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Investigation finds no abuse at Pasco County jail's pig farm

LAND O'LAKES

Investigation finds no pig abuse at jail

A Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigation has found no evidence of animal abuse at the pig farm run by county jail inmates. The investigation was sparked by allegations made earlier this month by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which cited anonymous reports that pigs were being cut up with tools and bashed with rocks. Detective Sergio Soto of the Major Crimes Unit interviewed deputies and inmates who praised the program and refuted allegations of mistreatment. The veterinarian who has cared for the hogs since 2001 said the program provides "immaculate" treatment of the livestock, which are raised to provide food for the inmates. Visiting the farm at the Land O'Lakes jail on March 4, Soto wrote, "I did not observe any signs of injured, distressed or malnourished hogs. Furthermore, I did not observe large rocks or farming tools which could be used to injure the livestock." He determined the allegations unfounded and closed the case.

HUDSON

Man linked to 3 store robberies

A 31-year-old man is in custody after authorities tied him to three convenience store holdups in October. Morgan Allen Armstrong, 9031 Rye St. in New Port Richey, faces three charges of robbery with a deadly weapon. Pasco County sheriff's reports say Armstrong first robbed the Beverage Plus store at 8942 State Road 52 on Oct. 11. Wearing a mask and brandishing a long silver knife, Armstrong walked in and demanded cash, the report says. The clerk complied. A week later, the reports say, he struck the same store again. Again brandishing a knife, he held the dull side of the blade to a different clerk's throat until she emptied the cash register. Then on Oct. 22, the reports say, Armstrong walked into Citgo 52, at 7820 SR 52, wearing a black ski mask. He chased the clerk out of the store and then took cash and a laptop computer. The reports do not say what evidence linked the robberies to Armstrong, who was arrested Thursday. He was being held Friday with bail set at $600,000.

New hospital set to rise in summer

Ground-breaking for an 80-bed Wesley Chapel hospital, a joint venture by University Community Health and Adventist Health System, is planned for late spring or early summer. Tampa Bay

Pasco deaths

Local and regional obituaries are in Section B.

Investigation finds no abuse at Pasco County jail's pig farm 03/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 9:05pm]
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