Area responds to Hurricane Dorian victims

As the death toll grows and residents of the Bahamas continue to grapple with the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian — local groups are stepping up to find ways to help those who are suffering. Dorian made landfall on Sept. 1 as a Category 5 Hurricane, flattening homes and causing massive flooding, according to national news reports. The official death toll stood at 50, with an … [Read more...]

Local softball stars soak in national exposure

It’s a rare feat when any local athlete — or any athlete for that matter — makes a national team. More uncommon is when two athletes from the same hometown earn such prestigious designation together. But, that’s what recently happened to Academy at the Lakes product Lexi Kilfoyl and Land O’ Lakes High School product Callie Turner. Both pitchers earned state champions for their … [Read more...]

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...]

Pasco Schools budget nearly $1.4 billion

The Pasco County School Board has approved a tentative budget approaching $1.4 billion for the coming fiscal year. Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning covered high points of the proposed budget at last week’s Pasco County School Board meeting, before the board approved the tentative budget and tentative tax rate. The new fiscal budget of $1,392,942,266 is an increase of $131.7 … [Read more...]

Growth puts squeeze on schools

As Pasco County Schools heads into another school year, crowded conditions are expected on several campuses within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. District officials are projecting that Wesley Chapel’s Wiregrass Ranch High School will operate at 141 percent of its capacity, with an estimated 2,310 students in a school designed for 1,633. Connerton Elementary School, in Land O’ Lakes, … [Read more...]

State title winners head off to regionals

In his 15 years of coaching Land O’ Lakes Little League, Daniel Broderick can’t recall the last time one of its youth baseball teams won a state title. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and I’ve never been a state champion,” Broderick said, during a recent interview. The last time a Land O’ Lakes Little League baseball team won a state championship was in 2002, league officials … [Read more...]

Pasco embarks on new type of high school

The Pasco County school district is planning a new magnet high school that doesn’t fit the traditional mold. It will combine a rigorous curriculum along with technical skills training — and will seek community partnerships to give students real-world experiences, said Ray Gadd, deputy superintendent for Pasco County Schools. Coming up with a name for the school is a little bit tricky, Gadd … [Read more...]

Pine View Elementary becomes Primary Years program

Pine View Elementary School has received its official authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. The school, at 5333 Parkway Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, has been working for three years toward attaining the authorization. It is the first public school in Pasco County to achieve the distinction. As of May 1, there were 1,716 schools offering the IB PYP, … [Read more...]

School district responds to Pasco’s booming growth

As Pasco County’s rapid growth continues, the county school district is constructing a middle school, expanding existing locations, planning future facilities and acquiring new sites. Earlier this month, the Pasco County School Board took initial steps to add a 10-classroom addition at Bexley Elementary School, 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., which just opened in 2017 in a subdivision off State Road 54 … [Read more...]

Lexi Kilfoyl named Florida’s best — again

One of area’s most dominant softball players ever has again proved she’s tops in the entire Sunshine State. Academy at the Lakes (AATL) senior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl has been named 2019 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year, given to the state’s best softball player, regardless of classification. When it comes to receiving the notable distinction, the Wildcats star is on familiar … [Read more...]