Officials vote to put drilling ban on ballot
Pasco commissioners this week endorsed a resolution calling to let voters decide in November whether to ban oil and gas drilling off Florida's coast. The resolution, which passed by a 3 to 1 vote, urges the legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the general election ballot banning drilling. Commissioner Ted Schrader dissented, saying the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made the issue too difficult to debate in a short period. "They're asking (about drilling) at a time when it's very emotional," he said. "I just don't think the voters are going to be able to educate themselves fully enough to vote." Chairwoman Pat Mulieri and commissioners Michael Cox and Ann Hildebrand supported the resolution, which Cox brought to the board. Commissioner Jack Mariano did not attend the meeting.
New Port Richey
Prescription drug inquiry nets arrest
A SWAT team burst into a house on Adams Street Friday afternoon to arrest Casey Wayne Dehler, 31, on charges of trafficking in prescription drugs. Authorities had targeted Dehler after about two months of undercover investigation by the New Port Richey Police Department vice and narcotics squad, Lt. Steven Kostas said. The SWAT team entered Dehler's house at 6603 Adams St. with a search warrant and seized about 60 hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, he said. Dehler had sold "trafficking amounts" to undercover officers recently, Kostas said. Although police sent in a SWAT team because they believed Dehler might be armed, Dehler was unarmed and was arrested without incident, Kostas said. He was charged with trafficking hydrocodone, possessing controlled substances and violation of probation, and is being processed at Land O'Lakes jail. Dehler was arrested in 2009 on charges of possessing and selling marijuana.
New Port Richey
Woman dies after being hit by SUV
A pedestrian was killed late Thursday after she was struck by a sport-utility vehicle on State Road 54, near Barker Drive, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Authorities withheld the name of the 53-year-old woman pending notification of her family. She was walking north across the westbound lanes of the highway about 11:40 p.m. when she was hit by a 2003 KIA driven by Linda Eurice, 54, FHP said. The woman was not at a crosswalk or at an intersection. Authorities said she walked directly in front of Eurice's vehicle, which was in the center lane. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.