Pasco’s tourism director wants to take a new approach

Adam Thomas envisions Pasco County becoming one of Florida’s “must-see” tourism destinations. Aside from mostly pleasant weather, the county lays its claim to bountiful ecotourism, miles of bike trails, premier multipurpose sports facilities — as well as beaches and resorts. “We have a lot of opportunities,” said Thomas, who is Pasco’s newest tourism director. “Our destination is really … [Read more...]

Local volunteer wins national award

When Courtney Urban began volunteering at the Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppe, at 1930 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Lutz, it was just a way to spend some extra time with her grandmother. “The big thing in the beginning was just going with her,” said Urban, who began her volunteer work in 2013. “But then it became my own thing. I loved going there. When I got to be the cashier, it was fun to … [Read more...]

Eddie Herrmann, a pillar in San Antonio, was an original

Edward Joseph Herrmann, known as “Eddie” to most everyone in San Antonio, was an original, and with his passing on Oct. 21, the community paused to reminisce about a pillar of the community. Eddie wore many hats. He was a father, a son, a husband, an uncle, a former Mayor of San Antonio, an award-winning winemaker, a writer and a respected historian. His death came on the evening of the 51st … [Read more...]

New Zephyrhills police chief has a familiar face

Derek Brewer’s official promotion to Zephyrhills Police Chief was just weeks ago — yet he’s no stranger to the uniform, or to the community he’s tasked to serve. The 45-year-old Brewer was appointed the city’s permanent, full-time police chief on Sept. 25. He was sworn-in two weeks later, on Oct. 9. Brewer, however, already had months of familiarity with the position. He served as interim … [Read more...]

Roy T. Hardy was known for fish fries and kindness

When Mike Carr was growing up in Dade City, he viewed Roy T. Hardy as a giant among men. “He was just so kind,” Carr said, of Hardy, who died Sept. 19 at the age of 94. Carr thought so highly of Hardy that he said he routinely referred to him as “the patron saint of Dade City.” The Kiwanis Club and the city of Dade City also thought highly of Roy, and his wife, Martha, and honored … [Read more...]

Creating beauty from bits of glass

Fusing glass to create works of art is much like other types of artistic creation, according to Michele Gould, of Purple Cloud Studio, in Land O’ Lakes. “Every glass artist, like every painter, has his own vision,” said Gould, who recently taught a free two-hour Fused Glass 101 class at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, at 2818 Collier Parkway. Before the class began, Gould cut big flat … [Read more...]

She hopes her ‘simple witness’ will help change lives

Emily Busch plans to spend the next year of her life as a full-time missionary in the Life Teen program in northern Georgia. She’s confident about committing a year of her life to missionary work. “I’m not even a little bit nervous,” said the 21-year-old from Wesley Chapel. “There’s so much peace.” Part of that is because she’s familiar with the program, after spending a summer there … [Read more...]

Local man receives French Legion of Honor medal

There were times during World War II when Francis Xavier O’ Connell wasn’t sure he’d live to see another sunrise. To this day, the 93-year-old feels certain it was his mother’s prayers that kept him alive during dangerous times on the battlefield and through his captivity as a prisoner of war. He still has the rosary beads she gave him, and some of the letters she wrote to him during the … [Read more...]

He offers humor, nostalgia and old-fashioned value

If you’ve ever driven through the parking lot near the McDonald’s at U.S. 41 and State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes, you’ve probably seen a sign leading to Fred Wilsky’s shop. “Sharpening Service” the sign proclaims, pointing east onto Carson Drive. If you head east on Carson Drive, you’ll see a series of signs — each getting you closer to the shop where Wilsky has been plying his trade for … [Read more...]

Computer club navigates programming basics

Roshan Kumaraswamy started programming computers in middle school — now he’s teaching the craft to others. Last month, the 16-year-old Land O’ Lakes High School senior created Coding Club, for tweens and teens aspiring to learn more about computer sciences. The club began meeting on Fridays in July, at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library. It accommodates up to 10 people, who program on … [Read more...]