He helped catch criminals, solve crimes for 50 years

Det. Roger Cockerill — who was instrumental in some of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office’s  largest investigations — has retired from a law enforcement career that spanned a half-century. In Pasco, his work included investigations involving illegal drug trafficking, casino style gambling, prostitution and human trafficking. But his career in law enforcement began in February 1967 at the … [Read more...]

A ‘peanut’ roundabout on Van Dyke Road?

Hillsborough County is proposing a $40 million project to ease traffic congestion on Van Dyke Road in Lutz. The project is expected to begin construction in late 2022, and be completed by late 2024. Now in its planning phase, the proposed project calls for widening Van Dyke Road from two lanes to four lanes, in a 2-mile stretch from Whirley Road to the Suncoast Parkway. The plan also … [Read more...]

Under Construction

Tractor Supply store coming Construction is underway for a Tractor Supply store that will offer agricultural and home improvement supplies. It is located on the east side of North Dale Mabry Highway – south of its apex with Land O’ Lakes Boulevard. The 18,800-square-foot is near the Lutz Walmart Supercenter. Construction started in June and is expected to be completed by October. Grace … [Read more...]

New Year in sports offers plenty to watch, experience

As we embark on a new year, the sports world within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area promises to deliver plenty to watch, experience, and perhaps appreciate. Here’s a closer look at some of the happenings in 2019: One major development will be the progression of new sports facilities throughout East Pasco County  —  whether it’s the end-of-year completion of the Wiregrass Ranch Sports … [Read more...]

Cindy Oelke feels ‘called’ to help Haitians

Cindy Oelke’s home in Lutz is comfortable and spacious, but step into a back bedroom and you’ll see piles of clothing and shoes all over the room. Oelke has been collecting the items to prepare for an upcoming trip to Haiti. This will be her third mission trip to the island nation to help provide basic necessities for people who are still recovering from a devastating earthquake … [Read more...]

Tilling the soil to share earth’s bounty

It’s around 8 a.m. on a Saturday, and a volunteer crew is hard at work in a garden at Tims Memorial Presbyterian Church in Lutz. Renee White is yanking plants out of a raised bed, like a one-woman wrecking crew. Her husband Mike is on the other side of the garden trying to make sure that he’s placing a wood post in the right spot for a new raised bed. Eric Kopp is working up a sweat, … [Read more...]

Not here yet, but five-minute pizza could come soon

Ever thought of pizza as a fast food? A retired professional baseball player raising his family just south of Lutz is bringing such a concept to the Tampa Bay area beginning early next year. And it won’t be long before he has his eye on some potential sites in Pasco County. Matt LaPorta, a star prospect from the University of Florida baseball team who went on to play for the Cleveland … [Read more...]