NEW PORT RICHEY
Loophole for sex offenders could close
The City Council took the first step Tuesday night toward requiring out-of-state sex offenders to register if they move to New Port Richey. The proposed ordinance, which comes back for a final vote June 7, would close a loophole that allows people who committed sex crimes in other states not to register when they come to Florida. Council members declined to increase the buffer that prevents sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools and parks in the city limits, however. The city's buffer is already more than the 1,000-foot state buffer. Increasing it beyond 2,500 feet would essentially bar any sex offenders from living in the city, council member Bob Langford said. "That's the point, isn't it?" responded Tom Harris, a resident who has pushed for strengthening the restrictions on sex offenders.
Juror dismissed for discussing case
Testimony continued Wednesday in the first-degree murder case against Bryan Gregory Heater. He is accused of fatally shooting Kellie Zorka, 27, in a February 2008 melee outside Diamonds Gentlemen's Club in New Port Richey. Circuit Judge Michael Andrews nearly declared a mistrial Wednesday morning after one juror acknowledged talking to three other jurors about some aspects of the case. She was dismissed, and the other three told the judge they had not formed any opinions about the case. The trial is expected to conclude today. Heater, 31, faces life in prison if convicted.
Hear Buffett tunes on beach tonight
The De Lei'ed Parrots will perform Jimmy Buffett favorites from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at the Music on the Beach concert at Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs. The show and parking are free. Take chairs or blankets for seating. Picnics are welcome; pets and alcohol are not. A concession wagon with hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, water and ice cream will be open.
NEW PORT RICHEY
'Rock the Park' benefit Saturday
The Center for Independence and the Justin Gaertner Fund will host a "Rock the Park" event at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sims Park. The free concert is for all ages and includes performances starting at 11 a.m. by Cyrenia, Sunshine and Bullets, Anchor Atlantic, RJ Howson, Natural Blend, Troubadour and the Gary Schutt Band. The fundraiser features food and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Justin Gaertner, a Mitchell High School alum recently injured in Afghanistan. For information, call (727) 809-3243.
Historical Society to meet Saturday
The West Pasco Historical Society has scheduled its annual membership meeting for 1 p.m. Saturday at Peace Hall, next door to the society's museum and library, 6431 Circle Blvd., New Port Richey. For information, call (727) 372-1742.
Detailed obituaries appear in the Tampa Bay section.