Advocates address legislators to reduce veteran homelessness

Local agency officials recently addressed an array of issues facing homeless veterans, before members of the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, at a session in New Port Richey. U.S. Rep. Mike Levin, chairman of the subcommittee, and U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, ranking member of the committee, listened to suggestions on reducing veteran homelessness … [Read more...]

Car donation gives veteran smoother path to success

Chauncey Roberts, a veteran of the U.S. Army, arrived at Lutz Ferman Collision, as a passenger — but when he left, he was driving his own set of wheels. Roberts was surprised when a silver 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sedan pulled up and was presented to him, during a July 24 event at the collision center. Geico Auto Insurance and Enterprise were key contributors working in the National Auto Body … [Read more...]

Clay Sink remains; others fade away

Small communities with names such as “Mexico,” “Drexel,” “Ehren,” and  “Chipco” appeared on Pasco County maps more than 100 years ago. They were located along the Orange Belt Railway, the first — and last — railroad to cross Central Pasco with a potential for future development. The names of those small towns now are mere footnotes in Pasco County’s history. But, a tiny community has … [Read more...]

High school fair offers diverse career paths

While parents and students had an opportunity to learn about post-high school options — representatives from colleges, technical schools, military branches and other programs had a chance to make their pitch at the College and Career Fair recently at Wesley Chapel High School. Those attending the March 11 event could pose questions to representatives from more than 40 organizations, and could … [Read more...]

Work ethic pays off for Dade City native

Ryan Lowery, a Dade City native and 2008 graduate of Pasco High, is serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Petty Officer 2nd Class Lowery has served for six years and works as a Navy fire control technician. He is serving within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations. As a fire control tech, Lowery is responsible for the weapon system … [Read more...]

Fallen officer cherished for leadership, love, and laughter

The countless who knew Capt. Charles “Bo” Harrison, say they’re better people because of it. And, the superlatives flow freely when people describe what he was like. Here are just a few of those descriptions: Hero. Christian. Father. Brother. Husband. Friend. Leader. Coach. Servant. Great Officer. Integrity. Honorable.. He was “a servant-leader who made a difference to every man, … [Read more...]

Local man is named minority business person of the year

Brian Butler was the only employee of his company — Vistra Communications — when he launched the business out of his home in Lutz in 2007. It wasn’t exactly the best time to launch an ambitious plan. The real estate market crashed and the nation’s economy cratered. “I started my business in the toughest economy we’d seen in 30 years,” he recalled. There were days when he considered … [Read more...]

Local man receives French Legion of Honor medal

There were times during World War II when Francis Xavier O’ Connell wasn’t sure he’d live to see another sunrise. To this day, the 93-year-old feels certain it was his mother’s prayers that kept him alive during dangerous times on the battlefield and through his captivity as a prisoner of war. He still has the rosary beads she gave him, and some of the letters she wrote to him during the … [Read more...]

Artist wins contest with her portrait of unknown soldier

When Clare Hernandez set about to create her award-winning piece of art, she wasn't thinking of entering it into a contest. “I didn’t do it for this competition. I was actually working on it for my brother. I was doing it for a graduation present for him, but then I just decided I was going to enter it into the contest,” said Hernandez, who just won the 2017 Congressional Art Competition … [Read more...]

Local man was ‘Destined to Serve’

Whether in law enforcement, military or ministry, Barry White has always been destined to serve. In 2014, the Land O’ Lakes resident detailed his 37-plus years in public service in a self-published 218-page memoir, “Destined to Serve.” In the book, White chronicles key moments during his work for the Tampa Police Department, the Florida Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Army. “It’s … [Read more...]