Crystal Lagoon debuts with a splash — from Michael Phelps

The weather was warm, the sun shining, and the crowd deep for the grand debut of the Crystal Lagoon at Epperson. The April 28 kickoff for the nation’s first lagoon was further buoyed with a special appearance from retired Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Michael Phelps. Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympics history with 28 medals — 23 gold, three silver, two bronze — serves as … [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...]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office unveils app to help stress

Pasco Sgt. Matt Rosenbloom has handled countless distressing calls throughout his 12 years in law enforcement. “I’ve seen things that people shouldn’t see out there,” he said. Sometimes it takes several days for him to get past a particular incident. Witnessing the death of a child, for instance, takes a heavy toll. It’s something many deputies aren’t mentally prepared for … [Read more...]

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...]