2017 graduates given second chance with new program

Graduating from high school typically is a special day for members of the graduating class, and their families. But, there’s a group in Wesley Chapel High’s Class of 2017 for whom graduation on May 26 at the University of South Florida Sun Dome was particularly meaningful. That’s because these students — among the approximately 380 graduates from the school —were offered a second chance, … [Read more...]

Using the power of music to help others

Emma Skantze was a 9-year-old student at Turner Elementary School when she decided she wanted to get involved to help others. After brainstorming with her mom, she came up with the idea of organizing a concert. The first event featured her and some of her friends. But now, as she prepares for the seventh annual Helping Hands benefit, she’s working out all of the details for having two … [Read more...]

Festivities set to honor Earth Day

Finding ways to celebrate Mother Earth and to recycle, upcycle and preserve its precious resources are the themes of Earth Day celebrations planned around the region. One of the largest area events planned for Earth Day, known as Earth Day Tampa Bay, got its start as EcoFest at Learning Gate Community School in Lutz. Now, in its eighth year, the event has become Tampa’s signature Earth … [Read more...]

Mixed-use project planned off Suncoast Parkway

Not everything written on paper works out as originally planned. Years ago, Pasco County commissioners envisioned a business-oriented development on more than 700 acres at the northwest corner of State Road 54 and the Suncoast Parkway. But, developers weren’t keen on investing in the county’s “employment center” concept. Now, a land use amendment and rezoning have cleared the way for … [Read more...]

Sharing the story of women’s progress

Madonna Jervis Wise, a local author who writes primarily about history, has been making the rounds lately, talking about women in the work force and “East Pasco Women Who Rocked.” Her talks, which have been delivered at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City, at the East Pasco Networking Group’s breakfast meeting and at the Zephyrhills Public Library, have traced the evolving … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills adding new technician

To help the city of Zephyrhills address annexations, rezoning and land-use changes, a new technician is being added to the municipal payroll. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technician is being added to help manage the city’s geographical database. The technician will provide ongoing mapping analysis for the city. The Zephyrhills City Council unanimously approved the new position … [Read more...]

Going out on top

Pennye Garcia, the longest-standing cheerleading coach in Pasco County is retiring — and she’s going out on top. Garcia, who’s coached at Sunlake High in multiple stints (2007-2008, 2013-2017), was recently crowned Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) East Cheer Coach of the Year, for the second consecutive year. It, too, marks the second straight year one of Garcia’s cheerleaders — senior … [Read more...]

State funds sought for forensic training center

State legislators will try to secure about $4.3 million in state funds to build a forensic anthropology training center – also known as a body farm - next to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, off U.S. 41. A local campaign also aims to raise about $200,000 for a tactical training program on-site for Pasco’s K-9 unit. Those efforts will be spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Wesley … [Read more...]

Woman’s club offers giant flea market

Donations are still rolling in for one of the Tampa Bay area’s most popular flea markets. The annual GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club flea market is scheduled for March 3 and March 4 at the Historic Old Lutz School, 18819 U.S. 41 in Lutz. Events hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on both days. Club members have been gathering and sorting thousands of donated goods since Feb. … [Read more...]

Commissioners approve Connected City

A champagne toast and tethered hot-air balloon rides heralded the groundbreaking for a 7-acre manmade Crystal Lagoon that — when finished — will be large enough for six football fields, end to end. In the background, construction workers stirred dust and hammered nails into model homes for the first master-planned community in Epperson Ranch, along the Connected City corridor. The Crystal … [Read more...]