bus or wait for their parents. Investigators don't know who built the fake bomb or why.

USF wins grant in sex disease fight

TAMPA -- The University of South Florida has been designated as the federal government's Southeastern education center for sexually transmitted diseases, and it has received a $1.5-million grant to go with it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named USF the new Southeastern STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, replacing the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is one of 10 regional centers in the nation.

The grant will allow USF to extend its training program for doctors, nurses, caseworkers and other public health officials in seven Southeastern states during the next five years.

Florida's STD Prevention Training Center was established in 1988 by USF's Division of Infectious Diseases, the Florida Department of Health and the Hillsborough County Public Health Unit.

At the time, Florida had the nation's highest rate of syphilis, which since has dropped from 64 cases per 100,000 people to two. The state now has the lowest rate in the South.

The center also has trained nearly 6,000 health practitioners across the state on how to diagnose and treat syphilis, gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, genital herpes, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Two more Tampa fires called arson

TAMPA -- A trailer on a construction site in Ybor City and a home in Belmont Heights were damaged early Tuesday in fires that appeared to have been deliberately set.

A fire at the vacant, two-story house at 3213 E Caracas St. was under control within 10 minutes of Tampa Fire Rescue arriving at 4:25 a.m. Damages are estimated at $15,000. The cause of a fire at an unoccupied trailer on Sixth Avenue near Nuccio Parkway is listed as suspicious. Damages are estimated at $9,000.

Authorities said there is no connection between Tuesday's fires and the 30-plus suspicious fires in Tampa Heights and Ybor City.

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