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By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   Jan. 30, 2003 at 4:00 AM
TUCSON BUILDER FORCED TO MAKE BIG REPAIRS

A prominent Arizona homebuilder has agreed to make more than $1.5 million in repairs in the wake of a custom construction project. According to the Arizona Star, builder John Miller responded to a complaint filed in the fall of 2001 charging his construction work on a posh home was "substandard."

In the ensuing months many of the allegations made against Miller have been dismissed.

But an administrative law judge found much of the work was not well done, including electrical, doors, cabinets and a brick driveway.

The woman who filed the complaint, Alice Rice, also charged some of the expensive mirrors purchased for the home had been damaged by Miller's crews while they were being installed.


HOUSTON PEDIATRIC CENTERS TAXED TO LIMIT

A new survey of children's health care in Houston shows services in pediatric centers are overburdened to the max. One health official tells the Houston Chronicle that "if we have only one flu epidemic (in Houston) ... we're in real trouble."

Dr. Guy Clifton, the president of the group Save Our ERs, says the situation is at the boiling point.

"This is a precious time that is the difference between whether a sick child lives or dies," Clifton told the Chronicle in a recent interview.

It was Clifton's group that commissioned the survey that showed the pediatric shortfalls. Among its findings: Many of Houston's hospitals are operating on a "razor-thin" financial edge; a major disease outbreak could prove a catastrophe.


TWIN CITIES GETS NEW PLAN FOR KIDS' THEATER

Well known architect Michael Graves has just unveiled a radically new plan for a Children's Theatre Company addition in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The plan, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, is very different from the one put forth by Graves less than a year ago.

Changes in the revised plan include the removal of planned bright colored panels on the outside of the building.

The changed design for what might be called a "master lobby" allows the entryway to be used both by the new $24 million children's addition and the existing theater complex.

In addition to the visible changes, the new plan calls for a slightly smaller building with much of the parking put in a new underground garage. Also part of the plan is a new 288-seat kids theater, dance studio, rehearsal halls and classroom space.

So far nearly $12 million has been raised from private donations. If the plan is executed, the building will expand from the current 45,000-square-foot configuration to more than 125,000 square feet.


ST. LOUIS SUBURBAN AIRPORT GETS NEW PUSH

A New-York based group says it wants to fund a start-up airline hubbed out of MidAmerica Airport, southeast of St. Louis. The air facility, in St. Clair County, has been in financial trouble in recent years.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a group called Air Florida Airways Corp. wants to use bonds to help start passenger and cargo service out of the airport, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.

The group, wanting to revive the Air Florida name, says it would like to start operations in June. At least five destinations initially would be served, likely including Chicago Midway Airport.

In the arrangements being worked out, should the operation fail investors, not the county, would bear the financial responsibility.

The company says it would use a small fleet of five full-size jet planes when the operation first gets off the ground.

The MidAmerica airport was opened with great expectations. For a while the now-defunct Pan American Airlines operated out of there, with flights to Chicago. Since that carrier went bust no other scheduled service has operated out of the regional facility.

Topics: John Miller
© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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