A record number of people attended this year's Pasco County Fair, organizers said Tuesday.
More than 38,000 people went through the front gates during its seven-day run, which ended Sunday, said Clark Converse, general manager of the Pasco County Fair Association. That's up 30 percent from last year, when bad weather put a damper on crowds.
"It's the best year we've ever had," he said. "I think for the first time in recent history, we had seven days of good weather."
Better entertainment and improvements to the fairgrounds also likely contributed to the higher numbers, he said.
Total attendance figures have not been finalized because organizers have not completed a count of nonpaid attendees, such as exhibitors and performers.
The profits from the fair are funneled back to the association to operate and maintain the fairgrounds, as well as to start preparations for next year's fair, Clark said.
Teen arrested in sexual
battery on girl, 13
PORT RICHEY - A 19-year-old Villa Pizza manager was arrested Monday on a sexual battery charge, accused of having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
According to a Pasco County sheriff's report, Richard Kai Brennan admitted after his arrest to having consensual sex with the girl five times. But the girl told a detective that she was sleeping at an undisclosed location in Port Richey on Oct. 13 when Brennan held her down and had intercourse with her against her will, the report said.
Brennan, of 4853 Euclid Ave. in New Port Richey, remained at the Land O'Lakes Tuesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Man succumbs to burns
from heater accident
HUDSON - A 43-year-old man died early this week after apparently falling on top of an electric space heater in his home.
Stan Chris Megaris of 11517 State Road 52 was found Monday lying on top of the plugged-in heater in his bedroom, his body badly burned.
Sheriff's deputies saw no signs of foul play, drug overdose or suicide, according to an incident report.
Megaris lived alone and was on medication, the report said. The medical examiner's office was performing an autopsy Tuesday.