Political meetings set; endorsement given

Republican club meetings The Republican Club of Central Pasco and the Pasco Federated Republican Woman’s Club will host a joint meeting on May 21, beginning with a social at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will feature a meet and greet with Pasco County School Board candidates Allen Altman, Cynthia Armstrong, Megan Harding, Heide Janshon and Tara O’Connor. The meeting also will be a potluck dinner, so … [Read more...]

Pasco elementary schools to get safety guards

The Pasco County School Board approved Superintendent Kurt Browning’s proposal to hire a director of safety and security, and to add up to 50 school safety guards for the district’s elementary schools, according a district news release. The school board’s action was in response to a 2018 bill that the Legislature passed and the governor signed into law. It requires all school districts to … [Read more...]

Pasco school district considers hiring security officers

Budget restrictions could prompt Pasco County Schools to hire armed school security officers to work in the district’s 47 elementary schools. The district is considering using that approach — instead of using certified law enforcement officers — because of finances, said Kurt Browning, superintendent of schools. “The money that they’ve (the Florida Legislature) given us is not enough to go … [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...]

Candidates file for local, state and federal races

Beginning this week, The Laker/Lutz News will revive Political Agenda — a column that runs only during election years. It is the newspaper’s goal to give candidates a place where they can announce they are running for office, let voters know of upcoming Meet the Candidate nights or political forums, or update voters on any news that may be pertinent to them in the coming elections. This … [Read more...]

Rezoning of some west Pasco schools invalid, judge says

A circuit court judge has invalidated school rezoning actions by the Pasco County School Board for some of the district’s west schools, citing violations of a public notice requirement and of the state’s Sunshine Law. In a ruling dated Jan. 10, Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Sharpe Byrd determined that members of the district’s boundary committee “held discussions on Boundary Committee business … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills High names ‘Tom Fisher Field’

It’s been nearly a decade since Tom Fisher last roamed the sidelines, but his name won’t soon be forgotten at Zephyrhills High School. The school’s Oct. 27 homecoming festivities added greater significance, when Zephyrhills’ Bulldog Stadium was formally renamed “Tom Fisher Field.” The dedication ceremony, held at midfield and attended by Fisher, drew dozens of former players and coaches, … [Read more...]

Planning underway for new Wesley Chapel charter school

The Pasco County School Board has approved the charter application for Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel, a charter school that plans to open in that community. Now that the school board has approved the application, work is underway to develop a contract with the charter school applicant, said Jeff Yungmann, coordinator for charter schools in Pasco County Schools. The new charter school is … [Read more...]

Gearing up for Cypress Creek Middle School

A new middle school is expected to open next to Cypress Creek Middle High School, allowing the existing school to focus on high school only. The new middle school will accommodate 1,675 students on a 15-acre site, just north of the current school, which opened in August at 8701 Old Pasco Road, for students in grades six through 11. The estimated construction budget is $43.5 … [Read more...]

‘He was our own Indiana Jones’

After 91-year-old Bill Smith was laid to rest on Aug. 11 amid the emotionally riveting melody of bagpipes from quaint Smith Cemetery, a group of Smith’s fans gathered at Lake Jovita to swap stories and remember the rugged Wesley Chapel pioneer. Dr. Christopher Darby Immer, the pioneer’s son, was among those paying homage to Bill’s memory. “He was our own Indiana Jones!” said Immer, … [Read more...]