Law seeks to reduce distracted driving

For now, drivers caught using a hand-held phone while driving through an active construction or school zone, will be issued a warning. But, at the beginning of the New Year, a citation can be issued with a $164 fine and three points against a driver’s license for the first offense. The new restriction was included in a law that addressed texting while driving, passed by the Florida … [Read more...]

Dade City set for fall fun

The autumn season will soon be ushered in with the St. Joe Fall Festival, which will feature a wide range of vendors, diverse food selections and fun activities for kids. The Oct. 5 event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 32145 St. Joe Road in Dade City. Hungry patrons can choose from a diverse selection of foods ranging from barbecue ribs, and Cajun and … [Read more...]

Chaplain lifts spirits at Pasco Sheriff’s Office 

Chaplain Brian Brown — with his open-door policy — is a confidant for staff members at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. He’s one of a dozen chaplains assigned across the department’s three districts who counsel law enforcement officials. In addition to providing direct services, Brown also oversees the agency’s chaplains. “We minister to agency personnel and their immediate family,” … [Read more...]

These kits can help save lives

A safety measure has been added to Pasco County high schools that’s aimed to help save lives during a mass casualty or active shooter situation. The schools now have bleed control kits — designed to help prevent victims from bleeding out before emergency responders arrive. The kits contain items such as tourniquets, blood-clotting dressings and casualty extraction litter, CPR mask, … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office boosts online crime reporting

Reporting a variety of crimes is getting easier for Pasco County residents through a new online reporting tool being used by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office recently upgraded the capabilities of its citizen online police reporting system to accept reports on a these types of incidents: Petit theft (less than $300) Petit theft bicycle (less than $300) Grand … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff launches unit to help mentally ill

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is launching a new unit aimed to better serve the needs of people facing significant mental health issues. The new unit — called the Mental Health and Threat Assessment Team (MHTAT) — will feature six deputies, two caseworkers, a clinical social worker, a sergeant and a lieutenant, who will collaborate with local behavioral health providers to provide tailored, … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel sewage repair still in progress

Pasco County is repairing the sewage pipeline that runs along Northwood Palms Boulevard in Wesley Chapel. The construction, which began in early April, came in response to a routine inspection, which determined that the pipeline was fractured. The Pasco County Utilities Operations and Maintenance Department discovered that the corrosion allowed for road debris to build up within the sewage … [Read more...]

Hazel Wells’ mission: To help the less fortunate

Hazel Wells views herself as a “second mother” to disadvantaged residents living in East Pasco County. And, her years of community outreach throughout Dade City, Trilby and Lacoochee are evidence of her commitment. She attributes her charitable drive, partially, to a wish that she’d been more engaged with her own children, as they were growing up. “I realized that I wasn’t the … [Read more...]

Pasco terminates agreement with USF regarding ‘body farm’

The Pasco County Commission has voted to terminate an agreement with the University of South Florida involving 6 acres of land, north of Central Boulevard in Land O’ Lakes. Commissioners ended the arrangement with USF — effective May 7, 2022 —  as part of their consent agenda on May 7. Items on the consent agenda are voted on in a single block without discussion, unless someone pulls the … [Read more...]

Pasco has no plans to allow employees to carry firearms

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure passed by the Florida Legislature that clears the way for classroom teachers to serve as armed school guardians, but Pasco County Schools has no intention of pursuing that option, according to a district news release. The new law implements legislative recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety … [Read more...]