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Pasco's week in words for May 5

Editor's note: The following is a recap of the week's news events, in the words of the newsmakers.

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"To stand on the number one podium, draped in the American Flag, while they played our national anthem was unbelievable for me, it was very emotional for me. Sometimes you wait a lifetime for a moment like this."

Pasco Sheriff's Office Capt. Mike Ferrantelli, who captured the gold in his weight class at the 2013 Masters Bench Press World Championship, held April 18-21 in the Czech Republic. Ferrantelli bench pressed 578.8 pounds.

"There. It's done."

David Lee Thompson, who is accused of beating four pit bull puppies to death because his friend, Martin Smith, couldn't afford to keep them.

"This sends a lot of positive feelings to people who witnessed three failed sports complexes."

Wiregrass Ranch property manager J.D. Porter, on Pasco commissioners finalizing a deal to accept 138 acres from the Porter family for a multifield park aimed at luring youth sports tournaments.

"Posting something publicly for only a few days, nobody is going to interpret that as a thorough search for a replacement."

Joe Follick, Florida Department of Education spokesman, on the Pasco school district's initial effort to find a new principal and assistant principal at failing Lacoochee Elementary School. Both postings drew the current office holders.

"We wouldn't have let her drive home."

New Port Richey police Officer Donald Velsor on Hernando High bus driver Donna Rogers, who was found unfit to drive the softball team back from a game at Gulf High. School officials smelled marijuana on the bus, which Rogers blamed on a student.

"I've been trying to get them to take it down for years."

Dade City building official Mike Poke on the 1920s city hall building, as crews began demolition work on Wednesday.

"The smell was awful, it was just overwhelming. It's a day I'll never forget."

Christine Penney, whose Dade City home was inundated with raw sewage last summer during the flooding from Tropical Storm Debby. Dade City officials agreed last week to give her $14,000 for the needed repairs.

"This has to be done, not only here but all over the place. It's a shame that it takes something like (Gray's case) to happen for this outcome."

Robin Allweiss, attorney for the family of Zachary Gray, who tried to kill himself in May 2011 after being bullied by fellow students at Zephyrhills High. His case prompted tougher anti-bullying policies going to the School Board on Tuesday.

Pasco's week in words for May 5 05/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 6:39pm]
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  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system


    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  3. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.


    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  5. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]