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North Miami Beach officials can't account for missing projects

MIAMI

Manholes are missing, pipes misplaced

North Miami Beach city officials paid to build 254 manholes, but no one knows whether they were built. An audit shows duplicate purchase orders and no record of where the work was performed. The Miami Herald also reported Tuesday that the city does not know whether more than four miles of water-and-sewer pipes or 142 shut off valves were installed, even though they were paid for. The construction is part of a $2.2 million project. Jackson Land Development, the construction company in charge of the project, did not return calls seeking comment. The city's public service director resigned in May after admitting he approved purchase orders for services and materials that were not performed or delivered.

MIAMI

Police say man shot girlfriend, 84

An 87-year-old Miami man has been charged with first-degree murder after police say he shot a girlfriend he suspected of being unfaithful. Police say Juan Adolfo Gonzalez had been planning Friday's shooting for several months, and that he stalked 84-year-old Celida Hernandez daily. He took a taxi to her apartment Friday and waited until a bus dropped her off from the senior's dining hall. Authorities say he shot her twice in her apartment, then shot himself. Police say Gonzalez admitted the shooting.

BRADENTON

Town, contractor close to settlement

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and residents of a small Florida town have reached a tentative deal to settle a groundwater contamination lawsuit. Lockheed Martin and residents of Tallevast in Manatee County issued a joint statement Tuesday about the possible agreement, which is confidential. The deal must still be approved by an undisclosed percentage of the 270 residents who sued, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday. Residents allege a now-shuttered weapons plant leaked toxic chemicals into the groundwater, causing cancer and birth defects.

TAVARES

Boy threatened with BB gun, police say

A man reportedly threatened a 13-year-old boy with a BB gun as part of football training. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports that 41-year-old Robert Lynn Barker was firing the pellet gun into the air Saturday to motivate the boy after he fell ill at a football game. Barker was arrested and charged with child abuse and assault with a firearm.

Associated Press

North Miami Beach officials can't account for missing projects 09/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:35am]
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