Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ state appropriations

The recently passed $93 billon Florida state budget included some big wins for East Pasco, but District 38 state Rep. Randy Maggard isn’t ready to celebrate or take a victory lap just yet. That’s because the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will force state lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session sometime this summer — and likely result in major spending cuts for … [Read more...]

Impacts of pandemic being felt across Pasco

As the death toll rises and the economic meltdown continues — communities and businesses across the country grapple with impacts of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Pasco County’s priorities have been to protect the health and well-being of its residents and to get the economy back on track, as quickly as possible when the pandemic passes, said Pasco County Commission Chairman … [Read more...]

Pandemic keeps students home from school

Florida’s elementary and secondary campuses will not reopen this school year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on April 18. Instead, students and teachers will continue with the distance learning model, which began in March. That approach began as a way to limit the potential spread of coronavirus disease-2019. (COVID-19). The national death toll for the pandemic reached 37,202 as of … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills employees taking coronavirus precautions

Work inside Zephyrhills City Hall proceeds, but additional safety precautions have been instituted among city staffers, in response to threats posed by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Most all city departments and employees have begun working in split shifts, or A-B shifts, to create more separation among each other, Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe explained during an April … [Read more...]

Places you can turn to for help in Pasco, Hillsborough counties

Pick up paper unemployment forms Both Hillsborough and Pasco counties are handing out paper unemployment forms at specific libraries. Hillsborough County The location near The Laker/Lutz News coverage area is at Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave. The library’s drive-thru will be open seven days a week, from 9:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Once completed, residents also can drop off the … [Read more...]

Celebrating Mother Earth’s bounty

In honor of Earth Day, let’s recognize how the Earth provides foods to keep us nourished and fed. Gardeners tend to have an appreciation for what the Earth has to offer, but that may be especially true right now — as the world grapples with the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Fears have caused people to panic shop and hoard food. People who grow their own food don’t have … [Read more...]

Florida’s Sports Coast seeks rebound from COVID-19

The months of March and April historically yield the highest tourist development tax revenues seen all year in Pasco County, tourism officials say. And, Experience Florida’s Sports Coast, the county’s tourism arm, was expecting another sunny spring — further buoyed by neighbor Tampa hosting WrestleMania and the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament, among other nationwide sports … [Read more...]

Crisis line’s call volume rises

The call volume has been increasing at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Statistics kept by the crisis center reveal that from March 21 through March 27, a total of 1,617 calls came in — with 540 of those being related to COVID-19. Calls from March 28 to April 3 totaled 1,828, including 704 pandemic-related calls. “The biggest … [Read more...]

Pandemic affects Pasco services

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has affected local government services. Here’s a look at some of the changes. Be sure to check the Pasco County website, at, for updated information. CLOSED Pasco County buildings and properties until further notice: Historic Pasco County Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., Dade City Guardian Ad Litem Office West Guardian Ad Litem … [Read more...]

Signs of our time

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has affected every aspect of life. The global pandemic has caused thousands of deaths and has rocked the economy — with no clear end in sight. The unemployment rate has soared; millions are out of work. School campuses are closed and parents, teachers and students are adapting to distance teaching and learning. Businesses have suffered huge … [Read more...]