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Week in review

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 14, 2001

A look back at the week's top stories

PRAYER AND SCHOOLS: The issue of religion and prayer in schools continued to be a hot topic. The School Board on Tuesday heard hours of discussion about prayer and religion-related meetings in the schools and eventually decided to talk some more. A hearing was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Lecanto High School. The board faces two issues: How to pray at its meetings, and a possible new policy on when groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes can meet in the schools.

ACCESS ROAD IDEA DROPPED: A small but vocal bloc of critics helped persuade the Southwest Florida Water Management District to withdraw a plan to build an expensive road to access islands at Potts Preserve. "We did feel strongly about it, but we realized how much of an issue it was becoming," said Bruce Wirth, director of the agency's resource management department.

PARTY HOST ARRESTED IN RAPE CASE: Investigators have arrested another man in the wake of the reported rape in December of a 14-year-old girl. Joseph Craig Sherouse, 21, of Hernando, who was host of the party where the attack reportedly occurred, was held on a charge of felony child neglect for failing to protect the girl visiting his home Dec. 16, according to an arrest affidavit.

SPENDING INCREASE PROPOSED: The Tourist Development Council, faced with a slow first quarter of visitor traffic, proposed an ambitious 24 percent boost in spending. If the County Commission approves the plan, the council would spend $25,000 to erect Citrus billboards along Interstate 75 and other major roads, increase the print advertising budget by $7,500 and dedicate $35,000 more to stage an additional trip for travel writers and photographers. The council's current budget is $270,000.

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