New school safety measures greeted by controversy

In the aftermath of a Valentine’s Day shooting spree that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law new restrictions on firearms and increased funding for school safety and mental health care. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, also known as Senate Bill 7026: Raises the minimum age for purchasing firearms … [Read more...]

State Road 56 extension moving forward

Construction on the State Road 56 extension is on track for its scheduled completion in late 2019, according to Florida Department of Transportation officials. The approximately 6-mile extension will give motorists a new four-lane route between Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills. Work began in February 2017. City planners in Zephyrhills are looking ahead to the project’s completion, and its … [Read more...]

Rallying to protect the environment

Opponents of the Ridge Road extension are digging in for a battle with Pasco, and if need be, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, over a road that would cut through a portion of the Serenova Preserve. About 75 people showed up in hiking clothes on Feb. 16, to walk trails at the Serenova Tract, at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. It was a Facebook-promoted rally to bring attention … [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...]

New fees needed to help protect patients during hurricanes?

Pasco County commissioners are discussing the possibility of imposing new fees to help protect patients in licensed health care facilities when hurricanes threaten or hit. Although Hurricane Irma was a less destructive storm than many feared as it blew through the Tampa Bay region, it revealed potential problems in protecting, evacuating and sheltering patients in licensed health care … [Read more...]

Compark 75 sold to Atlanta investors

Compark 75, a Class A industrial park off Wesley Chapel Boulevard, is under new ownership, according to a news release from Cushman & Wakefield. The real estate services company negotiated the sale of five buildings at the park to MDH Atlantic Acquisitions LLC. The Atlanta-based real estate investment company has more than 11 million square feet of properties in the southeastern United … [Read more...]

Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]

Hurricane Irma: A disruptive force

With Hurricane Irma threatening Florida last week, officials weren’t taking any chances on where or when the massive storm would make landfall. The deadly storm was churning in the Atlantic, when Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Sept. 4, warning residents that Irma is a “a massive storm” that could prove devastating. “This storm is bigger, faster and stronger than … [Read more...]

Roads, beautification among legislative priorities

Funds for the Interstate 75/Overpass Road project and the Land O’ Lakes Boulevard Beautification Plan are among priority requests for the 2018 legislative session. Pasco County commissioners agreed to a wish list for the upcoming session at their Aug. 29 meeting in Dade City. The $15 million sought for I-75 and a new interchange at Overpass Road made it into the state’s 2017 budget. But, … [Read more...]

Education is key issue at town hall

Education was a recurring theme during a recent town hall meeting that featured U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, and State Sens. Wilton Simpson and Tom Lee. About 100 residents gathered inside the Pasco Middle School Auditorium on Aug. 22 to voice their thoughts and concerns with their local representatives, via a question-and-answer-style town meeting that lasted more than … [Read more...]