Forensics research center expected to break new ground

Construction is now underway in Land O’ Lakes on a forensics and training facility that will offer a collaborative resource for universities, forensic scientists and law enforcement. Ground was broken during a Sept. 19 ceremony for the K9 Tactical Center/Florida’s Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactics, or F.I.R.S.T for short. The complex will be next to the Adam Kennedy … [Read more...]

Academy at the Lakes leads area on All-State picks

With the high school softball season complete, the 2018 Miracle Sports All-State teams were released June 15, recognizing Florida’s top players. Nineteen athletes from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were recognized, either as first-team, second-team or honorable mention. Unsurprisingly, the Class 2A state champion, Academy at the Lakes Wildcats, had the most representatives from the … [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...]

Local gridiron star makes college announcement

One of the area’s top football players plans to head north for his college career. Jordan Miner, a rising senior defensive back at Wiregrass Ranch High School, has verbally committed to Penn State University, a Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) program in State College, Pennsylvania. He made the announcement on July 6, during a broadcast on Spectrum Sports Florida television … [Read more...]

Wiregrass Ranch football loses two playmakers

The 2017 football season is two months away, but one of Pasco County’s top teams already has taken a hit. In a week’s span, two varsity standouts from Wiregrass Ranch High School — cornerback Shamaur McDowell and quarterback/safety Raymond Woodie III — have exited the rising program, which last season finished Class 7A, District 8 runner-up, making its first playoff appearance since … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes site aims to improve forensic research

Pasco County had a dedication ceremony for a 5-acre field that will be used to advance forensic research and aid in criminal investigations. The “body farm” is next to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center, off U.S. 41. A separate forensics and training facility also is being planned near the body farm site. The field has been named the Adam Kennedy Forensics Field, in honor of the former … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes High softball wins state title

They finally did it. On May 20, the Land O’ Lakes High Gators unseated powerhouse Plantation American Heritage 3-1, claiming the Class 6A Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSSA) softball championship at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach. The achievement marks the first fastpitch title for Land O'Lakes (29-3) and the first for a Pasco County program since Ridgewood High won in … [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...]

Area softball preview

The high school softball season in Florida is underway, and several of the top players — and teams — in the state reside right here in our coverage area. From Land O’ Lakes to Steinbrenner, there’s no shortage of prep softball talent. Some players to watch, as the season progresses:   Pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl, sophomore, Academy at the Lakes: Just a few weeks into the 2017 … [Read more...]

Push is on for forensic training center

A forensic training center – sometimes indelicately called a “body farm” – is being proposed for a site in Land O’ Lakes. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the University of South Florida, the Pasco-Hernando State College and Pasco County, in the quest for the facility. The “body farm” label has stuck as a colloquial description for this type of facility after crime … [Read more...]