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The month in review

The following stories made headlines in the Hernando Times in March:

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2002

MCINTOSH OUT; RADACKY IN: Hernando County commissioners reached a $65,000 settlement deal with Paul McIntosh so he would resign as county administrator. McIntosh had come under fire for questionable handling of consultant contracts and his unreported acceptance of gifts from companies doing business with the county. Richard Radacky, McIntosh's deputy administrator, was promoted to replace him. Earlier in the month, Bill Appleby resigned as director of the county's troubled Emergency Management Department. The county's assistant fire chief, Danny Roberts, was assigned by commissioners to command the department for now. Commissioners may merge Emergency Management into the fire-rescue service.

DEPUTIES SHOOT SUSPECT: Sheriff's deputies shot and killed 22-year-old Nathaniel Benjamin Adkins while trying to arrest him in connection with a series of Hernando County home invasions and a Hillsborough County aggravated battery charge. Deputies and Brooksville police officers went to the Oaks Motel in Brooksville after getting a tip that they could find Adkins there with his girlfriend. Adkins fled into a nearby mobile home park and allegedly shot at officers before deputies Troy Groves and Bill Martinez returned fire, killing Adkins. The incident is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

STAAS SENTENCED: Douglas Staas, the Spring Hill man arrested last year and charged with stealing another man's identity while running up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, pleaded guilty to identity theft charges. Circuit Judge Jack Springstead sentenced Staas to 8 1/2 years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.

TEACHER SUSPENDED OVER FCAT: Moton Elementary School teacher Carolyn Sunderland was suspended pending an investigation of allegations that she might have violated state law regarding cheating on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Specifics of the allegations have not been released, but the case will be discussed at this week's School Board meeting.

FIRED DEPUTY REHIRED: Anthony Mazza, the Hernando County sheriff's deputy fired last year for hurting Brooksville lawyer and former state Sen. Joseph Johnston Jr., 79, during a traffic stop, got his job back with the Sheriff's Office. A citizens advisory board heard Mazza's appeal of the firing and recommended he be rehired. Sheriff Richard Nugent accepted the recommendation, but stipulated that Mazza had to get anger management and remedial training in defensive tactics.

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