(ran NTP edition)
A summary of stories of interest to North of Tampa communities from the page of The Times in the last week:
COOKIE THEFT: The two men who robbed a Girl Scout as she sold cookies with her mother outside a Carrollwood grocery store pleaded guilty last week to robbery and aggravated assault. Cleveland Pierce Johnson Jr., 29, and John Christopher Pellicer, 19, got away with $68.50 but later were arrested. Both men face prison when they are sentenced Aug. 15.
WATER THREAT: Hillsborough County commissioners agreed last week to cut off funding for the development of new water resources unless they get concessions from neighboring counties. Commissioners are especially unhappy with the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, Tampa Bay's largest water utility. They think recent authority decisions show little regard for the concerns of water suppliers such as Hillsborough.
KLEMAN RAISE: County Administrator Dan Kleman got some good news from his bosses last week: a 3 percent raise and a two-year contract extension. County commissioners gave Kleman high marks in written evaluations.
SCHOOL BUDGET: The School Board's proposed budget for next year includes a tax increase, about $27 for a $125,000 house with a $25,000 homestead exemption. The spending plan also includes about $4-million in cuts for the financially troubled school district. Supporters of the September referendum that calls for a sales tax increase to pay for a host of new projects, including a new Tampa Stadium, are worried the proposed School Board increase could alienate voters.
RAVE ORDINANCE: Hillsborough officials are looking at a county ordinance that would restrict raves, late-night dance parties said to attract illegal drugs and underage youth. A draft ordinance is scheduled to be completed within 30 days.
NEW HOMES: The owner of a large industrial park just across the Hillsborough line in Oldsmar said he is considering developing part of the park as a residential subdivision. Developer Michael Swerdlow wants to build both upscale and moderately-priced homes in the Tampa Bay Park of Commerce. The development would be the largest in Oldsmar in recent times.