Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Two Pasco meetings will focus on teen suicides

When Chris Mahan heard about the suicide of a 16-year-old girl in December, he knew the community needed to do something. Jessica Laney, a Hudson teen who was a victim of cyber bullying, was the sixth teenager in Pasco to commit suicide in 2012, a statistic that has been slowly rising in recent years.

"We have to draw a line in the sand and say, 'It stops now,' " said Mahan, public relations director for Redeemer Community Church in New Port Richey.

That quest to offer help and hope to the county's youth begins tonight with a suicide and cyber bullying forum called Stop the Pain at 7 p.m. at the church, 9230 Ridge Road in New Port Richey. Officials such as state Sen. John Legg, state Reps. Mike Fasano and Richard Corcoran and Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco will be panelists, as well as mental health and education representatives. The keynote speaker will be Sarah Ball, a Hernando High School senior who created an antibullying organization called Unbreakable after being a target of cyber-bullying.

Mahan said this forum will be the first of many events — which are open to everyone — planned to encourage dialogue with teenagers and to solve the problem.

"There is no reason at all that a child — boy or girl, gay or straight — there is no reason why someone should have to go through this by themselves," he said.

Mahan said the forum will probably last until 9 p.m., and there will be a reception with free food and beverages afterward.

The Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention is also hosting a meeting to discuss ways to help stop the suicide trend. The meeting is from 10 a.m. till noon Tuesday at the Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

Comments
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompan...
Updated: 9 hours ago
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

A Suntrust Bank in Zephyr-hills was robbed early Thursday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.At 12:50 p.m., deputies said, the man walked into the bank at 34511 State Road 54 and presented a note demanding money, though he did ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

TAMPA — To his friends and neighbors at Tampa Baptist Manor, Norman Lester Porterfield was the man who fed and spoiled Lucky, the scruffy stray calico cat in the back yard. To his friends and coworkers at the Salvation Army, he was a great athlete, a...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

A Weeki Wachee man faces drug charges after deputies said a search of his home Wednesday turned up nearly three pounds of marijuana, more than three pounds of hashish wax and more than 3,000 hashish oil cartridges for vape pens.Devin Alexander Volkes...
Published: 06/21/18

Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

An autistic boy, who went missing after walking out of his Holiday home on Wednesday night, has been safely located.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home around 11 p.m., according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.He was safely located on Thursday mornin...
Published: 06/21/18
Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

On Sunday morning, David George, pastor of the Oakville, Washington, Assembly of God Church, delivered his sermon as he does every Sunday. The subject, on Father’s Day, was "The Value of MENtoring," about how much difference an individual can make in...
Published: 06/21/18
Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

A Brandon man has been charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography after deputies discovered more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Troi Amacher, 29, was arreste...
Published: 06/21/18
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18