Wrong turn creates a new path for opportunities

Sammy Ortiz was headed to the annual Dade City Kumquat Festival a couple of years ago, but instead of taking the usual turn onto Meridian Avenue, he wound up on Lock Street. The Wesley Chapel man was astounded. He could not believe the difference between the conditions along Lock Street and the Southern charm of downtown Dade City. Lock Street, roughly a mile away from downtown, “looked … [Read more...]

Residents help identify flood risk areas in Pasco

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is updating computer-model maps that identify flood prone areas within Pasco County. Residents at several community meetings have provided public input to the process by sharing first-hand where flooding happens, and also where it doesn’t. On Nov. 16, residents within the Duck Lake watershed got their turn to study existing maps and meet … [Read more...]

Thousands get emergency food assistance in Pasco

Thousands of residents from about 14 counties came to the Pasco County Fairgrounds to qualify for emergency assistance in replacing food lost during Hurricane Irma’s power outage. From Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, Pasco County deputies monitored an orderly progression of vehicles that stacked up in both directions along State Road 52, outside Dade City. Traffic moved slowly, but the … [Read more...]

This event wants to attract Bugs

If you’ve ever wanted to see a lot of bugs in one place — VW Bugs, that is — the Florida Bug Jam is the place to do it. This year’s 29th annual Florida Bug Jam is set for Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. Vendors of new parts, swap items and food are encouraged to set up on the evening of Nov. 10 or early Nov. 11. Spectators will be admitted on both Nov. 11 and Nov. … [Read more...]

Food relief site at Pasco fairgrounds

A federal emergency food relief program found a new location, and set new dates, to aid qualifying residents who lost food during Hurricane Irma. Applications will be taken Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City. Similar events have been staged in counties in the Tampa Bay area that have drawn tens of thousands of … [Read more...]

Pasco County seeks new location for food relief

Pasco County commissioners don’t want a replay of the overwhelming crowds and hours-long waits that hampered efforts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for residents seeking to qualify for disaster food relief following Hurricane Irma’s destruction. So, on Oct. 16, Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles prepared to send a letter to the Florida Department of Family and Children Services … [Read more...]

Dade City water and sewer bills going up

Dade City residents can expect an increase in their water and sewer rates, effective on Nov. 1. Dade City’s city commissioners approved a 2 percent water rate increase and a 6.5 percent sewer rate increase at their Oct. 10 meeting. The vote was 4-1, with Nicole Deese Newlon voting against the increases. Water customers on average use about 6,000 gallons a month, which means the increase … [Read more...]

Pasco’s early law enforcement days were notorious

Pasco County’s early law enforcement days inspired quite a few dramatic stories. An illegal killing captured headlines during Henry C. Griffin’s tenure as sheriff. During his second term, a mob killed two black men who were being held inside the county’s first jail located near downtown Dade City. Will Wright and Sam Williams had been charged in the murders of Dan Childers and J.B. … [Read more...]

Labor shortage delays debris removal

Those piles of Hurricane Irma debris could be sitting near homes for as long as a couple of months, Pasco County officials have said. That’s because there’s a shortage of work crews. Officials hope that residents will be patient, as the county struggles to pull together enough work crews. Pasco County Utilities, Solid Waste and Resources Recovery Department set the start of debris … [Read more...]

New coach named for Wesley Chapel High softball

The Wesley Chapel High School varsity softball program, coming off its best season in school history, will look to continue its recent string of success under new leadership. Bill Hoopes, who runs the Tampa Bay-based Florida Firecrackers U16 travel softball team, last month was named the program’s head coach, replacing first-year coach Steve Mumaw. In a public Facebook post dated Sept. … [Read more...]