Liquor may flow in smaller restaurants
The Florida Senate approved a bill Wednesday that will reduce size requirements for Pasco restaurants that want to serve liquor.
The measure was spurred by the Golden Tequila, a New Port Richey restaurant that couldn't serve tequila or other booze besides wine and beer because, back in 1971, the Legislature created stricter standards for getting a liquor license in Pasco than in the rest of the state.
The change, approved by the House last week, puts Pasco on par with state standards. Instead of being at least 4,000 square feet and able to serve 200 patrons, Pasco restaurants can get a liquor license with just 2,500 square feet for 150 guests.
Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, and Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, sponsored the bill.
After suit, commission approves rezoning
Pasco County commissioners on Tuesday approved a rezoning request to put 78 homes on Denton Oaks, a 40-acre housing proposal in Hudson.
The 4-1 decision reversed a September 2006 rezoning denial from commissioners that had led Metro Development Group, Denton Oaks' developer, to sue the county, charging that the basis for the commission's decision was "vague and standardless."
Commissioner Jack Mariano, who had pressed the case for the original 3-2 commission vote that resulted in the lawsuit, was again the holdout on Tuesday.
Visitor is accused
of molesting girl, 12
A 65-year-old snowbird packed up his bags and abruptly left his Hudson hosts on April 6.
The reason, according to authorities: He molested a 12-year-old girl at the residence where he was staying as a guest. James McKinnon, of 266 Groton Road in North Chelmsford, Mass., was arrested Tuesday on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 16.
According to the arrest report, the victim was wearing a bathing suit at the time of the incident and repeatedly told the defendant "stop," then ran out of the room. When her family confronted McKinnon later that day, the report said, he told them "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
He then packed and left. But McKinnon had not left the Pasco County area, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was being held in the jail Wednesday without bail.