Donate new shoes and skate onto the Center Ice rink

San Antonio resident Janet Chubinsky is skating her nonprofit Shoes4Schools onto the ice rink at Florida Hospital Center Ice. The skating rink will be hosting a “SkateForShoes” fundraiser for the charity on June 1. The charity collects donations of new shoes every year to give to Pasco County schoolchildren who need them. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., individual … [Read more...]

Lutz teen named state winner for Doodle 4 Google contest

An inspiration from nature — and a passion for learning — helped Lutz teenager Mark Thivierge craft an award-winning drawing. Thivierge, 16, was recently named the Florida State Winner of the 2018 Doodle 4 Google competition — one of 53 state and territory winners whose work is displayed in an online gallery on the Doodle 4 Google website. The Doodle 4 Google competition, in its 10th … [Read more...]

Proposed homeless shelter for families stirs passions

Efforts to aid Pasco County’s homeless population are shifting from a homeless shelter for single adults to a shelter for families only. The goal is to place homeless families in permanent housing as soon as possible. That is a significant change from the initial focus one year ago on a “navigation center” with wraparound services for single men and women. The effort now has a new name, too. … [Read more...]

Turning dirty trash bins into a thriving business

Jennifer Trudel takes her work seriously. If that means crawling inside a trash bin to scrape off that last bit of grunge, she’s there. In fact, on first-time service calls, that extra scrubbing is a take-it-to-the-bank guarantee. “I just want to get it clean,” she said. “I’m an A-type personality.” She also is an entrepreneur in a cleaning service that’s so new that many people … [Read more...]

Cancer survivor wins scholarships, offers prevention advice

Cailyn Ruff was a senior at Sunlake High School, in Land O’ Lakes, when she felt an odd bump on her head. That was about a year-and-a-half ago. “It was like a big mole,” the 19-year-old said. “I saw it through my part line. It looked funny. It would bleed.” As it grew, she became concerned and brought it to the attention of her dermatologist. Next, came a biopsy. “It was a good … [Read more...]

Public meeting set on roadway connection study

The city of Tampa, Hillsborough County and Pasco County remain at odds over whether Kinnan Street in New Tampa should connect to Mansfield Boulevard in Wesley Chapel. A 450-page draft report, known as the Wesley Chapel Roadway Connection Study, looks at that road project, as well as two other potential intra-county road connections in the Wesley Chapel and State Road 56 area. The study says … [Read more...]

Making a difference through Special Olympics

For these teachers, Special Olympics is a longtime passion. With nearly 15 years combined as volunteer coaches, Connerton Elementary’s Jean Howey and Jenna Moore have experienced the positives of the world’s largest sports organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities, and strives to “transform lives through the joy of sport, training and competition.” Together, the teachers … [Read more...]

Pasco County’s outlook is bright, panel says

Panelists speaking at a real estate conference in Wesley Chapel last week said Pasco County has been making strides and is expected to continue to do so. For decades, Pasco County has been considered a bedroom community — with residents making a daily commute to jobs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. That picture is changing, said Heidi Tuttle-Beisner, an expert in commercial real … [Read more...]

Ending one chapter, starting a new one

They are members of the Class of 2018, and they will be marching — by the thousands — into their futures. Students from across Lutz, Odessa, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, San Antonio and Saint Leo are donning caps and gowns, and are leaving their high schools behind. These are students who have grown up in the age of technology. They’ve mastered Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. … [Read more...]

Pasco schools adopt new safety measures

An initiative to place school safety guards into Pasco County’s elementary schools attracted 125 applicants for 53 job slots. Training for the safety guards is scheduled to begin in June, with a goal of having the guards prepared for duties by August. Some applicants were retired law enforcement officers. “We’re excited about the level of interest and the caliber of people who are … [Read more...]