A 33-year-old man was killed Tuesday when a flat-bed truck backed over him, St. Petersburg police said. David E. Albritton, address unknown, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he was pronounced dead at 3:18 p.m. Police said George H. Davis Jr., 909 28th Ave. in Tampa, was backing up his 1986 Ford one-ton truck in a blocked-off area in the 1800 block of 34th Street S when he ran over Albritton. The rear wheels of the truck crushed him, police said. They said the truck had no beeping mechanism to alert Albritton that it was backing up. No charges were filed.
WEEDON ISLAND TO GET IMPROVEMENTS. Three area governments will spend $2.1-million to rebuild a fishing pier, install a nature boardwalk and improve access roads on Weedon Island now that the state preserve is being turned over to Pinellas County's Parks Department. The decision to spend Pinellas money on Weedon, however, spells the end to plans for the county to buy an American Indian burial site near St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. Pinellas County Administrator Fred Marquis said Tuesday that work at Weedon will begin immediately after county commissioners approve a 50-year lease with the state next week. The agreement, in the works for nearly a year, turns over control of the park to the county and paves the way for improvements, Marquis said. The county expects 250 to 600 visitors a day at the 1,000-acre preserve in north St. Petersburg. Under the agreement, Pinellas County, St. Petersburg and the Southwest Florida Water Management District each will contribute about $750,000.
WOMAN ACCUSED OF SETTING FIRE. An 18-year-old woman was jailed Tuesday and charged with setting fire to a mobile home two weeks ago. Mary Ann Sanders, of 385 Union St., Apartment 14, in Brooksville was charged with arson, arson resulting in injury to a firefighter, who had minor burns to his face, and two counts of trying to defraud an insurance company. She is accused of setting a fire June 8 that caused $15,000 damage to a mobile home at 4471 Orlando Ave., southwest of Brooksville. The home belonged to David Trimble, jail records show. Sanders was arrested Tuesday morning and booked at Hernando County Jail. Bail was set at $30,000.
Six credit unions join Tampa housing effort
For the first time anywhere, a group of credit unions has joined a local affordable housing program by promising to make $14-million in low-cost home improvement loans through Tampa's Mayor's Challenge Fund. "There's a lot of other programs, but nothing as extensive as this," said Fernando Noriega, the city's director of Housing Development and Coordination. "We're going to set the standards for credit unions to become involved in affordable housing." City officials formally announced the credit unions' commitment Tuesday during a Tampa Housing Partnership breakfast at the Tampa Convention Center. After the breakfast, officials called the credit unions' involvement a key to making programs such as the Challenge Fund, which uses public funds to provide partial guarantees for private home loans, more permanent and far-reaching. Along with the Florida Central Credit Union, the group includes the GTE Federal Credit Union, Railroad & Industrial Federal Credit Union, Suncoast Schools Credit Union, Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union and USF Federal Credit Union. Mayor Sandy Freedman said, "Many people do not realize that they are candidates" for the loans.
AMNESTY FOR CABLE PIRATES OFFERED. On his syndicated TV show, America's Most Wanted, John Walsh helps apprehend some of the nation's most notorious murderers, rapists and kidnappers. Now, he's helping a cable company with a more mundane crime: theft of cable services. Walsh is appearing in commercials urging Tampa and Hillsborough County residents to stop cable theft. The commercials are part of Jones Intercable's monthlong amnesty program that asks people who are stealing cable services to turn themselves in and start paying for them without the fear of being prosecuted. "You don't want to go after people who are being honest," Jones Intercable general manager Roger Holleger said. The program, which runs until July 15, already has persuaded 30 customers to turn themselves in and start paying for cable, Jones Intercable public relations manager Lori Torrie said. During the grace period, Jones Intercable agents will be notifying customers who they think are not paying for cable by putting notices on their doors. Holleger estimates that as many as 3 percent of Jones Intercable's 60,000 customers in Tampa are wittingly or unwittingly stealing some type of cable service.
BOY ON BIKE INJURED IN BUS COLLISION. A 14-year-old boy was seriously injured Tuesday when he crashed his bicycle into the side of a bus, St. Petersburg police said. Victor Smiley, 667 14th Ave. S, was listed in critical condition at All Children's Hospital late Tuesday night. Police said he was riding north on a sidewalk in the 2000 block of M.L. King (Ninth ) St. S at 6:10 p.m. when he turned into the street, hitting a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus. Smiley was thrown to the pavement. Paramedics took him to Bayfront Medical Center, and he was transferred later to All Children's Hospital. Bus driver Bruce Gralow Jr. was not charged in the accident.