700 lose power after CSX train snags lines
More than 700 customers lost power for more than an hour Friday after a CSX freight train tore down power lines near the U.S. 98 bypass and Tuskeegee Road, authorities said. Pasco County fire dispatchers got the call at 4:41 p.m. The train had been stacked too high with cargo containers, which caught two power lines while the train tried to pass under them, said Dade City police Chief Ray Velboom, relaying information from a supervisor on the scene. One of the felled lines hit a school bus carrying children, but no one was injured, he said. The train never stopped. According to the Tampa Electric Co.'s website, 748 customers were affected by the outage. By 6:20 p.m., the power was back on. Velboom said eight to 10 police officers were on the scene to direct traffic.
Two schools lose grade appeals
After Florida's high school preliminary grades came out in December, two Pasco County high schools were so close to the next level up that they decided to appeal for recalculation. Anclote High School in Holiday had earned 1,049 points, just one point shy of an A. Fivay High in Hudson had received 863 points, seven short of a C. In the case of Anclote High, officials pushed to have one additional student included in the calculation of the school's performance in accelerated courses. That student's algebra end-of-course exam score of 3 would have pushed Anclote to a repeat A. Fivay similarly sought to have just one more student counted, for his Advanced Placement scores and graduation, to avoid its second straight D. The Department of Education turned them both down. Records showed that the students in question were not enrolled at the schools in question at the time, deputy commissioner Juan Copa wrote in his explanation letters, which went out Feb. 15. Appeals were filed by Feb. 1. In most years, only a small percentage of appeals are approved because of the detailed data reviews that take place. But because mistakes are known to happen, some schools try every round.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Site of coalition meeting changed
The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties Inc. has changed the site of a special public meeting of the board of directors to discuss limiting the age range for subsidized child care to 5 and younger. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria of River Ridge High School, 11646 Town Center Road, (off Moon Lake/Decubellis Road just south of Ridge Road). For more information, contact the coalition at (727) 233-8291.
Applications for the District School Board of Pasco County's Open Enrollment initiative for 2013-14 are available online only at www.pasco.k12.fl.us/studentservices/school_choice. Because of incorrect information provided to the Times, another application pick-up site was included in Wednesday's Top of the Class.