Flu can be deadly; use precautions to avoid it

Sick people are showing up in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms seeking treatment for the flu. Both in Florida and across the United States, flu activity is on the rise, according to Mara Gambineri, communications director for the Florida Department of Health. “We’re seeing more activity across all age groups this year than we’ve seen in previous seasons at this time, which may be an … [Read more...]

Region has frigid wake-up call

The new year brought the first blast of winter to Pasco County, and to the Tampa Bay region. Freeze warnings and wind chill advisories rained down daily from the National Weather Service, as frigid air dipped into north and central Florida, and stayed for days. For the first time in decades, Tallahassee had measurable snowfall. Here in Tampa Bay, snow was a no-show, but temperatures … [Read more...]

Local dancer gets big break in ‘The Greatest Showman’

When Chelsea Caso recently went to watch “The Greatest Showman” at Cobb Grove 16 in Wesley Chapel, she wasn’t going to watch just any movie. She was going to watch a movie that she is in. And, the young woman who grew up in Lutz, didn’t go to the viewing alone. She joined 115 of her favorite people for a private screening. Her family was there. Her neighbors were there. Dancing … [Read more...]

2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

Doggy dining now legal in Pasco County

Pasco County now has an ordinance to permit doggy dining in outdoor areas of restaurants. The Pasco County Commission adopted the new measure unanimously at its Nov. 28 meeting in New Port Richey. A $50 permit fee was later approved on Dec. 12 in Dade City. The commission’s action, however, is news to many area restaurants that already have been allowing patrons to enjoy a meal on their … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes wins state football title

They reached their goal. Academy at the Lakes weathered chilly conditions and an undefeated opponent from Jacksonville to capture the school’s first-ever eight-man state football championship. An unwavering defensive performance — along with four combined touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jalen Brown and senior running back/linebacker Daniel Gonzalez — propelled the Wildcats to a 30-9 … [Read more...]

Holidays can be sorrowful for some

Seasonal carols, tinsel-draped trees and jolly Old St. Nick convey a time of merriment and joy, but the holidays can be difficult for those grieving a significant loss. To help people to cope with their sadness, Gulfside Hospice is offering free holiday grief support workshops on Dec. 7 in Zephyrhills and Dec. 12 in New Port Richey. Kelly Cavagnetto, a bereavement counselor, will be … [Read more...]

Sex-trafficked girls will soon have a sanctuary

The Tampa charity Bridging Freedom, which helps child victims of human trafficking, is developing a therapeutic safe house campus community at an undisclosed location in Pasco County. It will begin to accept girls this spring, once its first safe house is completed. The Bridging Freedom campus— situated on nearly 100 acres of donated land—will ultimately encompass seven homes, a lodge … [Read more...]

Seeking to remove hidden dangers

Darrell Thompson is a citizen advocate on a mission to make Pasco County a safer place to live. His quest started nearly a year ago when a motorist ran a stop sign and nearly hit him in his Union Park neighborhood. “You get a wake-up call when a car goes through a stop sign, and you have to jump out of the way,” Thompson said. But, he didn’t immediately blame the motorist. The problem … [Read more...]

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...]