The Itchy & Scratchy Show

A 56-year-old carpet broker relocating from Oregon to Phoenix, Ariz., says his allergies to pesticides and concerns about scorpions should be enough to break the lease he signed this June at the 289-unit Villamora apartment complex in Chandler, Ariz. After a friend called his attention to Internet blogs about unresponsive management at Villamora and the presence of scorpions, Kevin Taylor claims the community's management company, PEM Real Estate Group, refused to refund his deposits and rent over the now stinging issue. Even a physician's note wasn't enough to get Taylor off the hook, according to reports in the Arizona Republic.

An unnamed PEM representative allegedly told the newspaper that Taylor is stuck with a binding contract and should have done his research before signing on the dotted line. "It's the desert; there are going to be scorpions everywhere you go," the rep said, adding that her firm pays a pest control firm for exterior spraying to control the critters. "We can't ask people about their health concerns." Taylor is currently living with a friend until the matter is resolved.

Power Play

The National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues are no longer waiting on the Feds to craft some economic stimuli for their loyal supporters. As part of a fan bailout plan announced November 10, the team will select one lucky fan at every remaining Saturday home game beginning November 29 and pay that person's mortgage or rent for four months, up to $4,000. The team is also discounting tickets, offering 500 plaza level seats for $25 each and another 500 mezzanine seats for $11.20 a pop. Finally, the team will continue to offer its "free food" game on March 15 where fans can get hot dogs and pretzels gratis as they cross their fingers and hope for a Blues win or a couple of free rent payments.

He Shoots, He Scores

Former Miami Heat center Alonso Mourning has been busy during his first season away from the NBA, most recently submitting a request to develop a 190-unit affordable rental housing complex in Miami's Overtown neighborhood. According to reports in the South Florida Business Journal, Mourning plans to team up with Coconut Grove, Fla.-based Housing Trust Group in a joint venture to build the community, which will feature one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. About 95 percent of the two- and three-bedroom units would be reserved for families with an income at or below 60 percent of the Miami-Dade County area median income. The proposal is set to be reviewed by the county commission on Dec. 2. In the meantime, Mourning aims to stay occupied: His Alonso Mourning Charities will deliver 533 Thanksgiving dinners next week that include a fully cooked turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, stuffing, cranberry orange relish, one gallon of iced tea, and pumpkin pie.

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