Fifty-four word sentence needs editor. Best rewrite WINS!

I've decided to offer a contest today–with 1st and 2nd place prizes.  The following 54-word sentence appeared in my newspaper this weekend, in an article about soil contamination around a brand new school in Birmingham.  Here is the sentence:

While saying there has been nothing to show where the contaminants came from its plant, Walter Coke, the largest company still operating in the area that has had many heavy industrial operations, is voluntarily paying for some soil testing in the area, as well as soil replacement at Hudson K-8 and 23 surrounding properties.

You have until Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at 5:00 Central time to come up with the best possible rewrite of this sentence and submit it as a comment to this blog.  I'll announce the best and second best rewrites on Thursday and award the following prizes:

1) A personal critique of up to five pages of your own writing, with comments on usage, grammar, and style. (a $40 value)

2) A personal critique of up to two pages of your own writing, with comments on usage, grammar, and style. (a $20 value)

 

Hope to hear from many of you!  Meanwhile, take a look at the Grammar Glitch follow-up below:

 My blog post for July 7 dealt with LY endings on adverbs, and I didn't expect to see this Glitch again so soon, but there it was in Mary Sanchez's "Other Views" column in this morning's The Birmingham News.  It is an excellent column about Operation Fast and Furious, which involved tracking the sales of weapons to buyers procuring them for criminals in Mexico.  Here is the sentence:

The initial sales of both guns from a Phoenix-area gun shop, along with serial numbers, had been careful tracked by ATF agents.

Whoops! HAD BEEN TRACKED is a verb phrase, and CAREFUL is supposed to describe how the guns were tracked.  A word that describes a verb (TRACKED) should be an adverb (CAREFULLY), not an adjective (CAREFUL).  The sentence should read this way:

The initial sales of both guns from a Phoenix-area gun shop, along with serial numbers, had been carefully tracked by ATF agents.


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