State Road 56 Extension gives drivers another option

Motorists heading through the county to or from East Pasco now have a new way to do it. The State Road 56 Extension, which links Meadow Pointe Boulevard in Wesley Chapel to U.S. 301 in Greater Zephyrhills, opened on July 10. Dignitaries and members of the media gathered for a preview of the road the day before it opened to the public. Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley noted … [Read more...]

Flooding concerns prompt rezoning protest

Pasco County Commissioners adopted a change to the county’s future land use map, and also approved a rezoning in the Sierra Pines area — despite concerns by neighbors that the planned project will add to the area’s flooding problems. The rezoning and land use change involve 164.8 acres, on the south side of State Road 54, approximately 2,000 feet east of Meadowbrook Drive. The property is … [Read more...]

Pasco sets property tax rate for 2020 fiscal year

The Pasco County Commission has adopted a tax rate for the 2020 fiscal year. Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices that will be mailed out to property owners will reflect these rates: TRIM notice: Property tax: 7.6076 Municipal fire service unit: 1.8036 Jail (bond issue): .0277 Fire rescue (bond issue): .0222 Parks (bond issue): .0100 Library (bond issue): .0096 County … [Read more...]

Serving up free lunches for kids this summer

School may be out — but Pasco County Schools takes part in a program that provides free lunches to hungry children. The program serves meals at various cafeterias, and at some pick-up locations, too. Megan Sexton, the food program’s coordinator, said Pasco was one of the first counties in Florida to implement mobile feeding. The idea was to provide youths with a well-rounded meal … [Read more...]

Commissioners resolve to have fewer resolutions

There comes a point during Pasco County Commission meetings when formal votes are put on hold while various groups and individuals receive recognition through resolutions. Typically, a somewhat lengthy resolution is read, commissioners offer their remarks, and the person being honored or a member of the group says a few words. Then, there’s a customary photo with the … [Read more...]

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...]

Laker/Lutz News captures seven Florida Press awards

The Laker/Lutz News brought home a total of seven reporting and photography awards from the Florida Press Association 2018-2019 Weekly Newspaper Contest. Staff photographer Christine Holtzman, and freelance contributors Richard K. Riley and Fred Bellet accounted for five of those awards. Holtzman won first place feature photo for an image she captured of a young girl from Land O’ Lakes, … [Read more...]

This guy ‘put out fires,’ literally

Mark Spudie, a former battalion chief for Pasco County Fire Rescue, dedicated 30 years of his life in the work of fighting fires. He hung up his gear on May 30 — walking the corridors of Wesley Chapel’s Fire Station 13 for the last time as part of the county’s team. “I wasn’t ready to go,” Spudie said. “I would have worked a few more years if I could have, and mainly because of the people … [Read more...]

Vets Healing Vets program debuts at library

Vets Healing Vets is a new no-cost, therapeutic craft program being offered at the New River Branch Library, for veterans of all ages and their families. The program meets on the last Friday of the month at 10:30 a.m. It made its debut on June 28. During the session, veterans put together craft kits and, at the same time, they're able to socialize and build relationship with other … [Read more...]

Extension office kicks off wellness program

Start stepping toward a healthier future with UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension, which is now offering a 12-week walking program called Let’s Walk Florida. The program is designed to encourage community members to team up in pursuit of a lifelong walking habit. Anyone can participate in the program aimed at promoting physical wellness. Walking reduces the risk of heart disease and some … [Read more...]