Business briefs: Real estate leaders named

December 17, 2013 

MANATEE COUNTY -- RE/MAX Alliance Group management staff and agents recently attended the combined Manatee Association of Realtors and the Women's Council of Realtors, 2013/2014 Installation & Awards Banquet at the Renaissance on 9th.

Sherry Richardson-Grooms of RE/MAX Alliance Group recently was installed as the 2014 President for the Manatee Association of Realtors. Kimberly Mills, from the same office, was installed as the 2014 president for Women's Council of Realtors.

In 2014 the Manatee Association of Realtors will celebrate its 100 year anniversary and the Women's Council of Realtors will mark 76 years.

Also, installed with the Manatee Association of Realtors was Peggy Christ as treasurer and Jeff Prater as 3-year director.

RoseBay International real estate office moves

SARASOTA -- RoseBay International Inc., a real estate brokerage with offices in Bradenton and Sarasota, has moved its downtown Sarasota office to a new location at 1386 Fifth Street, Suite A. The new office focuses on property management services and training.

RoseBay International Inc. is a residential and commercial real estate and property management company. The company also maintains offices at the Wildewood Springs Plaza on Cortez Road in Bradenton.

Trial winds down for former BP engineer

NEW ORLEANS -- A federal jury Monday started weighing whether a former BP engineer broke the law or harmlessly swiped his finger across a cellular phone when he deleted hundreds of text messages in the aftermath of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prosecutors argued that Kurt Mix, 52, of Katy, Texas, was trying to destroy evidence when he deleted two strings of text messages -- one with a supervisor and another with a BP contractor.

Mix didn't testify at his two-week-long trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Mix was one of four current or former BP employees charged with crimes related to the spill. His case was the first to be tried. Mix was on a team of experts who tried in vain to stop the flow of oil using a technique called "top kill." He had access to internal data about how much crude was flowing from the blown-out well.

On May 26, 2010, the day that top kill began, Mix estimated in a text to a supervisor that more than 630,000 gallons of oil per day were spilling -- three times BP's public estimate of 210,000 gallons daily and a rate far greater than what top kill could handle.

That text was in a string of messages that Mix exchanged with his supervisor, Jonathan Sprague, before deleting it in October 2010. Investigators couldn't recover 17 of the messages in the string.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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