Hazel Wells’ mission: To help the less fortunate

Hazel Wells views herself as a “second mother” to disadvantaged residents living in East Pasco County. And, her years of community outreach throughout Dade City, Trilby and Lacoochee are evidence of her commitment. She attributes her charitable drive, partially, to a wish that she’d been more engaged with her own children, as they were growing up. “I realized that I wasn’t the … [Read more...]

Park once again may be a place to make memories

When Peterson Park originally opened, it was a place where motorists traveling down U.S. 98 could pull over to a wayside rest area to take a break. But, it was more than that. The small park, south of the Lacoochee River, became a popular place with locals — and was the setting where people made memories that have lasted for decades. When Scott Black, a Dade City commissioner, shared … [Read more...]

Memory keeper preserves Trilby’s past

When Scott Black tools around the community of Trilby in his white pickup truck, the place becomes alive for him with the people and businesses from its past. As he drives along the community’s roads, he’ll point out where the old railroad depot stood, the bank, the store, the hotel and other local landmarks. He also notes the community’s segregated cemeteries — a vestige of the past, … [Read more...]

Protecting Northeast Pasco’s rural nature

More than a decade ago, Pasco County adopted a future land use goal of preserving the character of what is dubbed its “northeast rural area.” Bellamy Brothers Boulevard, the Green Swamp, State Road 52 and the Hernando County line define the area’s borders. While there’s a goal on the books, there’s currently no ordinance that puts regulations in place to accomplish it. But, that is about … [Read more...]

Russian politics played a role in San Antonio train depot

The history of a train depot building in San Antonio is rooted in political uncertainty in Russia roughly 135 years ago. On Feb. 17, 1880, a second assassination attempt on Emperor Alexander II occurred in the imperial dining room of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Terrorists blew up the dining room, killing or maiming 67 people – but the emperor wasn’t present during the … [Read more...]

Citizens Academy connects the dots

The class kicked off with a “show-and-tell” display of Pasco County’s firefighting and rescue vehicles in the parking lot outside of the county’s Emergency Operations Center. It ended with an up-close look inside the command center of the county’s 911 operations. “It was fascinating,” said Nancy Menendez. The Land O’ Lakes resident expressed surprise that the 911 center wasn’t larger. Blinking … [Read more...]

Developer wants rezoning for new Dade City apartments

A new apartment complex in the Dade City area will have a chance to move a big step closer to reality next Wednesday if the developers there can convince county officials to rezone nearly 22 acres of land off Clinton Avenue. Six Feet Under LLC is asking the Pasco County Planning Commission to rezone land near Floral Memorial Gardens Cemetery from agricultural to high-density multifamily. That … [Read more...]

Natural gas taking off in Florida, senator says

Sen. Wilton Simpson says legislation he introduced last year creating a natural gas vehicle incentive has since produced 1,820 jobs and $68 million in wages throughout the state. "This economic report shows how successful Florida's Natural Gas Vehicle Rebate program has been," the Trilby Republican said, in a release. "This fuel provides significant budget savings to governmental entities, the … [Read more...]

Pasco historian publishing new book on Dade City

The Historic Pasco County Courthouse will be the backdrop for a book-signing event featuring local writer Madonna Jervis Wise on Oct. 4. Wise has released her latest book, “Images of America: Dade City,” which will be released by Arcadia Publishing in September. The book features more than 200 photos and images throughout the 150-year history of Dade City. Several people and historians who … [Read more...]

Weatherford honored by statewide chamber of commerce

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has named outgoing state Rep. Will Weatherford its 2014 Most Valuable Legislator. Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, was honored along with 40 members of the state Legislature during a recent meeting in Miami. The Florida Chamber presents the awards to lawmakers it says fought for pro-jobs initiatives to help make the state’s businesses more competitive while … [Read more...]