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Mother pleads not guilty in school attendance case

A Hernando woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that she failed to make certain her 17-year-old daughter attended school.

Denise E. Reed, 43, now has a May 14 trial date. Reed was scheduled to take her complaints about the school district and her daughter's school, the Renaissance Center, to the School Board on Tuesday, but she never showed up for her hearing.

Because Reed did not attend the meeting, school officials did not release specific information about her complaints. Instead, at the recommendation of their attorney, Richard Fitzpatrick, board members voted unanimously to deny the grievance.

This is only the second time a parent complaint has reached the board's level and, like the first case, it was dropped before a hearing.

Winds cause outages

for 3,000 in east county

INVERNESS _ High winds Thursday were less than a breeze for some local Florida Power customers.

Downed trees and power lines meant lost electricity for roughly 3,000 east Citrus residents, said Florida Power spokesman Mac Harris.

"We had around 30 separate events," Harris said. "About 3,000 customers were affected. Most of them would have lost power about 30 or 45 minutes, and most should be back up by now."

Still, Harris said it was uncommon for wind alone to cause so many outages.

"A lot of times strong wind is associated with thunderstorms," he said. "Today what we have had is just wind without no lightning and thunder. It's not that often that we had that, but in the spring of the year, you can get some big winds."