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Week in review

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 3, 2001

A look back at the week's top stories

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FCAT SCHOOL GRADES: The news for Citrus County was mixed, with only one school, Homosassa Elementary, maintaining an A. Other schools, including three of four middle schools, earned higher scores than they had last year. Some schools lost A's when student achievement didn't grow at the required rate and more students had low reading scores. The grades, based largely on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results, mean that five Citrus schools will earn school recognition dollars ranging from about $40,000 to about $80,000 each for increased or maintained scores.

COURTHOUSE PROJECT BEGINS: The courthouse addition project kicked off with little fanfare and no noticeable changes, as workers looked over the site and made plans to start construction. By May 2002, the parking lot behind the courthouse will be transformed into a 40,000-square-foot wing, nearly doubling the size of the courthouse. Then workers will renovate the existing courthouse, a 57,818-square-foot building from the late 1970s, to provide more space for everyone from public defenders to property appraisers.

GAIN TIME LOSSES: Citrus County jail inmates must pick up a shovel or push a mop to shave time off their sentences. Last month, the County Commission voted to shrink the amount of gain time, or time off, an inmate can earn from 15 days a month to 10. In addition to putting the county in line with state sentencing mandates, authorities are hoping the new policy will lead to an increase in labor available for jobs such as roadside litter removal.

CRYSTAL RIVER MANAGEMENT: With the top candidate for city manager backing out and no new prospects lined up, the City Council named Police Chief Jim Farley interim manager. Farley, who was startled by the suggestion, accepted the position -- but not before registering objections.

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