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Fire causes minor damage
PINELLAS PARK – A three-alarm fire caused by a processing oven on Aug. 22 caused minor damage and no injuries. Assistant Chief Steven McCarthy said the blaze at Transitions Optical Inc., 9251 Belcher Road, broke out about 3 a.m. in an oven used to process phosphates, aluminates and other materials.

Firefighters from Seminole, Largo, Lealman and St. Petersburg also responded as a precautionary measure.

Transitions Optical Inc. is a world supplier of plastic lenses to optical manufacturers.

Mayoral candidate blasts time limit law
PINELLAS PARK – A mayoral candidate charged that a city law outlining the amount of time someone can speak at council meetings is unconstitutional and should be changed. Randy Heine, who is opposing incumbent Bill Mischler, alleged that city officials fear being confronted at public meetings.

“The three-minute limit restricts the right of free speech,” Heine said.

The candidate said he will contact the American Civil Liberties Union if the restriction is not lifted. City officials say anyone can address City Council on pubic issues. If there are three public issues than a person can speak three times for three minutes each time.

Heine takes issue with the end of council meetings when people are restricted to three minutes regardless of how many issues they wish to address.

“I may have two or three topics and can only talk for three minutes total,” Heine said. “That just isn’t right.”

The law in question was approved in 1985.

Youths cited for honesty
ST. PETERSBURG – Two youths, one from Pinellas Park, were rewarded for their honesty after turning in a $25,750 check they found in a parking lot.

Clayton Wastek, 18, of Pinellas Park and Christian Veitel, 17, of St. Petersburg were walking near the Pinellas Technical Education Center on 34th Street when they spotted the check on the ground.

They turned it over to Deputy William Nardozzi, the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office school resource officer, who gave it to the rightful owner. Trudy McNulty said she inadvertently dropped it while exiting her car. McNulty later presented the teens with an undisclosed reward during a brief ceremony at Gibbs High School.

Cancer Society seeks volunteers for relay
PINELLAS PARK – The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers to participate in the 2006 “Relay for Life” event to raise money for cancer research. The May 5 event will begin at the England Bros. Band Shell in Town Square Plaza Park. Training sessions will be held this and next month. More than 3 million people, 500,000 of them cancer survivors, participated in the last nationwide program. Potential volunteers should visit or call 1-800-227-2345.
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