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Judge to rule Monday on Couey statements

Published January 6, 2007



Circuit Judge Ric Howard is expected to rule Monday morning on whether prosecutors can tell a jury about incriminating statements John Couey made to Orlando detectives about the death of Jessica Lunsford.

Attorneys battled for an hour during a hearing Friday, offering conflicting legal precedents to support their assertions.

The defense team argues that Couey invoked his right to remain silent long before speaking to the Orlando detectives. Prosecutors said the statements were made voluntarily to questions about an unrelated 1985 Orlando murder.

The judge reserved his ruling so he could review relevant legal cases referenced at the hearing.

Couey is charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering 9-year-old Jessica in February 2005. His trial is scheduled to start Feb. 12 in Miami. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Largo company plans landfill in east Pasco

A Largo company has proposed a 92-acre landfill in the rural pastures east of Dade City.

The proposal by Angelo's Recycled Materials is to build the $10-million facility by the end of 2007. The state Department of Environmental Protection and Pasco County must approve it.

Angelo's expects to handle as much as 3,000 tons of rubbish a day, based on a county population estimation of 454,120 by 2011.

But residents and the DEP are questioning the numbers because environmental regulators usually project that a person produces an average of 4.4 pounds of trash a day.

That would mean slightly less than 1,000 tons of trash a day in Pasco, nowhere near the 3,000-ton limit proposed by Angelo's.


Mermaid's new job: mermaid manager

Weeki Wachee Springs has named Marcy Terry as mermaid manager.

Terry began her career as a mermaid in 1997 and swam for two years. She returned in 2005. In November 2006, the mermaid manager position became open.

"Her talent as a mermaid, leadership skills and the respect she receives from the other girls made her a natural fit," general manager Robyn Anderson said.

Pasco health director awaits approval

A doctor for Florida's environmental health agency is slated to become Pasco County's next health department director.

David R. Johnson is the Florida Department of Health's pick to replace retiring Pasco director Marc Yacht, who leaves at the end of February.

[Last modified January 6, 2007, 00:54:32]

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