Pasco courthouse has colorful history

If you visit downtown Dade City, it’s nearly impossible not to notice the stately Historic Pasco County Courthouse. It sits in the middle of a town square, at Seventh Street and Meridian Avenue. Originally constructed in 1909, and restored in a $2.3 million renovation in 1998, the courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 20, 2006. With its Classical … [Read more...]

Mighty Wurlitzer plays on, during pandemic

When the iconic Tampa Theatre opened in downtown Tampa in 1926, it was hailed by The Tampa Daily Times as perhaps the finest achievement of its kind, south of the Mason-Dixon line. John Eberson, who designed the movie palace, was known throughout America, for his atmospheric theaters. Besides laying claim to being Tampa’s first air-conditioned building, the theater, at 711 N. Franklin … [Read more...]

Honoring those who have gone before

When Vernon Wynn looks across U.S. 41, he can see the final resting place of dozens of his relatives. They’re among the roughly 1,600 people buried in Lutz Cemetery, at the corner of U.S. 41 and Fifth Ave., N .E. The cemetery was established in 1911, and the first person buried there is known only as Mr. Nims, according to local historians. His grave marker is gone, but he is believed to … [Read more...]

Clay Sink remains; others fade away

Small communities with names such as “Mexico,” “Drexel,” “Ehren,” and  “Chipco” appeared on Pasco County maps more than 100 years ago. They were located along the Orange Belt Railway, the first — and last — railroad to cross Central Pasco with a potential for future development. The names of those small towns now are mere footnotes in Pasco County’s history. But, a tiny community has … [Read more...]

Automotive section launches today

This week The Laker/Lutz News is expanding our business coverage with a new automotive section that we’re calling “autoMOTIVES.” We emphasize the word “MOTIVES” because we believe this section’s outstanding content will educate and motivate you to keep up with the latest automotive trends, and help you decide what is the best vehicle for you and your loved ones. Our editor is Nitish Rele, an … [Read more...]

Royal Lanes prepares to turn off the lights for good

It’s a place where leagues have battled for cash prizes and bragging rights, and little kids have had birthday parties. For some, it’s been a gathering spot with friends after work to bowl a few games and enjoy a few pitchers. For others, it was where they hung out when they were kids. Soon, however Royal Lanes bowling center, at 1927 Brinson Road in Lutz, will welcome its final bowlers … [Read more...]

Sunsets restaurant to replace Hot Rod’s BBQ

A down-home, comfort-style restaurant – named Sunsets – is expected to open in May on the former site of Hot Rod’s Country BBQ. The popular dining spot in Lutz, locally famous for selling what it claimed to be ‘swamp bat,’ closed in 2013. Since then, rumors and speculation have swirled around just what would replace Hot Rod’s. A wrecking crew took down the old restaurant in March, … [Read more...]

A citrus king who savored the art of the deal

When James Emmitt Evans was 12 years old, he already knew what he wanted to do. He aimed to be “a general business man,” as he liked to call it. By the time he died, at age 96, the Dade City man would have gone on to build one of the first citrus concentrate plants in the state south of Dade City. He is perhaps best remembered for his pioneering strategies to hedge juice inventory on … [Read more...]

Welcome 700 Dade City Families!

With this edition of The Laker, we’re proud to welcome 700 Dade City families to weekly home delivery of our newspaper. If you live in the downtown area, or in subdivisions south of town along Fort King Road and Clinton Avenue, you most likely found today’s paper in your driveway, and can look forward to receiving it every Wednesday. In addition to this new home delivery, we’ll continue to … [Read more...]

After professional death, a glimmer of life

The abrupt unpleasantness that recently befell The Tampa Tribune is still very much with me. It is sure to linger for quite some time. The newspaper had been my home for nearly a quarter-century, and I had grown attached. The Tribune was more than a place to work and draw a steady paycheck. It wasn’t a place for punching time clocks. It was a calling, and it was family. I may recover the … [Read more...]