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SEVERAL HURT, ONE CRITICALLY, IN COLLISION

HOLIDAY

A head-on collision Sunday night left one driver in critical condition and sent several other people to the hospital. Marta L. Rivera, 47, was driving south on Grand Boulevard about 11:30 p.m. when a northbound Jeep, driven by Ryan V. Mercade, 22, swerved into her path, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. The impact left Rivera trapped in her Toyota van, her legs pinned, until rescue workers pulled her out, the report said. Rivera of Holiday remained in critical condition Monday at Bayfront Medical Center. Three of her passengers - Denisha Rios, 16; Kamirah Wetherington, 10; and Dalila Wetherington, 8 - were treated and released from area hospitals. FHP reported that another passenger, Katria Wetherington, 9, was transported to Bayfront, but her medical condition was not available Monday. Mercade of New Port Richey was treated and released from Bayfront Medical Center. No charges have been filed in the accident.

CRYSTAL SPRINGS

Man arrested in fight at dairy plant

A day at the dairy turned violent Sunday when Miguel Santiago Jr., 26, struck Felipe Perez three times with a metal floor scraper while they were working at Spotos Dairy Inc., the Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported. Perez, also 26, suffered a fractured skull. Deputies arrested Santiago and charged him with aggravated battery. Santiago is being held at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

LAND O'LAKES

School Board set to approve tax rate

Though it's not official, the Pasco School Board will take the first step toward setting its 2007-08 tax rate when it meets tonight. The board is set to approve newspaper ads listing the rate as $7.208 per $1,000 of assessed value. That's down 20 cents from a year ago, and 16 cents from the rate introduced at a workshop less than a month ago. The board won't give final approval to the budget until September, but it cannot set a rate any higher than the advertised amount.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Water valve work will cut service

Replacement of a valve will mean water service will be shut off today for residents of Palm Terrace Gardens. The outage will affect all 1,200 Aqua Utility customers and will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 877-987-2782.

Boil notice issued after line break

Lindrick Service Corp. issued a boil-water notice Monday for residents of Catamaran Drive and the 5700 block of Westshore Drive in Gulf Harbors after a break in a water main disrupted service. Residents should boil water before drinking or cooking until tests show it is safe. For information call (727) 848-1165.

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