Window on Pasco, Nov. 21
TBO.comGovernment to close Thursday and Friday
Published: November 21, 2012
Published: November 21, 2012
Most county and city offices, as well as the courts, will close Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving. Government offices will reopen Monday.
Exceptions include Pasco County libraries, animal services adoption center and recreation centers, which will reopen on Saturday.
County buses will resume routes on Saturday.
Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility will close to everyone on Thursday, reopen Friday to Pasco County licensed commercial haulers only and resume regular operations Saturday.
Pasco unemployment drops to 9.1 percent
The Pasco County unemployment rate dropped to 9.1 percent in October, according to figures from the state Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The jobless number had been 9.7 percent in September.
Pasco is narrowing the gap with the statewide unemployment rate at 8.5 percent in October. In the previous month, the county jobless rate was a full percentage point higher than the statewide number.
The nationwide jobless figure increased slightly to 7.9 percent in October.
NPR rec center plans free fitness tutorial
A free Fitness Tutorial and Competition is set for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatics Center, 6630 Van Buren St.
This competition will be held in the Fitness Center using the "Backbull" accessory. Winner will receive a Backbull T-shirt. The introductory event leads into the Strength Series Competitions.
The event is limited to 30 entrants. For information call (727) 841-4560 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agency to prep 100 holiday meals
Sunshine Christian Homes, a nonprofit adult living facility in Holiday, will be helping with cooking and packaging 100 turkey dinners as part of the Community Service Council's 2012 Thanksgiving meals program.
The idea started several years ago with a few families, but the need for turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day has grown to 2,000 meals this year, according to Sunshine Christian Homes' administrator and chief operating officer, Diane Toland.
On Thanksgiving Day, CSC members and volunteers deliver thousands of turkey dinners to struggling families throughout west Pasco.
To volunteer, contact CSC's Community Outreach Chairwoman Victoria Barley at (727) 992-3388.
Arson investigator accused of theft
A state arson investigator surrendered to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office last week on charges she took more than $7,000 from an arson association.
Joy Anne Stuiso, 37, is accused of taking $7,100 from the Florida Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
An incident report says the association's debit card was used by Stuiso to make car payments and pay for a hotel and items from Walmart.
Stuiso has been fired from her job with the state Fire Marshal Division in Tampa after being hired about a year ago, said Florida Department of Financial Services spokeswoman Deborah Jamison.
Stuiso, of New Port Richey, served as the association's treasurer from March 2011 until May. According to deputies, she kept the association's financial records at her home.
Sherriff's office spokesman Doug Tobin said Stuiso said she used the card by accident, confusing it with her personal card.
"The fact that she used it as many as 50 times, our detectives thought went kind of above the means of just accidently using the card," Tobin said. "So that's why we pursued charges with that."
Stuiso was originally charged with embezzlement, but the charge has been lowered to grand theft. Stuiso, who has since paid back just over $4,100, was released after posting $500 bail.
Tobin said Stuiso is cooperating with the State Attorney's Office.
Corley lauds staff in fixing website crash
For the first time in about five years, the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections website experienced a traffic jam, but it only took a matter of minutes to clear up.
Just before 7 p.m. on Election Night, the website crashed. The county has a reputation for posting turnout results in real time throughout the day, said Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley, and that reputation became nationally known when media outlets, such as CNN and Fox News Channel, pointed it out to viewers.
The strain crashed the website at 7:09 p.m. At 7:16 p.m. the site was back up after a "long eight minutes," Corley said, crediting his hard-working staff with getting the site back up quickly.
Superintendent rejects school union requests
Elementary school teachers who sought relief from what they said has become a growing workload over the years may not find the going easier any time soon.
United School Employees of Pasco filed two grievances last month on behalf of more than 1,300 Pasco County elementary teachers over what they view as excessive testing, paperwork and meetings.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino, in one of her final acts in office, largely decided to keep things as they are.
She vowed, however, the district would work with the union to address any contract violations.
The union's president, Lynne Webb, said last week the group's next move could be to appeal to the school board or consult Fiorentino's successor, Kurt Browning, who took office Tuesday.