Wildfire burns 25 to 30 acres near subdivision
Firefighters spent Monday afternoon and evening containing a 25- to 30-acre wildfire near State Road 52 and Moon Lake Road. The fire was contained in the woods just beyond the Veranda subdivision, and Pasco Fire Rescue reported no injuries or damage to homes. The state Division of Forestry created a fire line around the entire fire and spent the evening fortifying additional lines to contain the blaze. Authorities say drought conditions have turned the county into a tinderbox, and the County Commission is slated to consider a burn ban at today's meeting.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Principals poised to change schools
Land O'Lakes High got Mitchell High's principal. Now Mitchell is poised to grab River Ridge High's top administrator. River Ridge principal Jim Michaels told his staff Monday that superintendent Heather Fiorentino had tapped him to run Mitchell, where he served three years as an assistant principal. The move would be effective on or about March 23, the day Ric Mellin leaves Mitchell to take over Land O'Lakes, so long as the School Board approves. "It was something the district felt was in the best interest of the district and all schools," said Michaels, River Ridge's principal for the past five years. "They asked me to go there. It kind of came as a surprise to me." That leaves River Ridge High looking for a principal. The position has not been advertised.
Land is cleared to expand Engle park
Workers began clearing brush Monday on 50 acres that will be used to expand Arthur F. Engle Memorial Park in Hudson. Hudson Youth Soccer commissioner Mark Rushing said he persuaded A-Team Lawn Services to donate the brush-hogging equipment. Rushing and County Commissioner Jack Mariano want to create a multi-sport complex with 20 fields within two years there. The next step is designing the park's fields, which are expected to contain four to six baseball fields and fields for lacrosse, soccer and rugby. The county purchased the land in September for $2.5 million.
NEW PORT RICHEY
County to handle animal control
City residents who need to register their dogs or complain about strays should now contact Pasco County Animal Services. The city decided to contract with the county for all animal control services. Residents whose dogs are registered with the city must get county tags once the city registration expires. Animal Services phone numbers for west Pasco are (727) 834-3216, 834-3217 and 834-3218.
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.