Flu can be deadly; use precautions to avoid it

Sick people are showing up in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms seeking treatment for the flu. Both in Florida and across the United States, flu activity is on the rise, according to Mara Gambineri, communications director for the Florida Department of Health. “We’re seeing more activity across all age groups this year than we’ve seen in previous seasons at this time, which may be an … [Read more...]

The Lutz Depot, by design

Those wishing to escape the oppressive heat during the Fourth of July festivities in Lutz may have decided to check out a train show inside the Lutz Branch Library. If I they did, they could have seen an exhibit presented by the Suncoast American Flyer Enthusiasts. And, perhaps they would have had a chance to chat with Eugene Vrooman, one of the club’s members. If they did, Vrooman … [Read more...]

Bay Hope Church plans big expansion

When Van Dyke Church began in 1985, it met in the cafeteria at Claywell Elementary School in Northdale, and the church was named for its planned future location, on Van Dyke Road in Lutz. It never did build on Van Dyke Road, though, because the land was taken through eminent domain for the Veterans Expressway project, said Matthew Hartsfield, the church’s pastor. Instead, the church was … [Read more...]

New style of pizza coming to Lutz

A new pizza joint is set to open this summer at Northgate Square in Lutz. Uncle Maddio’s, located at 3949 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, plans to open its doors in late August; it replaces the now-vacant Johnston’s Hallmark store next to the Publix Super Market. It will be the first of five Tampa area locations for the create-your-own, fast-casual pizza franchise. The 3,500-square-foot … [Read more...]

Not your typical hospital food

Louis Sicona and Michael Serrano were looking for a new place to try out for lunch one day, and they wound up at Twigs Café at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North in Lutz. “It was just a whim,” Sicona said. The hospital, at 4211 Van Dyke Road, is near where Sicona and Serrano work, and they decided to check out its café. That was more than a year ago, and they’ve been dining at the hospital twice … [Read more...]

New charter school to open in Lutz

If all goes smoothly, Sunlake Academy of Math and Science will open for the 2016-2017 school year. The eight-acre site for the school is on North Dale Mabry Highway, about a half-mile north of Exciting Idlewild Boulevard. Construction for the 40,000-square-foot, two-story charter will break ground sometime within the next month, and is expected to be completed over the summer. The … [Read more...]

Lutz Arts & Crafts Show canceled

The GFWC Lutz Arts & Crafts Festival — an event that’s attracted around 30,000 people in recent years — has been canceled because of a possible sinkhole in a road at Lake Park. Signs on Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway let people know that the show has been canceled, and news releases have been sent out to help spread the word. “Hillsborough County Park Rangers have discovered … [Read more...]

Upper Tampa Bay Trail ties into Suncoast Trail

Editor’s Note: Due to heavy rain and flooding, Hillsborough County officials had to postpone the opening of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. The ribbon cutting, which had been scheduled for Aug. 7, will be re-scheduled for a later date. Notice of the cancellation was received after the publication deadline for The Laker/Lutz News. Nature will be an up-close experience for strollers, joggers, skaters … [Read more...]

Cindy Oelke feels ‘called’ to help Haitians

Cindy Oelke’s home in Lutz is comfortable and spacious, but step into a back bedroom and you’ll see piles of clothing and shoes all over the room. Oelke has been collecting the items to prepare for an upcoming trip to Haiti. This will be her third mission trip to the island nation to help provide basic necessities for people who are still recovering from a devastating earthquake … [Read more...]

St. Joseph’s Hospital-North turns five

When St. Joseph’s Hospital-North opened its doors five years ago, it was the first new hospital built in Hillsborough County in 30 years. “Our goal was to provide a health care alternative in this community because there really weren’t many alternatives,” said Paula McGuiness, president of the hospital, at 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz.. “It was an underdeveloped medical infrastructure, if you … [Read more...]