Cancer survivor wins scholarships, offers prevention advice

Cailyn Ruff was a senior at Sunlake High School, in Land O’ Lakes, when she felt an odd bump on her head. That was about a year-and-a-half ago. “It was like a big mole,” the 19-year-old said. “I saw it through my part line. It looked funny. It would bleed.” As it grew, she became concerned and brought it to the attention of her dermatologist. Next, came a biopsy. “It was a good … [Read more...]

Crystal Lagoon ‘clear blue’ star at Epperson

The Crystal Lagoon at Epperson will have its grand debut in spring 2018, with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps headlining the festivities. Phelps is the global ambassador for Crystal Lagoon Inc., which built its first lagoon in Chile in 2006. The massive swimming pool, with a patented technology to keep its waters crystal clear, was the brainchild of biochemist and real estate developer … [Read more...]

Crystal Lagoon will make a splash in 2018

The Epperson residential development, with its Crystal Lagoon, will open in spring 2018 with a special guest – Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps. Phelps signed on with Crystal Lagoons as its “Global Ambassador.” He will promote swimming and water sports around the world, with appearances at Crystal Lagoon properties, including Epperson, according to a news release from The Conroy … [Read more...]

‘Stocking Stuffers’ spread holiday cheer

They don’t look like elves, but a quartet of International Baccalaureate students from Land O’ Lakes High School has set off on a mission to make the holidays merrier for preschoolers in foster care. The IB students — Deah Bhojani, Geanna Alamares, Ariana Rao and Angelina Rodriguez — dreamed up the idea for an operation they’ve dubbed “Stocking Stuffers.” It’s a simple concept, but the … [Read more...]

Connected City vote on Pasco’s agenda

A final decision on an ambitious technology-driven community in eastern Pasco County – known as Connected City – is at hand. The Pasco County Commission will have a final public hearing on the project on Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m., in Dade City. The first public hearing on Jan. 24 offered a review of the project and an opportunity for public comment. Pasco County and Metro Development Group … [Read more...]

Stitching together a life’s big moments

Perhaps it was how she was brought up, or maybe it’s just in her genes, but Sherry Lee Steiert never was interested in being a poster child for polio. Never mind that she’d have made a good one. Struck when she was just 7 years old and paralyzed for a time from the waist down, Steiert survived to create a life that was exceptionally normal — a marriage, four lively children, a career or three — … [Read more...]

Keeping an educator’s legacy alive

Luis E. Torres spent much of his life battling medical problems, but he never gave up on his education. It took him 10 years to get his bachelor’s degree, but he persisted because that mattered to him, according to Iris Torres, his mother, who lives in Lutz. He took occasional medical withdrawals, but carried on. “Education was very important to him,” Iris said, and in 1997, he … [Read more...]

Mansfield Boulevard and Kinnan Street could meet in the middle

Discussions on opening up Mansfield Boulevard in Pasco County’s Meadow Pointe community and linking it to Kinnan Street in New Tampa's K Bar Ranch hit dead-end after dead-end for years. Pasco County and the City of Tampa sparred over how to divvy up road improvements and pay the costs. So, the two roadways that cut through expensive subdivisions on either side of the county line still don’t … [Read more...]

Raising awareness to fight colon cancer

Wesley Chapel resident Michelle Giacomino understands the pain that colon cancer can cause. “Two-and-a-half-years ago my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer just before her 50th birthday,” Giacomino said. “She was the epitome of health otherwise.” After a 15-month battle, Giacomino’s mother, Susan Middleton, lost her fight with colon cancer. Before she died, Middleton joined … [Read more...]

Spaghetti dinner to help Molina family

A Wesley Chapel family is still grieving after a single-vehicle car crash over the weekend on Interstate 4 in Seffner killed a mother and her infant daughter. But now members of a youth sports team some of the injured brothers in the crash played on wants to help. The Wesley Chapel Bulls, a Pasco Police Athletic League youth football team and cheerleading squad, is hosting a fundraising … [Read more...]