Using the power of music to help others

Emma Skantze was a 9-year-old student at Turner Elementary School when she decided she wanted to get involved to help others. After brainstorming with her mom, she came up with the idea of organizing a concert. The first event featured her and some of her friends. But now, as she prepares for the seventh annual Helping Hands benefit, she’s working out all of the details for having two … [Read more...]

Local businesses are ‘companies to watch’

Three local businesses will be honored on Nov. 3 as being among 50 “companies to watch” in Florida. Gator Cleaning Solutions, RISA and X-Link Medical Software Interfacing will receive their awards at a celebration at Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk, in Orlando. These companies were selected from 500 nominees in the annual Florida Companies to Watch annual awards program. The … [Read more...]

Commission on Status of Women approved

The Pasco County Commissioners has approved an ordinance to establish a Commission on the Status of Women. It also has approved a resolution naming 10 organizations that will participate in the 15-member commission. Rosie Paulsen, president-elect of the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association, described the commission’s creation as “a historic moment” during the public comment portion … [Read more...]

New commission on women forms in Pasco

Two years ago Pasco County Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey and attorney Michele Hintson met by chance at a symposium on empowering women in politics and leadership. They were the only two women at WeWill Tampa Bay from Pasco, but quickly bonded around a singular goal: To form a Commission on the Status of Women. Hintson joined county staff members on Aug. 23 in presenting a plan to launch the … [Read more...]

Gluten-free café opens in Lutz

A unique, gluten-free café has sprung up in Lutz. Café Liberty & Bistro, 17695 N. Dale Mabry Highway, opened its doors in April, replacing Hattie’s Café and Beanery. Owned by James and Marni Frank, the breakfast and lunch dine-in restaurant features an all-natural menu, where more than 75 percent of offerings can be prepared gluten-free. The menu, and ingredients used, are a far … [Read more...]

Scott’s veto pen helps, and hurts

Gov. Rick Scott’s veto pen stripped away funds from some projects but spared others, as he cut more than $460 million from the state’s 2015-16 budget. Pasco County lost more than $8 million in anticipated funds for various projects. But some local projects in the $78.6 billion state budget faired especially well. Pasco-Hernando State College will receive $5.5 million for a performing … [Read more...]

Coach Kris Keppel exhibits grace to the end

The impact that Joel “Kris” Kristan Keppel’s life had on those who knew him was exhibited in all sorts of ways last week in Land O’ Lakes. Keppel, a revered cross-country coach at Land O’ Lakes High, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Jan. 25. Land O’Lakes High Principal Ric Mellin notified the school’s staff and students with this recorded message: “It is with a heavy heart … [Read more...]

Blowing up: Jonathan Fudge’s business vision takes shape

As a balloon artist, Jonathan Fudge has to be able to field all kinds of requests like dogs, swords and hearts. And recently, a fire alarm. “I said, ‘Tell me what’s important about a fire alarm to you,’” recalled Fudge. And after hearing what elements clients wanted to see — a round shape, place for batteries, test button — he got to work immediately. “I made it happen for him,” he said. … [Read more...]

Little Women take home big service awards

The Little Women aren’t so little anymore when it comes to statewide awards. The GFWC Little Women of Lutz, a club for girls ages 12 through 18 sponsored by the GWFC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, earned multiple awards at their Juniorette Annual State Meeting in Lakeland. The event, held June 12-14, is an annual gathering of Florida’s General Federation of Women’s Clubs Junior … [Read more...]

Newest Walmart opening May 21

Walmart is set to open its newest store May 21 in northern Hillsborough County that will bring 300 jobs to the area. Located at 15302 N. Nebraska Ave., it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will include some of the common staples found in most Walmarts now, including groceries and a pharmacy. "The new store builds upon the partnership Walmart has enjoyed with this community … [Read more...]