Two candidates join races for School Board
Candidates continue to enter the fray for the open seats on the Pasco County School Board. New to the field are Laura Semer, who owns a consulting firm that specializes in the needs of children with autism, and Mike Ryan, owner of Samuelsen Builders Realty. Semer is seeking the District 5 seat being vacated by Frank Parker. Ryan is running for the District 3 seat that Cathi Martin is leaving after three terms. Semer touted her knowledge of business, having worked on Wall Street and owned a small business, as well as her involvement in school activities with her two children, as her strengths. "Hopefully, people will let me serve them," she said. Ryan, whose company has been involved in Trinity since early on, said he felt compelled to step forward and serve the growing county. He has served on various local boards, including a stint as chairman of the Dayspring Academy charter school, and figured his expertise in business and his connection to schools would make him a strong candidate. "I really don't have any political experience, which can be a good thing," he said. Two other candidates are actively seeking each of the seats. Candidates will officially qualify for the races in mid June.
Slain inmate was serving life term
The 68-year-old inmate who died over the weekend at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution was serving a life sentence for murder, officials said Thursday. The man's identity still has not been released, as the Department of Corrections has been unable to reach his next of kin, spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. "He didn't keep his emergency contact information current," she said. The man got into a fight with his cellmate, 52-year-old James J. Hugger, about 9 p.m. Sunday, authorities said. The older inmate died of apparent asphyxiation, Plessinger said. Hugger, who is serving a 15-year sentence for attempted murder, has been transferred to another prison. He has not been charged in this incident, as authorities are still investigating.
Boy needs bone marrow transplant
Jackson Liff, a 1-year-old boy from Riverview, has a rare disease. His survival depends on whether he can find a bone marrow match. So far, according to the worldwide bone marrow registry DKMS, there are 13 million donors on record and none is an exact match for Jackson. Nicole Parisi, a sophomore at Saint Leo University, is a friend of Jackson's mother, Molly Liff, and has joined with DKMS to promote a bone marrow registration from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday on campus, 33701 State Road 52. Participants must be between 18 and 55 and in good health. When they register with DKMS and allow a cheek swab, they will be listed on the national Be The Match Registry and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. For information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, visit www.dkmsamericas.org.