Girl, 17, charged in abuse of 5-week-old baby
A 17-year-old girl is accused of abusing a newborn so severely the infant had fractures to its skull, arms and legs. Antionette Genevive Wilkerson of Zephyrhills was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated child abuse. Her relationship to the 5-week-old baby was not disclosed by authorities. Wilkerson told investigators the injuries happened during the past two weeks. "She assumed each time the child suffered an injury at her hands, the injuries were not serious enough to warrant professional medical attention," according to a report from the Pasco Sheriff's Office. The infant was admitted to an emergency room for an "oral injury," and doctors discovered the fractures, authorities said. "Due to the extent and severity of the victim's injuries, the victim was transported to a specialized children's hospital," the report states. Wilkerson confessed to causing the injuries and blamed it on "frustrations," the report states. The baby's medical condition was not available Friday evening.
Utility customers get option to give
Starting with this month's billing cycle, county utility customers will have the option of kicking in an extra few cents for the United Way of Pasco County. Dubbed "Project Round-Up," the program allows customers to increase their bill to the next whole dollar and donate the balance to charity. The idea was proposed two years ago as a way to supplement the county's $250,000 subsidy to charities. The program begins March 21 for online customers. Those paying by mail or in person will have the option over the next few billing cycles. Donations will be kept separate from utility payments and sent to the United Way each month to pay for services for those with disabilities, mental health problems, drug addictions or the homeless.
Stanley Park lights soon will be back
The lights will come on again soon at the basketball courts at Stanley Park. The county Parks and Recreation department shut off the lights in the late '90s because of repeated vandalism. But community leaders say the area is not as violent as before and they want kids to be able to play ball from dusk until the park closes at 10 p.m. So county commissioners voted Friday to turn the lights back on. Judy Geiger, a Lacoochee resident, promised to work with crime watch volunteers and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to regularly monitor the area. Lighting upgrades will cost about $4,200. Park officials estimate they will spend $4,000 annually to keep the lights on, which is roughly what similar services cost at other parks.
Note to readers
The Pasco crime report may be found online at tampabay.com/news/pasco, under "Weekly crime report."
A detailed list of obituaries is published in Section B.