Breaking the cycle of domestic violence

Melissa Dohme Hill was just 20 years old when her ex-boyfriend viciously attacked her. He stabbed her 32 times in the neck, face, arms and hands — as he attempted to murder her. She’d broken up with him three months earlier. The attack occurred when she went outside to fulfill his request for a final goodbye hug. She was rushed to the hospital, where she flatlined four times and suffered … [Read more...]

Local softball sensations make junior national team

They’ve bewildered hundreds of batters. They’ve won state titles. They’ve earned state player of the year honors. They’ve signed with powerhouse Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools. Academy at the Lakes’ Lexi Kilfoyl and Land O’ Lakes High School’s Callie Turner have raked in their fair share of achievements across their prep fastpitch softball careers. And, the latest, places the … [Read more...]

Sunlake senior wins countywide honor

Since she stepped foot upon Sunlake High School’s campus four years ago, Jillian Gordy has strived to make a difference within her school and community. She’s spearheaded new school traditions. She’s been involved in numerous clubs and service organizations. And, she’s managed to maintain a 4.0-plus grade point average. The 18-year-old’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Last … [Read more...]

An atrophied hand offers beauty, inspiration

Finding and creating beauty in spite of life’s obstacles is something Shyama Rangwala knows all too well. She is a professional painter and art instructor with five studios ranging from Land O’ Lakes, Tampa and Brandon. Her birth name is Monali; however, under her adopted artistic name, “Shyama,” she is renowned for her featured work in more than 25 exhibitions in both her native India, … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes High honors ‘Voice of the Gators’

For Land O’ Lakes High School, this year’s ‘Butter Bowl’ will go down as one of the most historic, as the Gators football team finally cracked an eight-game losing streak to crosstown rival Sunlake High School, with a 35-24 home victory. The most enduring moment of the evening, however, came right before kickoff. That’s when a special dedication ceremony was held to honor longtime … [Read more...]

Lutz musician keeps busy with multiple instruments, bands

Fred Chandler relishes a good musical challenge. It is why he’s seemingly always working on the craft — whether it be playing in solo and band shows, tinkering with a new instrument, or laying down new tracks in a recording studio. Sometimes, when he wakes up, he has locked, bloody fingers and a hoarse voice — following a busy week of performances. His creativity, however, is never … [Read more...]

Dr. Susan A. MacManus retires from USF

When Dr. Susan A. MacManus recently headed to the front of Room 128, in the Social Science Building on the University of South Florida campus — it was to deliver the final lecture of her 47-year teaching career. Her regular students were there, but there were visitors, too — former students who wanted to be there to share the moment. MacManus offered her thoughts about the coming Mid-Terms, … [Read more...]

Pasco High student earns top score in nation

Madison Hoyle spent hours upon hours reviewing practice problems and quizlets, so she’d be fully prepared for the Cambridge International AS Psychology exam. It turns out that was time well-spent for the Pasco High senior. Hoyle was recently recognized by Cambridge Assessment International Education for achieving the highest score in the nation on the psychology exam, outperforming all other … [Read more...]

Local man is named minority business person of the year

Brian Butler was the only employee of his company — Vistra Communications — when he launched the business out of his home in Lutz in 2007. It wasn’t exactly the best time to launch an ambitious plan. The real estate market crashed and the nation’s economy cratered. “I started my business in the toughest economy we’d seen in 30 years,” he recalled. There were days when he considered … [Read more...]

Selena Schulz is Everyday Hero protecting Pasco animals

Selena Schulz is growing up in a family that includes two dogs, and a guinea pig named Desmond. Once in a while, there also are the stray dogs, cats and unexpected critters that her father brings home. One time it was a chicken. But, more likely, it’s a friendless dog or cat that Kurt Schulz found on the side of the road. They are all in need of tender loving care. “He’s a plumber, so … [Read more...]