Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-manager of Sonic in west Pasco is charged in theft inquiry


Ex-manager of Sonic charged in theft inquiry

A former general manager for the Sonic drive-in on Ridge Road is accused of stealing $12,734 from the restaurant and using at least part of it on a gambling trip, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. James Alan Phipps, 53, kept 19 of Sonic's cash deposits and a refund check that were supposed to be deposited in the bank, a report states. He is accused of pocketing the money between March and December of last year. A witness told authorities Phipps used money from a Sonic deposit envelope during a gambling trip. As detectives began investigating, Phipps called the Sheriff's Office and confessed, spokesman Doug Tobin said. "He wanted to come clean," Tobin said. Phipps said he was getting help for his gambling problem. Detectives say the money is gone, but Phipps offered to repay it and drove from his new home in Arkansas back to Pasco County to turn himself in, the report said. He was booked into the Land O'Lakes jail Tuesday on a charge of scheming to defraud. He is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.


Charter school seeks new chief

Academy at the Farm, one of Pasco County's first charter schools, is looking for a new director. Michael Rom, who helped found the rapidly growing school, surprised many people by announcing that he will retire on July 1. But he explained that the timing is right, as the Academy at the Farm has no major expansion planned for the first time in several years. "What's best for the school and the future of the school is to bring someone in who will take it for the next five to 10 years," said Rom, who turns 63 this summer. "Next year is the best year for that." The school is taking applications for another week and then a selection committee will review candidates and make a recommendation to the board.


Agency offers help on Medicare plans

Now is the time for seniors to review their Medicare Advantage health plans. The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Inc., in partnership with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program, is providing free assistance to seniors who are weighing their options. Counselors can be reached by calling toll-free 1-800-963-5337. Callers can also request a face-to-face appointment with a SHINE volunteer. To provide the best assistance, counselors need to know what medications and providers the patient uses, and whether they have received any notice of changes in their coverage.

Sign up and we'll e-mail the news

Get it straight from our newsroom to your inbox. A new e-mail service will send you links each morning to the latest Pasco County headlines. To sign up, visit

Ex-manager of Sonic in west Pasco is charged in theft inquiry 02/24/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Team begins work to exhume Salvador Dali's body for paternity test


    FIGUERES, Spain — A forensic team on Thursday entered the Salvador Dali museum in northeastern Spain where the surrealist artist's remains are due to be exhumed to settle a paternity claim brought by a 61- year-old woman.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. Work has begun to exhume his body for a parternity test. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]
  2. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  3. Spring Hill couple arrested on drug charges after months-long investigation


    SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple was arrested Wednesday on several drug charges after a months-long investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives stand behind 24 pounds of marijuana seized by the agency during a drug bust this week. [Photo by Megan Reeves]
  4. New Pinellas Trail stretch draws raves at opening

    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  5. Authorities recover body of missing boater in Lake Thonotosassa


    THONOTOSASSA — Authorities on Thursday recovered the body of a 44-year-old Plantation man who went missing while boating on Lake Thonotosassa.