Pasco students showcase their talents

The talent was endless. The applause was, too. Special needs students from seven Pasco County schools displayed their unique skills on May 17 before more than 100 parents, peers and school faculty. The eighth annual Showcase for Exceptional Talent was held at the Wesley Chapel High School Center for the Arts auditorium. From dancing and singing/duets, to lip-syncing and comedy … [Read more...]

Royal Lanes prepares to turn off the lights for good

It’s a place where leagues have battled for cash prizes and bragging rights, and little kids have had birthday parties. For some, it’s been a gathering spot with friends after work to bowl a few games and enjoy a few pitchers. For others, it was where they hung out when they were kids. Soon, however Royal Lanes bowling center, at 1927 Brinson Road in Lutz, will welcome its final bowlers … [Read more...]

Hearings authorized for impact fee hike

The Pasco County Commission has set into motion the process for boosting school impact fees, which are charged against new residential construction to help pay for new schools. Commissioners directed county staff to set up a hearing before the Development Review Committee and to establish two public hearing dates on a proposal to boost school impact fees. In pushing the issue forward, … [Read more...]

A ‘Safe Place’ for Dade City

The door is always left open — until someone is in danger. It’s called “Safe Place.” And it’s situated directly inside the lobby of the new Dade City police station, at 38030 Meridian Ave. While “Safe Place” signage was installed just last month, the 8-by-12 room has been operable since the 12,000-square-foot building opened in January 2016. Geared toward protecting against … [Read more...]

Drawing portraits, one pet at a time

John LaFree was always told he couldn’t make a living as an artist. But he created a career with his artistic talents, as the proprietor of Canine Caricature Pet Portraits. Freelance and self-employed, LaFree operates his easel out of the comfy confines of his Wesley Chapel home. The pieces he produces are anything but ordinary. LaFree, 42, puts a “fun and whimsical spin” on the … [Read more...]

Using the power of music to help others

Emma Skantze was a 9-year-old student at Turner Elementary School when she decided she wanted to get involved to help others. After brainstorming with her mom, she came up with the idea of organizing a concert. The first event featured her and some of her friends. But now, as she prepares for the seventh annual Helping Hands benefit, she’s working out all of the details for having two … [Read more...]

Pioneer Florida Museum makes film history

The 19th century Overstreet House at Pioneer Florida Museum & Village aced the audition and got the casting call for its film debut. For two nights, the Dade City museum hosted actors and about a dozen graduate students from the College of Motion Picture Arts at Florida State University. The front porch at the Overstreet House will be the setting for a climactic showdown of … [Read more...]

Hungry Harry’s big heart receives community honor

Instead of going to their bank, law office, hospital or real estate company — or dozens of other businesses — these men and women showed up at Hungry Harry’s Family Bar-B-Que on a recent sunny and clear Wednesday morning. They were there to honor Harry Wright and his son-in-law, Chad Hudson, for their restaurant’s longstanding contributions to community life in Land O’ Lakes. Members of … [Read more...]

Teen isn’t defined by rare disease

Remington Walls is just like any other 17-year-old. Except that he can’t eat food. Walls, a junior at Land O’ Lakes High School, suffers from a rare disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). Essentially, all food deteriorates his esophagus — and there is no cure. His only source of nutrition comes via a hypoallergenic amino acid-based liquid formula, called Neocate EO28 … [Read more...]

Sharing the story of women’s progress

Madonna Jervis Wise, a local author who writes primarily about history, has been making the rounds lately, talking about women in the work force and “East Pasco Women Who Rocked.” Her talks, which have been delivered at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City, at the East Pasco Networking Group’s breakfast meeting and at the Zephyrhills Public Library, have traced the evolving … [Read more...]