Military academy appointments include soccer standout

Growing up, Victoria Mitchell always knew she wanted to serve her country with a career in the military. She’ll soon get the chance, when she’s officially inducted into the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28. The 17-year-old recent Wesley Chapel High School graduate received her official appointment to the Navy in late March — about 10 months after she verbally … [Read more...]

Seeking answers in the opioid battle

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis wants all voices to be heard in the quest to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. The congressman met with the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) on March 27 to discuss the issue and listen to reactions to proposed federal legislation related to the opioid crisis. The public meeting, held at the community center at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, … [Read more...]

Rallying to protect the environment

Opponents of the Ridge Road extension are digging in for a battle with Pasco, and if need be, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, over a road that would cut through a portion of the Serenova Preserve. About 75 people showed up in hiking clothes on Feb. 16, to walk trails at the Serenova Tract, at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. It was a Facebook-promoted rally to bring attention … [Read more...]

Debate continues over best response to Parkland killings

Students, faculty and staff are expected to begin the long journey back toward normalcy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this week in Parkland. But, the debate over the best response to the Valentine Day’s slaying of 14 students and three teachers remains embroiled in controversy. In the aftermath of the shooting spree, conducted by a lone gunman using an AR-15 semi-automatic … [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...]

Funding and flexibility needed in substance abuse fight

While President Donald Trump has declared opioid abuse to be a national emergency, local experts have urged U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis to remember that other substance abuse problems also remain to be a real concern in Pasco County. Bilirakis paid a visit to the Land O’ Lakes Community Center on Aug. 22 seeking to hear from people on the front lines of tackling substance abuse problems. His … [Read more...]

Outlining a road map to tackle Pasco traffic problems

Pasco County’s residential and commercial growth is causing more traffic headaches on the area’s roads. At an Aug. 21 session, residents had a chance to learn about what’s planned to tackle the area’s congestion during The Pasco County Transportation Summit. U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore hosted the event at the Pasco-Hernando State College Porter … [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...]

Transportation summit takes big picture view

The daily grind of transportation snarls, and the glacial flow of vehicles at rush hours never seems to have any quick fixes. But, a transportation summit at Pasco-Hernando State College will give residents a chance to get a big picture view of projects – current and future – that could ease the traffic burdens. The summit will bring federal, state and local officials together to discuss … [Read more...]