JOBS ON LINE AS COUNTY LOOKS AT big deficit
The Pasco County Commission today gets its first look at the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The county is looking at an overall deficit of about $35 million, most of it due to declining property tax revenue if commissioners were to keep the same millage rate. And that means cuts. Preliminary proposals put 260 positions — almost 125 of them filled — on the line, including firefighters, animal shelter and recreation department workers, library employees and code enforcement officers. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the historic Pasco County courthouse.
Beating leaves man in critical condition
A 16-year-old boy was charged Sunday with aggravated battery after authorities say he beat and stomped a 50-year-old man until he was unconscious. According to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Garnet Earl Allen III of 7135 Florestate Drive was at a home on Gulf Breeze Circle when he got into an argument with Robert Feuti. One witness said Allen got mad when Feuti scolded Allen's girlfriend for the way she had talked to her mother, causing Allen to get upset and attack Feuti. According to the report, another witness said Feuti tried to grab the girl's breast, prompting the fight. After the two argued, Allen punched Feuti in the face, causing him to fall to the floor. Then, Allen kicked and stomped Feuti while he was on the ground, according to the report. Feuti was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, and listed in critical condition. Allen was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. A deputy asked the Hudson High School student how hard he stepped on Feuti's head. "From one to 10," Allen said, "about a nine."
Driver in sunken car still a mystery
Authorities on Monday said it may take a few days before they can make a positive identification of an elderly man found inside a submerged maroon Chrysler convertible Friday. The car was on the Gulf Island side of a canal in a Sea Ranch neighborhood. Someone spotted the car Friday morning. Authorities don't suspect foul play but aren't sure what happened. The car had been there for several days, said Kevin Doll, Pasco sheriff's spokesman.
Women killed while crossing SR 54
Police are investigating the death of a 35-year-old Kentucky woman who was struck while crossing State Road 54 on Sunday night. Amanda H. Richards, of Reed, Ky., was killed around 8:45 p.m. when she was hit by a 2007 Honda driven by Jason P. Albright, 23, of Dover, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Richards was crossing westbound SR 54 outside of the crosswalk, police said. Neither Albright nor his 2-year-old passenger was injured.