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East County Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2010 5 years ago

News Briefs 06.24.10

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by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

+ Lakewood Ranch Hallmark robbed
A man threatening he had a vial and syringe containing the AIDS virus robbed the Lakewood Ranch Hallmark June 18.

The suspect, described as being in his mid-to-late 20s and weighing about 160 pounds, looked through cards at the store, 8322 Market St., as he waited for other customers to leave. Then, he took a card to the register and told the cashier it was a robbery as she started the transaction, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report. No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect was wearing a maroon shirt, dark shorts and a green baseball cap with the letters “FL” written in yellow.

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

+ Buchanan tackles oil spill, oil industry
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan on June 21 met with environmentalists, business leaders and elected officials to discuss new legislation he will introduce regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Called the Oil Spill Prevention Act, Buchanan’s proposal reforms federal oversight of the oil industry and addresses liability issues by rescinding protections offered to the oil industry and by mandating that regular inspections occur as scheduled. Deepwater Horizon has still not been fixed, missed 16 inspections before the explosion.

 

“We have to do everything possible to plug the leak and take strong action to make sure it never happens again,” Buchanan said.

Specifically, Buchanan’s legislation will prevent conflicts of interest by separating the inspections office responsible for safety and environmental protection from the leasing office, which collects revenues; will require random drug testing; will require MMS employees to wait a minimum of two years before working for an oil company; will mandate that missed inspections be rescheduled and eliminate categorical exemptions from environmental requirements; and eliminate the cap on the financial liability of oil companies responsible for offshore spills.

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