Local teen’s rare disease sparks legislation

After more than three years of fighting for their medical coverage for their son’s rare disease, a Land O’ Lakes family has seen some progress in their quest. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Patient Saving Act on June 12, which includes language requiring the state insurance plan to provide enteral formula coverage, regardless of age, condition or intake method. Stephanie Walls, whose … [Read more...]

Randy Maggard wins District 38 seat

Voters have selected Randy Maggard to become their next representative in District 38 of the Florida House of Representatives. Maggard, a Republican, received 9,615 votes, or 55.58 percent of the total in the Special Election held on June 18. His opponent Kelly Smith, a Democrat, received 7,684, or 44.42 percent of the vote. The voter turnout in the contest was 15.24. The district’s … [Read more...]

Pasco tax collector’s office receives ‘Heart of Pasco’ award

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano and the Land O’ Lakes Tax Collector’s Office recently accepted the Heart of Pasco Award for the office’s exemplary customer service and outstanding community outreach efforts. Sandy Graves, the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s chairwoman for community affairs, bestowed the award to Fasano, during a Jan. 10 ceremony outside the tax collector’s office in … [Read more...]

DeSantis wants Burgess to lead state’s veterans affairs

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis has announced his recommendation of state Rep. Danny Burgess to serve as the state’s next executive director of Florida's Department of Veterans Affairs. If his appointment is confirmed, Burgess will have to resign from his District 38 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. “It’s bittersweet,” Burgess said, noting the appointment “is completely unexpected … [Read more...]

Richard Corcoran is new state education commissioner

Richard Corcoran is Florida’s new Commissioner of Education. Corcoran was selected unanimously for the position by the State Board of Education at its Dec. 17 meeting. In a news release about the appointment, Richard Corcoran said, “I look forward to working with the Board to ensure students and their families are empowered to take control of their education options, more resources are … [Read more...]

Exploring Tampa’s Jewish history

Tampa’s Jewish population today numbers more than 25,000 members involved in  more than a dozen synagogues, day schools, and multiple community centers and related organizations. The of history Tampa’s Jewish community likewise runs deep — dating back more than 170 years. The Tampa Bay History Center, in partnership with the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, recently had a presentation … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes community stage is ready for action

After years of persistence, Land O’ Lakes finally has a place where residents can gather to hear concerts, watch plays or gather for other community events. Construction of the Land O’ Lakes Community Stage is completed and the venue is now ready for groups to use it, said Sandy Graves, one of the prime movers behind getting the project done. Graves has been talking for decades about the … [Read more...]

Could homestead exemption be $75,000?

A proposed constitutional amendment to increase homestead exemptions to $75,000 could be a boon for homeowners, but a bust for local governments that stand to lose millions in property tax revenues. If approved, homeowners potentially could add another $25,000, excluding school taxes, to the current $50,000 homestead exemption. At least 60 percent of voters statewide would have to … [Read more...]

Setting the stage for community gatherings

Someday when the crowds gather to enjoy a school recital, or attend a concert, or watch a play — the stage at Land O’ Lakes Community Park will just be a fixture, a venue for events. But last week, the yet-to-be built stage was the star of the show. That’s when local politicians, community activists and interested residents gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the stage, which … [Read more...]

Pasco County’s namesake led an interesting life

Some of us may know a bit about where the names for Collier and Flagler counties came from. But for those who don’t, it was Barron Collier who constructed the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades, connecting the two coasts of Florida. And, Henry Flagler was a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida as the founder of the Florida East Coast Railway. But how much do we … [Read more...]