A time to remember military sacrifice

Our nation is preparing to observe Memorial Day, in honor of the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. The American holiday, which falls on the last Monday of May each year, originally was known as Decoration Day. It began in the years following the Civil War and was declared an official federal holiday in 1971. To mark the holiday weekend, several events and … [Read more...]

Widening project of State Road 52 at Interstate 75 nears end

Nearly three years after dirt began flying, a $72.6 million project to widen State Road 52 and Interstate 75 is heading into its final phase. Completion is expected in summer 2017. Motorists have learned to navigate through construction cones, barricades and lane shifts — heading north or south on I-75, or east and west on two-lane State Road 52. Traffic flow has slowed, and sometimes … [Read more...]

Fleet of school buses to use alternative fuel

Pasco County Schools is making history with a new, fast-fill station and a fleet of buses that runs on alternative fuel. The school district, in partnership with Integral Energy and Clearwater Gas System, is the first in Florida to own and operate a compressed natural gas (CNG) station to fuel its growing fleet of CNG buses. By the end of the 2018 school year, school officials estimate … [Read more...]

Pantry provides food for those in need

The Helping Hands Choice Food Pantry at Atonement Lutheran Church of Wesley Chapel began more than a decade ago with a simple goal — to feed the hungry. Carl Haberland came up with the idea. “He had this dream that he was supposed to feed people in need,” said Carla Haberland, who has led the church’s food pantry efforts since her husband’s death in 2011. “It started out with a … [Read more...]

Pasco County schools expect budget squeeze

As things stand now, Pasco County Schools could be facing an $8.7 million budget shortfall for the 2017-18 budget year, and Superintendent Kurt Browning has begun laying the groundwork for potential cuts. He briefed the Pasco County School Board during a May 16 budget workshop about what he’s been doing so far to gear up for what could become a tough budget year. The final budget numbers … [Read more...]

Lutz Guv’na candidates face off in lively debate

It was a landslide for one first-time Lutz Guv’na hopeful. Jessica Sherman of Pinch A Penny was voted the winner of the Lutz Guv’na Debate, at the Old Lutz School on May 20. She also claimed the debate’s talent contest, appealing to “voters” with her dancing skills (and baked goods). And,  she earned a $100 campaign donation for bringing the most guests — by far— to the fun-filled … [Read more...]

Review committee to talk about school impact fees

Pasco County’s Development Review Committee is slated to discuss a proposal that would raise the impact fees charged to new residential development to help address the impact that new growth has on schools. Under the proposed ordinance, the fees could be used to build new schools, acquire school sites or purchase new school buses. Pasco County already imposes school impact fees, but the … [Read more...]

‘Cow Palace’ attracted music greats

The block structure was built in 1957, without heat or air conditioning, according to records kept by the Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office. It was located in Carver Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood where many people lived hard-scrabble lives. And, during the next 20 years, the building attracted performers who would become some of the biggest names in soul-blues and … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills Police to have a changing of the guard

Zephyrhills police chief David Shears is hanging up his uniform following 25 years of service. His retirement, effective May 31, was announced during the Zephyrhills City Council May 8 meeting. The council then unanimously approved City Manager Steve Spina’s appointment of Zephyrhills police Capt. Derek Brewer to interim chief, effective June 1. The city now will undergo a hiring … [Read more...]

Decision delayed on Quail Hollow

Pasco County commissioners, for a second time, pushed off a decision on the fate of the Quail Hollow Golf Course. In a 3-2 vote, they opted to continue the issue until June 6 at 1:30 p.m. in Dade City. The intent is to give the golf course owner and Quail Hollow homeowners more time to settle differences. But, there is a wide gulf between an owner who wants to redevelop his unprofitable … [Read more...]