Telemarketer's registration lapse closes it
A telemarketing company claiming it raises money for Pasco and Hernando rescue workers has closed pending a state review. Investigators from the state's Division of Consumer Services seized sales ledgers from the Bay Area Council office Tuesday after learning it was still operating after its registration as a charity solicitor had lapsed, a state spokesman said. The group's vice president, Shawn Baptist, told investigators the lapse was accidental and volunteered to stop soliciting until the state processes its renewal, which was filed Thursday. That process could take up to take 10 days. Residents and union officials have slammed the group, known locally as the Pasco County Council of Firefighters & Paramedics, for keeping too much in overhead costs and misrepresenting itself in calls and fliers. If investigators conclude the company willfully refused to register, it could be fined up to $1,000.
Man accused of throwing girl down
A 51-year-old man is accused of throwing a 10-year-old child to the ground at least three times and sending her to the hospital, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Scott A. Linden, a Verizon manager from Wesley Chapel, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of child abuse. Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said Linden was playing soccer with two 10-year-old girls at a community center on March 19 when he became angry at "the fact that he was losing to the two girls." Linden fell and, when one of the girls walked over to see if he was okay, Linden "did repeatedly lift the victim into the air and throw her down onto the ground at least three times," a report states. The girl's mother took the child to a hospital emergency room. She did not have any broken bones, but had lower back pain, the report said. Linden's relationship to the child has not been disclosed because of the nature of the alleged crime. He was released from the county jail Wednesday afternoon on $10,000 bail.
Donate blood, get a free oil change
Need an oil change? Roll up your sleeve. The Midas at 6534 Gall Blvd., next to Sonny's Barbecue, will offer a free oil change May 8 to anyone who donates blood at the bloodmobile that day. BloodNet USA will host the blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information call Midas at (813) 715-1516.
Weightlifting's life lessons
The state weightlifting championships at River Ridge stirred aspirations and imparted lessons. Story, Page 4