Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

Pasco's week in words for April 28

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"I think there's kind of an elitist attitude about this. I guess poor people can't own dogs."

Public defender Willie Pura, whose client Tammy Brown was convicted of animal cruelty. She failed to get medical care for her dog Harley, who had tumors, heartworms and an ear infection, because she said she couldn't afford a trip to the vet.

"He had an ear infection so severe and so painful it took years to develop. Harley was in pain and suffering for years."

Circuit Judge William Webb, who sentenced Brown to six months of house arrest, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

"It's hard to say what my real feelings are because I am in such disbelief and shock. Our prayers are with the entire family. He always will be someone who will be remembered.

State Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, after legendary Land O'Lakes High football coach John Benedetto, inset, died suddenly at age 66. Weatherford played linebacker for Benedetto, who coached at the school for 32 years and won 196 games, more than any other coach in Pasco County history.

"I want it to be legal so I can help other patients who need it. I'll grow it for them, and I'll give it to them."

Alfred Robinson, 57, a self-described "medical marijuana missionary,'' during a court hearing for his most recent arrest. His record of marijuana arrests dates back to 1979. He says he uses the drug to alleviate severe back pain.

"He would come in here with that great presence and that deep voice. We'd say, 'Father Joe is here, we'd better pay attention.' "

State Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, reflecting on Joe Mannion, Pasco County's first full-time lobbyist and longtime television newsman. Mannion, who had originally set out to be a priest, died of cancer at age 78.

"If my teachers have to do it, I am the instructional leader. I understand I have to do it as well. I don't want to let this job go. I love it."

Shirley Ray, principal at Lacoochee Elementary, after learning that all the faculty will be dismissed in June as part of a state-imposed overhaul. The unusual move came after the school received a D rating for the third straight year. Educators will be allowed to reapply for their jobs.

"I bent down to pick up my tee and I heard the guys shouting for it to go in the cup. I looked up just in time to see it go in the hole.''

Rob Wenning describing one of two holes-in-one he scored in the same round at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. The odds: 67 million to 1.

"Yeah, it's dangerous, and you know it's dangerous, but that's part of the thrill."

Rob Dickens, organizer of the Great Bull Run, an event coming to Dade City next year inspired by the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

"Teresa Lodge lived long enough in the defendant's grasp after the blows to the head to realize she was being murdered."

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa, who sentenced Derral Wayne Hodgkins to death for the 2006 choking and stabbing a Land O'Lakes woman.

"My client shows up for work every day and does her job. Her communications skills are not lacking. The problem this year is that she works for a verbally abusive homophobe who is predictably receiving low marks in community surveys."

Lawyer James Lowy in a letter alleging Sunlake High principal Garry Walthall made antigay and abusive comments to and about assistant principal Deborah Lepley. The school district is investigating.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: James Lowy is the attorney representing Sunlake High assistant principal Deborah Lepley. His name was misspelled in the original version of this article.

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