NEW PORT RICHEY
City officials are preparing for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to speak at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sims Park. City Manager Tom O'Neill said he got a phone call Wednesday afternoon from campaign officials who say they want Palin there but have not worked out the details. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden held a rally Monday at the park. Campaign officials have yet to confirm Palin's appearance. The only public event on her schedule for Saturday is 4 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C. It's also unclear how her appearance would be coordinated with a local church's previously scheduled fall festival. It begins at 11 a.m., but O'Neill said Calvary Chapel Worship Center needs time to set up. City police, Pasco Sheriff's Office and Secret Service officials are expected to finish plans today, said state Sen. Mike Fasano. But if the campaign decides Palin is needed elsewhere, the event is off.
Man charged in armed robbery
A 20-year-old Zephyrhills man was arrested Tuesday and charged with armed robbery after sheriff's deputies said he and an unknown accomplice attempted to rob a man inside his Bennett Lane home earlier that morning. According to deputies, Jimarian Smith forced the man into his house at gunpoint, and the accomplice tried to shoot the victim before the man ran outside. Smith tackled the man, held a gun to his head and demanded he hand over his wallet, according to the arrest report. Smith tried to flee, but was caught by a witness. Deputies are trying to identify the accomplice. Smith is being held at the Land O'Lakes jail on $105,000 bail.
City employees to face drug screens
Dade City employees are now subject to random drug tests. Tuesday night, commissioners approved a plan to arbitrarily test employees for drugs and alcohol, a requirement of the city's liability insurance. Before, drug tests were only conducted upon hiring and if an employee was suspected of being under the influence.
- Jasmine Chambers died Sept. 21, 2006. A story Wednesday about the man on trial for her death gave the wrong date.
- Eagle Ridge Golf Center has recently changed its number to (727) 842-2TEE (2833). An article Wednesday gave an older phone number no longer in use.