A Lutz family that woke up to a sinkhole in their front yard Sunday morning will be able to save their house. Engineers conducted soil tests Monday and determined the sinkhole at the home of Don and Susan Kirschner had stabilized, said Sam Moussly, a geotechnical engineer with Professional Service Industry. The sinkhole, in front of the home on Sterling Silver Circle, grew to about 20 feet wide and 14 feet deep. It was filled with dirt Sunday afternoon to provide support. A process called grouting, where a mixture of cement and sand is injected into the hole and in other areas of the property, will begin today.
LAWYER IN ANIMAL KILLING TO GO TO TRIAL. Manny Machin freely admits to killing the vermin that had been tormenting him and his neighbors for days. He is not sure whether they were mating or fighting when he shot them. Nor does he care. It was justified, he says. Today, Machin intends to prove it in court in Tampa. On one side will be the controversial lawyer, charged with discharging a firearm within city limits. On the other side will be the state, which is prosecuting Machin for blasting the two opossums. Jury selection on Monday was not without its share of humor. "Do you have any feelings . . . pro-possum or anti-possum?" prosecutor Jan McDonald asked one prospective juror. The man declared himself possum-neutral. Machin told potential jurors he was a lawyer and asked if anybody had a problem with that. "I'm not happy with lawyers," a potential juror replied. Machin also is charged with cruelty to animals. Machin claims prosecutors are targeting him. He said his testimony in a 1991 corruption case embarrassed then-Judge, now State Attorney, Harry Lee Coe III.
NURSE SUES CENTER AFTER HIS FIRING. A nurse has sued Orchard Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Port Richey, alleging that he was fired on a pretext a few days after reporting a case of patient neglect to state regulators on July 15. The lawsuit, filed Monday by licensed practical nurse Robert Zweil, accuses the nursing home and administrators of unlawful retaliation, conspiracy and defamation. The nursing home has disputed the charges, saying that Zweil's firing was not linked to revenge and that a state investigation found no problems. In July, Zweil was working as a nurse at Orchard Ridge. He discovered that a patient with a serious bedsore had been left untreated for weeks, the suit said, and reported it to his supervisor. That condition, primarily caused by failing to move the patient regularly, gets worse and worse without care, the suit said. Instead of treating the man or getting a doctor to examine him, the suit said, another nurse had simply used a bandage to cover the infected wound. The patient's medical records, the suit said, noted no follow-up care for the condition.