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 County Schools hits million-meal mark

Pasco County Schools has delivered more than a million meals to students since school campuses closed. The district has been serving bagged meals at numerous sites and bus stops to provide meals to students who, in many cases, rely on schools for their only reliable source of food. Since March 23, when the district began its remote feeding efforts, the district has served 1,095,537 … [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...]

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...]

Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ state appropriations

The recently passed $93 billon Florida state budget included some big wins for East Pasco, but District 38 state Rep. Randy Maggard isn’t ready to celebrate or take a victory lap just yet. That’s because the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will force state lawmakers back to Tallahassee for a special session sometime this summer — and likely result in major spending cuts for … [Read more...]

Coronavirus cancels many sports events

As fears regarding coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) continue to ramp up, so do cancellations on the sports landscape — nationally, regionally and locally. The unexpected cancellations began on March 10 when The Ivy League, a Division I collegiate athletic conference comprised of private schools in the Northeast, announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, … [Read more...]

Coronavirus poses dangers, disrupts daily life

The ever-evolving threat posed by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has forced schools across Florida to shut down, blocked visitors from nursing homes, caused wide-ranging travel and event cancellations, and stripped grocery aisles — especially of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Locally, parents of students in the Pasco and Hillsborough county school districts are bracing to prepare for an … [Read more...]

78 floors up, blind man and guide dog survive 9/11

Michael Hingson felt a sense of calmness as he walked floor by floor — exiting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Hingson has been blind since birth and he, with his former guide dog, Roselle, had to work as a team to find their way to safety. Hingson, the author of “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog and the Triumph of Trust,” recently shared his story at Saint … [Read more...]

Saint Leo University to lease 176-unit apartment complex

Since welcoming its largest incoming class ever last fall — and anticipating continued growth —Saint Leo University will lease the Sweetwater apartment complex in Dade City, to serve as residential housing for upperclassman and graduate level students. In August, Saint Leo will begin leasing all 176 units on the property owned by Beachwold Residential LLC, which sits about 2 miles northeast of … [Read more...]

Saint Leo to get $20 million wellness center

Saint Leo University will soon be home to a sprawling $20 million wellness center —integrating student recreation, fitness, health services, counseling services and campus ministry. A groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month celebrated the forthcoming 59,000-square-foot wellness center, to be situated on the west end of the campus by Lake Jovita. Construction tentatively will begin in … [Read more...]