Tampa Bay briefs
By Times staff reports
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Red Tide concentrations endanger bay inhabitants
TAMPA -- An outbreak of Red Tide along Florida's west coast has spread to Tampa Bay, where dangerous levels of the toxic algae pose an unprecedented threat to the estuary's inhabitants.
Concentrations of the Red Tide organism are the highest ever recorded in lower Tampa Bay, said Tom Cardinale, who has run the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission's water quality laboratory for more than 25 years.
Samples collected last week by agency scientists showed the highest levels in the bay since 1974, when a Red Tide bloom killed marine life in a wide area.
SR 56 mall will be region's 2nd largest
ZEPHYRHILLS -- It's still months away from getting its final coat of asphalt, but State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel has already lured what promises to be the second largest shopping mall in the Tampa Bay area.
A 1.3-million-square-foot mall filled with what could be more than 100 stores would anchor the proposed Cypress Creek Town Center development at SR 56 and Interstate 75, the first interchange in Pasco County north of Tampa.
That's slightly larger than the $200-million International Plaza that opened last month near Tampa International Airport. It's 1.26-million square feet. Only St. Petersburg's Tyrone Square Mall, at 1.4-million square feet, would surpass the Cypress Creek mall.
Three killed, four hurt in a week of car crashes
TAMPA -- One was drag racing. One lost control of his sport utility vehicle. Another drove into the path of another car.
Four different car crashes have killed three people and injured four in the past week in northwest Hillsborough County.
All but one crash involved teenagers, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
In the latest crash, just before 12:30 Tuesday morning, an 18-year-old man lost control of his Ford Explorer, sideswiped a utility pole and struck a large tree on Sinclair Hills Road.
The SUV then burst into flames, deputies said.
The driver, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, died in the vehicle.
All of the crashes are under investigation by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Anyone with information about any of the accidents should call the Sheriff's Office at 247-8000.
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