Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Shady Hills man arrested in string of purse snatchings

NEW PORT RICHEY

Man arrested in series of purse snatchings

A 26-year-old man has been charged with a string of purse snatchings in supermarket parking lots. On at least six occasions, Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports say, Johnathan Leo Becude grabbed a shopper's purse as she was loading groceries into her car. Each time he hit a new location: the Winn-Dixie in Moon Lake, the Walmart in Hudson, a Publix on Little Road, the Sweetbay in New Port Richey, another Publix on Ridge Road, and a Land O'Lakes Publix. A seventh woman, who was shopping at the New Port Richey Walmart, managed to grab her purse back and was dragged several feet before Becude let go and fled, authorities said. All of the victims described the same getaway car: an older model white car with a plastic bag covering the missing passenger's side window. All told, the stolen purses and their contents were worth $2,744. Deputies say Becude also used some of the stolen credit cards for fraudulent purchases. Becude, of Shady Hills, was arrested Jan. 13 on charges including grand theft, robbery by sudden snatching, possession and fraudulent use of stolen credit cards. He is also being held on grand theft warrants out of Hernando County. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail Tuesday in lieu of $147,150 bail.

LAND O'LAKES

Two principals earn promotions

Two Pasco County schools will be needing new leadership as their principals have won promotions to district-level jobs. Anclote High principal Monica Ilse, who took her school from an F to an A grade in one year, will become the district's third learning community executive director, superintendent Kurt Browning announced Tuesday. Gulf Highlands Elementary principal Kara Smucker, assigned to turn around that school after it earned an F, will become a principal coach — a new position in the district. Ilse would begin her new job soon, while Smucker would switch positions after the school year ends, Browning said. The appointments go to the School Board for approval on Tuesday.

LAND O'LAKES

Truck's sharp turn causes damage

A Waste Services of Florida garbage truck lost control after a mismanaged turn Monday afternoon, taking out road signs and landscaping at a Connerton entrance. The driver, Charles Kory, was driving north on U.S. 41 about 2:30 p.m. when he tried to make a sharp turn onto Pleasant Plains Parkway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The truck flipped onto its side and slid across the road, ripping up landscaping and damaging two road signs and a Connerton sign. Kory, 42, of Spring Hill, was treated at Spring Hill Regional Hospital for minor injuries. He was cited for making an improper turn.

Pasco deaths

Detailed obituaries can be found in Section B.

Comments
Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Eight passengers who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of its engines blew apart filed suit Wednesday against the airline, Boeing and the companies that manufactured the eng...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman and the coac...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

TAMPA — The debate over whether "Rep" or "Dem" should be on the ballot alongside the name of candidates for sheriff or property appraiser is now in the hands of Hillsborough County voters.Hillsborough County commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to hold ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

TAMPA — Mortar & Pestle, a fledgling Seminole Heights eatery with a mom-and-pop pharmacy theme, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Seacoast Bank was listed as the creditor with the largest unsecured claim: $1.4 million.The restaurant...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Column: It’s time for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to process concealed weapons licenses

It is hard to believe that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs didn’t discover for a year that an employee could not log into an account needed to see results of background checks that examined, among other things, whether applicants f...
Updated: 6 hours ago