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West Side Lounge damaged by fire

An electrical fire Wednesday night damaged the West Side Lounge, formerly known as the Dew Drop Inn, at Central Avenue and 49th Street.

The business was closed when the fire started about 10:20 p.m. The fire caused an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 worth of damage before firefighters extinguished it.

At about the same time, a woman in the Lealman area suffered burns when she accidentally set fire to her robe in a house at 4150 55th St. N, authorities said. She was taken to the burn unit at Tampa General Hospital, and her condition was not available.

Police chief finalists

to be announced soon

ST. PETERSBURG _ Mayor Rick Baker said Wednesday that he will have a list of final candidates for police chief in a week to 10 days.

Baker and his staff, including Chief Goliath Davis III, have been sorting through 116 resumes since the June 29 deadline for applications. Baker would not identify potential finalists.

There are several candidates from the St. Petersburg Police Department, including Assistant Chief of Patrol Chuck Harmon; Maj. Mary E. Peters (training); Lt. Maurice McGough (research and analysis); and Officer Hugh Wade. Former police Chief Mack Vines and former Assistant Chief Bill Proffitt also are seeking the post.

Drug court gets $400,000

to help treat addicts

The Pinellas County Drug Court will receive $400,000 from the state Legislature to pay for treating non-violent drug addicts.

With the money, the drug court will be able to order more criminal defendants into drug treatment without putting them on six- to eight-week waiting lists, said Tom Toy, drug court coordinator.

The drug court is designed to send non-violent addicts to treatment instead of prison. Since the drug court opened in January, it has ordered 400 addicts into treatment, but the process is hampered by the fact that a 75-bed secure drug treatment center in St. Petersburg still isn't open.

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