Spring Hill man gets 18 years for theft ring
Mickey Lemons, the alleged boss of an interstate burglary ring that peddled stolen lawn equipment and prescription drugs, was sentenced this week to 18 years in federal prison. Authorities say Lemons, 42, of Spring Hill, led a large ring that took lawn and construction equipment from area businesses and broke into numerous pharmacies in Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties, taking large quantities of painkillers. The stolen goods, altogether worth about $1.5 million, were then shuttled up to Alabama for resale. The ring began to unravel in July 2009, when then-Pasco Sheriff Bob White stopped a suspicious truck in Trinity that was towing several large mowers in the middle of the night. Two men were arrested for stealing those items. Investigators eventually tracked down about a dozen others involved in the ring. Lemons pleaded guilty in February to burglary charges. Others have pleaded guilty to related charges, with sentences ranging from probation to nine years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Schrader to run for another term
County Commissioner Ted Schrader announced Wednesday that he has filed to run for what he says will be his fourth and final term. Schrader, 55, said he wanted to file relatively early to quash rumors that he is angling for another office, such as the state House seat currently held by Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, that will be open in two years. "It's not my desire to go to Tallahassee," he said. "My focus is to continue to provide quality representation to the citizens of Pasco County." A citrus grower and real estate agent, Schrader holds the seat where his grandfather, Arthur H. Schrader, served for more than 20 years. First elected in 2000, he faced no opposition four years later and earned a narrow victory over San Antonio developer John Nicolette in the 2008 Republican primary.
Hospital goes for trauma experience
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has appointed Dr. Scott Norwood as the director for its new Level 2 trauma center. Norwood comes from East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas, a Level 1 trauma center. He is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. He has been involved in trauma care for more than 25 years. Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is one of five HCA hospitals affiliated with the USF-HCA Trauma Network. The state approved the hospitals' bids for trauma center status, but rival trauma centers filed challenges with the state saying the number of trauma cases doesn't merit the new centers. Those cases are pending.