Chester Taylor Elementary has new principal
Julie Marks, assistant principal at Quail Hollow Elementary, has been selected to lead Chester Taylor Elementary in Zephyrhills. Her appointment comes just days before the first day of classes. She replaces Eva Hunsberger, who tendered her surprise retirement papers at the end of July. "She's definitely ready to be a principal," assistant superintendent David Scanga said. "I like how she's really focused on academics and achievement. She's a really good data person. I think Julie will do a great job." Marks, who attended Pasco County schools and has taught only in this district, called her move bittersweet. She said she loves Quail Hollow, where she has been for 4 1/2 years. "But I know that I'm ready to move on with my career," she said. Marks plans to visit with Taylor staffers today and begin reviewing the school's plans in preparation for the new academic year.
Man arrested in credit data thefts
A 31-year-old Romanian man is accused of stealing credit card data from at least 18 people and racking up $11,696 in charges at a Land O'Lakes Target store. Mircea C. Ciornei, of 3804 Olde Lanark Drive in Land O'Lakes, was arrested Tuesday. The investigation was done by the Florida Department of Financial Services. Several calls to the agency for information about the case were not returned Wednesday. Ciornei's arrest report accuses him of using a "credit card scanner" to steal the data from 18 people — and that he used six of those numbers at Target, to buy clothes and other items. He faces six counts of identity theft, five counts of forging credit cards, two counts of grand theft and one count of organized scheme to defraud. Ciornei is being held at the Pasco County jail in lieu of $124,000 bail.
Police: Getaway car was giveaway
A man accused of robbing Center State Bank on Wednesday made a crucial mistake, authorities said: He had a distinctive getaway car. The robber entered the bank at 6930 Gall Blvd. at 11:44 a.m. and gave the teller a note demanding money, according to Zephyrhills Police. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a white pickup truck with lightning bolt designs on the side. Six minutes after the robbery, officers spotted the truck at 20th Street and Seventh Avenue. The driver, Joseph E. Lavelle, 49, admitted to the robbery and the money was recovered, police said. Lavelle of Delray Beach was arrested on a robbery charge and taken to the Land O'Lakes jail.