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...]

Local educator named a PBS ‘Digital Innovator All-Star’

It’s no secret that educator Bobbi Starling knows her way around technology. When she was a classroom teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Zephyrhills and at Centennial Middle School in Dade City, she was constantly introducing students to technical tools which could enhance their education and broaden their view of the world. Now, as the magnet schools program coordinator for the … [Read more...]

An ‘unsung hero’ seeks to help others to grow tasty food

When a crowd gathered in January to celebrate the dedication of the Watson Park Community Garden in Dade City, there was a man standing quietly in the background — as the festivities progressed. That man, Brightman Logan, played a vital role in providing the support to help make the garden happen, Whitney C. Elmore, who leads the Pasco County Extension Office, told the crowd — characterizing … [Read more...]

‘Mr. Don’ provides safety and encouragement

On weekday mornings and afternoons, Don Niles ushers students to safety at Double Branch Elementary School in Wesley Chapel. Officially, Niles is the school’s crossing guard. But, the 76-year-old is much, much more to students and faculty. Known as ‘Mr. Don’ to the Double Branch community, Niles is known for going the extra mile to forge relationships and lend an ear to … [Read more...]

Homeless Coalition CEO understands tough times

Don Anderson, the new chief executive officer for The Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County, doesn’t have to look far to understand what it’s like to experience poverty. “I come from very humble beginnings. My dad didn’t finish eighth grade. My mom didn’t finish high school. He worked three jobs. “We had a hard time keeping a car going, let alone pay the rent every month. “I … [Read more...]

Local man reaches ‘Hall of Fame’ status with relief charity

When Mike Mira headed to the Noon Rotary Club Zephyrhills meeting nearly six years ago, he didn’t know it was going to change his life. But, when the Zephyrhills man heard the presentation from ShelterBoxUSA representatives, he knew he wanted to get involved. The presentation came about 18 months after the earthquake in Haiti, Mira said. ShelterBox, which is an international … [Read more...]

Lutz resident receives ‘Community Champion’ award

It’s not all that uncommon for Freddy Barton to spend part of his weekend working — heading out to talk to people in the community. If he’s headed out from his Lutz residence on his motorcycle, chances are he’s going to go hang out with some kids — to find out what’s on their minds. “I’m talking to kids. I’m trying to probe their mind, to figure out, ‘What does it take to make you feel that … [Read more...]