2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

Area teenager bowls perfect 300 in North Carolina tournament

Chandler Carr, who got his start bowling at Royal Lanes in Lutz, shot his first sanctioned perfect 300 in the Randy Pedersen 4 Game Sweeper in Shallotte, North Carolina. He achieved the perfect score on Oct. 7 at Planet Fun, helping him to take fifth place in the competition. Carr — whose mom is Suzin Carr, the only person to win the Lutz Guv’na race twice — has done a substantial amount … [Read more...]

Royal Lanes prepares to turn off the lights for good

It’s a place where leagues have battled for cash prizes and bragging rights, and little kids have had birthday parties. For some, it’s been a gathering spot with friends after work to bowl a few games and enjoy a few pitchers. For others, it was where they hung out when they were kids. Soon, however Royal Lanes bowling center, at 1927 Brinson Road in Lutz, will welcome its final bowlers … [Read more...]

Rubber ducks create a splashing success

The crowd cheered. The loudspeaker broadcast a quacking-good tune - "Disco, Disco Duck." And, with a quick dumping of about 2,000 rubber ducks into Lake Padgett, the flock of ducks floated off, with a push from a high-pressure fire hose squirted into the water. Prizes went to donors whose ducks were among the first 68 to hit the finish line. But, the true winners were the community … [Read more...]

Striking up some winning ways

Donna Fernandez played soccer until she was forced to give it up because she had asthma. She wasn’t too disappointed. “I wasn’t very good at it anyway,” the 14-year-old said. Her mother, Andrea Elbrecht, wanted her daughter to find a sport in which she could excel and have fun. She had no idea that would turn out to be bowling. “I didn’t know the first thing about bowling,” said … [Read more...]

Late bowler struck hearts with kindness

If somebody wanted to track down Betty Strickland on a weekday, it was a safe bet she’d be at Royal Lanes in Lutz. The Land O’ Lakes woman, who died on Jan. 29, was a fixture at the bowling alley since it opened in the 1970s. On busy days, she bowled as many as 10 games. But normally, Strickland bowled around four, according to a feature story about the bowler published in The Laker/Lutz … [Read more...]