Pasco terminates agreement with USF regarding ‘body farm’

The Pasco County Commission has voted to terminate an agreement with the University of South Florida involving 6 acres of land, north of Central Boulevard in Land O’ Lakes. Commissioners ended the arrangement with USF — effective May 7, 2022 —  as part of their consent agenda on May 7. Items on the consent agenda are voted on in a single block without discussion, unless someone pulls the … [Read more...]

Pasco County is eyeing rental registry

The Pasco County Commission is considering the possibility of requiring owners of rental property to sign up on a rental registry —  to enable the county to find property owners quickly, if the need arises. “It really is a life-safety issue,” said Commissioner Mike Wells, who is working on the initiative. “We need to do something,” Wells said, during the commission’s April 23 meeting. He … [Read more...]

Citizens’ survey offers praise, concerns

About 60 percent of residents who responded to an annual National Citizens Survey rated Pasco County’s quality of life as good. Similarly, residents gave good marks to the overall quality of county services and customer services. But, the survey results weren’t entirely rosy. The growth in housing is happening faster than infrastructure, including roads and schools, according to residents … [Read more...]

Neighbors object, but family housing OK’d

The Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County can move forward with plans to temporarily house homeless families in a building at the former campus of the Boys & Girls Club in Port Richey. The coalition, with support from other social service agencies, also will open the Housing Services Center, which will administratively help families and individuals seeking permanent housing and other … [Read more...]

Pasco projects win big in 2019 state budget

Gov. Rick Scott signed off on an $88.7 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019, and had a light touch with his veto pen. He cut about $64 million in contrast to the $410 million that was axed from the previous year’s $82.4 billion budget. Pasco County got most of the items on its wish list, including $15 million for the Overpass Road interchange at Interstate 75, and $4.3 million for … [Read more...]

Agreement reached on forensic research campus

Pasco County commissioners approved a three-way agreement that sets up the framework for ownership and operation of a forensic research and training facility on county land next to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. One feature of the facility is a body farm to aid in criminal investigations, body identification and research into body decomposition. Florida F.I.R.S.T. (Forensic … [Read more...]

Pasco OKs medical marijuana dispensaries

The Pasco County Commission has approved medical marijuana dispensaries, on a limited scale, to open for business in the county. Commissioners approved an ordinance on Feb. 21 that permits two medical marijuana dispensaries. The permits will be issued only for a low-level form of the product, known as Charlotte’s web. The permits also will be issued to two separate applicants, who will be … [Read more...]

Push is on for forensic training center

A forensic training center – sometimes indelicately called a “body farm” – is being proposed for a site in Land O’ Lakes. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the University of South Florida, the Pasco-Hernando State College and Pasco County, in the quest for the facility. The “body farm” label has stuck as a colloquial description for this type of facility after crime … [Read more...]

Casting a wider crime-fighting net

If, like me, you grew up on “Dragnet” and graduated to “Hill Street Blues,” the new face of crime-fighting in Pasco County isn’t what you’d expect. But, if you came of age following the exploits of the “CSI” franchises, in which sharp and attractive young people foil bad actors by tapping on keyboards, then it’s exactly what you’d expect. Either way, it’s high time anyone concerned about … [Read more...]

Pasco to help homeless ‘navigate’ to better lives

Pasco County is exploring a new program to address the needs of the homeless population. It would provide a one-stop location to provide shelter, and an array of services and resources for homeless individuals. County officials are proposing to remodel two vacant buildings at 8239 Youth Lane in Port Richey, formerly the home of a Boys & Girls Club. Described as a “navigation center,” the … [Read more...]