Land O’ Lakes band trip to states a long time coming

It’s been over a decade since the Land O’ Lakes High School band performed at states. That wait is over. The school’s symphonic band will join more than 40 other Florida high schools on April 23 at the State North High School Concert Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA) at Flagler Palm Coast High School, in Palm Coast. Mitchell High School is the only other public school in Pasco … [Read more...]

Pasco projects win big in 2019 state budget

Gov. Rick Scott signed off on an $88.7 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019, and had a light touch with his veto pen. He cut about $64 million in contrast to the $410 million that was axed from the previous year’s $82.4 billion budget. Pasco County got most of the items on its wish list, including $15 million for the Overpass Road interchange at Interstate 75, and $4.3 million for … [Read more...]

Pasco Sheriff’s Office unveils app to help stress

Pasco Sgt. Matt Rosenbloom has handled countless distressing calls throughout his 12 years in law enforcement. “I’ve seen things that people shouldn’t see out there,” he said. Sometimes it takes several days for him to get past a particular incident. Witnessing the death of a child, for instance, takes a heavy toll. It’s something many deputies aren’t mentally prepared for … [Read more...]

Bus rapid transit could be ride of the future

A proposed bus rapid transit system is under scrutiny as a “catalyst” project to jump-start a long-range regional transit vision for residents in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. It is getting mixed reviews from community leaders and elected officials in the Tampa Bay region. In the next weeks and months, representatives of Jacobs Engineering will gather public comments on the … [Read more...]

Track and field standout leaps into nationals

It didn’t take long for Keymo Pearson to realize Arielle Boone oozed potential when she joined his AAU track club last spring. “Day 1, when I saw her…I said, ‘Hey, if this girl stays with the team, she’s going to be great.’ My exact words were, ‘She has the chance to be one of the best jumpers in Pasco County history,’” said Pearson, an assistant track coach at the Wesley Chapel-based Speed … [Read more...]

Saint Leo University gets set for beach volleyball

Brooke Turner had her fair share of options to play indoor volleyball coming out of Gaither High School. But, none could match what Saint Leo University offered: an intercollegiate beach volleyball program. “I wanted to come here to play both,” Turner said. “And, it’s also close to home, too.” Turner, a freshman, is one of 16 players on Saint Leo’s inaugural beach volleyball … [Read more...]

‘Mr. Don’ provides safety and encouragement

On weekday mornings and afternoons, Don Niles ushers students to safety at Double Branch Elementary School in Wesley Chapel. Officially, Niles is the school’s crossing guard. But, the 76-year-old is much, much more to students and faculty. Known as ‘Mr. Don’ to the Double Branch community, Niles is known for going the extra mile to forge relationships and lend an ear to … [Read more...]

Local football players sign with colleges during early period

Several of the area’s top football players took advantage of a new NCAA rule allowing prospective student-athletes to sign their National Letters of Intent (NLI) in December, rather than waiting until February to put pen to paper. Approved in May, the college football early signing period created a 72-hour window for signings from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22. The next opportunity to sign an NLI will … [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...]

Academy at the Lakes football relishes playoffs, breakout season

Academy at the Lakes football head coach Shawn Brown anticipated a team turnaround before the season. He was right. After three consecutive losing seasons in the eight-man football ranks, the Wildcats are in the midst of one of its best in program history, with a state title in reach. The team currently stands at 9-1, including a 7-0 mark in Florida Christian Region 2 — worthy enough for … [Read more...]