Bad weather puts off FCATs at six schools
Six Pasco County elementary schools postponed the Tuesday FCAT writing test for fourth-graders until today because of severe weather conditions. Moon Lake, Woodland, Chasco, Double Branch, Pine View and Gulf Highlands elementary schools all faced the threat of heavy rain and tornadoes, and they did not want to risk disrupting the students because of storms. Many of the students were to take the FCAT in portables. "They were looking out for the safety of our kids," research and evaluation director Peggy Jones said. Jones acknowledged that delaying the test could compromise it, if students who already finished it talk about the prompts with those who have yet to take the test. But safety was the predominant concern, she said. All the district middle and high schools completed the exam without problems. Makeup tests for students who missed Tuesday also are scheduled for today.
Vintage Barbie doll theft nets charges
A 24-year-old burglar stole $1,800 worth of vintage Barbie dolls still in their boxes and gave them to his 2-year-old daughter, who promptly mangled them, authorities said. Scott Alexander Eastman was arrested Monday and charged with grand theft and burglary of a structure. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Eastman hopped the fence of an 84-year-old Trilby woman in December and broke into her backyard shed, where she kept vintage dolls. Eastman told deputies he took two boxes: One had a Barbie in a ball gown and the other was a wedding day set, with Barbie as the bride, Ken as the groom, and three bridesmaids. The victim said the ball gown doll was worth $600 and the wedding set was worth $1,200. When asked if he still had the dolls, Eastman said no. "He stated he used them as Christmas gifts for his 2-year-old daughter and she has since destroyed them," a report states. Eastman is also accused of hopping the fence again a few weeks ago and stealing the metal steps to the shed. He scrapped the metal for about $100, the report states. The woman didn't know her shed had been vandalized until a neighbor with a surveillance system caught Eastman clambering over the fence, the Sheriff's Office said. Eastman was released from the Pasco jail Monday on $7,000 bail.
Medical Center of Trinity is offering the class A Matter of Balance at 9 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, March 4-27, in Conference Room C, 9330 State Road 54, Trinity. Due to incorrect information provided to the Times, an item in Friday's edition gave a different time.
Photographs by Pasco-Hernando Community College students Marco Hancock and Joshua Milford were shown Tuesday during the keynote lecture by Terry Barrett at PHCC's Art and Culture Week. Captions with those photos on Friday's Diversions page were unclear about when the work would be displayed.