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The week in review

By Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 4, 2000

A look back at the week's top stories.

SUPERINTENDENT RACE HEATS UP: Tom Mullins, a Republican candidate for superintendent, openly challenged the school system's financial stability and said bankruptcy was possible. Pete Kelly, the Republican incumbent, defended the district and said its financial future would be stable. Meanwhile, Dave Hickey, one of two Democratic challengers, held a gathering at which he formally announced his candidacy.

FIREWORKS BAN CONSIDERED: The county's legal staff suggested county commissioners consider banning the use of fireworks, flares and sparklers until the drought eases. The measure would not affect the sale of fireworks, but it would prevent the county from issuing permits for fireworks displays in unincorporated parts of the county. The commission is scheduled to consider the matter Tuesday.

COUNTY SEEKS ASSURANCES ON JAIL: County officials raised concerns about the leadership and finances of the private company that operates the county jail and have suggested the county include several safeguards as it negotiates a new contract in the coming weeks. The recommendations include requiring the warden to stay at his post for several years and getting at least $1-million in insurance to cover the county's costs if the jail management company cannot live up to its contract. County commissioners will discuss both issues at their June 13 meeting when they decide whether to sign a new three-year contract with current operator Corrections Corp. of America or to switch to another management company.

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