Boy, 14, accused of setting fire to vacant house
A 14-year-old boy burned down a vacant house Tuesday because he "wanted to see what would happen," according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The boy lives on Tami Trail. It is a quick walk from his home to the vacant house at 12314 Morgan Road. The Times isn't naming the teenager because of his age. The house was empty with no electricity. The boy told a deputy he took a burning stick from a fire pit in his back yard, walked to the vacant house and then "lit every room floor, curtain and blinds on fire," a report states. A neighbor told the Sheriff's Office the boy was seen near the house at the time of the fire, which was about 7:30 p.m. He was arrested and charged with arson and residential burglary. He is in juvenile custody.
Courier arrested on theft charges
A holiday courier is accused of helping himself to items in packages he was supposed to deliver. Matthew Olivera, a 24-year-old seasonal worker for UPS in Wesley Chapel, was arrested Tuesday and charged with grand theft and petty theft. UPS said it alerted authorities after conducting its own internal investigation. A company spokesperson declined to elaborate on the package contents or their value, citing the active law enforcement investigation. Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, said there were at least two victims. Olivera, of Wesley Chapel, is listed as unemployed on his arrest report. "I know what I did was wrong," Olivera said, according to the report. Olivera, who also faces drug charges, is being held without bail at the Pasco jail.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Workshop to focus on foreclosure
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, will host a foreclosure prevention workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Mitchell High School, 2323 Little Road. The event will include representatives from several major banks and credit counseling providers, as well as government and nonprofit housing agencies. Anyone planning to meet with a financial institution should bring copies of the following information: driver's license, W-2 forms and tax returns for the past two years, verification of any additional income (such as Social Security or veteran's benefits), pay stubs for the past three months, past due mortgage bill and any relevant mortgage information. For information, call Bilirakis' office at (727) 773-2871 or visit bilirakis.house.gov.
Better to give
For a video about Elijah and Valerie Bartz, the Port Richey couple who collected more than 3,500 pounds of donations for Goodwill, visit www.tampabay.com/video and select "A mountain of Goodwill donations."
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.