Staples closing leads searches on

Thousands of Web travelers found their exit off the Information Superhighway to thanks to search engines this past year, but what exactly lead them here in the first place?

Apparently, it was all about the closing of Staples.

Not long after started publishing daily stories to complement the print stories found each week in our papers, reporter Michael Hinman published a story March 6 about the closing of 225 Staples stores by the end of 2015. That could include two stores locally — the Staples at 7910 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills, and another at 6260 Commerce Palms Blvd., in New Tampa.

It was a rather significant chunk of the Staples chain, which has 1,500 stores in the United States and employs more than 50,000 people.

But what else led the list of top search terms that led to the in 2014? Check out our list, just in time for us to start it all over again in 2015.

1. Staples closing stores
The good news, however, is that both the Zephyrhills and New Tampa stores continue to remain open by year’s end, with no public announcement of their fate made at this point.

2. Angela Madonia Tampa
Who is Angela Madonia you might ask? Well, she’s a co-owner — along with mother Josephine Argento — of what was then a new farmer’s market called The Family Farm on 41 that opened May 23.

Reporter B.C. Manion shared the news of this market for the first time on June 12, based on a story that appeared the day before in the Lutz News.

“The concept is providing the freshest and healthiest fruits and veggies to our customers,” Madonia said at the time. “We will be growing strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, carrots, corn, radishes, pumpkins and okra. We will start harvesting in late August or early September.”

At the beginning of the year, the site where the outdoor market would eventually open was just an empty field south of County Line Road on U.S. 41. But that changed quickly throughout the spring as what appeared to be a barn went up, and the Family Farm opened for business.

3. Sanders Elementary School
A lot has happened on the former campus of Sanders Memorial Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes in the past year, everything from the announcement of it becoming a magnet school to the opening of enrollment earlier this month.

Through reporter B.C. Manion, The Laker has stayed on top of all the developments regarding the school, including the November announcement that Lake Myrtle Elementary School principal Jason Petry would be the head administrator at the new Sanders school.

It is set to open in August, just in time for the 2015-16 school year.

4. Cypress Creek Town Center
With all the development taking place in Pasco County, it’s surprising to see one project get more attention than others. Yet that seems to be happening with the Cypress Creek Town Center area in Wesley Chapel, right where State Road 56 and Interstate 75 meet.

With everything from the construction start of Tampa Premium Outlets to plans to open a Costco on the site, there’s been plenty to talk about on the property. In fact, in the past year alone, has posted six stories about the project. It would be hard to find any other topic, outside of the failed elevated toll road project, the paper wrote about more.

5. Atlanta Braves
Believe it or not, the elevated toll road didn’t make our list of the top five search terms — probably because that project died last July.

However, people were interested in the Atlanta Braves, especially some teasing from former Major League Baseball star Gary Sheffield, who told Wesley Chapel business leaders in September that he wanted to convince his former team to set up spring training in Pasco County once a massive baseball complex he was involved in was built.

Except there’s one problem: At the moment, it doesn’t look like the baseball project is coming. Last week, the Pasco County Commission terminated the contract it had with Sheffield and business partner James Talton after they failed to secure funding for their 19-field project.

Could Sheffield and Talton come back with a revised plan? Talton thinks so. But they would likely have to compete with other would-be developers to turn that part of Wiregrass Ranch into a sports megaplex.

Are you curious to what the most-read online stories were on this past year? Find out in the Dec. 31 print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, and get a great recap of all the stories that moved readers over the past year as well.

And be sure to visit for daily stories every day — sometimes before you even have a chance to read it in print. Find out why more and more people are making sure The Laker/Lutz News online is a regular stop on their Web journeys.

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