The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on February 22, 1997 · 53
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 53

Tampa, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 22, 1997
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THE TAMPA TRIBUNE Saturday, February 22, 1997 Zephyrhills Dade City Land O" Lakes Wesley Chapel St Leo San Antonio Saddlebrook Odessa Holiday New Port Richey Port Richey Hudson Send comments and tips through e-mail to or write co The Tampa Tribune, 6214 U.S. Hwy 19, New Port Richey, Fla. 34652 Pasco Developer set to start Lutz homes LUTZ Pasco developer Dara Khoyi and partner Ben Murphy hope to break ground Monday on a 60-home subdivision just south of the PascoHillsborough county line. Nohl Crest Homes, Windjammer Homes and Atlantic Homes will build houses to sell for between $225,000 and $500,000. About two-thirds of the lots in the subdivision will front either Hog Island Lake or Cool Kill Lake, Khoyi said. The 94-acre site sits on Newberger Road off U.S. 41. If a planned Hillsborough County inspection is completed Friday, builders will begin the first of three model homes, two speculative homes and two for folks who already have lot reservations. The partners may have moved south, but they're definitely not leaving Pasco for good, Khoyi said. They still have an option to buy 107 acres on School Road in Land 0' Lakes, and plan to develop a subdivision there if they can work out the details of who will provide water and sewer services, he said. SMALL SPEC BUILDINGS SNAPPED UP: A developer who put in one small speculative building in West Pasco Industrial Park didn't have to speculate long on whether he'd fill it. Frank Mullin just completed and leased a 9,100-square-foot building, and plans to start another one soon. The new tenant in the completed facility is Rob DeVries, whose company sells and services equipment used to make electric motors for automobiles. With the shortage of available empty space, Mullin likely won't be waiting with his second building vacant for long, said Jim Wood, president of Genesis Commercial Real Estate, the park's developer. GAS PRICES STAY STEADY: The latest report from AAA Clubs of Florida shows drivers in Florida and Pasco County saw gasoline prices stay steady during the first half of Feb-ruary. Customers in Pasco can expect to continue paying average prices of $1.25 per gallon for regular unleaded, $1.33 for mid-grade and $1.40 for premium, at least until the spring season increases travel demand and probably prices, said AAA spokeswoman Yoli Buss. REMAX SALES SOAR: REMAX Advantage Realty in Port Richey ranked fifth in sales among 134 REMAX of Florida Inc. offices throughout the state last year. Associates closed 1,054 transactions during 1996, said broker Mark Swartsel. Statewide, REMAX of Florida reported a 19.6 percent increase in closed sales last year over 1995. ZEPHYRHILLS CHAMBER CONNECTS: The Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce is holding its February Chamber Connection from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at First Union Bank, 38421 Fifth Ave. For reservations, call the chamber at (813)782-1913. DADE CITY DEVELOPMENT: The economic development committee of the Dade City Chamber of Commerce will hold its second meeting at 8 a.m. Monday at the chamber office. The goal of the committee is to focus on improving the economic climate for small businesses, the backbone of Dade City's economy, said committee chair Judith Rochelle. At Monday's meeting, members will discuss the city's demographics as they plan the best course for future development. For information on the committee, call the chamber at (352) 567-3769. COLDWELL'S TOP PRODUCERS: Coldwell Banker Suncoast Realty announced its top producers for January. Alva Davis and Jim Clarke were named top listing and selling agents, and Meriell and Wayne Carter took the honors as top producers Connie Peake won the TEAM Spirit Award. Coldwell also welcomed new associate Nancy Muniak last month. Muniak has lived in Pasco County for 15 years. Compiled bv Janet Forgrieve of the Tribune staff. Send items to The Tampa Tribune, 2020 Land O' Lakes Blvd., Suite 1, LuU 33549, or fax to (813) 949-48(2. I 1 ,600-home community planned SUMMARY: A nationally known builder plans a new community for Wesley Chapel that would add almost 1,600 homes near I-75. By JANET FORGRIEVE ot The Tampa Tribune WESLEY CHAPEL Pulte Home Corp. could become Pasco's busiest builder, if a proposed new 1,599-home subdivision is approved. Pulte filed a zoning request this week to put a new subdivision on the north side of State Road 54, about a mile west of 1-75. The national home builder ranked third in the county last year, behind Lennar Homes and U.S. Homes, in the number of building permits it obtained. Plans call for 1,362 single-family homes and 237 multifamily units, as well as an 18-hole golf course, a clubhouse and several private parks. The land is now zoned for agricultural uses and was valued for 1996 property tax purposes at $94,373. Tax rolls show the land has been used for timber and cattle grazing. The Wesley Chapel site, now owned by Anaheim, Calif.-based Specialty Restaurants Inc., is part of a booming section of Pasco. Just to the southeast, on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, sits Meadow Pointe. That subdivision has been the county's top seller three years running, in part by billing itself as a cheaper and convenient alternative to Hillsborough County. Though farther from Hillsborough than Meadow Pointe, the as-yet unnamed Pulte subdivision would offer the same benefits to Tampa commuters looking for lower taxes and neighborhood schools. Representative's of Pulte's Tampa office couldn't be reached for comment Friday. Approval of Pulte's plans hinges on whether proposed amendments to Pasco's Comprehensive Land Use Plans pass muster with the state Department of Community Affairs. The 802-acre site Pulte plans to build on is only approved for one home per acre, but changes to the comprehensive plan would allow three units per acre on about 700 acres of the site. See COMMUNITY, Page 6 Foamflower Btvdy X Blvdf7 X. I Proposed subdivision Tribune map Rounding into form f i V - f i . X A'' ' V i t i i 1 i ; , , . if ; ' V i 1 i p V". 7 ' ' " V-t 1 ii ii i- nil FRED BELLETTribune photos i Xt'Ali- ?:?rsv tP ..for Y 1 s .... . -; ., .t-.. . " T r.,;,.J Eva Berman, above, works on a statue in the pottery studio at the Pasco Fine Arts Council's class. Right, Petro Pieterse, foreground, works on sculpting chess pieces, while Kerrie Broe brushes under glaze paint on a piece. 2nd defendant sentenced in murder SUMMARY) Douglas Porter and his cousin and co-defendant Albert Leon Fletcher both claimed the other fired the shot that killed a Lakeland man. Br BILL HEERV ol The Tampa Tribune BARTOW A judge told murder defendant Douglas Dwayne Porter on Friday that he didn't believe Porter or his cousin and co-defendant Albert Leon Fletcher ever told the whole truth about the 1993 shooting death of a Lakeland man during a failed robbery. But in sentencing Porter to 40 years in prison, Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney told the defendant, "I don't think you shot him." Porter and Fletcher each claimed the other fired the sawed-off shotgun blast that killed Nelson Medina Oliveras, 32, of Lakeland. Under the state's felony-murder law, it didn't matter which one pulled the trigger. Anyone participating in certain felonies, such as robberies, can be charged with murder if someone dies in the process. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for See DEFENDANT, Pag 6 Franzen says Palm wasn't his target SUMMARY: Terry Wayne Franzen Jr. says on videotape he meant to shoot someone else when a bullet instead killed Jason Palm. Closing arguments start Monday. By JOEL POILEY of The Tampa Tribune DADE CITY A remorseful Terry Wayne Franzen Jr. told deputies he was shooting at someone else when he hit and killed Jason Palm, a videotape played by prosecutors Friday shows. Franzen said he meant to hit Larry Seymour his rival for a girl's affections and not anyone else in the pickup truck Franzen fired at with a high-powered rifle on Jan. 5, 1996. Palm, 16, of Zephyrhills was hit in the head by a bullet that pierced the truck and ricocheted off the wheel well. Witnesses told deputies Palm was an innocent bystander caught in a fight between Franzen and Seymour that stemmed from Seymour's interest in Franzen's girlfriend, Bree Clemens. Assistant State Attorney Phil Van Allen said Franzen armed himself with his father's semiautomatic rifle, dressed in camouflage and "laid in wait" for Seymour to arrive at the Circle K at U.S. 301 and Clinton Avenue in Dade City. Franzen, 20, is charged with first-degree murder. He's also charged with armed burglary and grand theft, accused of breaking into his father's house and stealing the rifle. At the time, Franzen Sr. lived in the Orange Valley subdivision about a mile from the shooting scene. A sobbing and nearly inaudible Franzen said several times on the tape he didn't mean to hurt anybody, and appeared distraught when a detective said Palm had been hit. "I didn't know the boy," Franzen said in a whisper. "I only meant to hit Larry, and I didn't mean to hit him." As he has throughout the trial, Franzen's attorney Bill Eble argued the tape isn't evidence of premeditation, or first-degree, murder. Eble has tried to show that Seymour had threatened Franzen several times over the telephone the week before the shooting. Pretrial depositions stated that after Seymour found out Franzen had struck Clemens, Seymour threatened to "put him six feet under." Seymour, 22, agreed in court Thursday that he'd made those statements. Eble told jurors that Seymour made the See TRIAL, Page 8 Drug sweep brings 3 arrests SUMMARY: A sweep, weeks in the making, nets three men on drug charges. Deputies seize both crack and powder cocaine and marijuana in Thursday night bust. By ANDY GOTLIEB of The Tampa Tribune DADE CITY Thirty-five to 40 sheriffs employees armed with warrants arrested three men on drug charges, according to sheriff's reports. "We're trying to send a message to people who operate or frequent crack houses: We are out there," sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said Friday. Undercover detectives had made buys over a period of several weeks from the three men who apparently were working separately, Powers said. The search warrants were served almost simultaneously Thursday evening, Powers said. The sheriffs emergency response team and vice narcotics units were joined by the Hernando County sheriffs SWAT team, Powers said. The show of force was used to make sure the warrants could be served, the houses searched and so nobody got hurt, Powers said. The sweep netted about $780 in crack cocaine, $500 in powder cocaine and $800 in marijuana, he said. - Those arrested were: Robert Lee Echols, 26, of 15037 17th St. in Dade City. He is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine and with violating his probation on a previous possession of cocaine charge. He was being held Friday without bail at the Land O' Lakes jail. Detectives found 1.3 grams of cocaine in Echols' pocket, reports said. They also found 20.7 grams of crack cocaine divided into 13 small plastic bags in a bedroom See DRUGS, Page 6 it A Pole position With her teammates looking on, Gulf High School senior Cynthia , Kessler practices a pole vaulting exercise , called sand plants. The team will be Inaction I today at the school when Gulf plays host to a 1 relay meet beginning at 10 a.m. ANDY JONESTribone photo IitMkJ Hog show, Dolly Parton look-alikes at fair today; rabbit show winners awarded, Page 3.

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