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Man demands medicine, threatens medical aide

PORT RICHEY - Two weeks after a New Port Richey doctor was charged with Medicaid and prescription fraud, authorities said a former patient entered another doctor's office demanding antibiotics and threatening a medical assistant.

An unidentified man entered Dr. Reynaldo Lim's office at 6545 Ridge Road at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The man entered the lobby of Dr. Lim's office and said he was a patient of Dr. Satyanarayana Rao Korabathina. According to the report, the man then began to demand antibiotics. A medical assistant told the man that Dr. Lim was not accepting new patients, the report said.

The man began to leave, then stopped and said, "You know I have the right to shoot you for withholding medical aid from me," before leaving the office.

The medical assistant then called deputies and gave a description of the man, the report said. As of Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office had not made an arrest.

Charter school schedules open information session

NEW PORT RICHEY - Dayspring Academy will hold its annual information meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Beacon Community Church, 9025 Star Trail.

All Pasco County residents, grades K-8, are eligible to attend Dayspring Academy, a charter school, through an equal opportunity lottery. Open registration is Feb. 21-March 31.

For information, call (727) 862-8600.

Murder trial pushed back over retardation claim

DADE CITY - The murder trial of Gary Elishi Cochran, accused of raping, stabbing and killing his 9-year-old niece in 1997, has been pushed back from a March 6 start date to Aug. 28.

Circuit Judge Linda Babb approved the defense's motion at a hearing Wednesday. That gives Cochran's lawyers more time to deal with an issue that could keep their client off death row: mental retardation.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the mentally retarded cannot be executed. Attorney John Swisher said his client is mentaly retarded, but the defense needs more time to prepare its claim and more time for psychological experts to examine Cochran.

A judge could decide that issue at a June 28 hearing.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office did not oppose another trial delay, according to prosecutor Phil Van Allen, because the state wants to avoid the possibility of having to retry Cochran.

In September, Cochran's co-defendant, Gary Steven Cannon, was convicted for his role in the death of Sharra Ferger and received a life sentence.

Friday is deadline for entering dog show

Friday is the deadline for entering the "Dog Gone Dog Show" at the Pasco County Fair.

The show is open to all dogs of any age or breed. They will compete in 14 categories including "Best Costume," "Most Vocal," and "Look Alike," where pets and owners will dress alike.

The entry fee is $15, which includes admission to the fair. People will need to have a current county dog license, but it doesn't need to be from Pasco County. The show starts at 11 a.m. Feb. 25.

Other fair deadlines:

+ Advance wristbands must be purchased by Friday for a day's worth of unlimited access to midway rides. Wristbands are being sold for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday fair days. They are $11 in advance or $14 at the gate. To buy one in advance, you'll need to know which day you plan to attend, as different wristband colors will be sold for different days.

+ Friday is the last day to enter the baby pageant, which features boy and girl categories for newborns to age 5. Some age groups are filled, but people can call the fair office for more information at (352) 567-6678.

+ Friday is the last day to enter items in the Back Porch exhibit, which features homemade and handcrafted items. They can be dropped off from noon to 4 p.m. Friday at the fairgrounds on State Road 52, 8 miles east of Interstate 75.

+ Saturday is the last day to buy advance discounted rodeo tickets.