Marine Corps celebrates birthday in style

It’s not every day that a celebration is held for a 243rd birthday, but that’s exactly what the Marine Forever Detachment No. 1440 did recently to honor the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. The detachment, also known as the Marine Corps League of Lutz/Land O’ Lakes, had its sixth annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Harbor Terrace Restaurant in the Heritage Harbor Golf and Country Club, in … [Read more...]

Baldomero Lopez was more than a local hero

When motorists drive past the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, chances are they won’t know much about the history of the man for whom the facility is named. That’s where Bill Dotterer comes in. He’s a volunteer with the Tampa Bay History Center and he shared the story of 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez’s life and his heroic actions during a talk earlier this year at … [Read more...]

Respecting ‘Old Glory’ throughout the year

While the nation sets aside June 14 to celebrate Flag Day, a local group of U.S. Marine Corps veterans wants to honor local residents and business owners who respect Old Glory every day of the year. The Marine Forever Detachment No. 1440 has established the American Patriot Award to do just that. The group, which meets in Land O’ Lakes, recognizes that it takes time and care to properly … [Read more...]

Making life easier for local Marines

Seventy-seven-year-old L. David Kirk lives by the U.S. Marine Corps’ motto, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” He served in the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1964, completing two tours of duty in the Mediterranean, two tours of duty in Okinawa, and serving in Southeast Asia and California, as well. “It was the best eight years I ever spent, because it took me from teenager to man,” said the … [Read more...]

North Tampa Behavioral Health set to expand

North Tampa Behavioral Health is preparing to embark on a $9 million expansion, with 24 additional beds expected to open in January 2017 and another 24 beds to open a year later. The center, at 29910 State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel, opened on Oct. 1, 2013. It has 75 beds and offers services for people with mental health needs including depression, addiction, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, … [Read more...]

Giving thanks with a grateful heart

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives. This past year has been particularly joyful for me, both professionally and personally. Since this newspaper is such a big part of my life, I want to share with you the top 10 reasons Thanksgiving is especially meaningful to me this year. Our readers I want to thank all of the readers of The Laker/Lutz News for … [Read more...]

In Print: Something funny happening at Beef’s?

Football and hockey might be the first thing that comes to people's minds when they think of Beef O'Brady's. But comedy? That might be something new. Yet, the Beef's at 7040 Land O' Lakes Blvd., is welcoming comedians to the sports-themed restaurant once a month. And coming up Nov. 21 is a teacher-turned-jokester from Pinellas County, Mike Rivera. "There's nobody else who has a comedy … [Read more...]

Saint Leo’s veterans department serves those who have served

When military veterans were asked what type of information they wanted from a school or university, the top answer wasn’t information about graduation rates or estimates regarding student loan debt. It wasn’t even information about what credits earned in the military would be accepted by the institution. Those were important, of course. But according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office … [Read more...]

In Print: There’s only one way, the Keppel Way

Kris Keppel is the last person who feels he deserves all the accolades he's received lately. While he had to retire as both a cross-country coach and a teacher for Land O' Lakes High School earlier this year because of his battle with pancreatic cancer, Keppel still has to admit, what he's done — and always has done — is inspire. And that's what he wants to keep on doing. "It's pretty … [Read more...]

In Print: A true American hero, remembered once again

It's the kind of heroic scene that movies try to capture, but can never quite get right. Baldomero Lopez is a name many residents might be familiar with locally, thanks to the veterans nursing home just off Ehren Cutoff. Reporter Michael Murillo, however, shares a lot more about the man behind the name in his regular history column, Presenting the Past. There, we learn about Lopez, a … [Read more...]