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...]

Pasco tourism ‘booming,’ officials say

Tourism is “booming” in Pasco County and shows little signs of slowing down. That was the message delivered by Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore and Pasco County Tourism Director Adam Thomas during a recent appearance at a Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce meeting. “We’re at the highest (tourism) levels ever,” said Moore, who joined Smith, as the featured speakers at the … [Read more...]

Swearing-in ceremony draws a big crowd

Dade City has a new police chief, but he has a familiar face. James Walters — who has been the acting chief for more than six months — became the department’s official leader at the Aug. 28 Dade City Commission meeting. Walters is replacing former chief Ray Velboom, who retired after a decade of service. The occasion drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 community and business … [Read more...]

Community mourns couple’s passing

The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club was already grieving the death of its former president, Edwina Kraemer, when the club received word that Edwina’s husband, David, had died a day later. Those who knew Edwina describe her as capable, dynamic, organized and giving. They said she was a woman who held leadership roles in the woman’s club, was passionate about raising money for Canine … [Read more...]

Local astronomy club promotes stargazing

A group of amateur astronomers have gathered at New Port Richey’s Starkey Park for 15 years, toting their telescopes to help the public get an intimate glimpse at planets, star clusters, meteors and galaxies. The space enthusiasts’ latest gathering held particular meaning. The Pasco Astronomers celebrated its 15th anniversary on Aug. 11 with a free public stargazing event the park. It … [Read more...]

America’s Finest Beach is in Clearwater

Standing on baby-powder white sand, starring out at the gentle lulling of the Gulf’s waves, I realized how lucky we are here on Florida’s West Coast to live so close to Clearwater Beach. It’s the ideal beach to swim, stroll for shells, watch birds and people, eat in some really good beach restaurants, or just sit on a beach towel and read a good book. If you want to, you can go fishing … [Read more...]

Panel offers formula to help struggling teens: Judge less, listen more

Those working in the front lines of mental health, drug prevention, drug addiction and recovery heard firsthand last week from a panel of youths about strategies that can help young people who need help in those areas. The panel made up of members of STAND (Safe Teens AgaiNst Drugs) convened at the community center at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, under the auspices of the monthly coalition … [Read more...]

Pay raises elusive in Pasco schools

Pasco County school officials are still searching for ways to provide some sort of raise for district employees — although the prospect did not appear promising at a board meeting last week. At the board’s July 24 meeting, numerous teachers and other support personnel took turns urging the Pasco School Board to make employee pay a budget priority. The current budget proposal does not include … [Read more...]

Turnout might break record in August primary

Midterm elections typically get a low voter turnout. But, there are signs of energized voters for the 2018 primary set for Aug. 28 and the general election on Nov. 6. New voter registrations are up somewhat, said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. A bigger indicator of voter interest is the more than 62,000 ballots mailed to local residents and military personnel, … [Read more...]

‘Bots’ help fight sex crimes

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is using a new cyber sting program to combat human sex trafficking. The agency has joined forces with the Tampa-based U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), to use an approach that attacks the demand-side of sex trafficking by targeting and identifying online sex buyers through the use of intercept bots. Here’s how it works: The bots are used … [Read more...]