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Extension of SR 56 to get under way in September

(ran East edition)

Soon there will be one more way out of Meadow Pointe to State Road 56. Construction on an extension to the highway is scheduled to begin in September.

The $15-million project will extend SR 56 east to link Meadow Pointe Boulevard with Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The 3.2-mile segment will be paid for by the Goodman Co., the developer of a retail and commercial center at Wiregrass Ranch, and Pulte Home Corp.

The timing of the construction project is critical, as a new high school and middle school will be served by the road, according to a statement by John W. Dowd III, the Goodman Co.'s senior vice president of development.

It's unclear how long the project will take. John Long Middle School is scheduled to open in August, while Wiregrass RanchHigh School is scheduled to open in January 2007.

Deputies: Four auto burglaries seem related

WESLEY CHAPEL - Pasco sheriff's deputies are investigating a string of auto burglaries in two Wesley Chapel neighborhoods.

The four burglaries happened between 3:30 and 6:04 a.m. Sunday, sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said.

In at least two cases, a thief punched out the driver's door lock to get into the vehicles, Tobin said. A handgun was stolen from a truck parked at 5914 Carina Trace, and a DVD player and DVDs were taken from an SUV at 29453 Duncan Trace, sheriff's reports said. The thefts occurred in the Chapel Pines and Citrus Trace communities.

"It appears they're related," Tobin said, noting the similarities in the time and area of the break-ins. Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Sheriff's Office tip line toll free at 1-800-706-2488.

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