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Blaze damages 22-foot catamaran

Officials are investigating a fire that damaged a boat Wednesday night.

The fire, reported just before 8:30 p.m. at 7201 First St. NE, is not believed to be suspicious, said Lt. Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

Several neighbors called 911 after hearing two explosions and seeing the vessel in flames, Granata said. The owner, Jack Dye, 70, was at home at the time.

Officials estimated the damage to the 2002 22-foot TomCat catamaran at about $5,000.


Firefighter on Harley crashes into pickup

A 47-year-old Hillsborough County firefighter was hospitalized early Wednesday after she crashed her motorcycle into a pickup truck on S Village Drive.

Patti Valero of Brandon was driving a Harley-Davidson the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of S Village about 1 a.m., according to a Hillsborough County sheriff's report. Valero collided with an eastbound red Chevy pickup driven by Peter Spiropoulos, 21, of Tarpon Springs.


Times staffer appears on 'Nightline' tonight

St. Petersburg Times reporter Tom Tobin is expected to appear tonight on ABC's Nightline in the first of two reports on the Church of Scientology.

The show plans to explore much of the same ground the Times uncovered in "The Truth Rundown," a three-part series published in June.

Nightline airs at 11:35 p.m. weeknights on ABC, WFTS-Ch. 28. It is likely the Scientology stories will fill 60 percent of each night's show.

Maybe you've heard about the Orionid meteor shower that is lighting up the predawn skies.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, you won't see much.

"Anything done in Pinellas County is a waste of time. Tampa, too," said Dan Bricker, a member of the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club since 1975. "Everything is so built out, it's all the same with the light pollution. It's a shame."

Stargazers would be fortunate to spot two dim streaks an hour. But if you're really curious, Bricker recommends finding a spot 25 to 30 miles into the countryside.

The meteor showers are remnants of Halley's comet and emanate near the Orion constellation.

ST. PETERSBURGCITY LIGHTS HIDE MORNING METEORS 10/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 11:01pm]
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