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Hank Jr. can sing it loud for now

Residents near the Florida State Fairgrounds will have to endure at least one more concert at the Ford Amphitheatre.

A judge on Wednesday granted venue owner Clear Channel Entertainment's request to delay a hearing that could have put the kibosh on future concerts, including a Jan. 29 show by Hank Williams Jr. The hearing had been scheduled for today.

The Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County had filed a lawsuit seeking to halt all concerts until Clear Channel and the Florida State Fair Authority can guarantee that future events will not violate the county's noise ordinance. Since the venue opened last summer, the EPC has received more than 160 noise complaints from residents who live nearby.

"We're asking the court to say no to future concerts until permanent corrective actions are implemented out there," said EPC general counsel Rick Tschantz.

The new hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 4. That could pose problems for the Florida State Fair, which has scheduled its headline entertainment at the amphitheater _ Travis Tritt on Feb. 10 and the Neville Brothers on Feb. 14.

Fair executive director Charles "Chuck" Pesano said this week he thinks those concerts will go on.

"Hopefully before we get to that point, we can come to an agreement with the EPC as it relates to the Florida State Fair, so that we're handled slightly different in the injunction than Clear Channel," Pesano said. "We actually feel pretty confident that when the fair gets here, we will have concerts."

Jay Cridlin can be reached at 661-2442 or cridlinsptimes.com.

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