Zephyrhills Police chief talks crime, initiatives and more

Arrests are up in Zephyrhills, but overall crime trends are down citywide. That’s according to Zephyrhills Police Department Chief Derek Brewer, who was the featured guest speaker at the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce July breakfast meeting. Brewer said arrests in Zephyrhills have increased each of the last three years, topping out at 1,077 in 2018. That’s up from 1,047 … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills tennis center breaks ground

A groundbreaking ceremony officially marked the beginning of construction on the long-awaited Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center in Zephyrhills. After more than two years of planning and design, the tennis center is slated to be ready for play sometime in spring 2020. The facility will feature 11 outdoor tennis courts (eight clay surface, two hard surface, exhibition court), built … [Read more...]

Double titles

A pair of Land O’ Lakes Little League all-star baseball teams recently captured titles in their respective age divisions. The Land O’ Lakes Little League senior division (ages 14 to 16) won the Little League Florida state championship, besting seven other teams in Braden River. The Land O’ Lakes seniors now advance to the Little League southeast region tournament in Safety Harbor, which runs … [Read more...]

Nationals bound

Lutz resident Alyssa Hayman has earned a spot in the USA Track & Field (USATF) Hershey National Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento, California. Hayman qualified for the prestigious event by finishing in third place in the 11-12 girls division 1,500-meter racewalk (15:42.49) at a USATF regional meet in South Carolina over the July 4 weekend. The national championships will take place … [Read more...]

Saint Leo hoops alum signs pro contract

Former Saint Leo University men’s basketball standout Junior Searcy is going pro — internationally. The 6-foot-4 forward recently signed a professional contract with the Wiha Schwennigen Panthers of the Pro A league in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. The three-year Lions player capped off his career playing in 24 games during the 2018-2019 season, posting 10.7 points, 4 rebounds and 2.1 … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office boosts online crime reporting

Reporting a variety of crimes is getting easier for Pasco County residents through a new online reporting tool being used by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office recently upgraded the capabilities of its citizen online police reporting system to accept reports on a these types of incidents: Petit theft (less than $300) Petit theft bicycle (less than $300) Grand … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills considers fire department merger

After nearly 60 years of operation and tradition, the Zephyrhills Fire Department may soon be absorbed by Pasco County Fire Rescue. As funding and staffing issues mount within the city’s fire department, the Zephyrhills City Council on July 1 unanimously directed city staff to begin formal negotiations to consolidate the local agency with Pasco County Fire Rescue. If the merger occurs, … [Read more...]

Panel sheds light on youth drug use in Pasco

Speaking before a roomful of adults, a panel of teens offered their insights and observations about drug use among youths in Pasco County. Marijuana use appears to be the biggest drug-related issue among youth across Pasco County, said the panelists, who are members of Safe Teens Against Drugs (STAND). They said kids are increasingly turning to marijuana as a way to escape their personal … [Read more...]

Area softball players among best in state

The high school softball season has come and gone, but local athletes are still picking up accolades from their 2019 campaigns. The 2019 Miracle Sports All-State teams were released last month honoring the top players in Florida — and area players were well-represented. Sixteen athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were recognized, either as first-team, second-team or honorable … [Read more...]

Good shot!

Pasco High student Olivia Walters recently qualified for the National Sporting Clays Association All-American Team. To be eligible for the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) All-American Team, a shooter must be a member in good standing with the National Skeet Shooting Association-National Sporting Clays Association, must shoot a minimum of 500 NSCA registered targets, and must shoot their … [Read more...]