Figure skating heats up in Wesley Chapel

As Tampa Bay becomes synonymous with hockey this time of year, another ice-based sport is heating up in the region. For the first time, the Florida Sports Foundation selected Pasco County to be the host community for the annual Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships. The competition took place at Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, from May 18 through May 20. The … [Read more...]

Presenting musical passion, precise choreography

Their love of singing developed in different ways. “Singing has always been a part of my life,” said Sandy Everly, of Land O’ Lakes. “On Sunday nights, at home, my mom played the piano, and my sister and my dad and I would sing. “Actually, I learned to harmonize at a very young age.” Cathy Frey, of Wesley Chapel, recalled “my parents used to play these reel-to-reel tapes with these … [Read more...]

Saint Leo adds women’s beach volleyball

It’s a sport sweeping the nation — and one local institution is taking advantage. Saint Leo University is the latest Florida college to add women’s beach volleyball as a varsity NCAA sport. Competition for the sand-based sport begins Spring 2018, as an independent (non-conference) team. It marks Saint Leo's 20th intercollegiate sport and its 11th offering in women's athletics; the … [Read more...]

Seeking state road money

State lawmakers are seeking $8 million in state funds to push along a project, known as the diverging diamond interchange, to fix the daily traffic jams at Interstate 75 and State Road 56. The trouble spot already is among Pasco County’s 2015 priorities for highway projects. The list is for a five-year plan that is updated annually and also includes the intersection at State Road 54 and U.S. 4, … [Read more...]

LOL girls’ basketball repeats as regional champs

When the Land O' Lakes High School girls’ basketball team reached the state semifinal last year, it might have looked like a bit of good fortune. They hadn't approached that level of success during coach Phyllis Crain's tenure, so it seemed to come out of nowhere. People could have wondered if it was a fluke or a lucky run. Nobody is wondering that anymore. The Gators followed up last … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas, Florida: $2 gas is coming

Georgia and Tennessee have gas stations where prices have fallen below $2 a gallon. And it looks like Florida might not be far behind. Stations in the Jacksonville area reported prices of $2.10 over the weekend, according to AAA. And if prices keep falling at the current rate of 2 cents a day, that area will be at $2 a gallon by the end of the week. "Gasoline prices are plunging with little … [Read more...]

Giving thanks with a grateful heart

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives. This past year has been particularly joyful for me, both professionally and personally. Since this newspaper is such a big part of my life, I want to share with you the top 10 reasons Thanksgiving is especially meaningful to me this year. Our readers I want to thank all of the readers of The Laker/Lutz News for … [Read more...]

Florida continues to add to open job listings

A growing national economy continues to trickle down to the state level as the number of job openings in Florida grew nearly 5 percent in August. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says 11,899 more job openings were reported in the state last month, up 4.6 percent from July. That brings the total number of seasonally adjusted job openings to a little more than 273,000, which … [Read more...]

Local Congressional districts should remain unchanged

Florida lawmakers are back in Tallahassee for a special session this week after a judge in Leon County declared the boundaries for two Congressional districts were unconstitutional. The districts, located in the Jacksonville and Orlando areas, were deemed by Florida Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis to be illegal, and ordered those districts to be redrawn immediately. A proposed map from a … [Read more...]

Baldomero Lopez nursing home wins Florida TaxWatch award

Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home was honored Thursday by Florida TaxWatch and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera for its work in saving tax money over the past year. The Prudential Productivity Awards were given to 432 individuals and state employee teams for creating and implementing innovative solutions and productivity improvements, which last year created $558 million in cost savings, … [Read more...]