Nikki Alvarez-Sowles named county clerk & comptroller

Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Nikki Alvarez-Sowles to serve as the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller. She will serve in that role through January 2021, filling out the balance of term for the post vacated by Paula S. O’ Neil, who retired on July 1. Alvarez-Sowles is the county’s eighth clerk & comptroller. She was named an interim successor by Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge … [Read more...]

Pasco educator embraces theater again

During college years and beyond, Patty Smithey has devoted much of her time traveling the globe, and helping kids as an educator. Earlier this year, though, the Land O’ Lakes resident decided to devote more of her leisure time tapping into her artistic side with acting – a lifelong passion. “I realized recently that I needed to do something that really, truly made me happy,” Smithey … [Read more...]

New Tampa teen’s javelin throw among nation’s best

As a kicker on the Wharton High School varsity football team and a defender on the varsity boys soccer team, Zach Godbold relies on his legs quite a bit. But, it’s his right arm and throwing ability, that could take him furthest in his athletic endeavors. The 17-year-old New Tampa resident happens to be one of the nation’s top high school javelin throwers, as a junior on the Wharton varsity … [Read more...]

Locals make impact in college football ranks

The college football regular season has come to a close, and dozens of players with ties to The Laker/Lutz News coverage area showcased their skills on Saturdays in the fall. More than 100 players from the area are a part of various programs at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Series (FCS) levels, as well as Division II, Division III and the National … [Read more...]

Dade City remembers Chief Raymond Velboom

It was standing-room only at the Army National Guard building in Dade City, as police officers in dress uniform and members of the community turned out to honor the life of the community’s Police Chief Raymond E. Velboom, who passed away on Oct. 27. Velboom’s death, at age 67,  followed a lengthy battle with throat cancer. The celebration of Velboom’s life began with the solemn presentation of … [Read more...]

Locals make 2018 NFL rosters

The NFL season is underway and a handful of athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area wound up making rosters, proving themselves worthy throughout training camp and preseason action. Here is a look at the locals now playing at football’s highest level: Janarion Grant, receiver—Baltimore Ravens College: Rutgers University (Piscataway, New Jersey) High School: Pasco High School; … [Read more...]

Keep an eye on these locals in college football

The college football season is just underway, and dozens of players from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area can be seen showcasing their skills on Saturdays in the fall. Well over 100 players from the area are a part of various programs at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Series (FCS) levels, as well as Division II, Division III and the National Association … [Read more...]

Distance runner receives Academic All-State honors

As he was busy shattering school records in cross country and track, Freedom High School’s Alejandro Michel was also leading the pack in the classroom — posting a weighted 8.8285 grade-point average and earning salutatorian honors for the Class of 2018. Those accomplishments resulted in a rare statewide designation for student-athletes: Alejandro Michel was one of 24 athletes named to the … [Read more...]

AATL softball captures first state title

A pitcher’s duel, extra innings and weathering wet, muddy conditions were all needed before Academy at the Lakes softball could finally claim its first-ever state championship. Overcoming hurdles, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The Wildcats (26-4) defeated Monticello Aucilla Christian 1-0 in 11 innings on May 22 in the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) Class 2A … [Read more...]

Dr. Susan A. MacManus retires from USF

When Dr. Susan A. MacManus recently headed to the front of Room 128, in the Social Science Building on the University of South Florida campus — it was to deliver the final lecture of her 47-year teaching career. Her regular students were there, but there were visitors, too — former students who wanted to be there to share the moment. MacManus offered her thoughts about the coming Mid-Terms, … [Read more...]