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Welcome to our year-end special edition — a reflective look back at 2010. Inside you will find inspiring, funny, newsworthy stories that we reported on throughout the year, as well as a light-hearted look at the staff that made it all happen. Look for the 2010 Again logo to find updates on what’s happened since the story was first published. We hope you enjoy reading our highlights of 2010 as much as we enjoyed putting them together for you.






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14 29 Land O’ Lakes senior quarterback Stephen Weatherford is the 2010 All-Laker/All-Lutz News Offensive Player of the Year.




Who made the list of the inaugural All-Laker/All-Lutz News teams? The best athletes and coaches from the 2010 fall high school athletic seasons are honored for their achievements this year.




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About this Issue

By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Sept. 22

Think of “2010 Again” as your time capsule for the year in our community. Our team of reporters and photographers documented hundreds of stories in Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills and Dade City this year, and this guide offers a cross section of those reports. We’ve included some of the more important news of the year, including a look back on significant developments in medicine (a new hospital) and transportation (the longawaited, life-changing extension to SR 56). We selected some stories because they’re touching — a community rallying to help keep an injured Marine in his home, a look at a cancer survivor who now drives racecars. Others earned a spot because they made us laugh — the story of a blue heron that visits the same man every day, or made us cry —the memorial for a Wesley Chapel family killed in a plane crash this summer. We also offer a special look at some local entrepreneurs making their mark with cake pops, hot sauce, cookbooks and more. We have a few other items of interest in this issue, including a chance for you to meet the people who bring you the The Laker/Lutz News every week, a look back on some of our favorite “pets of the week” and Sports Editor Kyle LoJacono’s inaugural “AllLaker/All-Lutz News”teams for fall sports. I’m proud of the work this community newspaper presents each week.We thank you for reading and look forward to continuing to present compelling stories and photos about our little slice of Florida in the year ahead. Joe Humphrey Associate Editor

At 12-years-old Nate McCoole’s life changed forever when his father, Michael, died from cancer.The loss was difficult, but with the help of his family and sports he has become star on the Seahawks football team. “I remember he was the best dad,” Nate, 16, said.“He was really involved in everything me and my sister did. It was very hard to see him so bad.” Michael came home from work one day in 2002 with what he and his family thought was the flu.They never expected the diagnosis to be terminal cancer in his abdomen. “He was wonderful,” said Michael’s wife, Laura McCoole. “He was very involved in our children’s lives.They waited for him at the door to get home from working at Gaither every day.” Michael worked at Gaither High School as a science teacher for 17 years.When he became sick Laura, who was a stay-athome mother, went back to school for her master’s degree in reading education from Saint Leo University. She has been a thirdgrade teacher for the last five years at Maniscalco Elementary in Lutz. While Laura was going back to school, her children, Nate and Micah, had to take care of Michael until he died in 2006. Laura said she would set out the things for dinner and Nate would make it for his father and sister when he got home. Laura said the family’s faith in God and closeness helped them get through losing Michael. Additionally, Nate, a junior, has found a sanctuary on the football field as the starting right tackle on the Sunlake High football team. “I most like the camaraderie with my friends on the line, but I also like driving people into the dirt,” Nate said.

New Year - New You!

The McCooles in their last family photo before Michael died in 2006. (Photo courtesy of Laura McCoole)

Also on the line this year with Nate are right guard Matt Sanders, center Josh Nobles, left guard Randy Silverwood and left tackle Canon Clark. “He’s a very hard worker,”said Sunlake coach Bill Browning.“He leads by example in the weight room and is probably the strongest guy we have. I can’t say enough about him because he’s a great example of a young man.” Clark said off the field Nate is one of the most mellow guys he knows, but when he straps on his helmet he switches into another mode. Laura, meanwhile, is the Sunlake team mom and supports the team however she can. “Almost every weekend we all go to


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Nate’s house and hang out and his mom makes us food,” Clark said.“His mom is really amazing and she’s like my second mom.” Those meals do not come cheap. “Those are big shopping bills when they come over,” Laura said jokingly.“They can really eat and I make sure to get them only the best steak to keep them strong.” Nate’s work ethic and by Laura’s choice of meat has helped him on the Seahawks weightlifting team as well. His best lift in the bench press is 425 pounds and can also put up 445 in the squat and 540 in the powerlift, also called deadlift. Sunlake weightlifting coach Matt Smith, also the offensive line coach, went with Nate to the national weightlifting event, and Nate called the coach the biggest male influence on his life since his father died. Nate is not just about athletics. His parents made it clear how important education is and he has responded with a 3.83 weighted grade point average. He is also not far from his Eagle Scout award from Boy Scout Troop 212 in Lutz. Nate also volunteers at his church’s vacation Bible school, at Maniscalco and at the Relay for Life event at the Lutz Train Depot. “I do the relay each year,” Nate said.“It’s a good way to remember my father and help other people with cancer.”

With Nate McCoole holding down the right tackle spot this season, the Sunlake High football team went 8-2. It is the first winning year in program history and just short of sending the Seahawks to their first playoff game.

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Students at Wiregrass Ranch High have not forgotten Alexa “Lexi” Rae Ulrich.The Class of 2012 dedicated its powder puff game at this year’s Homecoming events to Lexi and wore the Ulrich name on the back of their shirts. Key Club assisted with the Ulrich Scholarship garage sale. A boys’ basketball tournament will raise money for the scholarship fund. The football team wore an Ulrich Family memorial sticker on their helmets and had a moment of silence before the first home game. The cross country team’s T-shirt has a dedication to Lexi and her family on the back and runners hung Lexi’s jersey in the team camp before each competition.“She really is still running with all of us,” said coach Don Howard.


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Friends honor the life of Alexa Rae Ulrich and her family during a vigil this summer at Wiregrass Ranch High School.

Ulrich family remembered at Wiregrass vigil Students say, ‘Save a spot for me in Heaven’

dents who helped organize Principal Bonti remembered Friday’s vigil.“It’s only fitting Lexi’s school spirit and passion we do something to honor her for cross country. and her family.They meant so “In a school with more than much to all of us.” 2,000 students, everyone knew Villarreal, who wore a shirt Lexi for all the right reasons,” he reading ‘Save me a spot in said. ”She loved life, school, Heaven,’ was one of several cross country and cheerleading. people to speak at the flashMost of all she loved her friends light vigil.Wiregrass principal and her family. Her ever shining Alexa Rae Ulrich Raymond Bonti, teachers and light will live in all of us forevfriends stood one by one at a er.” podium looking out at the football field. Teacher Frank Shearrow also shared his They spoke about the family and what they memories of Lexi. meant to the community.They spoke about “Lexi lived it to its fullest,” he said.“Her Alexa and what she meant to the Wiregrass smile was untamed by the troubles of this alma mater. world.When she left school for the summer, Alexa’s friend and Wiregrass graduate the last thing I said to her was ‘I’ll see you Nicole Phillips, struggled to speak through later’ Lexi knew I didn’t like goodbyes. So her tears. tonight I won’t say goodbye, I’ll say ‘I’ll see “We were best friends,” Phillips said.“Her you later’. ” family was like my second family…Before Class of 2010 graduate Jack Whidden, Lexi left she was making a scrapbook with who co-organized the vigil, remembered pictures of us and she said she would finish Lexi by talking about the good times. it would she got back. It was going to be “Thank you Lexi for always making my filled with pictures of us from summer. day brighter,” he said.“Thank you for being Now it will be filled with pictures from an amazing friend that will never be retonight.” placed.”

By Sarah Whitman Originally published June 23

Alexa Rae Ulrich will not be forgotten. More than 600 people gathered Friday night at Wiregrass Ranch High School for a vigil remembering Alexa, 15, her little sister Carlie, 5, and their parents, Jeff and Ronni. The family was killed last week when their single-engine plane inexplicably crashed into an Arizona high school.They were headed to the Grand Canyon for vacation. Instead, the week ended with a funeral service at Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa. Alexa, known to her friends as Lexi, was an honor-roll student, a cheerleader and a cross country athlete. She was well known for her upbeat attitude and infectious smile. Classmates described her as happy, kind and full of energy. “She was the most amazing girl I’ve ever met,” said David Villarreal, one of the stu-

On the field, mourners held pink balloons given out before the ceremony.The balloons were released into the sky at sunset.As they drifted away into the clouds, the people below looked up. “We’ll see each other again Lexi,” Villarreal said at the podium.“We just have to wait. One day, we’ll all get back in touch. Rest in paradise.” Under a clear night sky, the flashlights were turned on and shined as bright as Alexa’s smile. At Round Valley High School in Arizona, where there were no injuries due to the crash, the school has started a scholarship fund in Alexa’s honor.

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Supporters want earlier drinking hours Finally 56! They will ask City Council to lift laws that limit alcohol sales on Sunday mornings By B.C. Manion Originally published July 21

In a place perhaps best known for its bottled spring water, the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and some local business owners want to let liquor flow a bit earlier on Sundays. They want the Zephyrhills City Council to allow alcohol to be served and sold beginning at 11 a.m. on Sundays, two hours earlier than currently allowed. It’s not a matter of preferential treatment, it’s an issue of equal treatment,Mikkelsen said. “It’s just making a fair playing field for the businesses,” agreed Mike Mira, president of the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, and owner of Maine-ly New England, a restaurant at 5039 First St. “For me,it’s not going to make or break me – selling alcohol two hours earlier,” Mira said. But changing the start time for alcohol sales would make a huge difference for Kenny Patel, who owns Time Saver Food & General Store at 37853 SR 54 and Time Saver Liquors, right next door. “Previously everyone was to sell their beer and alcohol at 1 o’clock,” Patel said. That was fine, when everyone played by the same rules, he said. But Pasco County changed the rules in 2004, allowing alcohol sales to begin in the county at 11 a.m. on Sundays.The law did not impact Zephyrhills, which sets the law

within the city limits. New Port Richey, Port Richey and Dade City also follow the 11 o’clock rule and San Antonio is even less restrictive, allowing alcohol sales to begin at 8 a.m. Patel said the county’s change caused sales to drop off at his convenience store because people who wanted eggs, bread, milk and a six-pack of beer began bypassing his store to get everything they wanted in a single shopping trip. “I lose business on liquor, beer and my groceries,” said Patel, whose stores are less than a block from the city limits. Just on the other side of the boundary, where alcohol can be sold at 11 a.m. on Sundays, there’s a competing lounge and package store within three blocks and a Quick Mart, which sells beer and groceries, within a mile. Cheryl and Bob Maxon, owners of John’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, 38361 CR 54, have similar complaints. “You can go to Saddlebrook and get anything you want, and here we sit with our hands tied,” Cheryl Maxon said. “It’s not like somebody is trying to come in and get loaded at 11 o’clock in the morning,” Bob Maxon said. However, when people go out to eat – especially on holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions – they often want a glass of wine, a mimosa, a Bloody Mary, or a beer to go with their meal, the couple said. “I don’t want anything (to drink) at 11 o’clock, but there are people who do, and I want to offer it,” Bob Maxon said.

The Zephyrhills City Council voted to allow alcohol sales earlier on Sunday morning after the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and local business owners complained they were at a competitive disadvantage. Kenny Patel, a convenience and liquor store owner, said the change has made a positive difference.“That was a good thing that they passed it,” he said.“It gives me peace of mind that at least we are on an equal playing ground with all of the other stores in Pasco County.”

said that the completion of the project is godsend for anybody living in the Wesley Chapel area. “Basically the way we are looking at it is that it is a gateway that has opened up a lot more business opportunities, a lot more traction opportunities and a lot more things the community has been screaming for,”he said. “A lot more things that Wesley Chapel people have been wanting we are going to provide off of a major highway. It kind of opens up everything that has been back here for so long,” added Porter, who helped turn a simple ribbon cutting into something more. Alexandra Williamson, from Meadow Pointe, ran in the event with her husband and said she thinks SR 56 will do many positive things for the community. “For one it alleviates all the traffic, especially with all the construction that is going on at Bruce B. Downs, so this is going to be a big plus just with the shortcut going through Meadow Pointe,” she said. “Plus all the nice walkways that they have along the road brings people out on long walks, more bike riding. Just for that aspect of it I love it.” The road will alleviate traffic along construction-heavy SR 54 and cut miles off the drive from locations such as deep inside Meadow Pointe. “I drive to work downtown and I currently live on the northeast side of Meadow Pointe, so I take 54 which is currently under construction and sometimes it takes about 15 to 20 minutes just to get to the interstate,” said Michael Ruiz.“I can take this road which cuts in through Meadow Pointe over to the interstate 75 and it should cut my time back a lot.”

Walk/run celebrates opening of SR 56 extension By Maggie Schiller Originally published Aug. 4

To celebrate the long-awaited opening of the SR 56 extension,Wiregrass Ranch and the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce held a celebratory Walk/Run on Saturday, July 31. Despite the sweltering heat, nearly 400 community members, along with several local businesses came out to support the cause. “This is the day that many people thought would never come,” said David West, executive director of the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce.“Many people built their houses expecting this road to come through and make it convenient to get to their home. It has been delayed quite awhile, but I am glad so many people came out to witness and actually see the barricades removed and the road actually opened for traffic.” The walk/run was a four-mile loop, with an optional two and one mile loop, beginning at the intersection of Mansfield Boulevard and the new extension of SR 56. Kurt Stone, 8, who ran alongside his brother, Evan Stone, 10, said the run was a lot of fun. “It was hot and sweaty,” he said.“But I made it.” Wiregrass Ranch developer J.D. Porter


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Now that SR 56 it is open more people can move across Pasco County.Also, county school buses going to and from Wiregrass Ranch High and Dr. John Long Middle have a shorter route to drop off students who live in Meadow Pointe and the surrounding neighborhoods. Pasco County plans to eventually take SR 56 all the way to US 301 in south Zephyrhills.

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Florida Hospital parent, UCH complete merger By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Sept. 8

University Community Health (UCH) and the Adventist Health System (AHS) have completed the merger that started months ago when the two signed a letter of intent to combine the two healthcare systems. The merger will create one organization with 43 hospitals, combining the 37 from AHS including Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, UCH’s five and the future Wesley Chapel Medical Center that was to be jointly owned by the two. “AHS and UCH are committed to enhancing the accessibility and quality of medical care to the Tampa Bay area,” AHS president and CEO Don Jernigan said. “After working so closely together on the joint venture for

the past three years, we have decided to explore opportunities that allow (us) to deliver heightened healthcare services to our expanding patient population,” Stein said previously. “It helps that we already are working together and have like-minded missions that stress patient-centered services.” The first act of the new board was to appoint current Florida Hospital Zephyrhills president and CEO John Harding to the same position for the Tampa Bay region. He was replaced in Zephyrhills by Doug Duffield, previously the hospital’s chief operating officer. AHS is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It already had the most hospitals of any nonprofit protestant health care company in the United States, but Florida Hospital Zephyrhills was the only facility in the Tampa Bay area.

Wesley Chapel Medical Center to take 18 months


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By Kyle LoJacono Originally published May 5

Since the merger of University Community Health and the Adventist Health System, the new company has broken ground on the Wesley Chapel Medical Center. Since first published, the Wesley Chapel Medical Center has cleared both the Pasco County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners and broke ground Dec. 14. It will take about two years to complete and will bring about 450 jobs to the area. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North opened its doors in February.The first baby was born at the facility on Sept. 15 — Michael Boria III. He was born at 7:57 a.m. to Land O’ Lakes residents Jill and Michael Boria II.

Wesley Chapel doesn’t have its own hospital — yet — but plans are in the works to change that. The Wesley Chapel Medical Center is about two years from completion, but the plan for its construction is starting to take shape. The facility, which will be located one half-mile north of SR 56 and the Shops at Wiregrass on the east side of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, will be run by Adventist Health System (AHS). The hospital had not announced a groundbreaking as of August 2010. “We are still waiting for the permits to be accepted before we can set the date to break ground,” Jan Baskin, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills assistant vice president of marketing,

said in summer 2010. “From that point it will take 18 months for the whole facility.” The Agency for Health Care Administration is the governing body that will give final approval before the Wesley Chapel facility is built. Agency spokeswoman Shelisha Durden said the preliminary approval for the facility came in December 2009, but final plans cannot be finalized until the local government approves the permits. The original plans were for the facility to cost $121 million, but that number could change based on the final plans. Once completed, the facility will have 80 beds and offer obstetrics, pediatrics, women’s and men’s services, general surgery, an emergency department with helicopter pad, a comprehensive medical fitness program, orthopedics and sports medicine.

St. Joseph’s Hospital-North opens up green the ABCs of New facility will help patients cameo salon & spa and the environment By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Jan. 13

It is not every decade that a new hospital opens in Hillsborough County. In fact, when St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211Van Dyke Road in Lutz, opens on Feb. 1, it will be the first new full-service hospital in the county in 30 years. That distinction would be enough to make the hospital unique, but the new facility will not just be giving a boost to the health of north Hillsborough and south Pasco county residents. “Buildings are one of the largest consumers of resources and energy in the country,” said Paula McGuiness, chief operating officer of the hospital. “St. Joseph’s Hospitals and Bay Care Health System believe in being leaders of environmental stewardship, innovation and corporate responsibility.” The 350,000-sqaure-foot, $225 million hospital was designed to both treat patients

while reducing its effect on the environment. “The environmentally friendly building is made of materials that support energy conservation and clean air with low chemical emissions and recycled content,” said hospital spokeswoman Jacqueline Farruggio. Besides using more environmentally friendly building materials, the hospital has: —Installed lighting and heating systems that use about 12 percent less energy than standard ones. —Selected refrigerants that minimize the impact on ozone layer depletion. —Installed water fixtures that use 20 percent less water than standard ones. —Uses only reclaimed water from retentions ponds to maintain its landscaping. —Used only building materials produced within 500 miles of the hospital to reduce transportation. —Will offer preferred parking to lowemission and fuel-efficient vehicles. “It’s the new direction of healthcare facilities because of how the industry can impact nature, Farruggio said.“St. Joseph’s Hospital-North will be a leader in both patient care and helping the environment.”


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December 29, 2010


Guess Who’s From Where Guess the hometown of The Laker / Lutz News employees

We’re the folks who work together every week to put out your community paper. We want to tell you a bit about ourselves and invite you to guess our hometowns. Enter our contest and you’ll have a chance to win two movie passes to the Grove 16 Cobb Theatre in Wesley Chapel. Entries with seven or more correct hometowns will be added to our movie ticket raffle. Tickets will be mailed to winners in January.

Take the letter from the box under the staff member and place it in the box of the City & State where you think he/she was born... Then mail to: Who’s From Where Contest The Laker / Lutz News 1930 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Suite 14 • Lutz, FL 33549 (MUST BE POSTMARKED BY JAN 10, 2011) Answers will run in the January 19th edition of The Laker / Lutz News

Sarasota, FL

Kenosha, WI

Lexington, KY

Buffalo, NY

Effingham. IL

Climbing Hill, IA

Omaha, NE

Albion, MI

Reading, PA

Worcester, MA

Flint, MI

Temple Terrace, FL

Orlando, FL

Ocala, FL

St. Paul, MN

Columbus, OH

Name:_____________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________ City: ________________________________ State: _______ Zip: ____________ Phone: ____________________________________________________________

Customer Service Rep Employee since September 2004 Best kept secret: Was 1st runner up in the Miss Florida sweetheart pageant in 1978. What she loves best about her job: “I love working with the big accounts. When we got Publix in the paper this year, it was so exciting.” If she could do anything: “I’d take all my kids to Mexico to tour the Mayan ruins”

Carolyn Bennett

Graphic Designer Employee since June 2008 Best kept secret: Was a star soccer player in high school. What she loves best about her job: ”The satisfaction of being able to create beautiful ads from the ‘scribbles’ that sales reps often turn in.” If she could do anything: “I’d hire a crew and travel the world by sea on a massive sailboat. The kind that looks like a pirate ship.”

Stefanie Burlingame



Classified Manager and Customer Service Employee since March 2005 Best kept secret: Sharp and quick wit makes her the Tina Fey of the office. What she loves best about her job: “I love the people I work with and the relationships I’ve developed with clients.” If she could do anything: “I’d take my 15-year-old son, who is a Civil Air Cadet, to Hawaii to tour Pearl Harbor.”

Gena Crowder

Automotive and Zephyrhills Account Manager Employee since April 2005 Best kept secret: Newspaperman all his life, starting out as a paperboy when he was 10. What he loves best about his job: “I can make a difference by connecting people who can support one another and getting their stories in the paper.” If he could do anything: “Being a car guy I’d buy a ’57 T-Bird and travel Route 66 across the country.”

Chris Drews



Accounting Manager Employee since December 2004 Best kept secret: Likes to enter contests and wins a couple every year. What she loves best about her job: “I majored in advertising in college and I am so happy to have a job in my field.” If she could do anything: “I would travel more.”

Mary Eberhard

Joe Humphrey



Senior Account Manager, Land O’ Lakes Employee since October 2002 Best kept secret: Wanted to attend Julliard School in NYC to study classical ballet and piano. What she loves best about her job: “Knowing so many people for so many years because of The Laker.” If she could do anything: “Sail the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound with my brother.”

Shelley Ketchum 6


December 29, 2010

Associate Editor Employee since June 2010 Best kept secret: Fan of Glee, Fox TV’s hit series about the interactions of a high school show choir. What he loves best about his job: “Being part of an amazing team that strives to tell interesting and important stories about what is happening in our community each week." If he could do anything: "Lots of traveling. I would take my son on a tour of all the great baseball and college football stadiums of America and my wife to see the Pacific Northwest and Broadway shows."

Publisher Since June 2009 Best kept secret: She is a Trekkie – favorite character is T’pol. What she loves about her job: Seeing employees learn and grow personally and professionally, If she could do anything: “I’d buy a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota and listen to the loons all summer long.”

Diane Kortus



813-909-2800 /

Sports Editor Employee since October 2009 Best kept secret: Member of Cub Scout Pack 12 and Boy Scout Troop 12 in Lutz from grades 1 through 12. He is an Eagle Scout. What he loves about his job: “I’ve always been passionate about sports and never tire of writing about sports.” If he could do anything: “Take my mother to all 30 baseball stadiums in the country. We’re big baseball fans and so far we’ve visited 17.”

Kyle Lojacono

Community Editor Employee since August 2010 Best kept secret: Had a greeting card verse she wrote published by Blue Mountain Arts. What she loves about her job: "The gratification I get when I know that a story I wrote made a difference in someone's life, informed our readers or helped improve the community." If she could do anything: "I'd like to own my own greeting card company so I can control the quality of the design, the paper that's used and the message that's sent."

BC Manion



College Intern Employee since June 2010 Best kept secret: Plotting to take Zeke, her yellow lab, back to Stetson University. What she loves about her job: “People appreciate what I do, because no one else wants to do it.” If she could do anything: “Time travel, definitely time travel.”

Rachel Mathes

Art Director Employee since August 2005 Best kept secret: Has played the drums for almost 10 years. What he loves about his job: “The satisfaction of producing something every week that is read by thousands of people.” If he could do anything: “I’d like to take a double-decker bus to every major music festival in the country.”

Matthew Mistretta



Park News Editor and Editorial Assistant Employee since December 2002 Best kept secret: Wrote a children’s alphabet book 15 years ago and collects Santa Clauses (she has a couple hundred). What she loves most about her job: “I’m a perfectionist and I love proofreading, so I feel a little joy in catching mistakes.” If she could do anything: “I’d make sure my sister is set for life and vacation in Greece and visit Poland to see where my ancestors came from.”

Mary Rathman

Staff Writer Employee since August 2010 Best kept secret: Has driven tractors of every size and purpose. What she loves most about her job: "Meeting all the people with interesting stories to write about." If she could do anything: “I’d motorcycle across the country following US Hwy 20, from Boston to the West Coast.”

Tammy Struble



Editorial Assistant and Receptionist Employee since June 2007 Best kept secret: Has more than 75 teddy bears — the soft and fluffy kind – and names every one. What she loves most about her job: “I love the people here. It’s a great group to know each other well and get along.” If she could do anything: “I’d host a family reunion for everyone in my family – probably about 100 people — to a resort, someplace warm.”

Kathy Welton

Major Account Manager, Lutz and Wesley Chapel Employee since November 2003 Best kept secret: Wanted a career in broadcast; Barbara Walters was her role model. What she loves most about her job: “Building relationships with all the business owners in our community. We have a lot of wonderful people here that I feel privileged to know.” If she could do anything: “I would like to be a philanthropist and support research to find a cure for Spinal Muscle Atrophy, a disease my nephew suffers from.”

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To Our Valued Patients

Hero’s wife thinks his police training and instincts kicked in By B.C. Manion Originally published Sept. 15

During this holiday season we are sincerely Grateful for the new relationships we’ve made and those sustained over the years. We hope to continue to share with you our focus on the essentials: Life, Health, Community, and People. May your Holiday Season be healthy and happy.

Carolyn and Joe Sentelik of Zephyrhills had just bought a boat and were scouting out a marina where they could use it. They decided they would spend part of their Sunday just watching boaters at a marina and then grab a bite to eat. They had intended to go to Clearwater, but while en route decided instead to go to Dunedin. “There’s some sort of divine intervention as to why it happened the way it did,” Joe said. “I think things happen for a reason,” Carolyn agreed. The couple had spent some time on the morning of Aug. 29 looking at boats and Joe Sentelik sits on his 22-foot angler holdwatching people launch them, before head- ing a letter he received after helping to resing to Bon Appetit Restaurant for lunch, cue a Clearwater couple. (Photo by Glenn Gefers of Carolyn said. They had just ordered their drinks when Someone else pulled the woman to safethey heard a terrible noise, she said. “We heard a screech and a thump. It was ty. The elderly woman was so small, Carolyn a very odd sound,” she said. It was the kind of sound that signals “something very, very didn’t even realize there was anyone else in the car. horrible had happened.” Once the couple was safe, Joe used a “We heard a woman scream,“Someone rope to pull himself out of the water. He cut call 911.” Joe, a former police officer, didn’t hesi- his feet on the barnacles as he climbed the tate. He took off running toward the sound, marina wall. There was blood gushing everywhere, and when he got there, he saw a 1995 white Mercury Marquis had plunged over the sea- Carolyn said.“It was kind of gory.” After the rescue, the driver told deputies wall into the water. The driver was 89-year-old Joseph he had pulled into a handicapped parking Schlesselman, who was accompanied by his space and his foot slipped from the brake pedal onto the gas, causing the car to 86-year-old wife, Ruth. As the car began to sink, Joe Sentelik plunge into the water, according to a dove into the water to attempt a rescue. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report. The report also identified Another man also jumped in, the other rescuers. They and as both men attempted were Eric Corum, 42, of to get into the sinking car, Tarpon Springs and a third man with a boat Courtney Douthit, 32, of came along and hurled a Dunedin. fire extinguisher through Once they were out of the rear window – creatthe water, the couple was ing a hole the size of a transported to Mease dinner plate, Carolyn said. Dunedin Hospital, where “I could see a person in they were treated and rethe car, in the front,” Besides having the leased. Carolyn said.“I thought I Joe was taken to the was going to see a man die sheer pleasure of knowsame hospital, where emerright in front of me. It ing he helped to save the gency room personnel made me feel sick.” lives of two people, Joe scrubbed out the tiny After the fire extinSentelik also received pieces of glass that were guisher broke through the some public recognition embedded in his skin, and window, Joe used his hand used tweezers to take out and his fist to break away for his quick and selfless the larger pieces. enough glass to get his action from the Dunedin Besides hospital bills the body through, Carolyn City Commission. He couple expects to receive, said. was honored at a meetJoe’s cell phone was ruined Once he got in, he tried ing in September, where – and his contact list was unlocking the backseat he heard words of destroyed. doors, but was only able to Carolyn said they reget the backseat door on praise and received a ceived a thank you note the passenger seat uncertificate of recognition from the couple’s son. locked. signed by Dunedin The Aug. 31 letter, from “It was chaotic and Mayor Dave Eggers. James J. Schlesselman, of crazy and traumatic,” Pittsburgh, Pa., expressed Carolyn said. deep appreciation from him“He went down three times,” she said, tugging at the driver – but self and his brother. In part, it notes that without the rescuers’ intervention, “Our couldn’t get him loose. “I was screaming for him to get out. I mom and dad would have undergone a terwas afraid he was going to be killed,” rifying death, drowning while trapped in Carolyn said. She was especially worried be- their car under water.” The son also volunteered to cover any of cause Joe suffered a heart attack in May and because he’s on blood thinners, he was the Senteliks’ expenses, but the couple debleeding profusely from cuts that he got clined the offer. “I’m just glad they’re all right,” Joe said. from the glass. Joe said everything happened so quickly “For the last 10 seconds their heads were under water.” he’s not sure exactly who did what. Carolyn, executive director of the Florida He knows another rescuer was able to get in and to cut the driver and his wife free Hospital Zephyrhills Foundation, said she is tremendously proud of her husband. from their seatbelts. She said she told him:“You are a much That man also helped to push the driver out of the car, and Joe pulled the driver out better person than I could ever hope to be the rest of the way – loading him onto a because I’m not sure I could do what you did.” nearby boat.


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What happens when a cupcake ‘Making Life meets a lollipop? Cake pops Saucier’ is Michele Northrup’s motto By B.C. Manion

Originally published Sept. 8

Melissa Ramacco didn’t set out to become a cake pop queen. It just happened. Now, the Land O’ Lakes woman who drives a van with a “Got Cake” license tag keeps busy creating her clever confections for customers of all ages. When Ramacco, the owner of Island Girl Cakes, began her business she specialized in custom-designed and decorated cakes. She got her start in the cake world before shows like Cake Boss, the Ace of Cakes and DC Cupcakes became the rage. Her foray into the field, however, was not part of any grand design.She began simply with a cake expressing a New York Yankees’ theme that she made for her dad for Father’s Day. The response was so positive, she decided to begin taking orders to make cakes for family and friends. As her business evolved, she became more and more immersed in all things cake – reading blogs, scouring the Internet for information and perfecting all sorts of techniques by following directions in how-to articles. For awhile, her elaborate cakes were fetching anywhere from $100 to $250 each on a regular basis, and even up to $500 for a really big job. But as the economy slowed, so did her orders. Patrons loved the cakes, but either couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for them, she said. So, she shifted to smaller cakes and matching cupcake tiers. That gave kids a chance to blow out candles and to hand out the coordinating cupcakes. Then she read about cake pops. She loved the idea.They looked fun and she wasn’t aware of anyone else in the area that was making them. So, she focused her efforts making and marketing cake pops. She is totally sold on the value of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, and relies heavily on word-ofmouth marketing. The cake pops took off and she’s not looking back. “Cakes are really labor intensive. I don’t

By B.C. Manion Originally published Sept. 1

Melissa Ramacco shows off some of her handiwork. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

think people realize how much labor goes into those cakes,” said Ramacco, noting she has no plans to return to custom cakes. Making cake pops offers plenty of opportunities for creativity, she said. They can be dipped and left to dry upright, like a traditional candy apple or can be air-dried by poking their stick into a plastic foam form. The upright technique produces a pop with a flattened bottom; the air-drying approach produces a perfectly rounded pop. The pops typically are wrapped individually, and can be presented on a tray, in a bud vase or as a bouquet. They also can be put on longer sticks with a name card attached.These can serve double duty at weddings and other events: They’re a party favor and they let people know where to sit. To learn more about the business go to or call (813) 6999866.

Melissa Ramacco’s Island Girl Cakes has branched out, offering her cake pops at a location in Pinellas County. She also has received mail orders from as far away as Seattle.

Michele Northrup stands in her kitchen, dicing jalapeno peppers and cloves of garlic, and mixing them into a sauce that is simmering in a pan on her stove. She’s experimenting on a new recipe for her gourmet hot sauce business called Intensity Academy. The company’s name pays homage to the fact that Northrup was inspired to begin her business while in the garden at Learning Gate Community School, where she works in Lutz. The vegetable of the week that week was carrots and everyone was encouraged to come up with a new way to serve carrots, Northrup said. She concocted a gourmet hot sauce, combining the sweetness of carrots and the heat of peppers. The sauce was such a hit, Northrup decided to try her hand at creating a gourmet sauce company. Since then, her sauce line has evolved into tea-infused marinades, ketchups, dipping sauces and hot sauces. She uses organic teas as additives in her sauces. Besides concocting the sauces, she designs the labels on her bottles and does all of her marketing.The sauces are made and bottled at a bottling plant in Clearwater. Northrup’s company has not gone unnoticed. She has won a slew of national and local awards. Her Chai Thai Teriyaki sauce received the Golden Chili award at the 2010 Chili Pepper Magazine competition in Fort Worth and her Chai Chipotle Chup was voted the No. 1 ketchup in the nation in the

Michele Northrup continues concocting new sauce recipes and expects to release a new sauce to the market, Chai Sweet Chili, in the spring. She’s also writing a cookbook.


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Michele Northrup takes a break from stirring jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves into a gourmet sauce that she is concocting, with the intention of adding a bit more heat to a previous recipe. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

2010 Scovie Awards Fire Foods magazine competition. Most recently, she won the manufacturing category in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2010 Business Woman of the Year competition. Winners in various categories were announced at a black-tie gala on Aug. 20. She was delighted and surprised. “I didn’t really think I was going to win. Some of these companies that I was up against were really big,” said Northrup, whose work force consists mostly of her three sons, her husband and her father-in-law. Northrup’s sauces are sold at about 90 stores across the nation, including all of the Whole Foods stores in Florida,some Walgreens locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties and numerous independent shops. She also sells her sauces online, promotes them vigorously through Facebook and Twitter, and markets them at the Zephyrhills Celtic Festival, San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival, the Kumquat Festival in Dade City, and at festivals and street markets in Lutz, Land O’Lakes,Tampa and St. Petersburg. Northrup also makes deliveries. She’ll put out the word that she’ll be out on the road and people will send her requests. Northrup is widely known in Lutz, as the former Guv’na, who still holds the record for raising the most money by a candidate seeking the honorary post. Information:

Lutz family tastes cookbook success Sharing recipes is a source of joy for mother and son By B.C. Manion Originally published Oct. 13

They don’t have a fancy test kitchen, sophisticated equipment or years of formal culinary training, but this Lutz mother and son have big dreams. They’re aiming for their own cooking show. Years ago, they would have never pictured themselves having such lofty ambitions, but that was before they turned their hobby into a publishing venture that they hope will lead to bigger things. Indeed, it already has. Iris and Michael Raie are scheduled to appear Oct. 15-17 at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.They will be talking about their cooking techniques and recipes and signing copies of their book,“No Place Like Home: Southern Cooking with a Latin Flair.” The mother and son say their love of cooking is rooted in generations of good cooks in their family. “My mother was an excellent cook,” Iris said. Her grandmother was too, she said.“My mom grew up in the kitchen cooking. I grew up in the kitchen cooking.” Michael has cooking in his genes too.“I / 813-909-2800

at 85 she was still cooking. Iris and Michael Raie are still “Shortly after we sharing the joy of cooking.They’ll moved here, we startappear soon at a food show in ed seeing her decline,” Lillie said. In 2006, Atlanta and as guests on Ch. 10. grew up in a houseLillie died, and while hold that cooked. I fell Iris knew her mother’s in love with it.” recipes by heart, they were not written When he was just 4, Michael said, Iris down anywhere. caught him standing on a chair near the Friends encouraged Iris to compile the stove frying bacon. recipes in a book, and after she’d begun the “I came downstairs and I smelled bacon,” project she decided to branch out and add Iris said.When she went to see what was her own recipes and some from her friends. going on, she saw that Michael had the task Creating the book was a monumental task. well under control. As Iris and Michael made Lillie’s dishes, “Most boys like playing with cars and they had to constantly measure ingredients trucks, but my love was cooking” Michael that for years they’d added by a pinch or a writes in the cookbook.“My toys were an handful.The project was pricy. Buying the Easy Bake Oven, play stove and pots and ingredients to make all of the recipes was pans.” expensive. While the mother and son said they have It also was time-consuming.They spent always loved to cook, decorate and enter- many long days prepping the ingredients, tain, neither expected to turn their passion preparing the dishes and then cleaning up for making delicious foods into a larger pur- afterwards. Ultimately, they decided to selfsuit. publish the book. The family used to live in South Tampa, Now the pair plans to self-publish a seIris said.They decided to move out to Lutz ries of five cookbooks. Once they sell several years ago after suffering some per- enough volumes they will recoup the sonal losses. money they have paid to the publishing Michael’s big brother, Scott, who had company, Iris said. epilepsy, died suddenly while he was sleepAlready, they are tasting more success. ing.That happened in July 1997. They’ve been on radio and television pro“I almost had a nervous breakdown,”Iris grams and will be featured in a podcast out said. of Iowa. Three years later, Iris’ husband, Jack, sufThey recently taught a cooking class on fered a stroke that left him disabled. southern cuisine at The Rolling Pin in The family decided to move to Lutz to Brandon.They demonstrated how to make begin making new memories, Iris said. Her fried green tomatoes, chicken and mother, Lillie Pope, moved with them – and dumplings, skillet cabbage and country-fried

Michael and Iris Raie, cookbook authors who live in Lutz, will speak at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

apples.They hope the Epcot talks will open many new doors. Their next cookbook, slated to come out next year, will be called “No Place Like Home: Holiday Creations.” Other books are planned on children’s recipes, desserts and international foods. Sharing recipes is a source of joy, Iris said. She said she doesn’t understand why some people want to keep them secret. “There was a lady at the church where we used to go and she made the most delicious pickles and the most delicious apple butter,” Iris recalled.“I said,“I would love to have that recipe” “She said,‘Honey, I don’t give my recipes out to nobody,’ ”Iris said. Michael added: “She said, “I’m taking them to the grave with me.” “And she did,” Iris said.“To me, that is a waste. I would want to share – (so that) our recipes live on.” For more information about the cookbook go to


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Famous quotes or company graffiti? Either way they guide us By Diane Kortus

so they get plenty of visibility. This wall has become thick with what I’ve come to think of as our company graffiti.As I pulled them down to select the best quotes to share with you this week, I was struck by how well they capture the beliefs and values that bind us together as colleagues and friends. Our quotes fall into three main areas of thought: -- The attainment of goals is possible only if people care deeply and believe in a shared vision. -- Nothing is more important than kindness and abiding by the Golden Rule. -- You can only live in the present, so make the most of it. Of the 14 quotes on the facing page, three have been guiding principles as I lead this company.


My favorite part of the week is Wednesday morning when I get together with my group of 15 employees to reflect on what we’re doing well and what we could be doing better. We talk about what we like best about that week’s papers and Monday-morning quarterback on how they could have been better. Reporters tell us about their stories for the next issue and the rest of us add our two bits to their ideas. We recap our sales numbers and talk about the challenges and opportunities our sales people face in this difficult economy. We go over production deadlines and how we plan to cover when someone is taking time off. Before we end with our recognition awards, we share personal and family news. We have been meeting every Wednesday for more than a year. Everyone attends, including part-time employees and student interns. We’ve learned that the best ideas often come from colleagues outside our area of expertise because they offer valuable perspectives we may have failed to consider. It is somewhat unusual for a small business like ours to be so diligent. We never cancel our weekly staff meeting and we adhere to the rules that it starts on time and is kept to an hour. I’ve talked to many business owners who have the same good intention of conducting weekly employee meetings. But they tell me their meetings often run out of momentum and wane after just a few months. So why does our staff meeting have such staying power? One reason is because we begin each week with a quote. In the course of a year these quotes have helped to define our vision of who we are as a company and what we hope to become. Everyone is encouraged to bring quotes to our meeting. Some weeks several employees bring quotes and other weeks there is just the one from me. We post our quotes on a wall that’s on the way to the restroom,

“Determination, energy and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something.We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.” –Margaret Wheatley “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” –Mother Teresa “Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spin like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that impervious voice in your head to be still.” –Barbara Kingsolver These wise words help me lead our company to produce community newspapers that make a difference.We want to connect you to your community through the stories we tell about your neighbors and the businesses who reach out with their advertisements. Some weeks it is easier to make these connections than others. It is the weeks that we struggle that I turn to these quotes to give me courage to overcome adversity, to find the kindness that surrounds me and to reflect on the peacefulness that only the present can provide.

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Wayne Rogers with his buddy, Elvis, a Great Blue Heron who stays by his side while he fishes. They have grown closer since Wayne lost his dog a few years ago. (Photos by Glenn Gefers of

Elvis the Heron finds a friend By Shannon Edinger

When Rogers walks outside, Elvis follows him down the back walkway to the dock. There, the bird quietly stands, waiting for Fishing is more than just a hobby for Rogers to catch him some fish. Once Rogers Wayne Rogers. It is a way for him to bond catches a fish, he will hold the fishing pole up with his buddy, Elvis. with the fish dangling so Elvis can grab the What makes their relationship unique? fish off the line.“I don’t want to try feeding Elvis is a Great Blue Heron. him by hand,” Rogers said.“He’s still a wild anRogers, 67, has lived in the imal and that long bill could area for 19 years now. Elvis cut one of my fingers off.” first came by his Land O’ Rogers usually spends Lakes house five years ago about an hour on the dock, and, Rogers said, has rebut Elvis will remain outturned every day since. side until dark. Rogers’ wife, Kitty, says Elvis “Once it’s dark, he will showed up a week after fly off somewhere. I’m not their dog died.“After losing sure where he goes, but I’ve my dog, I kind of took him always been curious about in as a pet,” he said. it,” Rogers said. This was the staff’s Rogers is not entirely Sometimes, Rogers will “you’ve got to see it to sure if Elvis is a male or fego out on his boat to go believe it” story. Some male, but he named him fishing and Elvis will stand of us weren’t so sure Elvis and refers to him as a on the front of the boat. he. Elvis initially got “If I’m not careful, he this could be real, but Rogers’ attention by flying will get into the bait well writer Shannon Edinger around outside his back and eat all the bait,” Rogers and photographer Glenn window. He also walked said. Elvis has become terriGefers hit the lakes and around and pecked on the torial of Rogers’ dock.“He got to “meet” Elvis, roof to make noise. won’t let any other birds on To this day, Elvis still the dock,”Rogers said. Elvis proving that even the uses these techniques to started a fight with a hawk oddest tips can someget Rogers’ attention when one time for coming too times turn out to hold a he is hungry. close to the dock.“This is compelling tale. “The hungrier he is, the his territory.” braver he is,” Rogers said. In Elvis is shy around peothe winter, Elvis is more agple he does not know. He gressive because there are fewer fish to keeps a safe distance when there are catch than in the summer. Great Blue strangers around, but he always keeps a Herons primarily feed on small fish. watchful eye on Rogers and the dock. Neighbors have seen Elvis walk up to It is uncertain why Elvis chose Rogers’ Rogers’ back door and patiently wait for him home, but Rogers is certain of one thing:“He to come outside. is a happy camper.” Originally published Oct. 18


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Principal Estabrook celebrates last first day By B.C. Manion Originally published Aug. 25

It’s Day 1 of the 2010-11 school year, and Principal Dave Estabrook wants to make sure it gets off to a smooth start. “It’s a big day for setting the tone for the year,” said Estabrook, as he greets students filing into Charles S. Rushe Middle School in Land O’ Lakes.

Dave Estabrook greets a group of boys heading into Rushe Middle School for the first day of classes in the 2010-11 school year. (Photo by B.C. Manion)

As students pass by, some say hello to the principal, others stop to ask him questions. One girl tells him,“Nice tie, Mr. Estabrook.” Opening day is always special for educators, but this one in particular, has even more meaning for Estabrook: It will be the last time he rings in a new school year as a Pasco County educator. Estabrook is set to retire in midDecember from his 35-year career in the county’s public schools. He chose a mid-year departure to try to ease the transition, he said. But nothing will make his departure easy, said Lorraine Majowicz, registrar and class sub coordinator. “I’m really sad that he’s going to retire. We’re all going to cry,’’ she said. Estabrook treats others with respect, is an excellent listener, is fair-minded and is compassionate with his staff when they have family issues, she said. He is able to see the big picture, while still responding to individual needs, said Assistant Principal Ron Michalak. “I’m going to miss his strength and his wisdom,” Michalak said. “He’s an icon in the community,” Michalak continued, which gives Estabrook great credibility among parents and staff. “The trust is there.” Estabrook inspires loyalty because he sincerely wants to help other people grow, said Vicky Hill, a reading teacher.


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We wanted to include this story about Dave Estabrook in our year-end edition to recognize the many contributions he has made to Pasco County public schools and the community during his 35year career as an educator.The new principal for Rushe Middle School is expected to be named in early 2011.

“He’s always trying to find everybody opportunities to advance, to try to do something new,” Hill said. “You can’t even imagine how many people respect him and really enjoy working for him and with him,” Majowicz added. When Estabrook was tapped to open Rushe Middle three years ago, lots of teachers and staff from Pine View Middle – his previous school – followed him. “That says a lot,” said Mindy Turba, president of the Parent Teacher Student Association, who also knew Estabrook at Pine View. “He’s very accessible,”Turba said.“He will make time for people. He will listen.” He’s cordial, but no pushover, she added. “We know how far we can push. If he’s against it, he’s not going to sugarcoat it,” Turba said. Being able to communicate is perhaps the most important aspect of a principal’s job, Estabrook said.

The days of a school leader are filled with communications – with administrators, teachers, instructional assistants, custodians, cafeteria workers, office staff, parents, students and virtually everyone else on the school campus, he said. On top of all that, there’s a need to reach out to the community, said Estabrook, who has mastered that as an active board member and former president of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce. “We’re here for the curriculum, the instruction, the teaching and the learning, No. 1 – but that still involves tactful communication, in order to get the job done,” he said. The principal is adept at reaching kids, said Majowicz, who used to be directly involved with school discipline cases. When dealing with students who were in trouble, Estabrook was firm, she said. But he also is skilled at building rapport with students – talking to them to find out about their interests and strengths.


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Lutz restaurant benefit to help injured Marine keep home By Suzanne Schmidt

Former Marine Jose Pequeno, who suffered serious injuries while serving, is now almost $80,000 closer to owning his home due to a fundraiser held by a local restaurateur. Weck’s American Grill owner Alex Altenhoff hosted The Meet Jose silent auction and, despite torrential downpours of rain, managed to gather 500 people for a successful night.Though Altenhoff’s original goal was $10,000, the auction attendees exceeded his expectations and raised $27,000, plus another $50,000 donated by the Semper Fi Fund. According to Altenhoff, Penqueno’s home is around $250,000, so there is still a little way to go.

Originally published July 28

An injured war veteran living in Wesley Chapel needs the community’s help to stay in his home. Alex Altenhoff, co-owner of Weck’s, said from the moment he met Pequeno he knew he wanted to help him. “We wanted it to be a nice backyard shindig where whole families can come and eat together,� Altenhoff said. “This is not about whether you are pro- or anti-war. Jose made his decision to fight for America and he needs support.� Altenhoff said he was inspired by the strength and determination he sees in Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Pequeno, 36. It has been more than four years since he returned to the states after that fateful day in Iraq when a grenade was thrown into the Humvee he was riding in.He suffered a severe brain injury along with a number of other injuries. Since then he has had 21 surgeries and spent a total of 34 months in the hospital. The day his mother, Nellie Bagley, received the call he was injured is one she will never forget. It was March 1, 2006 when her whole life turned upside down. “They told me that my son had been in an accident, but they wouldn’t give me details,� Nellie Bagley said. “When that happens, you imagine the worst.When you get a call like that you lose a piece of yourself.That phone call is always in the back of my mind.They said they didn’t think he was going to make it.� Pequeno either damaged or lost 50 percent of his brain on the left side. Bagley and her daughter Elizabeth Bagley traveled to the Navy National Medical Center in Maryland to see him as soon as he got back to the states. “When we were allowed to see him, we took our gloves off and touched his shoulder in the only place we could,� Nellie


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Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Pequeno with his mom Nellie Bagley and Alex Altenhoff, co-owner of Weck’s American Grill. (Photo by Suzanne Schmidt)

Bagley said.“We looked at him and told him that we care for him and that if he wanted to let go he can.We said if he wants to stay and fight that we will be there for him.We told him he will never be alone.� His mother and sister have kept that promise by taking care of him everyday since he cannot take care of himself and he still cannot speak. Up until the last year and a half, they stayed with him while he was in and out of several hospitals. Since December 2008, they have been living with him in a home in Wesley Chapel. Now it is time to buy the house they have been renting, but they do not have the money. “I started looking for a rental house that would allow me to fix the bathrooms and install ramps and widen the doors,� Nellie Bagley said.“The goal was to get him into a house and out of the hospital so he could

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get better. I found someone who would let me rent the home and we had all of the modifications done but I had to sign a contract stating I would buy the house in a year.� Heroes to Hometown with The American Legion did all of the $60,000 worth of modifications to the home but now the family is struggling to be able to buy it. “Over a year has gone by and we haven’t had any success in raising money for the house,� Nellie Bagley said.“Being out of the hospital is the best thing for him. No medication can replace the love and attention of a family around him. If we get the house secured that would be one big weight off my shoulders.We have to keep the house, because Jose has to stay out of the hospital. The difference in him since he has been out is unbelievable.� Elizabeth Bagler said her brother knows

what’s happening around him. “We are typical brother and sister,� Bagley said.“I will give him a hard time about the outfit he is wearing and he will make a growling noise or make a face as if he is retorting. It may take time but I have no doubt in my mind one day he will communicate with us down the line.� He has been improving thanks to the physical, speech, occupational and pool therapy he has been doing five days a week and to the love and support of his family. For more information or to donate, call (813) 948-1615 or visit

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School celebrates a century of service Zephyrhills High School’s roots date back 100 years By B.C. Manion Originally published Oct. 20

When students and alumni of Zephyrhills High celebrate homecoming this week – they will be marking 100 years of public education in a place that prides itself on strong ties between the community and its schools. The homecoming game and its festivities, dubbed “A celebration of the generations,” promise to offer opportunities not only for current faculty and students at Zephyrhills High but also for decades of alumni and former school staff to create new memories and demonstrate school pride. The roots of today’s Zephyrhills High go back a century, when small nearby schools closed and a new school opened in 1910 to accommodate children in grades one through 11. Madonna Jervis Wise has chronicled the city’s history in “Images of America, Zephyrhills” published by Arcadia Publishing. She also gathered memories about the school in “Zephyrhills – An Anthology of its History Through Education.”

Students are shown in front of the second Zephyrhills school in 1926.

In “Images of America, Zephyrhills,”Wise described the first public school in the city: “It had four rooms on the first floor with a wide hall and stairway leading to the second floor.” That structure was built behind the present-day Clock restaurant,Wise said, during a recent interview with Wise, Ron Cherry, Clereen Morrill Brunty and Caroline Marlette, all members of the ZHS 100 Centennial Committee. As homecoming festivities kick into high gear, many alumni will be sharing fond memories of the good old days at Zephyrhills High. While it began as a school for students in grades one through 11, the school went through many changes over the years. The original two-story wooden school burned down and was replaced by a twostory stucco school. That school also had a fire, which caused extensive damage and forced students to be split up and taught at a bakery, a hotel, a grocery store, City Hall and a schoolhouse annex until repairs were completed through the Works Progress Administration. Wise marvels at how the city banded together to make The original Zephyrhills School at Seventh Avenue and sure students had places to Sixth Street opened in 1910. (Photos provided by learn while awaiting the reMadonna Jervis Wise) vamped school.

“Can you imagine a city – all those businesses — to show that kind of love and support?”Wise asked. The school moved to its current location in 1975, with the former high school building becoming Stewart Middle School. Ron Cherry has spent the better portion of his life walking the corridors of Zephyrhills schools. He spent a combined total of more than 48 years as a teacher, student and assistant principal. He recalls when Pasco County had just three high schools, and those attending Zephyrhills High came from an area roughly bounded by Greer Hill and the Pasco County line, the Cypress Creek area and the Polk County line. Cherry played on the high school’s basketball team during its glory days. He recalls basking in the glow of the community’s love when he and his teammates won the state championship in 1964. As the team was heading back home, it was greeted by sheriff’s deputies at the


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Students weren’t the only ones partying at this year’s homecoming at Zephyrhills High School. In the spirit of the school’s centennial year, the school held a dance for alumni and staff members – and more than 200 people turned out, said Madonna Jervis Wise.The decorations were lovely, the cake was huge and alumni from numerous decades turned out to hail their alma mater.

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county line and given an escort into the city where nearly half of the town was there to celebrate. “We thought we were heroes,” Cherry said. Cherry also remembers the introduction of technology into Zephyrhills High. The mathematics teachers were ecstatic when they learned they were getting a half-dozen calculators made by Texas Instruments, he said. But the school quickly became a leader in technology, said Caroline Marlette, bragging how Zephyrhills High was the first school in Pasco County to have its own computer network. Clereen Brunty, of the school’s alumni association, said thousands of people have attended Zephyrhills High through the years. She said there’s roughly 11,000 names of alumni in a database and she’s still looking for more. Brunty is excited about the upcoming festivities, where old friends, classmates and faculty members will have a chance to mingle and share memories. Unlike many homecoming dances, which are exclusively for current students, Zephyrhills High will have two dances this year. The students’ dance will be in the school’s activity center, while the ZHS 100 Social and Dance will be in the school’s commons area. A photographer will be on hand, too, to capture the event in photos. If the past is any indication, this will be just one more time when special memories are made during a century of public education in Zephyrhills.

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New Gaither field name honors ‘Original Cowboy’ By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Aug. 25

For years, Gaither High’s football stadium has been known as Death Valley, but this season the field will have a name for the first time — Ron Allen Field. Allen was Gaither’s first principal when the school opened in 1984. He came to the school after being the principal at Chamberlain High. “I wasn’t expecting it and I’m very humbled to have such an honor,” said Allen, who has lived in Lutz for the last 32 years.“I’ve spent a lot of time as an administrator in Hillsborough County and I will always remember the time I spent at Gaither.” Gaither’s current principal was a student there when Allen led the school. “Mr. Allen is an important part of our local community in northwest Hillsborough County,” said current Gaither principal Marie Whelan, who is Gaither’s fourth principal. “Mr.Allen was my principal when I was a student at Gaither, so this is even more special for me.” One current teacher at Gaither has even more history with Allen. “Mr.Allen hired me in 1978 to teach and coach at Chamberlain High School,” science teacher Karen Haag wrote in a letter to the Hillsborough County School Board.“He was a tremendous principal and an amazing leader of a severely overcrowded school.

community supported the decided on the Cowboys because it was motion and was happy to then very rural in north Hillsborough and honor Allen.The school will no other county school had a similar masofficially honor Allen at a cot. home football game this sea“He loved this school,”Whelan said.“He son. would wear a huge cowboy hat and cowAllen said he remembers boy boots and ride onto the field on a horse the first day of school at (Spirit) during football games. He was the Gaither. He said there was no original Gaither Cowboy.” intercom or bell system, so Allen left Gaither in 1993 to become an faculty had to use bullhorns administrator for Florida High School in the halls to let people Athletic Association (FHSAA).Allen’s wife know to move to the next Nancy said it was very hard to leave Gaither class. because they both love the school very “We opened the school much. He retired from FHSAA in 2003 and on time and had very few was inducted into the organization’s hall of problems,”Allen said.“We had fame the next year. more than 2,000 students Besides his position with FHSAA,Allen that first day and things went was also a high school track and field, footGaither’s first principal Ron Allen looks at the plans for the smoothly.” ball and basketball coach. He also received school before it was built in 1984. (Photo courtesy of Allen) Allen also recalls how the the 2003 Honor, Courage and Commitment school got its mascot — the Award from the U.S. Marines, a partner of “I transferred to Gaither in 1984 not only Cowboys. Before the first day of class in FHSAA. to work at a new school, but because I 1984 he got 30 incoming students to disAllen and Nancy will celebrate their 50th could not imagine going to work with any- cuss what would be a good name. They wedding anniversary next month. one else at the helm,” Haag continued. Whelan, Haag and other Gaither employRon Allen is still living with his wife Nancy in ees and current students, such as student their Lutz home. Gaither High officially renamed the senate president Shelby Masuck, wrote letters to the school board requesting the field field after Allen at the Cowboys home football game be named after him. The board approved Oct. 24. Gaither defeated Freedom High in the conthe motion Aug. 10. test 17-10. School board chairwoman Susan Valdes said the board saw how obvious the Gaither


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Hall of fame calls for Gaither coach Frank Permuy By Kyle LoJacono Originally published March 10

During the 26-year history of Gaither High School, only one man has managed the Cowboy’s baseball team. Now Frank Permuy will live forever as a hall of famer. Permuy was named to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s (FHSAA) Hall of Fame Feb. 25. “When the FHSAA called me I was actually worried because they usually will only call if you’ve broken some rule,” Permuy said jokingly.“When they told me I was named to the hall I was very surprised and extremely honored.There are so many great coaches in the FHSAA Hall of Fame and it’s a pleasure to be among them.” It is the second hall of fame the coach has been inducted into. The first is the



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football coach Sam Sirianni,” said Seth Polansky, FHSAA spokesperson.“Permuy and the others are all very deserving new members of the hall of fame.” Permuy, 67, was born in Ybor City and grew up playing baseball, football and many other sports.After a short career Florida Athletic Coaches in the minor leagues was cut Association Hall of Fame, which short because of knee problems, he was named to last year. he took over as the skipper at “The FACA is for coaches Leto High School for the 1971-72 only, so this one is even a little school year. more prestigious you could say,” “We won our district my first Permuy said.“The FHSAA has ofyear at Leto and I’m proud of ficials, student-athletes and other that,” Permuy said. athletic personnel along with Frank Permuy He then coached at the coaches.” University of Tampa for four The 2010 class is the 18th group named years before moving to Tampa Catholic High to the FHSAA hall.The group will be official- School. He guided the Crusaders to the ly inducted at a ceremony April 25 in 1982 Class 3A state championship. Gainesville. Permuy took the coaching job at Gaither “Frank Permuy will join official Clement when the school opened in 1984. He was a Brooks, former swimmer Andrew Coan, physical education teacher for most of that baseball coach Pat McQuaid, writer Larry time,but retired from teaching three years ago. Blustein, former football coach Harry “Now I just coach and it’s a little differJacobs, the late baseball coach Guy Garrett, ent,” Permuy said.“Before I could deal with official Joseph Rider and the late former problems as soon as they happen. Now I

Frank Permuy is devoting his life to teaching area children baseball. He is currently getting his Cowboys ready for the 2011 season. Several of his former players are doing the same as coaches for other area teams.

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wait until I come in and get my mail to hear if there are any problems.” The Cowboys have won eight district titles under Permuy, who was also named the 2007 National Federation of State High School Association’s coach of the year. Gaither’s best finish under Permuy was the 2005 6A state runner-up. He has won more than 500 games during his high school coaching career. “We went 2-20 my first season at Gaither and that’s the only losing season I’ve had here,” Permuy said.“The next year we won the district, so we got things going in the right direction fast. “I want to keep coaching because I think I can contribute and help the kids,” he continued.“Although my wife (Danae) might tear the uniform off me before I’m ready. She thought it was time years ago.” During his career at Gaither, Permuy has coached several players who were drafted by Major League Baseball franchises. Of those, Kevin Cash, who played last season for the New York Yankees, and Chad Zerbe, who played four years for the San Francisco Giants, reached the big leagues.

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December 29, 2010


All-Laker All-Lutz News


The Laker and the Lutz News has named its inaugural All-Laker/All-Lutz News teams for the 2010 fall high school athletic seasons. Members of the team were selected based on their skill, value to their team, final statistics and head-to-head matchups.Teams in the coverage area include Academy at the Lakes, Carrollwood Day, Freedom, Gaither, Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, Saddlebrook Prep, Steinbrenner, Sunlake,Wesley Chapel,Wiregrass Ranch, Zephyrhills and Zephyrhills Christian. Only sports sanctioned by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) are eligible for the team, not recognized sports. Sports Editor Kyle LoJacono selected the team. All stats were as recorded to by coaches and all playoff performances are as recorded by the FHSAA.

2010 n

GOLF BOYS —Jacob Fleck, Sr., Wesley Chapel. No. 1 golfer on the first Wesley Chapel boys team to reach the state tournament in program history. —Jon Kopsell, Sr., Land O’ Lakes.Was the individual runner-up in districts and helped the Gators reach the regional tournament. —Dylan Larson, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Leader of the first boys Bulls team to win a district championship in program history and was also the individual champion. —Brandon Mumaw, Sr., Wesley Chapel. Four-year member of the Wildcats team and finished as the individual runner-up in districts with a 76. —Jimmy Stranger, So., Gaither. His 77 was tied for the lowest in districts and helped the Cowboys finish as the runner-up in the event. Coach of the Year: Alan Black, Wesley Chapel. Black has been the only boys golf coach at Wesley Chapel since it opened in 1999 after coaching at both Pasco and Land O’ Lakes and he saved his best team for his last year. While he had taken individuals to states before, including Cameron Knight who won the 2004 Class 2A state title, this was the first time he had taken a team to the event.


Player of the Year: Jacob Fleck, Wesley Chapel. Besides being the No. 1 golfer of the first team in program history to reach the state tournament, Fleck won the individual Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament. His 78 was good enough for third lowest in districts and followed that up by winning the individual crown in regionals with a 70.


Player of the Year: Alex Milan, Steinbrenner. Milan brought home her fourth straight district tournament and competed in states for the third consecutive season, but for the first time, her team came with her. Milan was the leader of the first Warriors team to reach states and was like a second coach for the squad. She has already signed her letter of intent to play at Florida State University next year.

GIRLS —Ellen Crowley, Jr., Academy at the Lakes. Leader of the team that won the first district championship in school history. —Hana Lee, Fr., Wesley Chapel. Only a freshman, but was the No. 1 golfer on the squad and shot an 86 to qualify for regionals as an individual. —Kellianne May, Jr., Pasco. Shot a 79 in districts, helping the Pirates earn runner-up in Class 1A, District 8. She followed up with a 79 in regionals, good enough for third place. —Alex Milan, Sr., Steinbrenner. Won her fourth straight individual district championship. —Lauren Riehle, Jr., Saddlebrook Prep. Won her second straight individual district championship despite being the only member on the team. Coach of the Year: Mark Mann, Steinbrenner. Mann became the Warriors coach when the school opened last year. Most of his new players at Steinbrenner came over with him from Sickles and he has helped turn the second-year school into a girls golf contender. His team will likely return four players who competed in this year’s Class 1A state tournament and the squad will likely be a factor for years.


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—Libero: Cary Ann Bame, Jr., Steinbrenner. Led the Warriors with 217 digs while adding 43 aces and helped the squad win its second district title and first regional match. —Middle hitter: Chelsea Violenes, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Her 1.5 blocks per game was 11th most in the state. Had 138 blocks, a team-high 152 kills and 103 digs. —Middle hitter: Nicole Woodard, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Her 136 blocks was tied for third most in Florida. She also added 186 kills and 20 aces. —Outside hitter: Morgan Crescent, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Named the Sunshine Athletic Conference East Co-Player of the Year after putting down a teamhigh 221 kills and adding 97 aces. —Outside hitter: Natalia Ortiz, Sr., Steinbrenner. The co-captain put down 84 kills while adding a team-high 31 blocks. —Outside hitter: Teresa Della Penna, Jr., Land O’ Lakes. Played both outside hitter and setter this year and led the Gators with 284 assists and 112 aces while adding 208 kills. —Setter: Erin McMurtry, Sr., Steinbrenner. Along with her 613 assists, she had 79 digs, 70 aces, 37 kills and 17 blocks.

SECOND TEAM —Libero: Helen Marte, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Finished the year with 371 digs and also contributed 19 aces. —Middle hitter: Megan Moyer, Sr., Steinbrenner. Led the Warriors with 128 kills and contributed 25 aces and 22 blocks. —Middle hitter: Tori Quaglia, Jr.,Wiregrass Ranch. Led the Bulls with 83 blocks and also added 135 kills and 41 digs. —Outside hitter: Kaylee Gaskin, Sr., Zephyrhills. After losing three key starters to



—Nicholette Clark, Sr., Zephyrhills. Qualified for states in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:00 and won the race in districts in 2:01. —Lindsay Gorgen, Sr., Zephyrhills. Won the 100-yard freestyle in districts with a time of 56.71 seconds. —Megan Huynh, Sr., Sunlake. Won the 50-yard freestyle race in districts with a time of 27.44 seconds. —Rebecca Pindral, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Came in sixth in the state in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:07. —Makayla Strickland, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Key member of the Bulls 200-yard freestyle relay team that took first in districts in 1:49.

—Alex Hill, Sr., Wesley Chapel. Came in second overall in the Class 2A state diving finals with 17 points. —Nick Keach, Sr., Sunlake. Finished second in districts with in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.05 seconds and part of the 200 freestyle relay team that finished second in the event. —Matt Menendez, Fr., Wiregrass Ranch. Placed second in the 100-yard butterfly event in districts with a time of 59.32 seconds.Also came in third in 200-yard free in 1:54. —Giorgi Meyer, Jr., Steinbrenner. Took first place in diving in the Class 1A, District 7 and followed that up by finishing third in regionals. —Kyle Shaffer, Sr., Sunlake.Won the 200yard individual medley in districts with a time of 2:11 and part of the 200 freestyle relay team that finished second in the event. Coach of the Year: Tanner Schmitz, Wiregrass Ranch. Schmitz had never coached

December 29, 2010

Swimmer/Diver of the Year: Rebecca Pindral, Wiregrass Ranch. Besides being a part of the Wiregrass Ranch 200-yard freestyle relay team that took first in districts, Pindral also won the 100 backstroke. Pindral has been on the team for four years and was also a leader of the team that started to make a name for itself in the school’s fifth year.

Coach of the Year: Jennifer Ordetx, Steinbrenner. Despite coaching a program in its second year, Ordetx took several swimmers to regionals. She was only the girls coach in name, but did everything she could to help the boys as well. Given a couple more years Ordetx will likely add some banners in the Warriors gym.


Player of the Year: Erin McMurtry, Steinbrenner. McMurtry had not played setter since middle school but had to relearn the position this summer to fill a team need. She did not miss a beat and helped guide the Warriors to their second straight district championship and first regional tournament win. McMurtry was also a co-captain and was a leader on and off the court.

graduation, Gaskin stepped up and was the frontline leader for the Bulldogs. —Outside hitter: Ashley Wilson, Fr., Freedom. Led the Patriots with 295 kills and chipped in 205 digs and 25 aces. —Setter: Kelly Schaller, Fr., Freedom. Racked up 645 assists and a team-high 82 aces. Also had 97 digs, 39 kills and 18 blocks. Coach of the Year: Laurie Fitzpatrick, Land O’ Lakes.The first-year coach came in and made a mark on the program quickly. The Gators were 11-9 last season, but improved to 19-4 this year. Land O’ Lakes was knocked out of the district semifinals in a four-set match against Hernando, but were headed in the right direction. Given a few more years she will likely end the Gators 21-year district tournament drought.

Swimmer/Diver of the Year: Alex Hill, Wesley Chapel. Coming in first in diving in the Class 2A, District 5 tournament was just the beginning for Hill. He followed that up by placing second in regionals and matched that finish in states. Unfortunately for the Wildcat senior, he was runner-up to Cole Maffeo in both events, but made his mark on state diving in his last year.

swimming before this season, but he handled the Bulls team like a seasoned professional. He played and coached football and brought a new level of work and commitment to the boys and girls squads’ practices this year.



—Offensive line: Carrollwood Day.The unit includes junior right tackle Chance Furman, sophomore right guard Collin DeBossier, sophomore center Jarrod Smith, sophomore left guard Adam Morsel and senior left tackle Mak Djulbegovic.


Offensive Player of the Year: Stephen Weatherford. Despite missing the Gators last two games for undisclosed reasons, Weatherford’s 30 passing touchdowns was still tied for third most of any quarterback in Florida. His 237.3 passing yards per game was also the eighth most in the state. He added a team-high 476 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 62 carries and brought in one catch for five yards and another score.


—Quarterback: Stephen Weatherford, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Led Pasco County with 2,136 passing yards and 30 touchdowns while adding another eight rushing scores. —Running back: David Emmanuel, So., Pasco. Racked up 1,046 rushing yards on 145 carries and 16 scores. —Running back: Josh Roberts, Jr., Zephyrhills Christian.Was the leading rusher and scorer on a Warriors team that won the six-man football championship. —Wide receiver: Trey Dudley-Giles, Jr., Pasco. Led the Pirates with nine receiving touchdowns while adding 547 yards on 24 catches. —Wide receiver: Will Irwin, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Brought in 18 touchdowns and 46 catches for 1,018 receiving yards. —Tight end: Jason Tello, Sr., Land O’ Lakes.Was the underneath threat for the Gators, catching 58 passes for 846 yards and five scores. —Offensive line: Sunlake.The unit includes junior right tackle Nate McCoole, junior right guard Matt Sanders, senior center Josh Nobles, junior left guard Randy Silverwood and junior left tackle Canon Clark.The big five helped the Seahawks win a program record eight games.

OFFENSIVE SECOND TEAM —Quarterback: Jacob Guy, Jr., Pasco. Completed 106 passes for 2,014 yards and 27 touchdowns while guiding the Pirates to the regional semifinals. —Running back: Rashaud Daniels, Jr., Sunlake. Gained 543 yards on 78 carries and found the end zone 11 times. —Running back: Nick Lomba, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Had 670 yards on 71 carries and 11 touchdowns in helping the Bulls win their first district championship. —Wide receiver: Mike Clower, Sr., Pasco. Had a team-high 658 receiving yards on 23 catches, including eight for touchdowns. —Wide receiver: Robert Lohnes, Sr., Freedom. Probably the fastest player on the All-Laker team, racked up 596 yards on 37 catches and five touchdowns. —Tight end: Kent Taylor, Jr., Land O’ Lakes.Was second on the Gators with nine receiving touchdowns and added 571 yards on 35 catches.


GIRLS —Lauren Garris, So., Steinbrenner. Finished seventh in the regional event with a time of 20:24. —Ariel Grey, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Came in 12th place individually in regionals with a time of 19:20. —Evyn Moon, Fr., Steinbrenner. Her 20th place finish helped the program advance to their first state tournament. —Nikita Shah, So., Wiregrass Ranch. Helped lead the Bulls to conference, district and regional championships. / 813-909-2800

—Quarterback: Jacob Jackson, Sr., Sunlake. Stepped up as a passer this season, throwing for 1,258 yards on 82 completions and 18 touchdowns while adding a team-high 1,058 rushing yards on 138 carries and another 12 scores. —Running back: Robert Davis, So., Carrollwood Day. Ran for 1,523 yards on 124 carries and 15 touchdowns. —Running back: Janarion Grant, So. Pasco. Picked up five touchdowns and 434 rushing yards on 41 carries and added another seven receiving scores. —Wide receiver: Tobi Antigha, Sr., Steinbrenner. Most reliable target on the Warriors team that finished 5-5 after not winning a varsity contest the year before. —Offensive line: Wiregrass Ranch.The unit had six players who rotated as starters, including senior tackle Noah Ravenna, junior tackle Justin Scamardo, junior tackle Jacob Sniezyk, senior guard Frankie Walther, senior guard Jared Cameli and junior center Travis Whiddon.

DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM —Linebacker: Jackson Cannon, Jr., Land O’ Lakes. Led the Gators with 123 tackles and 15.5 sacks. —Linebacker: Josh Scarberry, Jr., Gaither. Led the Cowboys with 75 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles. —Linebacker: Shadow Williams, Jr., Land O’ Lakes. Had 121 tackles, 11 sacks and three forced fumbles. —Defensive line: Chadd Hannah, Sr., Gaither. Had 48 tackDefensive Player of the les and seven sacks this year and Year: Josh Scarberry. has several scholarship offers The Gaither defense was from Division I schools. the squad’s strength and —Defensive line: Mark Landry, Scarberry was the leader Sr., Pasco. Recorded 61 tackles comof that unit. He shined ing off the end with seven sacks. with both his play on the —Defensive line: Spencer field, but also because of Michelson, Sr., Land O’ Lakes.The his leadership. Opposing team captain moved to the line coaches spoke of how he to help the team and still had 82 never takes a play off. tackles and 9.5 sacks. —Defensive line: Nick Wilson, Jr., Pasco. On a Pirates team that put constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks, he led Pasco with 9.5 sacks. —Defensive back: Tyler McCollum, Jr., Gaither. His five interceptions and three passes defensed made quarterbacks throw to the check down option. —Defensive back: Max Pautler, Jr., Gaither. Pautler had four interceptions, but could easily have had many more if opposing quarterbacks threw his way. —Defensive back: Eddie Burgos, So., Sunlake. Had four interceptions and 13 passes defensed. —Defensive back: Justin Tello, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. Came up with five interceptions and 45 tackles.

DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM —Linebacker: Alex Bombino, Sr., Steinbrenner. Was the heart and soul of the Warriors defense, making big plays and not allowing any teammates to quit. Runner of the Year: Nikita Shah, Wiregrass Ranch. Despite being only a sophomore, Shah became the Bulls No. 1 runner this season. Her times helped Wiregrass Ranch win the Sunshine Athletic Conference, the Class 3A-3 district and 3A-2 regional championships. She ran the 10th fastest time in regionals, finishing in 19:51. She has plenty of time to get even faster.

—Nicole Solmonson, Jr., Zephyrhills. Made it to the regional tournament as an individual this year. Coach of the Year: Don Howard,Wiregrass Ranch. Howard led the Bulls to conference, district and regional titles this year, but also showed his leadership in rallying the team be-

Coach of the Year: Bill Browning, Sunlake. In the program’s fourth season, Browning guided the team to an 8-2 record, the first winning season in program history. The competition in Class 3A, District 7 was so tough that the Seahawks just missed the playoffs, but the growth in the program is evident.

—Linebacker: Jack Fisher, Sr.,Wesley Chapel. Recorded 120 tackles, 50 more than any other Wildcat. —Linebacker: Dale Smith Jr., Zephyrhills Christian.Was the leader of the state championship team despite taking a year off from the sport the previous year. —Defensive line: Craig King, Sr., Sunlake. Led the Seahawks with seven sacks and added 42 tackles. —Defensive line: Frank “Duke” Morrison, Sr., Zephyrhills. Probably the most respected by his teammates, Morrison’s leadership was evident in practice and games. —Defensive line: Noah Ravenna, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Recorded 31 tackles and two sacks while drawing double teams all year. —Defensive line: Angel Alvarez, Sr., Gaither. Had 36 tackles and was named to the All-Western Conference Football American Division first-team. —Defensive back: John Ayers, Sr.,Wesley Chapel.The safety came up with four interceptions and 70 tackles. —Defensive back: Chris Reaves, Sr., Zephyrhills. Reaves’ play in the secondary was one of the bright spots for the Bulldogs. —Defensive back: Wesley Moore, Jr., Land O’ Lakes. Led the Gators with seven interceptions while adding two sacks and 92 tackles. —Defensive back: Raymond Powell, Sr.,Wiregrass Ranch. Led the Bulls with four interceptions and added 48 tackles.

DEFENSIVE HONORABLE MENTION —Linebacker: Levon Brookins, Jr., Gaither. Brookins had 71 tackles and forced a fumble. —Linebacker: Keith Lewis, Sr., Freedom. Lewis had some injuries this season, but managed 104 tackles and three sacks. —Defensive line: Max Osnos, Jr.,Academy at the Lakes. Osnos played at many positions, but made the biggest difference up front. —Defensive back: Dillon Floyd, Jr., Carrollwood Day. Had a team-high six interceptions while adding six passes defensed and 35 tackles. —Defensive back: Jordan Michelson, So., Land O’ Lakes. Picked off two passes, but had 15 passes defensed to lead all defensive backs on the All-Laker team.

SPECIAL TEAMS —Kicker: Adrian Krupka, Sr., Sunlake. Had 32 touchbacks out of 63 kickoffs and 40 made extra points. —Punter: Jacob Guy, Jr., Pasco. Along with running the Pirates high powered offense, Guy averaged more than 40 yards a punt. —Returner: Robert Lohnes, Sr., Freedom.Averaged 12 yards a punt return and 33 yards per kick return. Runner of the Year: Alex Newby, Steinbrenner. Newby went out with a bang this year, helping the Warriors program win its first district title in surprising fashion. After taking first in Class 2A, District 5, Steinbrenner came in second in the state event. Newby posted a time of 16:26, good enough for 15th fastest in the state.

hind a fallen teammate. Lexi Ulrich would have been a junior on the team, but was killed with her family in a plane crash earlier in the year. He and the team dedicated the season to her.

BOYS —Kenneth Fessel, Jr., Sunlake. Was the only member of the Seahawks to advance to states with a time of 16:12 in regionals, good enough for fifth place. —Hendrix Lafontant, Sr., Land O’ Lakes. No. 1 runner on the Gators team that ended up second in both districts and regionals. —Alex Newby, Sr., Steinbrenner. No. 1 runner on the Steinbrenner team that won its district and finished second in Class 2A state event. —Anthony Plourde, Sr., Pasco. Qualified for states individually and came in 35th place with a time of 16:49. —Joshua Reilly, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch. Finished third individually in regionals with a time of 16:08.

Coach of the Year: Bobby McConnell. McConnell came to Steinbrenner from Gaither and won a district title in his first campaign. Even more surprising, the Warriors leader got the squad in good enough shape to finish second in the Class 2A state finals. Things look good as Steinbrenner races into the future.


December 29, 2010


Shuffleboard king returns with two more titles Earl Ball ties record for national championships

down too.” Players receive points for finishing near the top of various events. Ball said he wants to continue playing as long as he can to reach those last goals and stretch out a lead in the number of national championships. “Every now and then I consider reducing the amount of play because I always feel it wear on me at the end of the season in March and April, but come October you get excited after you start playing some tournaments,” Ball said. “It’s the mental part that really gets you. It’s not so much physical, but it’s the Stan Williamson (left) and Earl Ball display combination of the travel and playthe titles won in Hendersonville. Williamson ing four and five days a week in has the doubles title the two claimed and heavy competition.” Ball has the singles championship trophy. At the Zephyrhills Shuffleboard Club most people said they look up tory with 18, while Woods is chasing to Ball on the courts, including Tom him with 14. Churchill. “When you’re the person doing it “He’s a great player,” Churchill said.“I you don’t even feel it,” Ball said.“Other wish I was half as good as him because people see it.When I look at what Tiger he’s the best in the city and really in the Woods does or what Jack Nicklaus has country.” done I’m amazed, so it’s the same thing. The next chance for Ball to take the When you’re the actual person, it’s just overall lead in championships is in part of what you’re doing.” November in Bradenton for the Ball first started playing in 1997, so National Singles Championship. If he he has averaged more than one national does not win there, Ball and Williamson championship per year. His main goal will team up for the National Doubles has been to track down the record for Championship in January, also in most national titles. He also wants the Bradenton. all-time wins crown in Florida. “That’s where I won my first title “The person with the most has 85 with Stan,” Ball said. “It was the first and that’s by Glenn Peltier,” Ball said.“I championship of the new millennium am third with 58 and won 10 last years. in January of 2000 and it would be fitSo I’m chasing that. I’m also about 20 ting if we could win that to set the points behind Faris for total national record. Of course I want to win in points. So I’ve still got that to chase November too.”

When it comes to shuffleboard national championships, no one has more than Zephyrhills resident Earl Ball. Ball, 66, won two of the three titles at the Eastern National Shuffleboard Championship in Hendersonville, N.C., bringing his total title count to 15.That ties him with Lary Faris, who has retired from the game. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to win so many titles,” Ball said.“I’ve really enjoyed chasing this record because the guy who had the record and I go back and forth with it. I wrote him emails saying that’s number 14 and that’s number 15. He typically comes back and says he’s going to come out of retirement to stay on top.” The weeklong championship finished Sept. 7. Ball, 66, took home the men’s singles and doubles Eastern National titles, but was eliminated in the semifinals of the mixed doubles event. Helping Ball bring home the doubles event was Stan Williamson, who now has won eight championships. Seven of those titles came as a doubles team with Ball. “I really went and played for Earl,” Williamson, 63, said. “He plays a lot more than I do and is much more into getting the most titles, so I did it for him. “When we go anywhere people always know Earl,” Williamson added. “He’s the person everyone knows and is trying to beat.That makes it harder for him because everyone is gunning for him.” Williamson is three years younger than Ball. Because of that,Williamson said he is like Tiger Woods chasing down Ball who is Jack Nicklaus for the most titles. Nicklaus has the most major championships in professional golf his-


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Earl Ball’s total title count is still at 15. His next chance to take the record for his own is in February in Bradenton at the Winter National Doubles tournament. He will again be paired with Stan Williamson.

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Sisters reunited in college By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Aug. 18

For just one season sisters Kayli and Meghan Keough played basketball together through the highs and lows as student-athletes at Land O’ Lakes High. That single season was the 2007-08 school year, when the Gators went 25-4 and reached the second round of the playoffs. Kayli was a senior and Meghan a freshman. The two never thought they would have another opportunity to play together once Kayli left to play at Florida State University (FSU), but they will be reunited this year at the University of Central Florida (UCF). “I loved playing with her that one year,” Meghan said.“It was easy for us to play together because we know exactly what the other is going to do. I thought it was only a one-time thing, but I guess we got lucky.” Kayli decided to transfer from FSU to UCF for this school year after playing two seasons with the Seminoles. She will have to sit out one season because of NCAA transfer rules, but she will be eligible to play two more years with the Golden Knights in Orlando. She has already left for her new school. Kayli said she wanted a little more playing time and she liked the fit and coaches at UCF.Also, Meghan had verbally committed to the school and will sign with them in October.The appeal of playing with her sister was a key reason for switching to the school. “I consider her my best friend,” Kayli said of Meghan.“As kids we bickered a lot, but


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that changed when we were in high school together. Now we are best friends and love being around each other.” The two grew up in Land O’ Lakes.Their father, Mike, was also an athlete with the Gators. He was part of the second graduating class at Land O’ Lakes and received a scholarship to play quarterback at Tennessee Tech University. He was also a volunteer football coach with the Gators for 12 years. “Athletics has been very important in our lives and we really enjoy watching the two of them play,”said their mother Lisa.“It’s really exciting to watch their games. It was a longer drive to Tallahassee than it will be to Orlando, so we’ll be able to get to many more of their games.” The two first started playing basketball a little later than most Division I athletes. Kayli picked it up around age 13 while playing at Pine View Middle, while Meghan began at 10. “I started playing because my sister played,” Meghan said.“I’d see her playing in the backyard and I’d want to come out and play too. Now I can’t imagine not playing.” Kayli plays both forward and on the wing. She is 6-foot-1 and her ability to play inside and out has made her difficult for opponents to match up against. At Land O’ Lakes she averaged a team-high 18.9 points per game, 104 blocks, 89 steals and 240 rebounds as a senior while adding 50 assists. Meghan is a point and shooting guard. The 5-foot-7 perimeter player says she most enjoys driving to the basket and kicking the ball out to a teammate ready to sink an

Kayli Keough is currently attending the University of Central Florida, while Meghan is finishing her senior season at Tampa Catholic High. Meghan has since signed her letter of intent to play at UCF.

Kayli (left) and Meghan Keough last played together at Land O’ Lakes High. (Photos courtesy of Lisa Keough)

open shot. She played her first two seasons at Land O’ Lakes, but transferred to Tampa Catholic High for her junior season because she felt the academic reputation would help her get into a better college. In that first season Meghan played mostly point guard and guided the Crusaders to a Class 3A championship, the first state title in the program’s history. “She did a great job handling the ball and stepping into a roster that had four returning players,” said Tampa Catholic coach Nancy Kroll.“As the point guard she runs the offense and she made it look easy to step right in and do just that.” Meghan averaged 12 points per game, 110 assists, 96 steals and 79 rebounds last season. Kroll said Meghan is very coachable and is a great student as well. “I don’t have to ever worry about her grades,” Kroll said. “She’ll get straight As every time.”

While basketball is a large part of their lives, the two actually started out as swimmers on the Land O’ Lakes Lightning swim team.They then started playing volleyball and Kayli received scholarship offers to play middle blocker in college. Kayli is double-majoring in sociology and psychology and plans to eventually attend law school. Meghan is still undecided what kind of career she will pursue. Professions are still many years off and the two are just looking forward to playing together again next year. “When we lost in the playoffs my senior year we were both so sad because we thought that was it,” Kayli said.“Now that it is really possible for us to play together again it doesn’t seem real.This time we’ll have two years together and it’ll be some of the best years I’ve had playing.” –All stats as recorded to by coaches as of Aug.16.

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Drew Weatherford earns pro shot with the Storm “I’m just loving the opportunity to play,� Weatherford said.“Ever since I was little I wanted to play professional football. I didn’t think it would be in arena football, but it’s By Kyle LoJacono still great to be able to play. I mean, they pay Originally published July 14 me to play football.� It is not Weatherford’s only job as he A few years ago Drew Weatherford was works full-time with Imperium leading the Land O’ Lakes High Gators to nu- Development, which is currently building a merous touchdown drives on Friday nights, large renewable energy facility in Dover. but his most recent score was different for After working all day he drives to practice him. to live out his football dreams. That latest touchdown was his first as a “He certainly does whatever he can to professional football player with the Tampa promote the sport while helping us on the Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.The field and holding down a full-time job,�said score came on a 24-yard pass to Hank Storm head coach Tim Marcum.“We see that Edwards in a 78-39 win over Bossier- with his willingness to play special teams Shreveport June 25. while also developing into a top-notch quarterback in this league.� Weatherford is the backup quarterback for the Storm (10-3), but also leads the team with 14 tackles on special teams, according to the team spokesman Jim Robinson. “To be honest I just love playing football,� Weatherford said. “I always considered myself a football player first who just happened to be a quarterback. “I’ve played quarterback since I was 12-years-old and I actually played linebacker in middle school, but I couldn’t Former Land O’ Lakes football coach John Benedetto (left) and do that in high school,� Drew Weatherford after a Gators game. Weatherford continued.

Former Land O’ Lakes QB throws first Arena League touchdown

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Drew Weatherford of the Tampa Bay Storm makes a special teams tackle against the Orlando Predators this season. (File photos)

“I did get to play safety Weatherford attended during my senior year at Florida State University Land O’ Lakes.Then it was (FSU) after graduating from five or so years of just Land O’ Lakes. He took a playing quarterback and medical red during his first being the one getting hit. season, but became the Now I get to return the Seminoles’ starting quarterfavor and hit people inback the following year in stead of getting hit.� 2005. Weatherford has comFSU won the inaugural The Storm reached the pleted six of four passes Atlantic Coast Conference Arena Football League’s for 64 yards and that one his first year quarterbacking championship game this touchdown through the the Seminoles while setting Storm’s first 13 games. a conference record for a year, but were defeated by He first started playing freshman with 3,208 passing the Spokane Shock 69-57. football with the Citrus yards while adding 18 touchDrew Weatherford is still Park Bills of the Tampa Bay downs, according to Florida working with Imperium Youth Football League at States’ sports information deDevelopment and decidSkyway Park near the partment. He finished with Veterans Expressway and 37 career touchdowns and ing if he wants to play the Tampa International nine 300-yard passing upcoming season for the Airport. Those were the games. Storm. same fields Weatherford’s After graduating from tryouts were when he FSU,Weatherford got an invimade the Storm’s roster. tation to a Chicago Bears Weatherford was the third of six broth- rookie minicamp in 2009, but nothing came ers to play for the Land O’ Lakes High of it.Then he got his shot with the Storm befootball team.As a senior he led the Gators fore this season and quickly found the game to a 12-1 record with 2,639 passing yards to be different than what he has played his and 20 scores. whole life. “My high school experience couldn’t “The speed is much faster here than in have been better,�Weatherford said.“I was high school or college,�Weatherford said. the water boy for the team when I was little “The biggest thing for me is the angles with and I got to play with my older brother Sam the smaller field.The windows to throw the when I was a freshman. Playing at Land O’ ball into are much tighter, so I need to be Lakes is something I’ll never forget.� more accurate.� Weatherford’s younger brother, Stevie, is Weatherford lives in Odessa, just minutes the Gators current starting quarterback and from his old high school. He plans on will be a senior next season. watching Stevie play during his senior year “I wasn’t at the game he threw the and said being able to stay close to home is touchdown, but I got to see it on TV and I very special to him. was very happy to see him,� Stevie said.“I’ve “God works in funny ways sometimes,� gotten to some of the games and it’s great to Weatherford said.“I get to play for my home watch him, but it is kind of weird but really team and am getting a chance to do what I cool to see him running down the field on love. I couldn’t really ask for more than special teams.� that.�


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Benedetto’s switches up seafood dishes due to oil spill By Suzanne Schmidt Originally published May 19

Ben Pumo, owner of Benedetto’s Ristorante Italiano, has changed the seafood dishes at his restaurant to bring in fresh fish from other areas like Maine and Hawaii due to the recent Gulf oil spill. “We have stocked up on shrimp and once we run out, we will get it from the east coast,” Pumo said.“We are now serving monchong from Hawaii, which is a buttery, meaty fish with a texture almost like chicken and an unbelievable taste. We are also bringing in fish from Maine where it comes from our own dock. We have haddock, Ipswich clams, and Maine lobster.” The restaurant is also serving mahi-mahi and big eye tuna from Hawaii and Chilean sea bass. Sean O’Connor, general manager of the restaurant, said he thinks it is a good idea. “People won’t want to eat seafood as much with the oil spill,” O’Connor said.“We are getting our seafood now from all over the place.” Pumo said his restaurant is different from others for a number of reasons. “The uniqueness of the piano bar and

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the type of cuisine we offer sets us apart,” Pumo said.“Everything we serve is so fresh. We also have a lot of talent here with the chefs and the servers.” Vito Martucci, a chef at the restaurant, is from Italy and has worked in and owned a few Italian restaurants through the years. “We have contemporary Italian cuisine with a flair of French and Latin influences,” Martucci said.“The atmosphere is nice since we have live music every night.The piano

Although there are still millions of gallons of oil in the gulf,Tampa restaurants have returned to business as usual. Benedetto’s owner Ben Pumo began buying seafood from the East Coast after the spill, but as of a month ago, he is buying shrimp and grouper from Tarpon Springs again.Pumo said that even after the spill, the number of seafood orders stayed the same. “I think a lot of people respect my judgment, and my customers know I would never serve anything that wasn’t the best possible quality,” said Pumo, who buys his seafood directly from the ship captains.


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Ben Pumo, Vito Martucci and Dustin Funderburg take a break from cooking at Benedetto’s Ristorante Italiano in Land O’ Lakes. (Photos by Suzanne Schmidt)

adds a New York flair to the atmosphere.” The restaurant can also serve up madeto-order dishes. “A lot of people think eating Italian means that they have to eat garlic, but everything we make is made-to-order,” Pumo said. “We can make something special for people who are lactose-intolerant or we can make it with wheat pasta.Also most of our dishes are vegetarian or can be made that way.We truly try to have something for everyone.” Lillian Stark of Land O’ Lakes has been eating at Benedetto’s since it opened. She said she keeps coming back because the staff is so inviting, the atmosphere is cozy and the food is excellent. “He has a real knack for coming up with creative and delicious dishes,” Stark said.“It is a place I like to go weekly to just hang

out. I am from New York and it is hard to find an Italian restaurant that can deliver such great food. Plus I love the piano bar, it makes it so much fun.” The restaurant is also offering early dinner specials from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. For $14.95 customers get a beverage, house or Caesar salad, a choice from eight entrees and either key lime pie or spumoni for dessert. “It is a good deal and that is what people are looking for,” Pumo said. The restaurant, 21529 Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive in Land O’ Lakes, is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (813) 9099694 or visit


December 29, 2010


From old metal to new beauty Lutz artist transforms rusted railroad spikes, old nuts and bolts and cast-off metal chairs into art By B.C. Manion Originally published Sept. 15

Sparks fly as Karyn Adamek grinds the surface of a rusted railroad spike as she works to create Fancy Dancer, an equestrian metal sculpture. Smoothing metal surfaces is a basic part of the artist’s job. “You can’t weld rust on rust,”Adamek explains, as she prepares the surface for welding. “Since I work with found metal objects, everything is usually rusted. So, I try to get it into some welding condition,” she said. The makings for her artworks include brake pads, nails, hammers, nuts, bolts, screws, springs, sheet metal, horseshoes, rods and other items. The stuff comes from all sorts of places. Flea markets.Thrift stores. Friends’ yards. Even from junk piles she sees on the side of the road. All of the railroad spikes in Fancy Dancer, for instance, came from an abandoned railroad track on a friend’s private land. “They had torn up some track on his property and it was in a big pile rotting away,” said Adamek, 52. “Most of the stuff that I work with – that’s what is happening to it. So, I recreate it and reincarnate it. Certain pieces of metal will inspire me to make a certain creation,” she said. Recently, she spied a metal chair that had been set out for trash collectors. She plucked it up and gave it new life. She turned it into a plant holder and took it to sell at Annie’s Garden Shed in Lutz, where she works part-time. Working with metal can be dirty, hot and hard. It’s time-consuming, too. But Adamek loves it. “”It is a spiritual thing for me,” she said. When she’s out in her workshop, she can work 12 or 13 hours at a stretch. She becomes so absorbed in what she’s doing, she often loses track of time. But there’s a feeling of deep satisfaction


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when she finishes a piece, she said.And, that feeling can turn into pure joy, when her work is on display and she sees people responding to it. Her largest metal art works are of horses, which weigh hundreds of pounds and are close to actual life-size. “They’re a little surreal in a way, in that they are not exactly proportioned,” she said. She also makes the horse in a modular form, so the head and the tail come off.That makes it easier to transport if she’s taking one to an art show, or if one of her patrons wants to move the horse into a different place in the yard. Adamek also makes much smaller versions of horses and other sculptures, and she makes functional art, too. For instance, she made a round table from a circular piece of glass, supported by three giant leaves that she cut from metal and bent to hold up the glass. Through the years,Adamek has explored several artistic mediums including throwing clay, painting and doing sculpture, stained glass and murals. She doesn’t use mechanical drawings to create her metal art, but instead works from sketches, photographs and paintings. When she is welding or grinding metal, she is careful to protect herself. She wears gloves, a helmet, long pants, boots and a fire retardant shirt. She also uses good tools to help prevent injuries. Adamek said she comes by her love of metal work naturally. “My grandfather worked at J & L Steel in Pittsburgh,” she said.“That’s where I grew up. “My dad was an amazing auto body man. He made things in our driveway that looked like they came out of the factory.” The artist did not fully appreciate her father’s or grandfather’s skills when she was young. Indeed, it was just a few years ago when she studying welding that she realized the opportunities she had missed. She laments the fact that she did not recognize their talents and did not tap into their expertise while they were alive.

Karyn Adamek continues to create beautiful pieces of metal art. One of her works,“Wave of Emotion,” received the People’s Choice Award at Great Art & Frame’s “Magic, Masks and Fantasy 2010” held in November at the gallery which is located in Westchase.

Karyn Adamek grinds rusted metal to create a smooth surface for welding work.

“They had all of this knowledge. I didn’t even pay attention to it,” Strange as it may seem, her work with hard metals began with an interest in gardening. Adamek was studying horticulture when someone handed her a topiary book. She decided she wanted to learn how to weld, so she could create topiaries – which are metal structures designed to support plants. It was like an entirely new world had opened up for her. She went from learning how to weld at a trade school into working in the real world as a volunteer at a shop in Channelside where they make gates and railings. She wanted to hang out at the shop so she could learn more about working with metals.

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Gradually, she began buying pieces of equipment and creating her workshop at home. She still makes topiaries, but has branched out into all sorts of garden décor, yard art and creative pieces intended for juried art shows. She won an honorable mention at the Wesley Chapel Celebration of the Arts, a show sponsored last year by the Wesley Chapel Chamber at the Shops at Wiregrass. At the 43rd Annual Fine Arts for Ocala, she won best of show, picking up $3,000 in prize money. Prices for her pieces range from around $75 to more than $5,000 for the large equestrian pieces.Adamek also does custom work on request. For more information about her work, go to

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Taking a spin on the track of life Cancer survivor pursues race car dreams By Sarah Whitman Originally published May 26

Accelerating to 100 mph around the Daytona Speedway racetrack, Land O’ Lakes resident Tom Harrison felt his pulse race. He pressed down hard on the gas, remembering a few months before when he was too sick to get out of bed. “I was going around at top speed and I pictured myself lying bald with a chemo needle in my arm,” Harrison, 56, said.“At that moment, I thanked God for my life.”

Harrison, a family man and proud patriot, was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer last September. Uncertain about the future, he made a list of things he wanted to accomplish in life. Getting his race car driver’s license was at the top. He underwent surgery to have a tumor removed; then endured the pain of radiation and chemotherapy. The treatments worked and Harrison went into remission. In April, he hit the track at driving school and walked away carrying a dream come true, a regional Sports Car Club of America racing license. “It was exciting, exhilarating and a little bit scary my first time on the track,” Harrison said.“You’re going really fast and I

“The story gets better,” Tom Harrison notes. He and Alex continue their work installing windows, but Eaglespeed also buys old cars, fixes them up, sells them and uses the profits to finance the race team.Alex recently completed driver training and another son, soon-to-be-15 Westley, has also taken an interest in racing. Harrison notched a pair of thirdplace finishes at an event in Daytona Beach. Plus,“I’m still cancer free,” Harrison notes.


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Cancer survivor Tom Harrison and his son, Alex, are now in the race car business. (Photo courtesy of Tom Harrison)

wondered if I’d actually have what it took to not be afraid, to just pay attention and drive. I was surprised how well I did.” He was laid off from his job around the same time he was diagnosed with cancer. “It couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” Harrison said.“I’d been laid off from work. I had no job and no insurance. I was faced with my own mortality and I realized there were a lot of things I wanted to do in my life, all the would of, could of, should of dones.” Harrison decided to pursue life’s whatifs.What if he’d pursued racing? What if he’d

spent more time building a family business? Alex wanted to help his dad achieve those dreams. Alex, like his father, is a longtime NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt fan. So, he was excited to accompany his dad to driving school in Daytona and stand on the same track where Earnhardt raced. Alex acted as his dad’s pit crew at the weekend-long school. Alex and his dad are also in business together.They own Eaglespeed US, a company specializing in door and window replacements. The company operates online at

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View into the horror of Port-au-Prince Heart condition ‘helped’ Nelson Ryman evacuate Haiti By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Jan. 20

When Nelson Ryman traveled to Haiti Jan. 12 he could never have expected to experience a 7.0 earthquake. “It was just a normal day with the sun shining bright,” Ryman, 71, said.“I was in my hotel room at the time, when all of a sudden it felt like I was on the deck of a ship with 50 foot waves.” Ryman arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, around noon Jan. 12. The largest earthquake to hit the nation in more than 200 years happened at 4:53 p.m. Ryman was one of the fortunate ones. “I was able to get downstairs and outside without getting hurt,” he said. The Zephyrhills resident travels to the village of Simonette about every six and a half weeks. He has done so for the last six years to visit Tytoo Gardens, an orphanage he supports. During the last 10 years, he has developed a bond with the children. “I was so happy that (Tytoo Gardens) and all the kids survived the earthquake and the aftershocks,” he said.“I’ve watched some of them since they were 1-year-old. For them to still have a place to live is a miracle because most people in the village lost their homes.” Ryman, who has lived in Zephyrhills since 1969 and owned H&R Interstate


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Mobile Homes, has a heart condition, which he takes blood-thinning medication for. He has had three angioplasties performed and recently had an aneurism repaired. He had planned to stay in the country until Jan. 15 and had enough medicine to last him until Jan. 17, but his condition made him a special case for local government officials. “After numerous calls and e-mails from the public, we felt we needed to try and rush him out of Haiti because of his age and heart condition,” said Joy Hampton, constituent services representative and grants coordinator for Rep. Ginny Brown Waite of Congressional District Five. “We got his personal and passport information from his family and worked with the United Nations and the Haitian authorities to get him out of the country as safely as possible,” Hampton continued.“The problem was the area he was in was ten to 15 miles away from the airport, and with his heart condition he couldn’t safely get there.” Ryman said State Rep.Will Weatherford also worked to get him out of Haiti. While his location was a problem in getting him to the airport, Ryman could not be happier that the village was ten miles out of harm’s way. “That is probably what saved the orphanage,” he said. “It was also good that it happened when it did. In Haiti, people spend most of the day outside because the

Since first published, Nelson Ryman and the two Rotary clubs of Zephyrhills collected several thousands dollars to rebuild houses in the island nation. He has returned to Haiti several times and has overseen the completion of about 10 homes. Ryman remains committed to helping those in Haiti.

Will the Internet kill your free community paper? Did instant coffee kill coffee? New technologies change many things. But not everything. You may tweet, blog, surf, shop, or search online but you continue to read your free community paper. You just proved it. Readership of free community papers is now higher than paid daily papers, and continues to grow. Rather than being replaced by “instant” media, your local free community paper has become an important part of our neighborhood.

houses are small. If it had happened later a lot more people would have been inside their houses when they collapsed.” Ryman said the people of Simonette made tents to sleep in with bed sheets following the earthquake. Ryman himself slept in an abandoned pool Jan. 13 to protect from falling debris from the aftershocks. The next night, Ryman was able to stop some UN trucks delivering relief supplies to the surrounding area. The truck drivers agreed to pick Ryman up on their way back to Port-au-Prince, where he could get on a plane out of Haiti. “I know people were very worried about me being kidnapped, but that wasn’t my main concern because the UN had really cracked down on that and thrown the gang leaders in jail after gaining some control in the country a few years ago,” Ryman said.“I was just worried about everyone I knew in Haiti…There is a little store that I stop in for supplies each time I’m in the country. I was there the first day and later learned that everyone there was killed when the store collapsed.” While Ryman worried about his friends in Haiti, his family back in Zephyrhills worried about him. “The worst thing is not knowing what happened,” said Ryman’s son Kevin.“We didn’t know if he was OK or hurt or worse for a day.That was terrible to not be able to tell anyone anything because we just didn’t know.” Ryman’s wife, Dottie, said she was able to speak to him for less than a minute Jan. 13. Ryman eventually got on a U.S.Air Force cargo plane that flew him to Puerto Rice Jan. 14 and arrived at the Homestead Air Force Base Jan. 15. A colonel at the base drove him in his Cadillac to the Miami International Airport, where he got on a plane to Tampa International Airport. “I just thanked God that I got home safe,” Ryman said.“Now we need to help the people of Haiti rebuild because what they need most now is shelter.They are very resourceful and can find food almost anywhere, but they don’t have homes left to protect them from the rain and the sun.” While Ryman is already trying to stir up support for the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, his family is looking

Photos taken by Nelson Ryman during his time in Haiti after the recent earthquake. Seen is the village of Simonette the day after the disaster. Ryman supports an orphanage, Tytoo Gardens, in Simonette.

The abandoned pool Nelson Ryman and several of the villagers of Simonette slept in after the earthquake in Haiti. The pool offered protection from aftershocks.

for him to take it easy for a little while “Selfishly we try and get him to go there less often because we are always worried about him,” Kevin said.“We want him to support the orphans, but we are always afraid of what could happen.We never thought an earthquake like that would hit with him there though. Now we have another thing to worry about.” It seems unlikely Ryman will stop his trips to the nation on the west side of the island of Hispaniola. “I’ve grown to love all those kids down there that are in the orphanage,” Ryman said.“Just sending them money and supplies doesn’t impact them as much as me being there.” To help Ryman rebuild some of the homes and shelters in Haiti, send checks made out to Jesus In Haiti Ministries to CenterState Bank, 6930 Gall Blvd. in Zephyrhills.

The reason, which sometimes is not heard because of all the noise about the Internet, is pretty obvious: your free community paper does what the Internet doesn’t. We promote connections at a local level. Free papers join readers and advertisers in ways digital media doesn’t. In fact, the local content and power of your free paper makes advertising even more effective. We are the number one medium for driving purchases. That’s important in every product category. Including coffee.

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Steinbrenner death felt in area By Suzanne Schmidt Originally published July 21

From South Tampa to the Bronx, the death of George M. Steinbrenner triggered reminders of what he meant to the community.That impact was felt straight up Dale Mabry Highway into the Lutz area. Steinbrenner, 80, suffered a fatal heart attack last week. Many people might remember him from owning the Yankees or even from the character that was supposed to be him on the show “Seinfeld.” But locally, he is remembered more as a generous person who asked for nothing in return.

Susan Valdes, chairwoman of the Hillsborough County School Board, said this generosity is what inspired the board to name the high school on W. Lutz-Lake Fern Road after him. “There was a part of him I think many people may not have realized,”Valdes said. “He did so many things for Hillsborough County. If it had to do with kids and there was something he could do to help them, he did it. I miss him already.” Steinbrenner did a lot to help the community and the schools in Hillsborough County, according to Valdes. “There was the time when the kids at Gaither High School were invited to go to the inaugural parade and they were strug-

George Steinbrenner’s legacy will have a permanent place in Pasco County. He was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Trinity Memorial Gardens, just off SR 54.A New York Times report quoted one New Jersey resident who stopped to take a picture of Mr. Steinbrenner’s final resting place.“George has done a lot for everybody,” Paul Reed of Freehold, N.J. told the Times.“The least I can do is stop and take five minutes to pay respect.”


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gling to get the money to go,”Valdes said.“It was a dream come true for those kids to be able to go. That is what he did, he made dreams come true for kids.” Brenda Grasso, now principal at Steinbrenner, led Gaither at the time. “The turnaround time was very short so it was difficult to raise the money in a short time,” she said in an e-mail. “The Band Boosters appealed to the community and when Mr. Steinbrenner heard of the matter, he provided the rest of the money needed.” Grasso said Steinbrenner also gave about one-third of the total cost to help Gaither

build a rubber track in its stadium. “He did prefer to remain anonymous as a contributor but these two acts are known and have been previously made public,” she wrote. Valdes said her favorite thing Steinbrenner did was the yearly Christmas concert. “He had so many different contributions,”Valdes said.“He would send the kids who would not have the opportunity to go to the theater to see the Florida Orchestra play at Christmas time.You could look at his face and see how much he enjoyed it.”

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Lutz house gets 15 minutes of fame Grand opening to expanded Oscar Cooler park

By Sarah Whitman

Originally published June 9

A Lutz home is about to be famous. A 4,000-square-foot home at 1308 Anglers Lane was selected to appear on Sell This House, A&E’s home makeover show with a twist. The show’s hosts, Tanya Memme and Roger Hazard, visit homes throughout the country and do makeovers designed to help the homes sell. The Lutz home,a four bedroom three bath on 1.3 acres behind the Publix at Dale Mabry and Lutz Lake Fern, will appear on a June 26 episode.The asking price is $499, 500. Owners Ralph and Peggy Watts can’t wait for the show to air. “It’s a dream come true,” Peggy Watts said. “They had great ideas and made big changes.We’d watched the show before and it’s exciting to be on it.” The Sell This House crew came to Lutz in mid-May and spent two days working their magic.The Watts are both art teachers, so the home was a creative hodge-podge with different wallpaper at every turn, mismatched antiques and even a Vegas-style slot machine. The couple gave the show free reign to make changes. Led by Hazard, the designers stripped wallpaper, repainted, redecorated and even created a home theater.They emphasized the homes spacious rooms and hardwood floors, getting rid of unnecessary furniture and other items like faux flower arrange-

By Kyle LoJacono

This Lutz Home will appear on Sell This House on A&E. (Photos courtesy of Keller Williams Realty)

ments.They went for a clean and modern look. Thousands of people submit their homes to appear on Sell This House.To qualify, a home must currently be on the market and the owners must be living in the home with furnishings.Applicants send in photos with a story about the house. Keller Williams realtor Elizabeth Flach said producers selected the Lutz home based on its potential. She said the house’s best qualities were hidden and the show’s designers knew how to make those features pop. “They removed the clutter from the house,” Flach said.“They put chair railing and added other new accessories.” The Watts purchased the home, which was built in 1982, 12 years ago. They remodeled the inside and built a life there, spending many weekends relaxing on the lake.They put the house up for sale because they plan to retire from teaching soon.

Homeowner Peggy Watts loves her new house in Wesley Chapel, thanks to A&E’s Sell This House.The Watts’ old house in Lutz was featured on the home makeover show and after some renovations, it was able to sell.A family with three kids moved into the home, and Watts said it’s a perfect match. “There’s a lot of room, it is a great place to raise a family,” she said.Watts and her husband enjoy being in the country and surrounded by nature.


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new soccer program is called FC Tampa Lutz Rangers, which will have competitive and recreational soccer for children ages 4Each year thousands of children, parents 18. and friends pile into Oscar Cooler Sports The park was originally built in 1975 and Complex to watch youth athletics.All those had three baseball fields only. Before it was people walk by the park’s sign, including built, the area was mainly orange groves. Oscar Cooler himself. Cooler was one of the key people in getting Cooler, 81, has lived in Lutz since 1963 the first park built. He and worked for about and was instrumental in bringtwo years to convince the ing the first version of the county to buy the land and park to Lutz in 1975. build the park. “I think kids need to have Brill did not know when a safe place to learn about the park was renamed after teamwork,” Cooler said. Cooler, but said it was given “That’s why I worked to get the name because,“He was the first park built all that a major player is getting the time ago. original park put in the area “If kids don’t have someas a place for the Lutz comthing like this then they munity kids to play.” Since the expansion usually get into a lot of things Cooler has been a big of Oscar Cooler Sports they shouldn’t be doing,” supporter of the youth Complex, the FC Tampa Cooler continued.“I think the sports programs at the park Lutz Rangers soccer most important thing for a during the last 35 years. He program has completed community are its athletic was the Lutz Little League its first year, as did the fields for the kids. I’d say the president for 15 years and park has helped keep thoustill goes to the games Lutz Chiefs football and sands of kids, if not millions when he can. cheerleading organizaof kids, off the streets.” Cooler continued by saytion in its new home.A Now the current park will ing he wished he had a future project will renobe 33 acres larger after the park like the complex vate the older baseball grand opening of the $3.9 while he was growing up. million expansion at 9 a.m. He said after the county and softball portions of Aug. 14. bought the land more than the complex. “That’s great that the new three decades ago he got part of the park is opening,” local people to volunteer to Cooler said.“Now we can get more kids into do as much of the building as possible.This our programs.” allowed the first park to open much sooner Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation than was originally anticipated. and Conservation Department spokesman John Brill said the expansion will allow more than 500 additional athletes to participate in sports programs at the park.A future project will improve the existing football and baseball facilities as well as adding more parking. “It’s going to be one of the best field locations in our league,”said Tampa Bay Youth Football League president Scott Levenson.“The county really went above and beyond making the park a great place for youth football and cheerleading.” Also part of the expansion was adding a soccer game Lutz resident Oscar Cooler was key to bringing the Lutz comfield for the first time. The plex to the area 30 years ago. (Photo by Kyle LoJacono)

Originally published Aug. 11


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Wiregrass Ranch name a throwback to area’s early days By Kyle LoJacono Originally published Sept. 1

The Shops at Wiregrass,Wiregrass Ranch High and the future Pasco-Hernando Community College’s (PHCC) Wiregrass Campus all got their names from a ranch owned by the Porter family. Don Porter said his father, uncle and grandfather — James, Bob, J.B. Porter, respectively — bought 14,000 acres of land in 1941. “Originally we had a smaller piece of land where the Zephyrhills (Municipal) Airport is,” Don said.“When World War II happened, the government bought the land for the Air Force training base.They used that to buy the land.” Don said the family first came to Zephyrhills in 1937. The Porters first moved onto the land in 1946. At that time, Don said the area was known as Gatorville, which was what they used to mail things. The original home Don grew up in with his brothers,Tom and Bill, was on the south side of SR 54 across from where Heritage Ford is today.The original land went south to the area between 30th Street in Lutz to Bruce B. Downs in New Tampa, up to their homestead and to the east into where New River is today. The family raised cattle on the land, which is where the ranch part comes from. Wiregrass is a kind of bunchgrass that grows in the area, according to Mimi Williams, plant materials specialist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Williams said the grass grows about 2030 inches long. It is native to Florida and has virtual no use to people except as a food source for grazing animals like cows. However it is not the most nutritious food for livestock. It is a favorite food for gopher tortoises and quail.


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The Shops at Wiregrass got its name from the ranch owned by the Porter family in the area. (File photo)

Don said his father would burn the wiregrass on a regular basis to try and keep it in check as much as possible and also to encourage younger and tenderer growth that is easier for the cattle to eat. Don and his family called the area Gatorville for years. It was not until 1950 when a family friend, Ed Madill, sent the Porters a postcard while on vacation in Mexico. Don said Madill did not have the Porter’s address, so he sent it to Wiregrass Porter, Gatorville, FL USA.The name stuck. While Don was growing up, there was only a one-room schoolhouse. He said everyone just called it “the schoolhouse,” which was located south of SR 54 across from Boyette Road. Don remembered about 13 students who shared the school. Don, who was born in Plant City, married his late wife Lajuana and built a house for their new family on the ranch in 1970.The couple have two children, J.D. and Quinn. “I grew up in a house right by where the new Wesley Chapel (Medical Center) will be,” J.D. said.“Back then when we wanted to go for pizza we had to drive south on Bruce B. Downs to Fletcher Avenue.There weren’t

Pasco County has approved the rezoning of many acres of land around Wiregrass Ranch to allow the construction of a hospital and other improvements to the area.Additionally, Don Porter continues to be happy with the development of his home.

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lights all the way down and there was an ABC’s pizza there.” J.D. was born in 1979 and went to Quail Hollow Elementary,Weightman Middle and finished up high school at Zephyrhills High. The family started selling large parts of the original ranch in 1972, with Saddlebrook Resort as the first buyer.The next year the land of Meadow Pointe was sold to a developer. Don said the family now owns about 5,000 acres and still raises cattle and orange trees on the property. He said he envisioned an area with schools, shopping centers, recreation, neighborhoods, businesses and a hospital decades ago.That vision is coming true. The Shops at Wiregrass opened in 2008 and has more than 100 businesses. Saddlebrook has become known across the nation for its tennis and golf programs and large developments like Meadow Pointe, New River Township and Seven Oaks have built up. The educational center of the area has grown around Mansfield Boulevard where Dr. John Long Middle and Wiregrass Ranch High currently sit. John Petrashek, Pasco County director of construction services and code compliance, said the family sold the land to the county’s school district around 2004. Both Petrashek and Don said the Porter family worked with the Pasco school board to come up with the high school’s name. “Other names were proposed, but Wiregrass Ranch made the most sense,” Petrashek said.

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Many high powered business professionals are meeting FREE at every meeting. COME SEE WHAT WE ARE ALL ABOUT!



Laker Classifieds



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ASK ABOUT COLOR! 813-909-2800 FREE ‘garage sale’ and ‘lost & found’ ads Get 3 lines of text FREE • Additional lines just $4 each No commercial ads, based on space availability • Free ads WILL NOT be accepted by phone

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fax: 813-909-2802 or email: mail:

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MOVIE EXTRAS TO Stand In The Background For a Major Film Production. Experience Not Required, Earn Up To $200/Day. All Looks Needed. Call 888/664-5279 (z)


METAL ROOFING BUY Direct from Manufacturer! Call 888-393-0335. (u)

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December 29, 2010


813-909-2800 /

STEEL BUILDINGS METAL ROOFING & STEEL BUILDINGS. Save $$$ buy direct from manufacturer. 20 colors in stock with trim & acces. 4 profiles in 26 ga. panels. Carports, horse barns, shop ports. Completely turn key jobs. All Steel Buildings, Gibsonton, Florida. 1-800-331-8341. (z)


NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF SCHOOL BOARD MEETING Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 1001.372 (2), Florida Statutes, the Pasco County School Board, Land O’ Lakes, Florida has cancelled the regular meeting of January 4, 2011.

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PROVIDE A SERVICE? Call Classifieds

813-909-2800 to advertise!

School board meetings are held in the Board Room, Building #3, District Administration Offices, 7205 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

Heather Fiorentino Superintendent

WANTED **OLD GUITARS WANTED!** Fender, Gibson, Martin, Gretsch, Prairie State, Euphonon, Larson, D’Angelico, Stromberg, Rickenbacker, and Mosrite. Gibson Mandolins/Banjos. 1930’s thru 1970’s TOP CASH PAID! 1-800-401-0440 (n) WANTS TO PURCHASE minerals and other oil & gas interests. Send details to P.O. Box 13557, Denver, Co 80201 (u) SELL YOUR DIABETES test strips any kind/brand unexpired $16.00 box shipping paid 1-800-266-0702 (v) $500+ FOR FLORIDA County auto tags dated 1911-17. Also want tags before 1958. Jeff Francis (727)424-1576 or email (x) SELL YOUR DIABETES TEST STRIPS. We buy Any Kind / Any brand Unexpired. Pay up to $16.00 per box. Shipping Paid. Call 1-800-267-9895 or (z)

ADULT EDUCATION AIRLINES ARE HIRING – Train for high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified – Housing available. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance (888) 686-1704 (n) ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from Home. *Medical, *Business, *Paralegal, *Accounting, *Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. Call 800-510-0784 (n) GET YOUR DEGREE ONLINE *Medical, *Business, *Paralegal, *Accounting, *Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. Call 800-510-0784 (n) HANDS ON CAREER – Train for a high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified – Job placement assistance. Call AIM today (866)854-6156. (n) THE OCEAN CORP. 10840 Rockley Road, Houston, Texas 77099. Train for a New Career. *Underwater Welder. Commercial Diver. *NDT/Weld Inspector. Job Placement Assistance. Financial Aid available for those who qualify. 1-800-321-0298. (u) AIRLINES ARE HIRING: Train for high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified - Housing available. Call Aviation Institute of Maintenance. 866-453-6204. (v) ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from home. Medical, Business, Paralegal, Accounting, Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial aid if qualified. Call 800-494-3586 (v)



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813-909-2800 • Fax 813-909-2802

The Laker • Lutz News AUTOS



DONATE A CAR Today To Help Children And Their Families Suffering From Cancer. Free Towing. Tax Deductible. Children’s Cancer Fund Of America, Inc.

WANTED JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES KAWASAKI,1970-1980, Z1-900, KZ900, KZ1000, H2-750, H1-500, S1-250, S2350, S3-400. CASH PAID. 1-800-772-1142. 1-310-721-0726. (v) DONATE YOUR VEHICLE RECEIVE $1000 GROCERY COUPON UNITED BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION Free Mammograms, Breast Cancer Info FREE Towing, Tax Deductible, Non-Runners Accepted, (888)468-5964. (x) DONATE VEHICLE RECEIVE $1000 Grocery Coupon Noah’s Arc Support No Kill Shelters, Research to Advance Veterinary Treatments Free Towing, Tax Deductible, Non-Runners Accepted 1-866-912-GIVE (z) DONATE YOUR CAR Truck or Boat to HERITAGE FOR THE BLIND Free 3 Day Vacation, Tax Deductible, Free Towing, All Paperwork Taken Care Of. 1-866-905-3801 (z) DONATE YOUR CAR. FREE TOWING. “Cars for Kids”. Any condition. Tax deductible, 1-800-597-9411 (z)

2001 16 FOOT bass boat with trailer, 40 horse motor good condition. Great Christmas gift $2,995 OBO 813-780-1132

DONATE A CAR – HELP CHILDREN FIGHTING DIABETES. Fast, Free Towing. Call 7 days/week. Non-runners OK. Tax Deductable. Call Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 1-800-578-0408 (n) DONATE YOUR CAR! Breast Cancer Research foundation! Most highly rated breast cancer charity in America! Tax Deductible/Fast Free Pick Up. 800-771-9551 (n) DONATE YOUR CAR…TO the Cancer Fund of America. Help Those Suffering With Cancer Today. Free Towing and Tax Deductible. 1-800-835-9372 (n)

BOATS; 1000’S of boats for sale reaching 6 million homes weekly throughout Florida. 800-388-9307, tide charts, broker profiles, fishing captains, dockside dining and more. (z)


TheLaker / LutzNews




to advertise!

813-909-2800 • Fax 813-909-2802

The Laker • Lutz News FOR RENT GANN VILLAGE on The Lake, LOL. 1 bdr, $600- 2 Bdrm, $700 apt. Electric included. 2 Bdrm house, $700. 813-949-8997, 828-243-1819 or 813-528-8997

ROOMS FOR RENT in Lutz. Singles or Couples Convenient to everything. Private Home. Very Quiet. 2 story Cape Cod on lake. All Utilities incl. + satellite TV, refrig, 6BA/3BA, kit. patios. rooming house.

$95 a week. 2 weeks in advance. All rooms discounted up to 30% to help get through this economy!

Call Oscar 813-949-5546




UNFURNISHED ROOM IN 4bed/3bath home on 5 acres & Lake. $500 + deposit includes utilities. Spring Hill 813-918-9163

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NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS Spend the holidays in the mountains and start a family tradition! Even the family pet is welcome! Foscoe Rentals 1-800-723-7341 (z)

NO CREDIT! NO PROBLEM! Owner Financing , No Bank Qualifying. 2 to 4 Bedroom Homes. Hillsborough and Pasco Area. Handy Person Special. 813-991-1778 24 Hour Recording CONDO FORECLOSURE! OWN for pennies on the dollar! Spectacular brand new 3 bed 2-1/2 bath condo (2,262 sf) on Amelia Island, FL. Prime location, upscale amenities -only $249,900. Own for less than half price! Includes private beach club membership! Must see -call now (877)888-6381, x 42 (x) CONDO FORECLOSURE! OWN for pennies on the dollar! Spectacular brand new 3 bed 2-1/2 bath condo (2,262 sf) on Amelia Island, FL. Prime location, upscale amenities only $249,900. Own for less than half price! Includes private beach club membership! Must see! Call now 877-888-6381, x 44 (z) / 813-909-2800

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RV SPOT FOR rent on Hutchinson Island. Beach access, heated pool, tennis court, marina with boat slips. Great area, great fishing. 352-347-4470. (z)


GEORGIA 560 ACRES, Timber, riverfront property, 6 miles paved road frontage, power, high speed internet, telephone. Private gated boat ramp. Best investment in GA! $2950/acre. Will divide. Owner 912-529-6198 (z)


The Laker/ Lutz News



VIRGINIA MTN CABIN- Galax area. Brand new! Great views, private, fishing in stocked trout stream! 2 acres, ONLY $149,500. Call owner, 1-866-275-0442 (z)



SELL/RENT YOUR TIMESHARE FOR CASH!!! Our Guaranteed Services will Sell/ Rent Your Unused Timeshare for CASH! Over $78 Million Dollars offered in 2009! (800) 882-0296 (v) SELL/RENT YOUR TIMESHARE FOR CASH!!! Our Guaranteed Services will Sell/Rent Your Unused Timeshare for Cash! Over $78 Million Dollars offered in 2009! 877-554-2430. (z)


Graphics & Logos Included in Display Ads at No Cost!

December 29, 2010


Choose the financing plan that fits you best at Badcock. Ask about our 0% interest for up to 12 months. *With approved credit. A down payment may be required. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within 12 months or if your account is otherwise in default.




up to $

Our Biggest Event of the Year for a limited time



inventory blowout

Over 20 Models to Choose From!

starting as low as

mattress sale excludes adjustable beds

Buy any king size mattress set for the SALE price of a queen size set

more VALUE savings $





75% off merchandise selection varies by store

king $499.95 queen

more VALUE


super capacity front load washer & dryer


reg. $1599.90

883657 storage drawer $259.95 ea.

sale prices good through 1-10-2011 Locally owned & operated since 1971


Mon-Fri 9am-6pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sat 9am-4pm

5500 6th St. (6th St. & 10th Ave.)

Makes It Easy.â&#x201E;˘


John Mesiemore Jr., Manager

The Doctor is In Family Medicine strives to care for you through all stages of life. Let our office assist in managing the healthcare needs of your family.

Same day and Saturday appointments are available and we accept most insurances Same Location. New Phone Number!

813.712.5718 0D\ Imran Kayani, MD WKLV F R PLQJ Board Certified \RXU   Family Medicine Ă&#x20AC;OO ZLWK MR\ ZLWK \RXU Stephanie Passafume, MS, ORYH OLIHZ  \R ARNP, FNP-BC LWK XU 'U. Board Certified D\DQ 6WHSK L Family Nurse Practitioner



December 29, 2010


)DPLO\ 0HGLFLQH 813-909-2800 /

1022 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. • Lutz, FL 33549

Main 813-949-7444

(at the corner of US41 & County Line Road)

Español 813-417-3529

Toll Free 800-922-5943

Property Management Services 813-949-5842



Stagecoach! Mint condition, 3/2/2 w XL screened lanai & fenced back yard. Spacious open great room floor plan. Huge kitchen w lots of counter space & upgraded stainless steel appliances. Wood laminate floors, new carpet, new paint & A/C is just 2 years old. No CDD. $137k. (sev)

Land O Lakes acreage! Elegant 4/2 rustic, custom home w huge pool on over 4 acres. This home features wood & tile flooring, brick fireplace & vaulted ceilings. Large 4th room in back of home offers separate entrance. XL covered lanai is great for entertaining. $399k. (ehr)


The Groves! Stunning 3/2/3 +den, +pool on premium home site located on golf course w pond view. Great room floor plan w beautiful tray ceiling, lots of ceramic tile, frieze carpet in bedrooms, spacious kitchen w cherry cabinets & Corian counters. Golf cart included! $289k (mel)









Lutz Lakefront! Exquisite views from this 3/3 home w huge, 29x24 addition. A rare opportunity to own on South Crystal Lake. Beautifully landscaped, oversized lot located on secluded street. No deed restrictions. Fully fenced back yard w boat dock and seawall. $285.7k. (cro)

Stagecoach! Completely remodeled 3/2.5/2 home w bonus room/loft & screened pool. ALL NEW paint inside & out, carpet, ceramic tile, custom cabinets & granite counter tops, lights, A/C & air handler & French door. Spacious great room floor plan. Fenced yard. No CDD. $179k. (sev)

Lake Bird! Roomy 3/2/2 w private dock & XL back yard w scenic view. Private cul de sac location. Spacious kitchen offers closet pantry. Ceramic tile in kitchen & great room. No CDD fees & low HOA. All appliances including W/D included. $149.9k (mim)

Lakefront Luxury Home! Gorgeous 4/2/2 located on 1+ acre at northern end of 200 acre Lake Padgett offers over 3500 sf, a private boat ramp, seawall, boat house & dock w 10,000 lb boat lift +2 wave runner lifts. Beautiful views. Recently updated & upgraded. MUST SEE! $524,999

Oak Grove! Open & bright 3/2/2 home offers eat in kitchen w breakfast bar. Master boasts separate shower & tub w dual sinks & walk -in closet. Inside utility. Kitchen appliances included. Spacious formal dining area and family room. $139.9k. (sie)

Need space? 3400 sf, 5/4/2 w bonus room on conservation lot w pond view. Formal living areas, family room & XL kitchen w 42" cabinets & Corian counters. Massive master suite w separate sitting room. Huge master bath w oversized garden tub & walk in shower. No CDD fees. $225k. (bla)


Charming Lutz home! Spacious 3/2/2 w formal living & dining rooms! Eat-in kitchen w windows & all appliances. Screened patio. Huge corner lot. Community offers pool, recreation building, playground & tennis. Low HOA & no CDD. Close to I-75, shopping & more. $129.9k. (cop)




New Port Richey! 3/1 renovated single story home w attached work shop. Situated on 0.71 acres and features fenced yard, two car carport & two sheds (one with electric). No deed restrictions so bring your boat or RV. Move in ready. Ask about possible Lease/Purchase. $79.9k (leg)

Hudson! Immaculate 3/2/2 w beautiful hardwood floors in great room & dining areas. Only one owner. Kitchen boasts new appliances. Gorgeous heated spa on oversized screened lanai. Private backyard. Access to golf, recreation facility, pool & tennis. $185k. (kno)



Hudson! Cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath mobile home w 1 car carport. Home features breakfast bar in kitchen, bonus Florida Room & a spacious screened porch w storage room. Low annual HOA. Community offers pool w a clubhouse that hosts group events. Only $25k! (gra)

St. Pete! Spacious 2/2 condo w great room floor plan. Triple sliders to balcony. Includes range, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher & W/D. XL master has walk in closet w custom shelving. Master bath has tub & shower plus separate vanity area. Community pool & tennis. $75k. (116)

Seller Motivated! Adorable 4/1/1 w open floor plan & is move in ready. Located in desirable neighborhood, close to schools, shopping & the beaches. Remodeled w new kitchen appliances, new carpet & freshly painted inside & out. Newer A/C. Large fenced backyard. $57k (hun)

TAMPA • CALL 949-7444 x100 J

Exquisite Avila! Immaculate 5/4.5/4 home +office +exercise room+ bonus/media room +pool/spa on quiet cul-de-sac w conservation & view of 11th hole. Spacious master suite w living room, garden tub & double-shower. Gorgeous wood floors, gourmet kitchen, sun deck & more! (alm)

Move In Ready! Superior 2/2.5/1 townhome features large eat-in kitchen w 42" wood cabinets, S/S appliances, breakfast bar & tile throughout first floor. Private screened lanai. Two spacious bedrooms upstairs along w 2 full baths, W/D & a loft area. Community pool. $125.9k (bis)

Adorable! Recently remodeled 2/1 features a large eat-In kitchen w brand new appliances, split floor plan, new laminate flooring in living room & oversized laundry room w lots of storage. Large backyard features secured wooden utility shed w electric power. $63.9k. (ida)

RENTALS $995/mo. $2000/mo. $1250/mo. $1200/mo. $1200/mo. $1095/mo. $1095/mo. $1100/mo. $995/mo. $1795/mo.

2/1.5/1 townhome w office/den in Valrico area. Comm. pool. Kim Lewis 928-3046 2/2/1 townhome in Harbour Island. W/D, wood floors. Patti Webster 310.0215 3/2/2 pool home in Spring Hill. Storage shed. Pet ok. Kim Joseph 352-835-1008 3/2/1 in heart of Tampa. Conservation & cul de sac lot. Murray Group 966-5666 4/2/2 w hardwood floors. Basic cable & lawncare incl. Laura Bloomer 541-9234 3/2/1 w W/D & huge, fenced back yard. Tampa. Pet ok. Barbara Jackson 263-7520 2/2.5 townhouse in great Tampa location. Comm. pool. Pamela Leece 949-7444 3/2/1 w fresh paint & new carpet in Tampa. Screened lanai. Patti Webster 310.0215 2/2/1 condo w screened lanai w water views in Lutz. Christy Laramay 451-6727 3/2/2 +pool on conservation. Odessa recreational comm. Patrice Wilowski 230-2439



Waterfront! Beautiful 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo w many upgrades. Wood floors, newer carpet & updated appliances. Community offers pools, tennis & racquet ball courts. Store your jet ski/boat on property. Canoe the canal to the bay. Won't last long at only $79.9k! Call today! (tud)


.53 acre! Across from Lake Magdalene on dead end street. $195k. Murray Group 813-966-5666 .30 acre! Private lot in LO'L at end of paved dead end street. $15k. Patti Webster 310-0215 .49 acre! Pure country in LO'L. Private w no neighbors in back! $22k. Patti Webster 310-0215 7 acres! Build your dream home in Wesley Chapel. Power, well & septic. $199k Ruby Barness 624-2875 .99 acre! Beautiful country surroundings, yet close to LO'L conveniences. $49.9k Carmen Velez 417-3529 1.86 acres! Treed lot in Wesley Chapel. Horses ok. Hurry only $40k. Patti Webster 310-0215 3 acres! Zephryhills lot w large trees, zoned MH use, horses okay. $89k Bob Peercy 629-4333 San Antonio! Zoned light industrial. Good frontage, high & dry 1.59 acre. $425k. Mark Willett 731-1516 Lake Front property! Ready to build your dream home on Lake Thomas. Smith Team 263-9476 .82 acre! Zoned multi family but many possible uses. $139k Call owner/agent Amy Manion 454-7139

Happy New Year!

On Target for You 813-994-3328 / 813-909-2800

Westwood Lakes! Must see this 4/3/2 +study, +pool offering great views of pond. Family room features built in entertainment center & cathedral ceilings. XL eat in kitchen w/ center island, SS refrigerator & dishwasher, built in oven, gas cook top, wood cabinets & more. $360k (tar)

Thinking of Renting?

Property Managers Available Now!

Call 813-949-5842


December 29, 2010



2010 FORD F-150



%financing APR

%financing APR PLUS




Total Cash Back*

Toward your first 3 payments*

Now’s the time to get it all. Don’t pass up these great deals.


$8,500 Total Factory Savings*

on SuperCab or SuperCrew with SNYC ®,Chrome & Tow Package *





%financing APR


Purchase a 2011 FORD FOCUS S AUTOMATIC for

$13,995 After $3,500 Total Cash Back*



%financing APR


%financing APR






Toward your first 3 payments*

Toward your first 3 payments*

Toward your first 3 payments*



2011 FORD FOCUS S AUTO per month month lease* $

2011 FORD ESCAPE LIMITED FWD per month month lease* $

2011 FORD TAURUS SEL FWD per month month lease* $

Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease $3,084 due at signing, Security deposit waived. Excludes taxes, title and registration fees.

Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease $3,511 due at signing, Security deposit waived. Excludes taxes, title and registration fees.

Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease $3.663, due at signing, Security deposit waived. Excludes taxes, title and registration fees.



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*Not all buyers will qualify for Ford Credit limited-term financing or for low-mileage Ford Credit Red Carpet Lease. $1,500 Cash Back may be used to make payments; customer is required to make all actual payments. Available on select 2011 Taurus models and on select 2010 and 2011 Fusion models. Not available on Raptor or Hybrid models. F-150 Total Cash Back includes $1,500 Promotional Bonus Cash. F-150 Total Factory Savings includes $2,500 customer cash, $2,000 SYNC/Chrome/Tow package savings. $1,000 XLT Bonus Cash, $1,000 Promotional Bonus Cash, $1,000 Ford Credit Bonus Cash. Trade-in of 1995 or newer FLM or competitive vehicle required or lease terminated from 11/1/10 to 3/31/11. Lease payments may vary; dealers determine prices. 2011 Focus S starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, excluding destination/delivery charge, taxes, title, and registration fees. Optional equipment not included. Focus Cash Back includes $1,500 Customer Cash, $1,000 Promotional Retail Bonus Cash, $500 Retail Bonus Cash and $500 Ford Credit Bonus Cash. All Ford Credit Bonus Cash requires Ford Credit limited-term financing. For all offers, take new retail delivery from dealer stick by 1/3/11. Residency restrictions apply. See dealer for qualifications and complete details.

HERITAGE FORD 28739 SR 54 West / Wesley Chapel 40

December 29, 2010

813-907-7800 PARTS S & SERVICE: n Monday-Friday y 7:30am-6:00pm m and d Saturday y from m 7:30am-3:30pm Open S DEPARTMENT: SALES Open n Monday-Friday y 8:30am-9:00pm,, Saturday y 8:30am-7:00pm m and d Sunday y Noon-6:00pm


813-909-2800 /

The Laker  

2010 Again speciai edition