Commissioner suggests making use of ‘on hold’ time

When callers to Pasco County are placed “on hold” they hear music playing, but Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey would like to change that. “I would much rather hear us talk about our story, when I’m on hold,” Starkey said. “We could talk about our satisfaction survey, or we’re opening up a new park, or things to do this weekend,” she suggested. Her colleague, Commissioner … [Read more...]

Escape life’s upheaval at familiar county fair

You don’t need a consumer confidence report to know that the economy is on a rebound trajectory. Instead, just open your eyes to what’s going on in Pasco County, where change, once more, is afoot. You can scarcely swing a surveyor’s plumb bob without whacking evidence of our resurgence. Earth movers are moving earth. Grimy guys with signs are redirecting traffic. New construction is erupting … [Read more...]

A new fire station is coming to New Tampa

Residents of New Tampa will get a new fire station in 2017, amid a boom in development and population growth. Other proposed capital improvement projects include upgrading playground equipment at New Tampa Recreation Center and installing CCTV cameras along Cross Creek Boulevard to help regulate traffic signals and ease congestion. “The growth here has been tremendous,” said Tampa City … [Read more...]

Tampa Bay Express gaining favor in Pasco

A project to build express toll lanes on interstate highways, known as the Tampa Bay Express, has picked up an endorsement from the Pasco County Commission. Commissioners voted 4-1 on May 10 to send a letter to the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization urging a favorable vote on the project. The planning organization is scheduled for a June 22 vote on a project that has gained wide … [Read more...]

Student is military academy nominee

Dean LaGattuta’s interest in attending a U.S. Service Academy first piqued when he was an adolescent and he learned his grandfathers, on both sides of his family, served in the Navy. His interest in joining the service deepened through watching programs on the Military Channel and History Channel. “The family legacy and then getting into military history really sparked my interest in serving … [Read more...]

Kirk leaves his mark on Saint Leo

Whenever students, faculty, staff and visitors walk across the campus of Saint Leo University, they’ll see a permanent reminder of Dr. Arthur Kirk. Kirk Hall, dedicated in a ceremony on Oct. 15, is the kind of academic space that Kirk, who retired in the summer of 2015, thinks is important for teachers and students to have. It is equipped with tools designed to prepare teachers to make … [Read more...]

People and pets gather for dog park opening

When residents (and their dogs) showed up to commemorate the grand opening of the Rotary Club of New Tampa Dog Park on May 2, they admired the new facility located at 17302 Commerce Park Blvd. But they might not have known how much time and effort went into it. "We actually started on this two years ago," said Joyce Gunter, the Rotary Club of New Tampa's committee chairwoman for the dog … [Read more...]

Porters give blood, sweat, tears to Wiregrass Ranch development

Not too long ago, Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn called Pasco County a bedroom community, doing nothing more than supplement the economic engine of his county, Hillsborough. Whether Buckhorn’s observation of Pasco is accurate or not now is not what J.D. Porter is focused on. Instead, he wants to make sure that’s not the Pasco County of tomorrow. “Bedroom communities are not the future,” Porter … [Read more...]

Election Day is here! And so is everything you need to know

Today is Election Day where Florida will elect a governor, an attorney general, a chief financial officer and an agriculture commissioner among others. Locally, however, voters will have to decide on representatives in Tallahassee, as well as who will represent their interests on the county commission. In last week's print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, we offered an election primer, which you … [Read more...]

Keystone Little League cap racks up frequent flyer miles

It all started with a trip to Canton, Ohio, to watch Warren Sapp get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was 2011, and newspaper sports reporter Joey Johnston had just walked into a Tilted Kilt restaurant after a long trip where he had a chance to watch his son, Joey Johnston Jr., pitch for the Keystone Little League team. He was proudly donning his Keystone baseball cap, and that … [Read more...]