Teacher resigns under pressure from Fiorentino
A Pasco County teacher accused of having a sexual encounter with a former student dropped his fight Monday to keep his job. With an appeal hearing about to begin, Phillip Young decided to resign. Young, 55, had been arrested last summer on charges of sexual battery on a mentally ill victim, stemming from a hot tub encounter with the former male student, who was 18. Prosecutors dropped the charges a few months later, but superintendent Heather Fiorentino continued to press for Young's dismissal from the district. She stated in a January letter to him that she believed Young used his position to take advantage of the teen. She said his "misconduct" irreparably damaged the school district's confidence in him to continue as a teacher. Young had not been in a classroom while awaiting the hearing. He had been employed by the district since 2000, working in both the James Irvin Education Center and Lacoochee Elementary School.
Flush away toilets that guzzle water
Residents within the city limits of Dade City, Zephyrhills and St. Leo are eligible for a $100 rebate to replace their high-flow toilets. Installing water-efficient models can save the average home an estimated 27 gallons of water a day and 10,000 gallons a year. To qualify for the rebate from the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the East Pasco Water Coalition, city residents must be served by a public utility system, and the toilet(s) being replaced must be made and installed before 1995 and use at least 3.5 gallons of water per flush. For information call (352) 523-5055 in Dade City; (813) 780-0008 in Zephyrhills; and (352) 588-2622 in St. Leo.
Free inspections of boat safety
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide free boat safety checks this weekend at Robert J. Strickland Memorial Park, better known as Hudson Beach. Members of Flotilla 11-7 in Hudson will perform the inspections and also give tips on navigation and boating safety. Inspections are provided from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park is at 6345 Clark St., in Hudson. For information, contact Don Wood at (352) 796-4196.
Superintendent's challengers speak
Two Republican challengers for superintendent of schools will speak at the May 23 meeting of the Republican Club of Central Pasco. Former Secretary of State Kurt Browning and Kenneth Benson, a handyman making his first bid for office, will address the group. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino, who will face both challengers in the Aug. 14 GOP primary, is unable to attend the meeting. The club meets at Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O'Lakes Blvd., with networking at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 7 p.m. For information call Connie Queller at (813) 326-8802.