Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Fire in Starkey Park building prompts evacuation

NEW PORT RICHEY

fire in starkey park prompts evacuation

Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park was evacuated Tuesday afternoon while crews battled a fire on the property. Pasco Fire Rescue said a maintenance shed that stored county equipment caught fire just after 4:30 p.m. at the New Port Richey park. There was fuel and at least one vehicle inside the shed, which authorities described as a "fully involved" fire. No one was injured, emergency dispatchers said. It was too early to tell what started the fire and how much damage it caused.

LaND O'LAKES

Teacher suspended for FCAT violation

The Pasco School Board on Tuesday approved a five-day unpaid suspension for Wesley Chapel Elementary teacher Wanda Colon, who was accused of allowing students to go to the restroom unattended at the same time during FCAT testing. Such an action is considered a test security violation. The board did not act on a proposed unpaid suspension of Irvin Education Center teacher Migdalia Mojica, who was accused of improperly using a recording device and email while proctoring two seventh-graders taking the FCAT. Board members wanted more information about a possible appeal Mojica might file before they were willing to act on the proposed suspension. It will take up the item at its next meeting later in July.

COUNTYWIDE

First set of mail-in ballots going out

Have you requested a mail-in ballot for the upcoming August primary election? The Supervisor of Elections Office is sending the initial round of 14,000 ballots on Tuesday to voters whose requests are already on file. Voters can still request a ballot by calling the elections office at (727) 847-8162 or submitting an online form at pascovotes.com. Ballots cannot be forwarded but can be sent to a temporary address outside Pasco. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Aug. 8.

COUNTYWIDE

No government offices open today

All county government offices, including the Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections, are closed today for the Fourth of July holiday. County libraries also are closed, and Pasco County Public Transit will not provide service today. The county's recreation centers are also closed, but county parks and beaches are open from dawn till dusk. All services will resume with normal hours on Thursday.

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Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties.A cold air mass is moving southward through the Florida peninsula dropping temperatures across the Tampa Bay ar...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
McDonald’s manager gets ovation at Seminole Heights investigation ceremony

McDonald’s manager gets ovation at Seminole Heights investigation ceremony

TAMPA — Delanda Walker, the McDonald’s employee who gave police the tip that led to an arrest in the Seminole Heights slayings, received a standing ovation Wednesday during a ceremony thanking citizens who helped in the investigation.Mayor Bob Buckho...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Casino company set to sail again Thursday after deadly boat fire

Casino company set to sail again Thursday after deadly boat fire

PORT RICHEY — Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz said it plans to reopen on Thursday and resume shuttling passengers back out to its gambling vessel in the Gulf of Mexico three days after a boat fire forced 50 passengers and crew to abandon ship.The 72-foot...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

ATLANTA — A layer of snow and ice and a record-breaking blast of cold closed runways, highways, schools and government offices across the South and sent cars sliding off roads Wednesday in a swath of the country ill-equipped to deal with wintry weath...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa announced Wednesday it is seeking artists and proposals for a big piece of outdoor art for the plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new building for the University of South Florida Morsani ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):4 p.m.Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close above 26,000 points.The Dow had traded above that level on Tuesday but wound...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Temperatures are set to drop Wednesday and keep dropping, Tampa Bay. It’s time to take tonight’s lows seriously.That’s why cold shelters are opening in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Two Tampa Bay area students among those facing hazing charges in FSU death

Two Tampa Bay area students among those facing hazing charges in FSU death

TALLAHASSEE — Two students from the Tampa Bay area, sons of an assistant chief for the Tampa Police Department and a New York Yankees vice president, have been charged in the hazing death of a Florida State University fraternity pledge.Christopher M....
Updated: 1 hour ago

John McCain: Mr. President, stop attacking the press

After leaving office, President Ronald Reagan created the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to recognize individuals who have fought to spread liberty worldwide. Nancy Reagan continued the tradition after her husband’s death, and in 2008 she bestowed the h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco goats somehow make yoga less weird

Pasco goats somehow make yoga less weird

DADE CITY — More than 36 million Americans practice yoga, but many people still feel intimidated by the ancient method of controlling the body and mind through physical and mental practices.Perhaps it is the daunting terms or confusing poses that cau...
Updated: 2 hours ago