She’s just a girl who loves goats

Concerns about COVID-19 have caused many kids her own age to be glued to digital devices, or voice complaints about boredom, but 11-year-old Sophia Phillips has been taking advantage of the extra time. She’s been spending it with her goats, Cornbread and Sassafras, and the kid, Dolly, they produced. Besides tending to her own goats, Sophia also helps care for 18 goats that belong to her … [Read more...]

Seeking a fun summer adventure? Try scalloping

Grab a snorkel, a swim mask and some fins —  because recreational scallop season is right around the corner in Pasco County. The annual 10-day bay scallop season this year in Pasco runs July 17 through July 26. It begins annually on the third Friday in July. The county’s scallop zone encompasses all state waters south of the Hernando-Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse … [Read more...]

Union Park community celebrates Juneteenth

NeVaeh Akers-Atkins offered a simple explanation for why she was at a local Juneteenth event last week. “It’s very important to me,” the 11-year-old said. “It shows people that we should be treated the same.” She was with families and friends at the first annual Juneteenth Family Day Celebration in Wesley Chapel’s Union Park community. The event was held to commemorate the end of slavery … [Read more...]

New interchange will ease congestion

Construction crews could be turning dirt within months on a new interchange at Interstate 75 and Overpass Road. A contractor is expected to be selected by August, and completion is expected about 2 ½ years after construction begins. The junction frequently is identified as a “gateway” into Pasco County, and a potential catalyst for new development in a largely rural area already experiencing … [Read more...]

Peaceful protesters call for justice

Dozens of peaceful protesters stood in front of The Shops at Wiregrass on the rainy evening of June 6 — joining the chorus of voices across America calling for the end of police brutality and systemic racism. Those gathered in Wesley Chapel were there to speak up in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Derek … [Read more...]

This teen strikes out batters — and cancer

Jack Teeter was well on his way to another standout baseball season for Academy at the Lakes (AATL), up until the COVID-19 pandemic canceled virtually all sporting events. The All-State athlete was leading the team with a .500 batting average through nine games. He hadn’t allowed an earned run in 14 innings pitched. In the de facto final game of the season on March 12, the 6-foot-3, … [Read more...]

Pasco School District adjusting amid COVID-19 pandemic

Whether its drive-thru feeding sites or widespread distance learning, the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created myriad logistical challenges for school districts nationwide. Pasco County Schools is no different — operating as the state’s ninth-largest school district, and 49th largest in the nation. Even so, Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning is maintaining an … [Read more...]

Sharing the beauty of organ music is this man’s quest

He’s 74 now, but Dave Cucuzza recalls a moment from decades ago — as if it was yesterday. He was 8 years old at the time, living in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and his family was heading out to church. Their car was buried in snow, though, so they had to dig it out. By the time they arrived at church, it was the High Mass. “The organist was up in the balcony in the back, and it was a … [Read more...]

Reaching out to help those with special needs

Even in the best of times, navigating through government bureaucracy can be challenging. But for people with special needs, that becomes even more daunting during a global pandemic. A virtual town hall hosted on April 29 by Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore and Pasco County School Board Chairwoman Colleen Beaudoin aimed at helping individuals and families find the resources they … [Read more...]

Finding a way to shine a spotlight on seniors

During normal times, Marie Joles is busy at her day job, working as a dental hygienist. And, typically during this time of year, high school seniors are gearing up for their final festivities in high school — prom, awards ceremonies, graduation. But, the threat of a highly contagious and deadly virus — the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — has upended life’s ordinary … [Read more...]