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Bridge closes today for concrete pour

The Treasure Island Causeway Bridge will be closed to cars and pedestrians from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today , while crews pour concrete for the new structure.

Westbound traffic will be detoured at 79th Street on Causeway Isles to Causeway Boulevard North or South. Eastbound traffic will be detoured at 104th Avenue, except for local traffic to the Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club and Paradise Boulevard.

Traffic to and from Treasure Island will be directed to the Madeira Beach Causeway to the north and the Corey Causeway in St. Pete Beach to the south. Boat traffic will not be affected.

TAMPA

Longtime YMCA leader takes job in Seattle

Robert B. Gilbertson Jr., leader of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, is leaving after more than 30 years with the organization to become president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Seattle.

Gilbertson has been head of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA for more than two decades, during which it added 12 new branches, its membership growing from 5,000 to 130,000 members and the budget has grown from around $1-million to more than $33-million.

Elsewhere

INVERNESS: The Sheriff's Office is stepping up patrols near Citrus County parks after vandalism was found at three county-owned properties in five days. Parks officials discovered graffiti and damaged bathrooms at facilities in Floral City, Beverly Hills and Citrus Springs. Crystal River officials have curtailed the hours of the Bicentennial Skate Park.

LAND O'LAKES

Wal-Mart supercenter is coming after all

Wal-Mart plans to build a supercenter at Dale Mabry Highway and U.S. 41.

Last week, state Department of Transportation officials said Wal-Mart dropped its plans for the 207,500-square-foot store. But it turns out DOT had misunderstood the retail giant.

The misunderstanding centered around Wal-Mart attorney Glenn Smith's statement that "We're pulling out."

DOT officials thought he meant Wal-Mart was scrapping its plans. Smith said he meant Wal-Mart was pulling out of one meeting with DOT officials and changing its road plan.

Tuesday, Smith informed DOT that fresh plans would be submitted to settle a dispute, but the retailer still wants to develop the site.

CLEARWATER

Former FEMA director to address chamber

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown, who bore the brunt of criticism over Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, will visit Belleair on Friday as the keynote speaker at the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce's membership forum.

As usual, he plans to talk about what went wrong during Katrina and discuss his own mistakes during the tragedy.

"If people are paying attention, they can avoid those mistakes in the future,'' Brown, 52, said in a telephone interview this week. "You can never get too prepared.''

Brown said no question will be off limits and he welcomes questions from local business leaders.

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