Dade City teen is heading to West Point

It began as an errant wish, then slowly evolved into a burning desire. Now, it’s reality. Aiden Hopping, a 17-year-old home-schooled student from Dade City, has been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, completing the rigorous entrance requirements and receiving an appointment nomination from U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis. “It will be a huge change. But, I’m not nervous. … [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...]

Chambers adapt to new circumstances

Small businesses are struggling to reopen amid the uncertainties wrought by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Chambers of commerce are right there with them on the front line. They are dealing with staff layoffs in some cases. They've been working from home. They have fewer resources. And, even as chambers begin reopening their offices, the priority is the economic … [Read more...]

Congressman fields questions in virtual town hall

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis held a series of virtual town hall meetings recently, to field questions and share information regarding assistance available amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Bilirakis took part in a Zoom session with members of the North Tampa Bay Chamber on May 5.  He also had other sessions scheduled with other organizations, including The Greater Pasco Chamber … [Read more...]

Deadly COVID-19 virus poses challenges on all fronts

Florida has joined the ranks of states across the nation that have issued Stay-at-Home orders in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a 30-day Stay-At-Home executive order effective April 3. His action came just days before U.S. Surgeon Gen. Dr. Jerome Adams warned the nation that “this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week … [Read more...]

Government responds to COVID-19

A $2 trillion relief package — the largest in U.S. history — has been passed in an attempt to stabilize the economy, in the wake of an economic and medical crisis posed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). The package includes help for individuals, unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses, help for large industries and other types of assistance. The stimulus includes a $1,200 … [Read more...]

Planting the seeds of sustainable living

Pasco County is pursuing a vision that’s aimed at giving people more opportunities to grow their own food, to learn the ins and outs of gardening, and to bring young and old together for a variety of activities. A celebration was held recently at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., to unveil a new “Food for All” mural and to offer tours of a new community garden. Dr. … [Read more...]

Lawsuit challenges Ridge Road extension

The Sierra Club Florida Conservation has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing a permit to Pasco County, to allow the construction of an extension of Ridge Road. The legal action aims to halt the project, which is a 9-mile corridor that would add an additional transportation link in the county. The extension would give another option to motorists who now … [Read more...]

County marks Ridge Road extension milestone

It was a historic day in Pasco County, as a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the upcoming construction of the Ridge Road extension. The new stretch of road will give motorists another east-west option through Pasco County, and will provide an additional evacuation route in the event of a disaster. The groundbreaking, held Jan. 13, followed a permit issued in December by the … [Read more...]

Wiregrass Ranch grad leads by example

At Wiregrass Ranch High School, Carly Norman was a senior team captain and standout defender on the varsity girls lacrosse team — helping the program to a 14-2 mark during the 2019 season. She also graduated in the top 10% of her class, with a 4.0-plus GPA. But, it’s her contributions off the field and outside the classroom that proved to be most rewarding. Carly was involved in as … [Read more...]