Company hired to finish collier parkway work
Construction should start up again soon on the extension of Collier Parkway, a project left unfinished late last year after the contractor walked away from it. Pasco commissioners on Wednesday approved a new agreement with the surety company, which has hired Tampa-based Ripa & Associates to finish building the 1.8-mile road linking Collier to Parkway Boulevard. Officials expect the work to be finished in about seven months. About $2.5 million worth of work remains. WDG Construction won the $4.3 million job in April 2009 and was supposed to finish by May of this year. But the firm stopped working on the project last December, leaving a half-finished job. Commissioners fired WDG in February. Since then, county attorneys have been negotiating the agreement with the surety. The agreement approved Wednesday leaves the county on the hook for no extra costs beyond what it originally agreed to pay WDG for the work, said assistant county attorney Jane Fagen. The county agreed not to seek liquidated damages if the project comes in on time.
Rewards offered for clues to break-ins
A second spine center has been hit by thieves. Between 3 p.m. Aug. 20 and 1 p.m. Aug. 21, one or more people broke into the West Coast Spine & Injury Center at 1817 U.S. 19 and stole more than $15,000 in televisions, computers, scales and other equipment. The computers contained medical information for more than 5,000 patients, said Dr. Lenny Linardos, who is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved. Between Friday night and Saturday morning, more than $100,000 in equipment was stolen from the Spine Center of Excellence at 11425 U.S. 19 in Port Richey. Dr. George Giannakopoulos is offering a $5,000 reward. Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, said both burglaries remain under investigation and it isn't clear if the two are related. Neither facility keeps drugs on hand, according to both doctors. Linardos said his entire office was trashed —files strewn on the floor, cabinets knocked down, food tossed from the refrigerator. "They will get caught," he said of the perpetrators. Doll urges anyone with information to call Detective William Wood toll-free at 1-800-854-2862 ext. 7277.