Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Agency housing immigrant boys settles with Pasco

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County officials say a nonprofit agency housing immigrant children violated the terms of a federal grant when it closed a group home for elderly disabled adults two years ago.

County attorneys learned about the closure two weeks ago when reviewing the county's financial arrangement with Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services. On Wednesday, Gulf Coast paid the county $167,762 to settle the matter.

"What we're doing is penalizing them for not caring for elderly adults," assistant county attorney Gordon Johnston said. "It has nothing to do with the children."

The violation, which the Clearwater-based nonprofit group called a repayment, nonetheless added another wrinkle to its controversial effort to house children who fled Central America.

Since June, Gulf Coast has housed boys ages 8 through 17 at a 16-bed facility in Holiday under a contract with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. The group wants to add bunk beds to accommodate up to 32 kids.

But in 2005, long before headlines appeared about thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Gulf Coast received a $420,000 federal grant to build two 16-bed group homes for seniors with dementia. The homes opened in 2006.

Pasco County officials contend the agency breached its contract when it closed one of the homes in 2012.

Gulf Coast said it received notice that some of its funding would be cut off in April 2012, so it consolidated the homes to save money, despite its agreement with the county running through 2015.

In a memo Monday, Johnston wrote that Gulf Coast was required to house disabled seniors at the homes for 10 years and that closing one of them violated its contract.

"Since the property ceased to be operated as an adult treatment facility in 2012, Gulf Coast was in breach of the (agreement)," Johnston wrote.

He assessed Gulf Coast 40 percent of the contract amount, or $167,762, because the violation centered on four of the 10 contract years.

Gulf Coast spokeswoman Lisa Brock said the money was a repayment under the terms of the agreement, and said it will not jeopardize its ability to house the boys.

"We consolidated into one shelter because we knew the money was going away," Brock said. "Looking at it from a fiscal perspective, we didn't have 16 people in both. We figured we'll have everyone under one roof and we won't have to pay maintenance and AC, etc. … on two homes."

Brock said the agreement with Pasco County is now satisfied and Gulf Coast is using one of its shelters to house adults and the other to house the children.

Meanwhile, the nonprofit is still awaiting word on its expansion request. County officials are seeking more time to review it, and action is not expected until October.

Contact Rich Shopes at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236. Follow @richshopes.

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

 
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17