Human trafficking happens everywhere, including Pasco County

Elected officials, law enforcement and other stakeholders in Pasco County have teamed up this month to shed light on the growing issue of human trafficking. The problem was at the forefront of a Jan. 5 press conference that featured Pasco County District 1 commissioner Ron Oakley, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and others. “We’re not afraid to … [Read more...]

Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]

Road extension expected to spur economic growth

Construction on the State Road 56 extension began in February and is expected to wrap up in late 2019. When finished, the new four-lane segment will provide a 6-mile link between Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel. The extension will be from Meadow Pointe Boulevard in Wiregrass Ranch to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills. The road project also will add a 10-foot wide multi-use trail on the south side … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills economic summit will focus on health care

An economic summit is coming to Zephyrhills next month, with a primary focus on offering solutions to the needs of the medical community — which represents the largest percentage of the city’s workforce. The inaugural Zephyrhills Economic Summit — organized by the Zephyrhills Economic Development Coalition (ZEDC), in partnership with the City of Zephyrhills and The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber … [Read more...]

A chance to talk with Pasco’s state legislators

Get ready to quiz members of the Pasco County legislative delegation, or make a plea for a favorite cause or program. Pasco legislators will have their annual pre-session public meeting on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sunlake High School Gymnasium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The annual get-together is an opportunity for residents, elected officials, representatives of city … [Read more...]

Education is key issue at town hall

Education was a recurring theme during a recent town hall meeting that featured U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, and State Sens. Wilton Simpson and Tom Lee. About 100 residents gathered inside the Pasco Middle School Auditorium on Aug. 22 to voice their thoughts and concerns with their local representatives, via a question-and-answer-style town meeting that lasted more than … [Read more...]

Homestead exemption could increase

A property tax savings could be on its way to Florida homeowners, if a statewide referendum in 2018 boosts homestead exemptions to a total of $75,000. But, what could be tax relief to homeowners could pose financial challenges for local governments. If approved, homeowners can add another $25,000 to the existing standard of $50,000 (approved by voters in 2008) for homestead exemption on … [Read more...]

State funds sought for forensic training center

State legislators will try to secure about $4.3 million in state funds to build a forensic anthropology training center – also known as a body farm - next to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, off U.S. 41. A local campaign also aims to raise about $200,000 for a tactical training program on-site for Pasco’s K-9 unit. Those efforts will be spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Wesley … [Read more...]

Education a key theme for upcoming session

Education was a recurring theme among speakers at a recent meeting held by the Pasco County Legislative Delegation before this year’s annual session. Local citizens and civic leaders voiced their concerns on this hot-button issue during a Jan. 18 gathering at Sunlake High School, with six local representatives to the state Legislature. Dozens of interest groups and local government leaders … [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...]