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Steve Steele, 47, was shot by Pasco deputies on July 13.Courtesy of Trish Manson

'I called for help, not for them to kill him.' Dead man's mother says Pasco deputies mishandled shooting

CRYSTAL SPRINGS — The mother of a man shot to death by deputies believes authorities were too quick to fire their weapons and used unnecessary force in dealing with her son. Deputies shot Steve Steele, 47, after he charged at them with a knife in his hand the night of July 13, according to the Sheriff's Office. The …

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  1. Pasco sheriff's team of volunteer Jeep drivers go where few dare

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    He got the text in the middle of treating patients. He was needed in the morning — and so was his dark blue 2002 Jeep Wrangler.

    The Pasco County Sheriff's Office's newly-formed Volunteer Jeep Search and Rescue Unit stops for a moment to wait for fellow Jeep drivers to catch up during a mock search-and-rescue exercise and off-road training in Shady Hills in June. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  2. Hillsborough and Pinellas to keep park entry fees, while Pasco makes them free again

    Local Government

    One thing stands between Mark Crawford and the mackerel schooling in the topaz saltwater around the pier at Fort De Soto Park: a toll booth. And even if the lady inside is as sweet as orange blossom honey, she still wants his five dollars.

    Jermaine Ferguson takes the $5 entry fee from a visitor at Fort De Soto Park on Wednesday. Pasco County has done away with recession era park fees, but Hillsborough and Pinellas county plan to continue to charge people to use parks like Fort De Soto and Lettuce Lake Park. LARA CERRI   |   Times

  3. Hometown Pasco for July 28

    Human Interest

    Nonprofit of the Year honors: Youth and Family Alternatives was recently named the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Nonprofit of the Year in the Family Service category. The agency, selected from six other finalists in the category, was recognized for its excellence in family services to families and children in 11 …

    West Pasco Pony Tails all-star team wins state tournament:  After winning at the district level in June, the West Pasco Girls Fast-Pitch Softball Association’s Pony Tails all-star team represented Pasco County in the Dixie Softball League All-Star State Tournament in Bristol, taking home the championship. The team advanced to the World Series in South Carolina, July 28 through Aug. 2. The team also took home the Sportsmanship Award. The team, coached by Jon Kreidler and Nikki Sedivy and managed by Tom Pirozzi, is currently raising money to cover travel expenses. Team members, from left, are: Kailee Kreidler, Alyssa Pirozzi, Taryn Sciuto, Sofia Chianella, Faith Jetter, Kinnah Kreidler, Jayda Smith, Sabrina Celeste, Kyndal Mannion, Elizabeth Billet, Sydney Carlson and Samantha Brenner. Four other all-star teams, in different age divisions, also represented Pasco at the state tournament. The Darlings finished in third place, and the Angels, Belles and Debs finished in second place.
  4. Hudson man, 53, accused of impersonating police officer

    Crime

    HUDSON — A 53-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer after the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said he pulled over a motorist and claimed to be an off-duty officer.

    Scott Ziegler, 53, was arrested on a charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer on Wednesday by Pasco deputies. [Courtesy of Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  5. New Port Richey man, 66, killed when car turns into his motorcycle's path, FHP says

    Accidents

    A 66-year-old New Port Richey man died when he was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with a car that turned left into his path, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  6. Is cuddling tiger cubs conservation? Experts warn it leads to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  7. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record gains in quarter

    Banking

    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]