In Print: Journey’s hospital journey, along with Easter plans across the area

There’s nothing faux pas about Journey’s faux paw.

The 5-year-old Golden Retriever was born without a left paw and uses a prosthetic to get around — especially to visit patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North in Lutz.

Journey was born without a front left paw, and his prosthetic is a conversation piece when he visits patients with his owner, Ron Graff. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph's Hospital-North)

Journey was born without a front left paw, and his prosthetic is a conversation piece when he visits patients with his owner, Ron Graff. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph’s Hospital-North)

“Everybody enjoys a visit from a therapy dog,” Ron Graff told reporter Michael Murillo. “I get comments from patients all the time that many of them are missing the pets that they have at home, and it was just great to be able to spend a little bit of time talking to the dog or petting the dog.”

St. Joseph’s-North began its program just last July, and has since reaped dividends in the form of happier patients and genuine anticipation of the pet visits.

“It cheers them up and boosts their morale,” said Karen Telfer, volunteer resources auxiliary coordinator at the hospital. “We’ve actually had one patient say they hoped they were still here the next week to see that dog again.”

Another morale booster, this time coming to shoppers around the region, is a new Premium Outlets mall planned for State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard, just off Interstate 75. The developers behind the project moved another big step forward last week when they filed revised site plans, meaning the project is just months — if not weeks — from getting underway.

But one question remains: Will the new outlet mall have the name “Wesley Chapel”?

“I think on one hand, we would love to have our local identity,” John Hagen, president and chief executive of Pasco Economic Development Council Inc., told reporter Michael Hinman. “We would love to see that be more prominent, but we also benefit from our association with Tampa and Tampa Bay. It’s a mixed bag, but I see both things.”

The mall calls for nine buildings with 482,000 square feet of retail. Overall, the project is calling for 1.1 million square feet of retail space.

Finally, this Sunday is Easter, and there is plenty of ways Christians can celebrate the holiday, according to reporter B.C. Manion. And it’s important they do, said Mike Holm, a minister who lives in Zephyrhills, but leads Calvary Chapel of Tampa in Lutz.

“It’s because the Resurrection of Jesus is the central event of all humanity,” he said. The death and Resurrection of Jesus means “that death has been defeated,” allowing for “complete reconciliation” with God.

All of these complete stories and more are in this week’s The Laker/Lutz News, available in newsstands throughout east and central Pasco County as well as northern Hillsborough County. Find out what has your community talking this week by getting your local news straight from the only source you need.

If The Laker/Lutz News is not coming to your door, call us to see where you can get your copy at (813) 909-2800, or read our free e-edition by clicking here.

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