Shooting at Polaris

Police continue to search for a man they believe is responsible for the Dec. 19 shooting deaths of two Polaris Pool Systems Inc. employees. Police say the suspect, 11-year Polaris employee Imeldo Molina Laurel, 52, allegedly approached the victims — co-workers Maria Martinez and Manuel Lopez Alvarez — in the company’s Vista, Calif., parking lot and “just started shooting.” Investigators have no motive for the killings, and Laurel is still at large. His getaway vehicle, a 2001 Chevy Silverado, was found Dec. 23, concealed in a nearby residential neighborhood. Three people who live in a home near where the vehicle was found were brought in for questioning, but police said it is unclear what, if any, relationship they have to the suspect. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Laurel. n

IAF Invites Comments

The International Aquatic Foundation is asking for comments on three new draft standards for spas and swim spas: BSR/IAF-2, Standard for Public Spas and Swim Spas; BSR/IAF-3, Standard for Permanently Installed Residential Spas and Swim Spas; and BSR/IAF-6, Standard for Residential Portable Spas and Swim Spas. Professionals within and outside the pool and spa industry are invited to review the drafts and submit comments. Each of the draft standards covers requirements for design, equipment and operations. The closing date for comments is Feb. 28. To view and download an electronic copy of the draft standards, visit www.theapsp.org. Comments should be saved in a Microsoft Word document and sent as an e-mail attachment to Bernice Crenshaw at bcrenshaw@theapsp.org.

Cover-Pools Names Wacky Tattoo Contest Winner

Cover-Pools Inc., a Salt Lake City manufacturer of pool covers, has announced the winner of its Cover-Pools/Tattooed Contest. Eileene French of Travis Pool Covers in Round Rock, Texas, won the $100 grand prize for the creative placement of her temporary tattoo. The prize was awarded during the 2005 International Pool & Spa Expo in Orlando, Fla. The only stipulation made by Cover-Pools President Rick Clark was that the winning tattoo must be located somewhere he wouldn’t be embarrassed to show to his grandmother.

ServiceMagic Partners with NYTimes.com

ServiceMagic Inc. has entered into a relationship with NYTimes.com that establishes ServiceMagic as a provider of home-improvement contractor services on the Web site’s Home & Garden Classifieds Directory. Through the relationship, NYTimes.com will add 1,400 residential contractors from New York to its directory of home and garden professionals. “This new arrangement provides us with a significant opportunity to promote our services,” said Craig Smith, vice president of ServiceMagic. Each year, ServiceMagic receives about 62,000 service requests from New Yorkers. Golden, Colo.-based ServiceMagic is an online marketplace connecting homeowners with contractors, including pool professionals.

Drug Smuggling Filters

A Hong Kong man has received a 15-year jail sentence for smuggling drugs into New Zealand hidden in swimming pool filters. According to ABC Asia Pacific News, Lau Ho Man, a 27-year-old car salesman had 7.43 kilograms of methamphetamine shipped to him, making it one of the largest loads ever brought into the country. The street value of the drug was estimated at more than $7 million (U.S.).

France's Abriblue/Albon Group Expands

Évolem 2, a Lyon, France-based investment fund, has acquired Albigès, a company specializing in pool covers with safety slats. Évolem 2 is also the primary shareholder in the Abriblue/Albon Group, France’s largest supplier of automatic pool covers. The acquisition creates the Abriblue, Albon & Albigès Group. In 2005, the combined company generated more than $48.4 million in sales. Régis Roux, CEO of Abriblue/Albon, will serve as operating manager of Albigès, which has 40 employees. In addition to automatic pool covers, Abriblue/Albon produces liners, equipment and technical materials.

Utah's Bullfrog Growing Fast

Bullfrog International, LC, a Bluffdale, Utah-based manufacturer of portable spas, was ranked 56th out of 100 fastest growing Utah companies by the MountainWest Capital Network’s Utah 100. This is the fourth consecutive year that the company has received the honor. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was the featured speaker at the annual awards luncheon where winners were presented with a commemorative plaque. The Utah 100 recognizes companies for their significant contribution to the state and its expanding economy. The MountainWest Capital Network launched the Utah 100 program in 1995 as Utah’s first business-growth recognition program.

Super Vision Awarded Niche-less Patent

Orlando, Fla.-based Super Vision International Inc. announced that it recently was issued a patent for a niche-less, multicolor LED swimming pool light. The firm received U.S. Patent No. 6,971,760 for a control circuit and LED light assembly that can be installed underwater without a niche.