Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco's Week in Words for Feb. 17

Editor's note: The following is a recap of the week's news events, in the words of the newsmakers.

"It was when the Oxycodone wave started coming through that I noticed my son become a different person."

Barbara Cooper after her son, Cory Keeler, 25, was stabbed to death near Bayonet Point while trying to buy drugs. Deputies charged Kevin Dylan Whittaker, 26, with first-degree murder. Keeler, who left behind a 7-year-old son, had been an addict for years, his mother said.

"When my family comes up here, I never take them on U.S. 19."

Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey during a discussion by planners hoping to overhaul the populated west side.

"We had the top-down approach for way too long. This is really the first time to hear, 'What can we do to support you?' It's nice to be a classroom teacher again."

Lisa Mazza, a third-grade teacher at West Zephyrhills Elementary after new Pasco School superintendent Kurt Browning and assistant superintendent Amelia Larson met with union members in an attempt to resolve a 2-year-old complaint about workload.

"She would have made a big, positive difference if whoever had done this to her would have allowed her to continue on. I thank God every day that he let me be her mother."

Renee Converse, whose daughter Jennifer Odom, 12, was murdered 20 years ago after she stepped from a school bus near their home in rural eastern Pasco. Her body was discovered in Hernando County, where Sheriff Al Nienhuis last week announced he would assign a detective to this case exclusively for the next year in an attempt to solve the crime.

"She was a beautiful woman. She could just touch me with her fingers and I would melt. Her smell would just reverberate in me."

Albert Lane, 56, talking about his former wife, Tina Diane Lane, 37, who was found murdered in her New Port Richey home. Police said she was bludgeoned by an ex-boyfriend, Rex Shelton, 56, who then hanged himself in the house.

"It's good to see development starting up again. It's a good fit and it's going to help our rec center grow.''

New Port Richey Mayor Bob Consalvo, right, regarding an 80-unit low-income housing complex under construction on Congress Street.

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