The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on February 8, 1997 · 43
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 43

Tampa, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 8, 1997
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THE TAMPA TRIBUNE Saturday, February 8, 1997 Lakeland Winter Haven Bartow Lake Wales Haines City Mulberry Frostproof Auburndale Polk City Eagle Lake The Ridge roiK Send comments and tips through e-mail to or write co The Tampa Tribune, 230 S.Florida Ave., Lakeland, Fla. 33801 51' Tourism pro talks at Grenelefe A leading authority on rural tourism developfhent will speak to area tourism executives from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at a seminar sponsored by the Central Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau. The half-day seminar by Gale Trus-sell will show people how to hold tourists in their area, how to retain tourists in small towns and how to extend a tourist season. The program is most useful for representatives of hotels, motels, restaurants, attractions, museums, special events and antiques districts. The seminar is in the Blackthorn Room at the Grenelefe Resort in Haines City. It costs $15. To register, call 534-4375 or fax 534-0886. Aramark adds 2 Aramark Food Service has appointed Brandon Higley as general manager and Maurice Bill as executive chef of its food service operation at the Lakeland Center. Anco adds sales staffer Becky Bywater has joined the sales staff of Anco Color in Winter Ha-. ven. Tatum is VP at Rehab Jeannie Tatum has been named vice president of clinic development for Lakeland-based Rehab Management Systems Inc. Accountant on council Certified Public Accountant Alan Fisk has been elected to the Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Fisk is vice president of Carter, Belcourt and Atkinson. 3 added to SunTrust board Three directors were appointed at the annual meeting of SunTrust Bank of Central Florida: Peter J. Fontain, president and chief executive of Discount Auto Parts; Larry D. Tucker, president of Tucker Engineering and Construction in Winter Haven; and Charles F. Weeder, chairman of Homes of Merit in Bartow. PCC writing class Tuesday Polk Community College is holding a business writing class Tuesday and Thursday at the Lakeland campus. Cost is $40 for Florida residents. PCC also is offering real estate principles, practices and law for anyone interested in a career in real estate. Class begins Feb. 24 and runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through April 23. Cost to attend this class is $160, plus the required text book. For details, call 297-1021. Tax help for seniors Tax-preparation help is available for persons with limited income from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at the Eagle Ridge Mall's activity room. For details, call Pat Tighe at 678-3222. Chamber event Feb. 20 The Bartow Chamber of Commerce is holding its next Business After Hours from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Feb. 20 at Big Oaks Buick, Pontiac, GMC, 255 W. Van Fleet Drive. For details, call 533-7125. History topic of meeting We Love History is the theme for Downtown Bartow lnc.'s annual meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday. Members, their guests and the public are invited to attend in one of Bartow's Historic Sites Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church, 410 E. Church St. for networking and fun. Anyone wishing to attend the annual meeting can contact Pam Perdue, executive director, at 534-4030. Compiled by Jennifer Edit Send Polk County business news to Business Writer, co The Tampa . Tribune, $30 S. Florida Av., Lakeland, Dome negotiations take secretive route SUMMARY: It may breach the spirit, not the letter, of state Sunshine Laws when Winter Haven city commissioners get down to business on leasing the Baseball Dome. By STEVE NEWBORN of The Tampa Tribune WINTER HAVEN A national youth basketball league has been given exclusive dibs on negotiating to lease the newly repainted Baseball Dome. But how much does the city want to chip in? City taxpayers will likely be the last to know. City commissioners on Friday chose not to publicly discuss their proposed terms. Commissioners instead will each go to City Manager Carl Cheatham with their proposals. Cheatham then will direct the city's staff to negotiate within those guidelines. "Do they want a lease that comes up with $3,000, $5,000 or $10,000 a month?" Cheatham asked. "There's a lot of room to maneuver here." This is a way to avoid showing their W.V-- i I'll p,'k f ' i ' v. .rf- 'l i i1 f - I Vs, A;- t II r-: - I - PATRICK DENNISTribune photo Terisa Glover, exhibit director at Explorations V Children's exhibit. The exhibit, running through Aug. 31, is part of a Museum in Lakeland, demonstrates an Australian didgeridoo cultural series designed to create better understanding of while surrounded by art from the "Australian Impressions" cultures around the world. Exhibit focuses on land down under SUMMARY: OK, mate, the Explorations V Children's Museum is kicking off its "Australian Impressions" exhibit today with activities. By MAUREEN PEARSON Tribune correspondent LAKELAND A colorful depiction of life in Australia opens today at Explorations V Children's Museum. "Australian Impressions" features hands-on activities for children to learn about the people, wildlife and geography of Australia. "What makes this exhibit unique is the wildlife depicted in it," said Terisa Glover, exhibit director. Explorations V is at 124 and 125 S. Defendant accuses cousin of shooting murder victim SUMMARY: Albert Leon Fletcher testifies and claims his cousin knew the shooting victim and was trying to collect money owed him when Douglas Porter accidentally fired. By BILL HEERY of The Tampa Tribune BARTOW Murder defendant Albert Leon Fletcher testified Friday in his own defense that his cousin, convicted co-defendant Douglas Porter, was the triggerman in the 1993 shooting death of a Lakeland man during what prosecutors claim was a robbery attempt. Fletcher said he got blood on his shirt when he pulled the victim upright to check on him. Also Friday, two former cellmates of Porter testified that Porter told them he had shot the victim. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for Fletcher, 26, of Zephyrhills, in the April 3, 1993, killing of Nelson Medina IMlIb l Lakeland consider cards before sitting down to negotiate a deal, commissioners said. Commissioner Scott Girouard said that by tipping their hand, the city could possibly get less than what Youth Basketball of America is willing to pay. City Attorney Robert Antonello said it is not a violation of the state's Sunshine Laws if commissioners discuss an item with a third party that is not up for a vote. But it may be a violation of the spirit not the letter of the open-meetings statute. ' In January, commissioners gave Youth Basketball of America exclusive rights for 120 days to negotiate a lease on the dome. The city hopes to lure the league into an arrangement that won't cost it too much money while the league renovates the empty dome. "I would like to see this thing come to a conclusion in an expedient manner," said Commissioner Dave Dershimer. "I would like to see us get the best deal possible for See DOME, Page 5 rr till'- illi-- - '----- "T "IT fit I H"1 In Kentucky Ave. Grand-opening ceremonies are noon to 4 p.m. and include characters from Walt Disney World, special guest artists and performers. Admission to both museum galleries is $3 for children and $1.50 for adults. The exhibit is the third in the museum's "Impressions" series, which focuses on the life and culture of the continents, said Glover. The museum has previously featured "African Impressions" and "Impressions of the Americas." "Australian Impressions" runs through August. More than 1,000 hours of labor were donated by volunteers to create the murals and ac Oliveras, 32. Oliveras was shot in the neck with a sawed-off shotgun during a robbery attempt after a tire on his station wagon was shot out about 1:30 a.m. on Harden Boulevard in Lakeland. Fletcher had been Polk County's most-wanted fugitive after escaping in 1995 from Pasco County authorities on unrelated charges. He slipped out of his handcuffs and shackles on Jan. 11, 1995, while being taken to Dade City courthouse for a hearing. He fled behind the courthouse amid a hail of gunfire and disappeared into the swamps outside of town. The Zephyrhills man managed to elude authorities for more than a year. They finally caught up with him in Delaware in April 1996 after a television viewer recognized Fletcher from a segment on "Unsolved Mysteries." Fletcher was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the Pasco armed burglary charge L See FLETCHER, Page 2 annexing northwest and southern areas. Story, Pc,;e 2. i . . 11 as - -fi. "2 , rtes A national youth basketball league has exclusive rights on negotiating to lease the newly repainted Baseball v & tivities for "Australian Impressions." Local artist Rick Olivo designed paint-by-number murals to allow children and adults to paint a Great Barrier Reef in the museum gallery depicting the colorful fish and coral of Australia's greatest tourism attraction. Local collectors donated Australian artifacts, which are on display in the museum's window. The exhibit also includes map-reading activities, language appreciation, rubber stamp design and basket weaving. "Australian Impressions" is funded in part by a grant from the city of Lakeland, Walt Disney World and various public and private donors. r JfA Jr tilfjj r few fif T - J;if" f if: U ; ,. PATRICK DENNISTribune photo Albert Leon Fletcher, shown in court penalty for Fletcher, 26, of Zephyr-earlier this week, testified Friday, hills, in the April 3, 1993, killing of Prosecutors are seeking the death PATRICK DENNISTribune file photo Dome in Winter Haven. City commissioners aren't publicly discussing the proposed terms. Jury finds for eye bank employee SUMMARY: The eye bank's attorney said the judge will be asked next week to overturn the verdict because of insufficient evidence. By BILL HEERY of The Tampa Tribune BARTOW A Polk County jury on Friday awarded $132,380 in damages to a former employee of a Lakeland eye bank who claimed she was fired in retaliation for objecting to unsanitary and improper practices at the nonprofit organization. The jury deliberated a little less than an hour before returning the verdict in favor of Marlene Maisonville of Lakeland, who was fired by the Tampa-based Central Florida Lions Eye and Tissue Bank in May 1992. Maisonville's 1993 lawsuit was against the management of the eye bank and not the Lions Club, which supports the organization but is not involved in its management. Maisonville's attorney, Howard Shifke of Tampa, told jurors that Maisonville was trying to protect the public from potentially contaminated eye tissue. "She refused to participate in violations of rules and regulations." Maisonville had learned that management at the Lakeland branch of the eye bank was allowing cornea tissue to be removed improperly, Shifke said, and she lost her job for "whistle-blowing." Tampa attorney Richard Ramsey, representing the eye bank, told jurors Maisonville was fired because of a conflict between her and her boss. She did not make the accusations about improper procedures until after she was fired, he said. See VERDICT, Page 5 Nelson Medina Oliveras, 32.

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