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January 09, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Elin's termite infestation, Trump's sweetheart deal

The former Mrs. Tiger Woods has received much criticism for purchasing a $12.3 million mansion, only to tear down all 17,000 square feet of it. Turns out, Elin had good reason to demolish the Seminole Landing estate—termites.

Workers found extensive damage from termites and carpenter ants in the six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, kitchen and other areas in the two-story home with two elevators. County records show the home was built in 1932.

Don’t think that Elin just tossed away all of the mansion’s assets, either. According to Bill DiPaolo of the Palm Beach Post, Ms. Nordegren teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, allowing the non-profit organization to raid the estate, donating anything still salvageable.

Habitat workers removed cabinets, brick driveway pavers, five sub-zero refrigerators, chandeliers, 14 vanities, controlled-temperature wine coolers called EuroCaves, dozens of doors and one gas range, said Bobbi Blodgett, the director of deconstruction for the non-profit organization that builds homes for the needy.

"What a wonderful thing for (Nordegren) to do. She could have tossed this stuff in the trash. The negative publicity toward her has been very unfair," Blodgett said.

"No wonder she tore the place down. The infestation was all over. You could put your fingers right through the wood.”

The items removed are being priced and will be sold by Habitat for Humanity. Blodgett guesses Nordegren's donations will bring in at least $30,000, which will help fund future home building projects. According to Blodgett, aside from a hotel, Elin’s mansion will have the largest payoff for the non-profit organization.

Trump's super discount

Geoff Shackelford cites a New York Post report that real state mogul Donald Trump will receive a deep discount from the city on his new Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Bronx.

“We are paying [$184 million for] the project. Trump is getting a gift from a fellow billionaire, the mayor,” said Geoffrey Croft, of watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. “It’s unheard of that you don’t pay any money for four years.”

By year five, Trump will have to pay only 7 percent of the gross receipts, or a minimum of $300,000. And by year 16, he pays just 10 percent, or $420,000, to the city.

The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee is set to approve the deal today.

Overton pleads guilty

Last month, Jeff Overton was arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement while in Bloomington, Ind. While Overton originally stated he planned to fight the case, Ryan Ballengee reported that he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct—the charges of resisting law enforcement and public intoxication were dismissed. Overton’s lawyer, Sam Shapiro, isn’t exactly thrilled with his client’s decision to plead guilty, though.

“It's hard to be too loud before an Indiana-Kentucky game. I would have liked to take this case to trial, but Jeff believed it was better for him to get this behind him.” 

Overton was probably right on that front. All in all, he was given a slap on the wrist—30 hours of community service and $165 in administrative costs. Even without a PGA Tour win to his name, Overton should be able to scrounge up the cash.

DJ’s Return

Dustin Johnson is set to make his return at Torrey Pines late this month at the Farmers Insurance Open, reports Alan Blondin of The State. Johnson is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee that has plagued him since July. According to DJ’s Twitter, his rehab #KNEEhab is in the rearview mirror.

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