NEW PORT RICHEY
Sheriff to put $1.5M back in county coffers
Sheriff Chris Nocco announced this week that his office will return nearly $1.5 million to the county, considerably more than he predicted several months ago. About three-fourths of the amount, or $1.1 million, comes from retirement savings after the Legislature began requiring all public employees to contribute 3 percent of their salaries toward pension costs. Other savings come from lower fuel costs, cheaper maintenance agreements and lower food and supply costs at the county jail. In July, Nocco's office estimated it would return $1.1 million. Spokesman Kevin Doll said the agency only included the retirement savings because officials could accurately predict that figure. The agency also wanted to err on the low side because some of the unspent money could have been used for an unexpected event like a hurricane. The extra cash will likely end up in the county's reserve fund.
School wins $25K for class redesign
Pine View Elementary School has won a $25,000 redesign of its art classroom from Bounty paper towels and TeacherWishList.com, the company announced Tuesday morning. Schools became eligible for the grand prize drawing if they had five or more teachers who registered for the website, which aims to help teachers who often use their own money to buy school supplies. HGTV's Home by Novogratz will lead the project. "Our teachers are dedicated to making sure our students have essential classroom supplies, which is why so many of us at Pine View registered on TeacherWishList.com," principal Judy Cosh said in a release. "We realize how lucky we are to receive the $25,000 makeover from Bounty, and our kids will certainly be inspired to bring their best and most creative ideas to life in the new art lab."
NEW PORT RICHEY
Postcard policy at jail is defended
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is confident its postcards-only policy at the Land O'Lakes jail will prevail. Responding to a legal challenge filed last week, agency spokesman Kevin Doll said Tuesday, "We believe our policy will be upheld by the courts, as even more-restrictive policies have been." He noted a policy in Manatee County has survived challenges in federal court. Two years ago Pasco jail officials announced inmates could only receive postcard correspondence, citing the cost and security concerns of searching envelopes for smuggled items. New Port Richey resident Daniel Callaghan has sued over the measure, saying it violates inmates' rights.