Author recounts childhood in apartheid South Africa

Rachel Odhner Longstaff’s earliest memory of South Africa is an engine fire and an aborted plane flight near the end of a long journey from Pennsylvania to the city of Durban in the KwaZulu Natal province. “I remember being carried from the plane by a huge black man under an umbrella,” said Longstaff. “I think […]

This Week

Mr. Bolt was a true ‘staple’ at Wesley Chapel Elementary

Wesley Chapel Elementary School held an open house on March 16 to celebrate the life of Dan Bolt, a 44-year-old behavioral specialist who died suddenly on March 12. Mr. Bolt, as he was known at the elementary school, joined its staff in 2003 as a music teacher. He remained in that role until this school […]

Wiregrass Ranch students join national walkout

Students across the nation walked out of classrooms on March 14, in a protest against gun violence and a call for greater action by Congress to keep students safe. In some cities, protests were marked by students leaving their school campuses, carrying signs and chanting for greater legislative action regulating the sale of guns, particularly […]

Proposed solar farm sparks controversy

An open house to preview a proposed solar farm in northeast Pasco County drew an impassioned crowd of residents who mostly panned the project. Tampa Electric, known as TECO, is seeking a special exception permit to build the solar farm on about 350 acres, off Blanton Road in Dade City. The first public hearing for […]

Pasco is testing a new recycling program

Pasco County commissioners are eager to roll out a new countywide recycling program. But, first they need to wait for the results of a seven-month pilot study to test the use of carts and pickup schedules. “My vision is to expand this as quickly as possible to the rest of the county,” said Pasco County […]

Statewide trek aims to support child safety

Lauren Book is on a journey to show children how to be safe and feel safe. She is a survivor of child abuse by a live-in nanny. In 2001, at age 16, she made the decision to disclose what happened to her. As a state senator, and founder of the nonprofit Lauren’s Kids, Book is […]

Town hall sheds light on opioid overdose prevention

Cesar Rodriguez spent 17 years of his life as a heroin addict. He overdosed on five separate occasions, only to be saved by first responders who administered him naloxone, or Narcan, an emergency treatment that counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. “If I didn’t have Narcan,” he said, “I wouldn’t be able to sit […]

Sinkhole solution down to three options

Pasco County is inching closer to resolving the massive sinkhole that swallowed two houses in Lake Padgett Estates more than eight months ago. Public Safety officials and county engineers are down to three recommendations on the long-term recovery efforts at the sinkhole site on Ocean Pines Drive: Option No. 1: Install a 6-foot tall “wrought-iron […]

Developers get $6 million county loan to build offices

A project to build two upscale, premier office buildings will get a $6 million loan from Pasco County. The Pasco County Commission approved the loan agreement with Atlanta-based Land Investment Partners at its March 14 meeting in Dade City. No tenants are pre-signed for the office space. However, if certain performance goals in leasing the […]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office unveils app to help stress

Pasco Sgt. Matt Rosenbloom has handled countless distressing calls throughout his 12 years in law enforcement. “I’ve seen things that people shouldn’t see out there,” he said. Sometimes it takes several days for him to get past a particular incident. Witnessing the death of a child, for instance, takes a heavy toll. It’s something many […]

Pasco commissioners approve business park

The Pasco County Commission liked the business park, but couldn’t stand its proposed name. “Vibrant Sun (Business Park) would sound like I’m going to a casino,” Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore said. So, instead of being called the Vibrant Sun Business Park, the new development site will be known as Overpass Business Park. The business […]

Testing the weight-bearing load of bridges

Have you ever wondered how many pounds of rocks a bridge made of 200 Popsicle sticks would support? Students who wanted to find out took part in the Bridge-Breaking Competition held by Saint Leo University’s Department of Mathematics and Science on March 6. The competition includes teams who constructed model bridges from lightweight wooden sticks […]

‘Spotlight on Talent’ announces winners

“Spotlight on Talent,” a regional performing arts competition in its 35th year, has announced winners from its March 10 competition at the Center for the Arts in Wesley Chapel. The competition, presented by the Heritage Arts Center Association, involved 140 finalists, competing for more than $5,000 in trophies, ribbons and cash prizes. Victoria Neukom was […]

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Local Sports

Local soccer player scores prestigious statewide honor

Whenever the Land O’ Lakes Gators needed a score, Sydny Nasello was there to answer the call. And, she delivered often, racking up 120 goals during her four-year varsity soccer career. In this past season alone, the senior tallied 45 goals and 13 assists — guiding the Gators to the regional finals, a 23-3 record […]

Solid year for local hoops

Florida high school basketball has wrapped up, and while no teams from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area won a state title, several boys and girls squads nonetheless achieved impressive performances during the 2017-2018 season. Here’s a look back at some of the teams and players who stood out: Boys Carrollwood Day School Patriots (Class 4A) […]

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Sports – Check This Out

Saint Leo athletic director honored

Saint Leo University athletic director Francis X. Reidy has been named one of 28 Under Armour Athletic Directors of the Year. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the honor on March 5. Reidy has earned the honor for the third time in the past six years, and is one of four […]

KUMC Golf Classic

The 13th annual Keystone United Methodist Church Golf Classic is set for April 14 at Silver Dollar Golf Club, 12711 Silver Dollar Drive in Odessa. The four-person scramble will begin with an 8:30 a.m., shotgun start. Cost is $60 per player. It includes a cart, green fees, goody bag and lunch. Course contests will be […]

Roller derby bout

Revolution Roller Derby League is hosting a battle April 29 at 5:30 p.m., between its Valkryies and the Bradenton-based Brandentucky Bombers, at SpinNations Skating Center, 8345 Congress St., in Port Richey. The bout will benefit Sunrise of Pasco County Domestic & Sexual Violence Center. The league will be collecting donations at the door. All gender […]

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