New Port Richey
Man accused of exploiting ill 90-year-old
An 18-year-old man is accused of ripping off the elderly woman who lives next door to his grandmother. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Nathan Spiker accepted checks from the elderly woman for helping around the house, but he did not give her the change from cashing the checks, as he was supposed to. In all, the report said, Spiker pocketed $1,810 from the 90-year-old woman, who has Alzheimer's disease. The Times is withholding her name because of the nature of the crime. Spiker "admitted he knew the victim would forget how much money she wrote the check out for and used this knowledge to exploit her," the report said. Spiker, of 6234 Florida Ave., was arrested Monday on a charge of exploitation of the elderly. He was released from the Land O'Lakes jail after posting $5,000 bail.
New Port Richey
Sims event rule may stick around
On Tuesday evening, the City Council took its first step toward renewing the ordinance that allows alcohol sales in Sims Park during special events. The year-old ordinance, which was slated to sunset in December, allows for "no more than" eight alcoholic beverage special event permits to be approved during a calendar year. When the ordinance was approved last year, some residents worried that selling liquor would make events at the popular park feel less family-friendly, while others said alcohol sales would draw larger sponsors and raise money for worthy nonprofits. The city has allowed alcohol to be served in other parts of downtown, but this was the first year beer and wine were served in Sims Park. A final vote on extending the ordinance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
Bus fares will rise starting Nov. 1
The County Commission on Tuesday approved raising bus fares from $1 to $1.50, a move that will generate more than $90,000 to help keep certain services. Riders who now qualify for reduced fares of 50 cents will see that rate increase to 75 cents. Day passes and 31-day passes will also go up. The new rates are effective Nov. 1.
Anti-drug event is Saturday morning
The Red Ribbon Rally to celebrate a drug-free week will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in downtown Dade City. The event includes high school and middle school bands, drum lines and a DJ, games for kids, a high school student car show and contest, free popcorn and Icees, a prescription drug dropoff station and other activities for elementary through high school students and their parents. The organizers are Pasco High school resource officer Brian McDougal and Cpl. Dave Hink.