Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning holds a smartphone and talks about how easy it is for information to spin out of control during a school emergency. To counter the spread of inaccurate information, the school district and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office have set up social media sites to provide timely, factual information to parents and the public during school emergencies, Browning said. Pasco County Sheriff’s Capt. James Mallo, who also took part in the news conference, is standing behind Browning. (B.C. Manion/Staff Photos)

Partnership aims to counter rumors with facts

As the 2015-2016 school year begins this week in Pasco County Schools, the school district and Pasco County Sheriff’s Office have formed a new partnership to give parents timely, accurate information when threatening situations occur on or near a school campus. The partnership aims to give parents a place to turn when they’re hearing reports […]

This Week

Mike-Moore crop

Businesses fight ‘cotton-pickin government’

When he was running for office, Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore heard a recurring theme: Do something about the blight. The county, like many other Tampa Bay communities, suffered from the recession, and voters told Moore they wanted something done about neglected buildings. But a proposed ordinance that would set minimum standards for maintaining commercial […]

Hands are difficult to draw, Alex Minnick said. They need to look realistic and convey the appropriate emotion at the same time. After significant practice, he's improved his technique.

Sunlake grad earns AP distinction

When Alex Minnick was a senior at Sunlake High School back in June, he had to submit a 24-piece portfolio for his Advanced Placement Drawing class. They were on display at a scoring event in Salt Lake City, Utah, where judges determined an overall score of one through six. As it turns out, no sixes […]

paula crop

Audit finds deficiencies in Pasco’s water billing

Louise Gritmon still is in disbelief over a one-month water bill for more than $3,300. Pasco County charged Gritmon for using more than 614,000 gallons of water over 18 days in the July 2014 billing period when her house was vacant. That never happened, Gritmon said. And she has two plumbers, an engineer and a […]

Medical Marijuana Prescription

Pasco commissioners scrutinize medical marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but the issue continues to stir controversy. The first sales of medical marijuana likely will begin in the next months, when the Florida Department of Health sets up its program for delivering the cannabis-based product. While 28 businesses have applied for one of five permits that will be issued […]


Tampa Premium Outlets to have ‘Key West’ vibe

Tampa Premium Outlets will have water, water, everywhere. The mega-outlet mall will have a center court lagoon, five fountains, and buildings and interiors painted in soft pastels, to give shoppers a “Key West” experience. Special events and celebrities will punctuate an opening weekend slated for Oct. 29 through Nov. 1. General Manager Stacey Nance gave […]

Colby Tomasello, right, receives a congratulatory handshake from Toshiba America Inc. executive R. Steven Tungate for his participation in the 2015 TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy in Tokyo.

Trip to Tokyo offers new perspectives

Colby Tomasello recently returned from Tokyo, Japan, where he took part in the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy. The Land O’ Lakes High student was among a group of eight students and four teachers from the United States who were selected to make the trip. He spent a week working in collaborative teams […]

Those driving by New Walk Church on State Road 54 may have wondered what was being built on that road. Now, they know. (B.C. Manion/Staff Photos)

New Walk celebrates a new church home

When New Walk Church began offering services in 2006, it was located at the YMCA building in Zephyrhills, and had about 120 regular attenders. Now, the church has three locations, totaling roughly 2,000 members, and it is planning to host the grand opening for its new Zephyrhills home at an evening service on Aug. 29 […]

John Chaplick, a retired certified public accountant who lives in Lutz, has penned three novels and is working on No. 4.
(Courtesy of John Chaplick)

Retired CPA becomes published novelist

The morning after John Chaplick retired from his consulting business, he knew after he’d finished his first cup of coffee that he wasn’t a man who could live without plans. As he was drinking that cup of coffee, he quickly realized that no one was seeking his advice, he had no meetings to attend and […]

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Local Sports

Senior safety Colton Smith is ready for a leadership role this season.

Gators’ goal: A return to its winning ways in football

The Land O’ Lakes High School football team dipped to 4-6 record last year, after posting an 8-2 record the year before. Head coach Brian Wachtel doesn’t blame bad luck or a lack of talent for the decline. He said it came down to execution. “I don’t think we reached our potential last year,” Wachtel […]

Head coach Reggie Roberts is looking to build on his team's 8-3 record and accompanying playoff berth last season.
(Fred Bellet/Photos)

New season, higher goals for Zephyrhills football

Last year, the Zephyrhills Bulldogs snapped an eight-year playoff drought by making the postseason for the first time since head coach Reggie Roberts took over in 2010. This year, the path to an encore doesn’t begin on the practice field, or in the classroom watching game film. It begins in church. “I had one of […]

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Sports – Check This Out


The Knights of Columbus, Council 8104, will host its Autumn Golf Classic on Sept. 27 at the Bay Palms Golf Complex at MacDill Air Force Base, 1803 Golf Course Ave., in Tampa. The event benefits Knights of Columbus charities. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person. For […]


Sydney Has A Sister, a charity that raises scholarship money for students who have a sibling with autism, will have its second annual golf tournament on Oct. 17 at Northdale Golf & Tennis Club, 4417 Northdale Blvd., in Tampa. The four-man scramble begins with check-in at noon and a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The cost […]


The Wesley Chapel Soccer Club offers free soccer training throughout the summer for girls ages 5 through 7. The sessions are every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m., at Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road. There is no cost or obligation for the session. Participants are encouraged to bring soccer gear, a ball (if […]

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