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COAST GUARD FINDS SHEEN UNLIKELY RELATED TO BP SPILL

CLEARWATER

The Coast Guard discovered a possible fuel sheen about 4 miles west of Clearwater Beach on Thursday, officials said.

The sheen appears to be an illegal discharge of fuel, said Capt. Tim Close, commander of Coast Guard sector St. Petersburg. It is not believed to be linked to the BP oil leak.

A helicopter crew from the Clearwater station spotted the sheen while on patrol Thursday afternoon. Samples of the sheen, which is believed to be a mixture of diesel and gasoline, will be sent to a lab in Connecticut for testing.

The sheen itself is expected to dissipate naturally.

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WESLEY CHAPEL

Judge says mall project fails to protect wetlands

A federal judge has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to revise its permit for the 500-acre Cypress Creek Town Center, finding the agency failed to ensure the protection of wetlands.

The order does not halt the work at the mall site at State Road 56 and Interstate 75, where crews have done earth-moving and roadwork preparations. But until the permit is revised, the developers proceed with any work at their own risk.

It's too early to say what the ruling could mean for the project. The corps will craft a revised permit. The Sierra Club, which filed the legal challenge, will offer its input. Then the judge will determine what conditions to impose on the project.

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ST. PETERSBURG

Bank robbers leave suspicious package

Police are looking for two men who robbed a Largo Wachovia at gunpoint Thursday morning.

The men walked into the Wachovia at 801 W Bay Drive just before 11 a.m., showed handguns and demanded money, said Large police Lt. Michael Loux. After they took an undisclosed amount, the two men placed a suspicious package in the lobby and indicated it was a bomb.

The Tampa Police Department bomb squad was investigating. The Pinellas County School Board offices, about a half- mile from the Wachovia, were placed on lockdown at about noon.

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