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NEW PORT RICHEYEX-OFFICE MANAGER ACCUSED OF THEFT

The former office manager of Babies and Beyond Pediatrics was arrested Monday on charges he pocketed nearly $63,000 from the practice.

Robert Stopler, 46, obtained the money by forging checks and charging personal items to the office credit card, according to a report by New Port Richey police.

Stopler went through receipts with a police officer and admitted to receiving $31,299 in goods, the report said. He said some items were work-related, and others were bought with his boss' permission, with the understanding he "was supposed to pay it back as he could," the report said. But officials at Dr. Russell Bain's practice said Stopler did not have permission to use that money.

Stopler of 8501 Berkley Road in Hudson was charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Monday.

HOLIDAY

Driver accused of DUI, marijuana possession

Deputies suspected the driver was intoxicated when they saw her blow through a stop sign and drive south in the northbound lanes of U.S. 19.

They pulled over Rebekah Michal Tracht-Kader, 21, about 2 a.m. Saturday near Flora Avenue. She had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol and marijuana, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

Upon searching the car, deputies found a green plastic box which had "Rebekah's pot" written on it, the report said.

Breathalyzer tests found Tracht-Kader's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the level at which Florida law presumes impairment.

Tracht-Kader of 7735 Starfire Way in New Port Richey was arrested on charges of DUI and possession of marijuana.

BROOKSVILLE

Planning commission votes against project

During tough economic times, government should do more to help struggling businesses, even if it means not strictly enforcing rules such as the comprehensive plan, a Hernando planning board member said Monday.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Ronald Caldi said the priority should be to encourage commerce.

At issue was a request from James McLamb — known for developing several industrial parks, restaurants and businesses in the county — for a rezoning to operate a building materials business on Wiscon Road, east of California Street.

County staff members recommended denial because the Comprehensive Plan considers the area rural.

Ultimately, the planning commission voted 3 to 2 to deny the application. The County Commission will have the final say.

SPRING HILL

Man accused of firing gun at vehicle

A Spring Hill man has been accused of firing several shots at a car. The car's driver was not hurt.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office gave this report: The victim arrived at a house on Hollyhock Lane about noon Saturday to pick up his son when a man walked up and fired a shot into the vehicle. As the victim drove off, the man fired two more shots.

The victim identified the suspect as his girlfriend's uncle.

Radames Torres-Garcia, 37, of 405 Spring Haven Loop, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a felon.

NEW PORT RICHEYEX-OFFICE MANAGER ACCUSED OF THEFT 03/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 10:57pm]
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