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Plane crash kills former Pasco resident

Published December 30, 2006


Five people, including a former Dade City resident, died in a plane crash Dec. 22 near Panama City, the Associated Press reported. Barry DeLong, 51, a Dade City resident until the early 1990s, was traveling to the Bahamas for Christmas with his wife, Roxanne Costello DeLong, 57, and two friends. The twin-engine Cessna took off about 8:30 a.m. in rainy, windy conditions. Pilot John Johnson also died in the crash. Friends in Santa Rosa Beach, where the DeLongs lived, held a bonfire Wednesday in their memory. A local memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Jan. 6 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Dade City. The crash was one of two recent crashes that claimed the lives of former Pasco residents. Another plane went down Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn., killing former New Port Richey resident Mike Burlingham and his mother. Investigators say ice formed on the wings of that plane, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Browning packs up on last day on job

Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning spent his last day on the job Friday packing his belongings at the Dade City office. Browning, who has been appointed Florida's next secretary of state, resigned effective Jan. 1. Gov.-elect Charlie Crist has not named Browning's successor yet. Until he does, chief deputy supervisor Melba Hamilton will run the day-to-day business at the office, which includes 24 employees. Browning served since 1980.

New director sets goals for chamber

Jan Slater, who has been working as the administrative assistant at the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, was named the new executive director last week. She has been the sole employee of the chamber since the former executive director, Donna French, was fired in September. Her goals as director include increasing chamber membership and working with other civic organizations. "I love being out in the community," she said Friday.

Bacteria levels high at 5 beaches

Five Pasco County beaches have been flagged by the Health Department for risky bacteria levels entering the holiday weekend. Robert J. Strickland Beach, also known as Hudson Beach, and the Energy and Marine Center in Port Richey continue to have high counts. Beach waters at Brasher Park, Oelsner Park and Gulf Harbors also tested too high for bacteria, which can cause illness and rashes.

[Last modified December 29, 2006, 22:27:36]

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