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County spends $22 million on land
The purchase is the largest Pasco County has made in the 14-year history of its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program. By B.C. Manion firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pasco County Commission has unanimously approved a $22 million purchase to secure ecological corridor sites and land for a future park in Central Pasco.
LAW FIRM, P.L.
DECEMBER 4, 2019
The purchase is the largest in the history of the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program (ELAMP) — which began in 2005, said Keith Wiley, the county’s director of parks, recreation and natural resources. It took more than 1,000 hours and two years of negotiations to hammer out the agreement,Wiley said. Commissioners Jack Mariano and Ron Oakley lauded the acquisition. Commissioner Mike Wells praised the
staff for their efforts to secure it.“It’s a great concept.The park is going to be phenomenal,”Wells said. Before commissioners approved the purchase, Dr. Rene Brown, natural resources manager for the county, provided an overview. The acquisition includes 843.50 acres at the southeastern corner of the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 52 in Land O’ See LAND, page 15A
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Schools across Pasco County welcomed speakers from wide-ranging professions to talk to students about their jobs at the annual Great American Teach-In, held during November. Most speakers visited schools on a single day, but others came on other days that week. Fortythree speakers, in wide-ranging professions, gave 30-minute to 45-minute presentations at Pine View Elementary, at 5333 Parkway Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Above, Jennifer Leon, director of outreach for Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, shows off the bite marks and claw marks on a ball that was played with by one of their resident leopards. Leon talked to fourth-graders in Elizabeth Schmitt’s and Dawn Otto’s classes, explaining the rescue’s mission, the cats in their care, and how the children can aid with the preservation of big cats.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ed Ether shares a photo of a payphone to a group of fifth-graders in Kelley Hepner’s and Sara Martin’s classes. The officer showed the photo, while talking about vast changes in technology during his 26-year career in law enforcement.
Busch Gardens zoo educators Miguel Reynel, left, and his colleague Lexie Dobert speak to students in Tiffany Randall’s fifth grade class during the Great American Teach-In program on Nov. 20. The pair spoke about the responsibilities of being a zoo educator. Reynel is seen holding ‘Tequista,’ an American alligator that resides at Busch Gardens.
A ‘peanut’ roundabout Principal of the on Van Dyke Road? year is surprised
By Brian Fernandes
B INSIDE, PAGE 1B
Hillsborough County is proposing a $40 million project to ease traffic congestion on Van Dyke Road in Lutz. The project is expected to begin construction in late 2022, and be completed by late 2024. Now in its planning phase, the proposed project calls for widening Van Dyke Road from two lanes to four lanes, in a 2-mile stretch from Whirley Road to the Suncoast Parkway. The plan also implements a divided median, as well as providing easier intersection turns for motorists. To achieve the easier turns, the county plans to construct three new roundabouts on Van Dyke. The roundabouts would make it easier to
get off Van Dyke Road, and would keep the traffic flow on Van Dyke moving at a steady pace. Chris Wilkerson, senior media relations strategist for Hillsborough County, said the roundabouts would “dramatically reduce fatalities” for motorists turning off of Van Dyke Road. Two roundabouts would be placed at Van Dyke Road’s intersections with Lake Reflections Boulevard and Darby Lane, respectively. Darby Lane, connecting with Van Dyke Road’s south end, turns into Lake Reflections Boulevard, on the road’s north end. A third roundabout would be built at the intersection with the Grace Family Church entrance. See PEANUT, page 15A
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Principal JoAnne Glenn and her staff were conducting a training seminar — when Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning and an entourage cruised into the room with flowers, balloons, a cookie cake and an announcement. The superintendent offered Glenn hearty congratulations, as he announced she was the district’s principal of the year. School Board Chairwoman Colleen Beaudoin gave Glenn a big hug.The principal’s husband, Scott, looked on with pride, See PRINCIPAL, page 15A
11 Critical home inspection traps to be aware of weeks before listing your Land O' Lakes home for sale Land O' Lakes - According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the eleven most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether.
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Lutz Arts & Crafts Show offers unique gift selections By B.C. Manion firstname.lastname@example.org
The GFWC Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club has been busy prepping for the 40th annual Juried Arts & Crafts Holiday Show, which features hundreds of vendors offering gift selections. The annual event draws vendors from all over the country, and is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It also draws shoppers who make the event an annual tradition, in their quest to find just the right gift for someone on their holiday list. Over the years, the show has grown and changed locations — but it has always served as an important way for the club to raise money to support local scholarships and other causes. The show is a big hit with families because it provides an outing to a festive holiday venue. Items that will be sold include handcrafted jewelry, original artwork, photography, woodcrafts and metalwork, candles, soaps, plants and yard art. The event will be Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa.There’s a $5 charge for parking, which benefits the school.There is no admission charge. Vendors also have the opportunity to win cash prizes and ribbons in a juried show. For more information, email LutzArtsandCraftsShow@gmail.com.
Jim Murray, of Geneva, stirs this giant kettle as the intense heat rapidly pops kernels into kettle corn, during a previous arts and craft show.
If you go 40th annual Juried Arts & Crafts Holiday Show WHERE: Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa WHEN: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. COST: Free admission; parking $5 (Parking fee benefits the school) DETAILS: Over 300 vendors will be offering shoppers myriad options for unique holiday gifts and handcrafted items. INFO: Call the arts and crafts show director at (813) 833-3962.
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December 4, 2019
Drop by the Old Lutz School for holiday fun By B.C. Manion
Christmas at the Old Lutz School
Workers were as busy as Santa’s elves on a recent weekend morning getting everything ready for the 23rd annual Christmas at the Old Lutz School. Members of The Citizens for the Old Lutz School Building organize volunteers who dress up the iconic community building for the holidays each year. Then, the organization hosts several evenings each holiday season — inviting both young and old to come out and tour the building, which has a Georgian architectural style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rooms inside the school are decked with holiday trees, trains chugging through miniature villages, a nutcracker collection, and other seasonal decor. This year, a large display of Lego blocks has been added. Outdoors, visitors can enjoy more holiday decorations, and can watch movies and live performances in an entertainment tent. Those dropping by can also enjoy free cookies, hot cocoa and coffee, said Stephanie Ensor, who helps organize the volunteers who transform the old school into a Christmas house. All of the evening activities are free of charge, although donations of nonperishable foods and new toys are accepted, to help families in need. There’s also a breakfast with Santa, scheduled for Dec. 14, when Santa will be there from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. For $4, children will be served a donut and juice, and will get some tickets for craft activities. Other foods also will be available for purchase. During that same event, the school will be open, so visitors can peruse items in its museum, and can check out the holiday handiwork. Of course, getting everything ready for the festivities requires a fair amount of work. This year’s volunteer crew includes longtime Lutz residents, members of Citizens for the Old Lutz School, and students from Land O’ Lakes Academy, and Steinbrenner and Freedom high schools. One recent weekend, a group of youths was busy assembling the entertainment tent. “We’ll light it up, raise it up, get it all dec-
WHERE: Old Lutz School, 18819 N. U.S. 41 WHEN: From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, Dec. 12, Dec. 14, Dec. 17, Dec. 19, Dec. 20, Dec. 21, Dec. 26 and Dec. 27. DETAILS: The historic schoolhouse will be open to the public for its viewing pleasure, and there will be performances in an outdoor entertainment tent. COST: Admission is free, but barrels will be there to collect nonperishable food items and new toys for families in need. INFO: Facebook.com/oldlutzschool/
Breakfast with Santa
WHAT: Have breakfast with Santa, and crafts for the kids WHERE: Old Lutz School, 18819 N. U.S. 41 WHEN: Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. COST: $4
orated,” Ensor said. “Every night we’ll have a little bit of something going on in the tent,” she added. Some volunteers, including Wally Hoedt, have helped get the annual season event ready since the tradition began, nearly a quarter-century ago. Hoedt meticulously lays out nine train tracks, which run through displays set up around them. He, and others, enjoys sharing their handiwork. “It we did it at home, nobody would enjoy them (the displays),” he said. At the school, however,“a lot of people get to enjoy what we do,” Hoedt said. Annie Fernandez, who was born in Lutz, enjoys pitching in, too. She, Helen Cantrell and Patty Denison were busy arranging wreaths and other seasonal décor inside the schoolhouse. Jason Burkett, and his daughter, Gabrielle — are new helpers this year. Burkett visited the display last year and saw a small Lego display. He told one of the volunteers that he had a collection of Legos and could contribute to the display, if they needed help. He got a call in September, asking him if
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Patty Denison said she volunteered to help decorate the Old Lutz School for its annual Christmas display. She said her husband, Clifford C. Denison, who has had a stroke, is always proud when she tells him she’s heading to the school to help out.
he would still like to help, and immediately went to work, assembling parts of the display. He figures the display he is setting up at the school is made up of about 28,000 pieces. One end of the display features a Star Wars theme, and the other end features stores and holiday scenes. Ben Nevel, chairman of Citizens for the Old Lutz School Building, said he’s pleased that volunteers step up to help create the annual holiday tradition. It’s a favorite spot for families to bring their children, and for community members who want to catch up with old friends. “Community is where we started as a country,” Nevel said.“To continue that 200
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years later is what it’s about.” Entertainment is still being lined up, so groups or individuals who want to offer musical entertainment are invited to get involved. To volunteer as entertainment, or for any additional information, email info@ oldlutzschoolhouse.com, or call (813) 244-2256.
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Jason Burkett and his daughter, Gabrielle, were busy setting up Legos at the Old Lutz Schoolhouse, to help decorate it for the holidays. An estimated 28,000 Lego blocks will be part of the display.
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December 4, 2019
Your Community Calendar • Submit 2 weeks in advance to: email@example.com • All listings free of charge
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa is hosting the 2019 Winter Village and ice skating rink now through Jan. 5.The family friendly village includes the outdoor ice skating rink, local shops, food, holiday light displays choregraphed to music, the Winter Village Express on the TECO Line Streetcar, and special events. For information, visit WinterVillageTampa.com.
CARD MAKING FOR VETS
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host Social Seniors on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon, for ages 55 and older. Participants can make holiday cards to donate to veterans.All the cards will be delivered by library staff to the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home.There also will be coffee and cookies. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
The 42nd annual St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show will run from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8, at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park, 400 First St., S., St. Petersburg. A one-day general admission is $19, admission is free for kids ages 15 and younger, and free for veterans and activeduty military, with proof of military service. For information on tickets, special events and parking, visit StPeteBoatShow.com/en/home.html.
WINTER ART SHOW
The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host a Gallery Opening:Winter Wonderland Art Show on Dec. 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.The exhibit focuses on works that pertain to the first fallen snow, living in or visiting the north during wintertime, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more, within a color palette of white, gray, gold and silver.Admission is free. For information, visit CarrollwoodCenter.org.
The Zephyrhills Museum of Military History, 39444 South Ave., will present a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be reenactors, World War II vehicles/aircrafts, and Living History displays. Guests can meet Pearl Harbor survivors Charles McClelland and Wig Wigmore, from the Zephyrhills area, both of whom will share their experiences. Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor ceremony around 11 a.m. or noon. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For information, call Cliff Moffitt at (352) 206-1819.
Book Sale from Dec. 6 to Dec. 13.There will be Christmas-themed books, including cooking, crafts, fiction, children’s and more. Cash or checks only. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City, will host a Country Christmas & Vintage Market on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be more than 80 vendors, Christmas music, complimentary photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a barrel train ride, face painting, rock painting, concession stand, food vendors, traditional craft demonstrations and more.Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students, or $5 per person with an unwrapped stocking stuffer for a senior citizen. Stocking items will be donated to CARES. Children age 5 and younger are free. For information and schedule, visit PioneerFloridaMuseum.org, or call Brenda Minton at (352) 206-8889.
The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host the Woven Together Weaving Group on Dec. 6 from noon to 2:30 p.m. Participants can compare and discuss weaving techniques, looms, spinning wheels, threads, yards, color and more. Bring your own tools and materials. For information, call (352) 567-3576.
Z BOOK CLUB
The Z Book Club will meet at the Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., on Dec. 6 at 3 p.m., to discuss “The Mountain Between Us” by Charles Martin. For information, call (813) 780-0064.
Dr. Unger’s 10th annual Winterfest will take place Dec. 6 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 7 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Sims Park in New Port Richey.There will be snow slides, vendors, a tree lighting, bounce houses, meet-and-greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Dec. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., only), live music, and demonstrations. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots and get a free fast pass (one-time use). Guests also can play in snow and watch a Christmas boat parade. For complete details and schedule, visit WinterfestFl.org.
CHRISTMAS BOOK SALE
Pearl Harbor Day
The Friends of the Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a Christmas
Lions Club Wesley Chapel will host a pancake breakfast on Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Lexington Oaks Community Center, 26304 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel.The cost is $7 per person (cash, check or credit card) and includes pancakes, sausage and beverages. For information, contact George Coggan at (941) 626-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANTA FEST & PARADE
There will be a Santa Fest and Christmas Parade on Dec. 7 at 11 a.m., at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N.Ashley Drive in Tampa.The parade begins at the Madison Street and Pierce Street intersection.There will be floats and dance groups, beads and candy, photos with Santa, make-and-take crafts, and hands-on games. For information, call (813) 274-8211, or visit TampaGov.net/calendar.
BIG BAND MUSIC
The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host “A Big Band Holiday” on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.The Carrollwood Jukebox will perform popular holiday dance songs. Free dance lessons will begin at 6:30 p.m.Admission ranges from $12 to $18. For information, visit CarrollwoodCenter.org.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Main Street Zephyrhills will present a Festival of Lights on Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., in historic downtown Zephyrhills.
There will be live entertainment, food, merchandise and craft vendors, free photos with Santa at Goin’ Postal, a children’s bicycle giveaway, and a parade at 7 p.m. For information, visit MainStreetZephyrhills.org.
LIBRARY BOOK SALE
The New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., will host a book sale on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Dec. 8 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Most books will cost 50 cents. Proceeds from the book sale will fund events and classes for people of all ages. For information, email email@example.com, or call or text (813) 758-7419.
HOLIDAY FUN BENEFIT
Heritage Station, 17710 U.S. 41 in Lutz, will host a Family Holiday Fun event on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon, to benefit Sincerely Santa of Tampa. Bring an unwrapped toy or cash donation for Sincerely Santa and the toys will be delivered the week of Christmas to local children.The event will include a bounce house, dodgeball, food tents, first responders, a helicopter, a coffee truck, and free document shredding. For information, call Raquel Pullaro at (813) 732-2252.
Four Points by Sheraton, 4400 W. Cypress St., in Tampa, will host an art exhibit featuring artwork by Wesley Chapel resident Oliver Thomas Parson Sr., on Dec. 7 from noon to 6 p.m., in the Hernando Room. Refreshments will be provided. For information, call (813) 994-1318.
PANCAKES, PJS, PUTT-PUTT
Family Friendly Tampa Bay will present “Pancakes, PJs & Putt-Putt” on Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Plantation Palms Golf Club, 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes.Tickets include a pancake breakfast, miniature golf, photos with Santa, photos with and performances by special holiday characters, arts and crafts, giveaways and more.Tickets are limited. For information, visit tinyurl.com/sh6m5qe.
TAMPA TOUR DE CLAY
The annual Tampa Tour De Clay is scheduled for Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.The event encompasses two days, five studios and 33 potters. Each studio will have a fundraising for WMNF Community Radio and other local nonprofits, plus pottery presentations, kiln openings, and light snacks and snips. Live music by the Trail Dogs will be featured at the Schiemann Studio in St. Petersburg on Dec. 8 at noon. Jack Boyle’s San Antonio Pottery will extend its hours to 8 p.m., on Dec. 7 with live music by the Chipco Creek String Band at 3 p.m., and Those Unscrupulous Sunspots at 6 p.m.The string band will return on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. For complete details, visit TampaTourDeClay.com, or call Jack Boyle at (352) 588-4228.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
The GFWC Pasco Junior Woman’s Club will present a charity Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Lexington Oaks Community Center, 26304 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel.Tickets are $5 per person and include breakfast, a kid’s craft, a raffle and pictures with Santa. Proceeds will go toward providing Christmas gifts to local families in need.
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FAMILY PHOTOS WITH SANTA
Cypress Creek Church, 5585 E. County Line Road in Wesley Chapel, will offer family pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants also can make an ornament, and there will be fun kids’ classes.Admission is free. For information, call (813) 909-4080, or visit CypressCreekChurch.org.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK
The Founders Garden Club of San Antonio will host “Christmas in the Park” on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., at San Antonio City Park, 32819 Pennsylvania Ave..There will be a lighting of Christmas cards, live musical performances, complimentary refreshments and coffee, and a drawing for gift baskets. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and can be purchased at the event, at San Antonio City Hall, or from garden club members.Admission is free. Guests should bring a folding chair and a flashlight. For information, call Donna Swart at (352) 588-3631.
COOKIES WITH SANTA
The New Tampa Family YMCA, 16221 Compton Dr., in Tampa, will host “Cookies with Santa” on Dec. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.Admission is free. For information, call (813) 866-9622, or visit TampaYMCA.org.
AdventHealth Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., will host its 35th annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine.There will be more than 50 trees. Santa will arrive by horse-drawn sleigh at 3 p.m., with toys and treats for kids.An evening program will start at 5:30 p.m., with entertainment for all ages, bounce houses, food trucks and fireworks. Guests should bring a blanket or lawn chair. For information, visit tinyurl.com/wb3j9ok.
The Suncoast Bronze Ringers will present a Christmas Handbell Concert on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., at Hope Lutheran Church, 12321 Canton Ave., in Hudson. Donations will be accepted. For information, call Jackie Kerschbaum at (727) 868-6365.
The Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., will show the film “Elf” on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., as part of its Holiday Classics Series.Tickets are $10.Theater members pay $7. For information, visit TampaTheatre.org.
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a teen craft on Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for ages 13 to 18. Participants can make an image from buttons and beads on a small canvas.All supplies will be provided, but guests can bring their own, too. Bring your library card, and complete a Foundry waiver. Preteens age 9 to 12 can get on a wait list if someone cancels out of the event. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
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16950 Vibrant Way • Land O’ Lakes Come join us for a day of fun in your local community with a market full of great vendors and a cafe with food and drink specials. Some of our vendors include food vendors, fresh produce, candles, vintage decor, clothing, handmade furniture, photography, home goods, local Pilates information & a live DJ!
Guests can choose between four seating times.This event fills up fast.Tickets are available until sold out. For information, contact Sharon Grace at (813) 220-2716 or Sharon_grace@aol.com. For tickets, visit GFWCPascoJWC.eventbee.com.
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By Mary Rathman
A contest that will send thousands of dollars to Florida schools is being sponsored by AAA – The Auto Club Group, in which a total of $5,500 in prizes will be divided up among 13 winning high schools. The Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition (FTSDC) is hosting the Public Service Announcement Contest to promote the importance of educating young drivers. Entrants must create positive public service announcements (PSA) that help high school students educate their peers about Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. Graduated Driver Licensing is a gradual approach to granting teen drivers full license privileges. By allowing teen drivers to safety gain experience during structured hours, exposure to higher risk driving situations can be minimized. According to a news release, previous
AAA Foundation research found that drivers first licensed at age 18 are more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in injuries during their first year of solo driving than new drivers licensed at any other age. The Graduated Driver Licensing laws in Florida allow young drivers to begin gaining valuable experience behind the wheel at 15 years old. “Good GDL laws have proven to be effective at reducing teen driver crashes and that’s our focus in everything we do,” Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs director for AAA, said in the release. For information on keeping teen drivers safe, visit TeenDrivingAAA.com. The contest is open to public, private, virtual or home-school students in grades nine to 12, in Florida. The deadline to enter is Feb. 28. For details and rules, interested schools can use this link to enter: FLTeenSafeDriver.org/gdl-psa/.
New hours coming for utilities service centers The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
Pasco County Utilities is changing its Customer Service Center hours beginning Jan. 1. The new hours for walk-in and drivethrough services will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning in the New Year, according to a county news release. By reducing the service center hours by a half-hour, the utilities department will be able to offer round-the-clock automated support. “A focused team effort outside of office hours, toward online support, provides our customers with the flexibility to manage their account at any time – all while decreasing operational costs by more than $25,000 annually,” according to Sandra Anderson, the department’s customer infor-
mation and services director. Secure, instant account access is tailored to meet customers’ schedules, with these options: • 24/7 online account access and bill pay through PascoEasyPay.com • 24/7 pay-by-phone by calling (844) 450-3704 • 24/7 secure drop boxes located outside each Customer Service Center • Live Call Center support available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.West Pasco customers should call (727) 847-8131. Central Pasco customers can call (813) 235-6012, and the phone number for residents in East Pasco is (352) 521-4285. • New Same Business-day/next Businessday callback option For more information and service details, visit PascoCountyUtilities.com.
‘Prescribed burns’ reduce wildfire risks The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
The Southwest Florida Water Management District has scheduled intentional “prescribed burns” in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County, to reduce the risk of wildfires. Prescribed burns are fires started in controlled settings to reduce the risk of fires burning out of control. Starkey Wilderness Preserve is located east of New Port Richey, west of the Suncoast Parkway, north of State Road 54 and south of State Road 52. Approximately 500
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acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Some major benefits of prescribed fire include: • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires • Promoting plant diversity • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat • Maintaining access for public recreation The water management district conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.
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December 4, 2019
Controlling noxious weeds in your yard By Whitney C. Elmore
Common along roads and canals, Brazilian peppertree has destroyed much of the native, protective mangroves and pine flatlands. While attractive, its ability to overtake native vegetation and its potentially hazardous sap — which can cause severe rashes and lung irritation — make it undesirable. Herbicide applications are effective for controlling Brazilian peppertree, but only when timed right and applied correctly. The “cut stump method” of herbicide application is an excellent method for control. Simply follow these steps: • Cut the tree stump as low to the ground as possible. • Within 5 minutes of making the cut, apply a herbicide labeled for use on Brazilian peppertree (with the active ingredients: triclopyr at the label rate, or glyphosate at 41% active ingredient or higher formulation, as ready-to-use formulas won’t be effective) just inside of the bark layer on the living tissue. • Cut the trees only when they are not fruiting; if seeds are visible, use great care to not spread them to new locations.
Special to The Laker/Lutz News
entral Florida is home to some of the most diverse plant life in the state. Cool, dry winters and hot, wet summers create a transitional zone where a variety of plants thrive, or can at least get by with a little help from their owners. With the good news, comes the bad news — from dollar weed to nutsedge, there are dozens of weeds that cause grief for property owners and managers. Noxious weeds, which can out-compete native species, can be quite damaging. Limiting the spread, damage and a potential reduction in population are the goals of noxious weed control. In Central Florida, three common noxious weeds of great concern are: Brazilian peppertree, air potato vine, and cogongrass. Brazilian peppertree was introduced perhaps more than 100 years ago as an ornamental plant.
• Avoid the sap, and use proper protective gear with cutting or removing these plants. • Do not burn Brazilian peppertree due to the potential for hazardous fumes from the sap. Brazilian peppertree also can be controlled with a basal bark herbicide application. This approach involves the application of a labeled herbicide (active ingredient of triclopyr-ester) to the lower trunk of the tree in a band around the tree’s circumference. The effectiveness of this process is somewhat limited, but it has potential. The bark of the tree is cut or nicked all of the way around the tree in a continuous band and the herbicide is then applied to the living tissue directly below the bark. It may take weeks for the treatment to show results, but the best time to use this method is in the fall before seed set, when the plant is flowering. Foliar applications of triclopyr or glyphosate can be applied to seedlings.The herbicide should be applied directly to the leaves and allowed to fully wet, but not run
off, the leaf surface. Foliar applications require a lot more product and must be applied evenly, which is difficult on larger trees. Furthermore, there is a risk of damage to non-target plants if drift occurs from the herbicide application. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences scientists were granted approval for the release of a biological control for use on Brazilian peppertree in 2019. An insect species of thrips feeds on the new shoots of Brazilian peppertree and have been found to be host-specific, meaning they only damage Brazilian peppertree. The UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Office has co-coordinated the release of the thrips between UF/IFAS scientists from Fort Pierce, and Pasco Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, across Pasco County. Biological agents are highly effective and safe mechanisms of control that help reduce the cost and environmental exposure of herbicide applications. The thrips species have Continued on next page
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STOPPED O CATARACTS
CONTROLLING OTHER NOXIOUS WEEDS
Air potato vine is an extremely aggressive vine that can grow several inches in a day making it capable of towering up into the tops of trees while out-competing native vegetation along the way. COURTESY OF UF/IFAS COMMUNICATIONS Biological controls, combined Brazilian peppertree has destroyed much of the with other integrated pest managenative, protective mangroves and pine flatlands. ment approaches, such as herbicide use, mechanical (removal) and cultural methods (proper timing, application Early detection of cogongrass infestations methods, seasonality, etc.) have been highly ef- is the key to control. Small areas of infestation fective at controlling air potato vine. are easier to manage compared to larger Air potato vine is spread by aerial and ones.There are two herbicides with effectivebelow-ground bulbils (resembling tubers), as ness against cogongrass: glyphosate and well as the vegetative portions of the plant. imazapyr. Glyphosate is most advisable, since The bulbils can float, be picked up by birds, it does not persist in the soil. Just keep in or even thrown around by children playing, mind that both herbicides can kill non-target all of which spreads the plant to new areas. plants. Multiple herbicide applications over Mechanical removal of the bulbils and the several years is often necessary for control vine itself is difficult and time consuming, but with frequent monitoring required to quickly does aid in reducing the spread. treat any regrowth following herbicide appliCultural controls, such as replacing desir- cations. able vegetation in these areas and herbicide In the first year, treat small infestations (20 applications of glyphosate can help. feet to 30 feet in diameter or less) with a 3% However, since air potato vine is normally glyphosate application in fall (August to growing on and among desirable plants, ap- November). Monitor any regrowth in the folplications of non-selective herbicides will lowing spring to fall applying 3% glyphosate damage, if not kill, non-target plants, making applications when necessary. Continue this herbicide applications limited in usefulness. method annually using spot treatment until The release of the Air Potato Beetle, in the plant is no longer visible/actively grow2012, by the Florida Department of ing. Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, in conFor large infestations, those over 30 feet in junction with UF/IFAS, has helped limit the diameter, apply 3% glyphosate formulation at spread of air potato vine. 3 quarts to 4 quarts/per acre starting in fall The Air Potato Beetle is host-specific, feed- (August to November). In the subsequent ing only on the air potato vine. It will spring through fall months, treat the areas overwinter while the air potato vine is dor- with the same formulation and dosage. mant and reemerge in late spring or summer Following the second year of treatment, spot to begin feeding voraciously on the leaves. treat any areas of regrowth, until no new The Air Potato Beetle is another great ex- growth is noted in the area. ample of the power of integrated pest For a list of noxious weeds, visit the management. UF/IFAS Invasive Plant Assessment by going Cogongrass is common throughout the to https://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu/. Southeastern United States, taking over roadsides, fields, pine-forested areas and Dr. Whitney C. Elmore is the UF/IFAS pasturelands. It is difficult to control and can Pasco County Extension director and an be a fire hazard, too. Urban Horticulture Agent III.
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BROOKSVILLE Desirable STUNNING custom lake home on private lakefront on over 15 acres situated among stately grandfather oaks. Kitchen is a cook's dream for entertaining friends and family. Majestic great room with fireplace. crown molding & 14' ceiling. Central vacuum just one of the many upgrades throughout this beautiful home. The large master bedroom suite offers a tranquil retreat! BONUS pool and hot tub on large entertaining lanai (over 1500 square feet of screened area)! 3 car attached garage, plus 2 car detached and separate barn. An extra 24x30 separate building is currently being used as an art studio and can easily be converted into a spacious mothern-law suite. $995,900. Call Stacy at 813-842-3077
ACTIVE ADULT GOLF COURSE COMMUNITY! 3/2/2 courtyard home located in popular golf course gated community of The Groves. Eat-in kitchen with stainless-steel appliances. a breakfast bar, living and dining room. Tile flooring. View the abundant wildlife from your beautiful conservation lot relaxing in your roofed lanai. The Groves offers a wide variety of amenities such as golf, tennis, shuffle board, bocce, pool, clubhouse fitness center, library and many planned activities and clubs! Ease of maintenance comes with your HOA fees like exterior painting, roof replacement basic cable and more! New A/C! Call Billie
PLANTATION PALMS A lovely large golf course home. Majestic entry opens to 20ft ceiling with beautiful sweeping staircase to 2nd floor. 4 bed/3 1/2 bath features master suite on main floor with private entry to lanai. Master suite comes with a raised sitting area for relaxing or morning coffee. Entertain guest from your dream kitchen complete with Corian countertops, 3 pantries, stainless steel appliances along with bay window in your eat-in kitchen. Work from home in your home office/library. Granite counters in all baths. Laundry room downstairs and laundry closet upstairs. Truly a breathtaking lanai with pavers comes complete with separate kitchen and bar both with gas fire pits. Your outdoor kitchen has granite countertops, grill, sinks, storage, ice maker, and refrigerator. PLUS hold your own mini golf tournament with your own 5-hole putting green. Relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the golf course, clubhouse and pond from either the form stone pool with beach access or beautiful bridge over pool to pillared gazebo with swing... 500-gallon “owner owned” propane tank powers pool, spa, grills, fire pits and spa heater. 3 car garage. BONUS: NO CDD with low HOA fees. Call Larry 813-416-2141
HERITAGE HARBOR 3/3/2 on golf course. Gated, clubhouse with all amenities including tennis, playground and resort style pool. Screened Lanai overlooking hole #17. A/C is 2 years old and roof only 3 months old. Excellent school district. $344,900. Call
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MOTIVATED SELLER!! NO CDD- NO HOA. This LUXURIOUS Residence offers 4103 SF features 5 Beds, 3 Baths and vastly spacious 3 Car Garage with Mudroom & Butler's Pantry access. HURRICANE proof with extra Rebar and Poured CONCRETE. Plastic PVC ROOF 50 years Warranty. Beautiful large PAVER Circular Driveway provide access to an IRON double DOOR entrance to enjoy a comfort Family Room with electric Fire Place, large Dining Room, Wine Room and Cocktail Bar. The Deluxe Chef's Kitchen with a massive granite expansive Island. The opulent Master Bedroom offers magnificent view to the Pool. Luxurious Master retreat with large His & Her Walk-in Closets with Island on the middle, slide door provide access to the Grand Lanai with New Pool and SPA surrounded by Travertine. Friendly Neighbors, Mature Landscaping, Shades Trees. The best of Indoor/outdoor living. Live the Florida Lifestyle to the Fullest. You will fall in Love with this truly Welcoming Family Home. $ 700,000 Call Ivan at 813-451-4041
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2.44 ACRE FISHING LAKE LOT zoned ASC-1 with 308' road frontage and 290' depth in Lutz on Newberger Road. No CDD or HOA fees like the mansions across the street, so bring your toys and enjoy country living, but be at the Outlet Mall in 10 minutes! Call Faith
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December 4, 2019
Judge enjoys challenges in civil court cases By Kevin Weiss firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge Kent Compton recently paid a visit to the East Pasco Networking Group — where he discussed his duties in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida. The former Zephyrhills city councilman, and longtime lawyer and prosecutor took up the post in January, after being elected in August 2018. While still settling in, Compton clearly enjoys his new gig at the Historic Pasco County Courthouse building in Dade City. “I feel like I’ve got the best job in the state of Florida,” Compton said, during the Nov. 26 breakfast meeting at IHOP in Dade City. He said he finds the position to be “very refreshing.” He went on: “I love criminal law, but I love the civil law and I love everything new about it, and the challenges and the opportunity to do something different, to research something different, to hear the stories, —I enjoy that.” Compton presides over county civil cases handling principal issues $15,000 or less, small claims and traffic court, as well as first appearance advisories. He also is on-call for emergency petitions for arrest warrants, search warrants, Marchman Acts, Baker Acts and so on. On an emotional level, Compton said eviction hearings are “the hardest part of my job.” He explained:“I’ve had some very unhappy people, particular in evictions. I’m human, but I have to follow the law, and Chapter 83 (of the Florida state landlord-
ant has to do.” He also mentioned that conducting traffic court can become “quite a scene,” noting his courtroom will be filled with 20 or 25 law enforcement officers and another 50 people waiting for their case to be heard.There also can be “a little gamesmanship” between law enforcement officers and violators who’ve been issued a ticket or citation. Violators “will come to court taking the gamble the law enforcement officer doesn’t show up,” he said. If that happens, Compton said he will dismiss the case “99% of the time.” If the law enforcement officer is present, however, Compton said the violator usually will enter a plea to close the case. In more substantial traffic matters, such as car accidents, Compton said there’ll be “a fullblown hearing” between a defendant and plaintiff. KEVIN WEISS That typically includes witness Pasco County judge Kent Compton was a guest testimony, as well as video and speaker at a Nov. 26 East Pasco Networking Group photographic evidence. breakfast meeting at IHOP in Dade City. Those cases, he said, can be challenging because it becomes “a tenant statutes) gives me fantastic direction credibility contest.” on what to do. If the money’s not paid, if the Testimony between defendants and right motion isn’t made, then people are dis- plaintiffs can be “just unbelievably 180 deappointed.” grees separate,” Compton said. Compton added,“it can be kind of hairy In judging those matters, he said: “You — very specific notices, requirements of rely upon your common sense and your life what the landlord has to do, what the ten- experience to try and decide who’s telling
the truth, but sometimes I can’t tell, and if that’s the case, it’s not guilty.” On the other hand, though,“Sometimes it’s pretty obvious the person is caught in their own lying,” he said. When he’s unsure how to decide a case, the judge said, he’ll take it under advisement to research an issue further, study case law and lean on the experience of his fellow peers in the courthouse and judges throughout the state. “I have the great resource of all the other judges who are very helpful to me if I have any indecision,” Compton said. The speaker drew parallels between the courtroom and his dozen-plus years on the city council: “It’s a people business. You must listen, and you must be fair and courteous. It’s the same job, there’s just a lot more legal mumbo jumbo to go along with it.” Those qualities are something Compton reminds lawyers and others that enter his courtroom, he said. Said Compton,“The lawyers, it’s basically a confrontation of business, but while we have to do zealous representation, we also need to have professional courtesy amongst each other and the court.” When asked how the job differs from what he expected, Compton said,“I didn’t realize that I would see a stack of paper every day. I spend an hour and a half, two hours every day just going through paperwork and processing evictions or motions for summary judgement or credit cards, stuff like that.” He also was surprised by the quantity of nonjury trials that he handles in the civil division.
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construction Compiled by Brian Fernandes
New convenience store coming Lutz soon will add a 7-Eleven convenience store, at 19677 State Road 54. The 3,000-squarefoot store is expected to be completed in March. An opening date has not been announced.
PharmaWorks expanding PharmaWorks Inc., in Odessa, is expanding with an additional building next to its current facility. The 19,788-square-foot structure is being constructed at 2346 Success Drive. The company manufactures pharmaceutical products. The addition is expected to open in mid2020.
New banking branch in Trinity Chase Bank customers, in Trinity, will have another service branch. The 3,470-square-foot building is being constructed in The Starkey Ranch Business Park. It will have multiple offices, a teller stand and an outdoor drive-thru. Construction is expected to be finished in April 2020.
Office building expected soon Trinity Professional Center, under construction, will house financial, county and medical offices. The 13,980-square-foot building is being built at 1900 Duck Slough Blvd. Construction of the one-story facility is expected to be completed in January.
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For the second consecutive year, AdventHealth/Centra Care will serve as a sponsor for The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Cub Scout Roundup. Centra Care will offer discount physicals for any Scout and Scout leader. The cost for Scouts (school/camp/sports physicals) is $20 and $45 for Scout leaders (regular physical). Show your Boy Scout membership card to receive the discount. Centra Care has locations including Wesley Chapel,Temple Terrace, Citrus Park and Carrollwood.
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The Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, will offer these community programs: • Childbirth Preparation Four-Week Series: Dec. 5, Dec. 12, Dec. 19 and Jan. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. • Tour of Obstetrics: Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m., and Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. • Saturday Childbirth Superprep: Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Newborn Care Class: Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. • American Heart Association Family and Friends Infant CPR: Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. For information and to RSVP, call (727) 834-5630, or visit MedicalCenterTrinity.com.
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AdventHealth Wesley Chapel will present “Secrets to Surviving and Thriving Through Menopause” on Dec. 10 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Dr. Marian Sampson, obstetrics and gynecology, will discuss the signs, symptoms and treatment options for peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause. A light lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by calling (813) 929-5432, or online at AHWesleyChapel.com/events.
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Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, will offer a weight management information seminar on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., at the Rao Musunuru M.D. Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive in Hudson. Dr. Donald Fridley will talk about a new bariatric service provided at the hospital, and answer questions about bariatric or weight-loss surgery. Healthy refreshments will be served. Admission is free. For information and reservations, call (727) 869-5498.
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AdventHealth Dade City, 13100 Fort King Road, will host Bingo Bonanza on Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. Participants can learn how to stay well and reduce the risk of getting the flu by following simple tips. The guest speaker will be Deborah Lincoln, infection preventionist for AdventHealth. Admission is free. Reservations are required by calling
The 10th annual Tampa Bay Out of the Darkness Community Walk will take place Dec. 14 at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. The walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide by 20% by the year 2025. Last year, this local walk raised more than $98,000 and had more than 1,200 participants, according to a news release. Check-in and registration (free) start at 7:30 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K walk from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Online registration (afsp.org/TampaWalk) closes at noon on Dec. 13. For information, call Gloria Ballard at (813) 922-2955.
Premier Community Healthcare will host an Agricultural Worker Dental Day on Dec. 16 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Dade City Dental Center, 37944 Pasco Ave., in Dade City. Free services for children and adults include: • Dental exam and one of the following procedures: cleaning, filling or extraction • ACCESS/Florida KidCare/Health Insurance Marketplace assistance • Health education information • Refreshments • Giveaways • Transportation available upon request There are limited slots for dental appointments. Patient must have ID. For information and appointments, call (352) 518-2000, ext. 9227 or ext. 9710.
AdventHealth Dade City, 13100 Fort King Road, will host a free “Ask the Doctor” community event, on foot pain, on Dec. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Blood pressure screenings will take place from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed by the program at noon. Reservations are required by calling (833) 300-2371.
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AdventHealth Wesley Chapel will offer a lecture entitled “New Year, New You” on Dec. 17 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Dr. Barbara Morris will offer health and fitness tips to start the year off right with small, manageable changes. A light lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by calling (813) 929-5432, or online at AHWesleyChapel.com/events.
AdventHealth Zephyrhills will offer a free lecture on the new technologies in hip replacement on Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m., at The Golden Corral, 6855 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills, in the private dining room. Dr.Trey Alexander, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, will share the cutting-edge technology that is becoming available for hip replacements. Dinner will be provided. For more information, please visit AdventHealth.com/hospital/adventhealthzephyrhills.
AdventHealth Dade City, 13100 Fort King Road, will offer a free program on strengthening pelvic floor muscles on Jan. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The seminar is for those suffering from the urge, stress or mixed urinary incontinence, painful bladder syndrome or other painful issues in the pelvic area. Dr. John Ferlita, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, will discuss these issues and how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles through therapy. Blood pressure screenings will be available from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed by the program. Reservations are required by calling (833) 300-2371.
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SCHOOL CHOICE IS OPEN Pasco County Schools’ choice application window for middle and high school students opened Dec. 3, and will close Dec. 13 at 4:30 p.m. The application is available via the myStudent parent portal. Parents who do not already have an account, can establish a myStudent account online at the district website, PascoSchools.org (click on the myStudent link in the circle below the large photo). This will be the only application window for secondary schools, and it will be for all school choice options, including STEM and STEAM magnet schools, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge, and Wendell Krinn Technical High School.
EARLY RELEASE DAY
Pasco County Schools has implemented a monthly, two-hour-early release time to allow for staff to engage in professional development aligned with student needs, and district and school priorities. Early release days will take place on the second Wednesday of each month, with the exception of January and May. The next early release day is Dec. 11.
CITIZENS OF THE MONTH
The Dade City Chamber of Commerce has recognized the following students as Citizens of the Month. September: Mason Pippin, Academy at the Farm;Aysia Sobers, East Pasco Adventist Academy; Wyatt Lowman, Saint Anthony Catholic School; Adalee Krause, Centennial Elementary; Jacob Maeker, Lacoochee Elementary; Mariana Chavez, Pasco Elementary; Luis Perez, Rodney B. Cox Elementary; Alaina Wheatley, San Antonio Elementary; Christopher Lewellen, Centennial STEM Magnet Middle; Taijabi Tekleberhan, Pasco Middle; Treasure DiazCherry, James Irvin Education Center; and Yessenia Solis, Pasco High. October: Canaan Pippin,Academy at the Farm; Rosalia Ippolito, Saint Anthony Catholic School;Antonio Chavez; Centennial Elementary; Jamie Angel, Lacoochee
First-place essay winner, Taylor Schamaun, stands alongside Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller.
Second-place essay winner, Nathan Grob.
Third-place essay winner, Alex Coloyan.
Elementary essay contest winners Lake Myrtle Elementary School’s Taylor Schamaun’s essay emerged as the winner of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s sixth annual Constitution Essay Contest. Students were required to respond to the prompt, “Why is the Constitution Important?” Schamaun took first place with her point-by-point argument for the excellence of our founding document.
In second place, Oakstead Elementary’s Nathan Grob touted the Constitution for its guarantees of free speech and universal suffrage. And, Alex Coloyan of Longleaf Elementary snagged third place for his essay praising the Constitution’s contribution as an effective and stable form of government. Honorable mentions were given to: Abbey Tesh, Hannah Whelan, Eric Bazaria
(Wesley Chapel Elementary); Alexandria Csuhai, Nicholas Campbell, Olivia Grob, Elias Watson, Taelor Stevens (Oakstead Elementary); Cali Lopez (Lake Myrtle); Evan Davis, Isabella (Longleaf Elementary); Jamie Kessler, Madison Smith (Cotee River Elementary); and Vanessa Bandini (Calusa Elementary. A record number 113 Pasco County fifth-graders entered this year’s contest.
Elementary; Carmen Denton, Pasco Elementary; Jaime Contreras, Rodney B. Cox Elementary; Adam “Jimmy” Gragg, San Antonio Elementary; Mason Denmark, Centennial STEM Magnet Middle; Jezzabell Duffey, Pasco Middle; Charles Gumulinski, James Irvin Education Center; and Lilli Pollard, Pasco High.
Since the implementation of the Pasco Go Healthy program, the district has avoided more than $117 million in medical and pharmacy expenditures. The data shows that more members are choosing to manage their care at the five on-site health and wellness centers. Only one other Florida school district ranked among the top 100.
FEEDING PASCO FOOD DRIVE
The 2019 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America ranked Pasco County Schools 42nd on the list, up from 71st place in 2018. The award culminates a year-long wellness awards program that Healthiest Employers hosts across the United States. Award applicants are evaluated across six categories: culture and leadership commitment; foundational components; strategic planning; marketing and communications; programming and interventions; and, reporting and analytics. The district’s health plan budget was increasing at a rate of 9% to 12% annually.
Pasco County FDLRS Child Find offers developmental information and free screenings in coordination with the Past County Pre-K Assessment Team. The screenings are for children not yet enrolled in kindergarten who may be having difficulties with speech, language, hearing, vision, concepts or motor skills. Primary emphasis is on children ages 3 to 5. For information, call Child Find specialist Caitlin Ryan or Colleen Costa at (813) 7942630, (727) 774-2630 or (352) 524-2630.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office’s annual Feeding Pasco Kids food drive is in full swing. The proceeds from the drive will go directly to local organizations whose mission is to provide support for homeless children and students. This year, the recipients include the Pasco Schools system and Metropolitan Ministries. Donation boxes are placed in the lobbies of the Pasco Sheriff’s office buildings throughout the county. Several area churches also agreed to have boxes in their buildings to assist with the food collection. Monetary donations can be made by check or money order to Pasco Sheriff’s Charities, with “Food Drive” in the ‘for’ line, and mailed to Food Drive Donations, Pasco Sheriff’s Charities, 8700 Citizen Drive, New Port Richey, FL 34654. The deadline to donate is Dec. 13. For information, call (727) 844-7759.
The Laker/Lutz News likes to keep our readers informed about news from our local schools, including upcoming events, photos of events, recognitions and so on. Submissions need to include who, what, where, when, contact information, identifications for individuals in a photo (unless it is a large group), and a photo credit. Please send your information two weeks prior to desired publication date, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like The Laker/Lutz News to consider coverage of an event, send a request to the same email.
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and the room full of educators broke out in applause. Glenn, principal of Pasco eSchool, was obviously pleased — and surprised — by the news. It’s not, however, the first unexpected development in her career. Indeed, she didn’t set out to become an educator. When she went off to college at the University of Florida, Glenn had her sights set on the field of engineering. But, some internships and other experiences made her realize that wasn’t the right path for her. So, she shifted gears. She’d already earned enough credB.C. MANION its to pursue a degree in mathematics, Pasco County School Board Chairwoman Colleen so she decided to do that. She recalled volunteering as a Beaudoin gives JoAnne Glenn a big hug, after Glenn learns she’s been named Pasco County’s math tutor in high school. “I remembered the advisor at one Principal of the Year. point saying to me,‘Have you considered being a teacher?’” trict staff, and school administrators. “I kind of laughed it off at the time,” Glenn said much of her success stems Glenn said. from the backing she receives from others. She said former Superintendent Heather In switching majors, she got some pushFiorentino and current Superintendent back. “I announced that idea to my family and Browning, and their leadership teams, have they were not super excited about it,” Glenn been very supportive. “Even if they haven’t known necessarily said. She thinks her dad — who retired from how to solve the problem, or what next the Air Force after 22 years and became a step I should take, they have 100% been in high school ROTC instructor — had noticed favor of me making what I felt was the best a changing of attitudes toward educators decision for our school and for our district,” Glenn said. and teaching, in general. “That’s not just the superintendent or his He had reservations about supporting assistants. It’s the directors of our departhis daughter’s plan. “So, we went through a rough period, ments. It’s the principals at other schools, honestly, when every time I came home, we who again, are willing to really sit down and argued about that decision — my dad en- really talk through problems and challenges, couraging me to think about it a little bit and keep an open mind with a focus on what’s best for kids. more,” Glenn said. “That has honestly allowed me to grow “My mom had to kind of take him aside and say,‘If you and she argue every time she professionally, encouraged our school to comes home, she’s just going to stop com- take off and to try new things — and not be ing home. She’s stubborn and she’s going to afraid and paralyzed that something is not do it. You need to let her do it and see going to work perfectly the first time out,” Glenn said. where it takes her.’” Being willing to explore new avenues As it turns out, education was precisely seems to be part of Glenn’s DNA. the right path for Glenn. “I’ve not really ever had an aversion to “I’ll tell you, I haven’t regretted it for even a moment. It absolutely was a great fit trying something new or something challenging. for me as a career,” she said. “When I see a need, my instinct is to After college, she applied to five school districts and landed a job at King High move toward whatever that situation or School, as a math teacher in its traditional challenge is. “I’ve had that personality quirk that program. That’s where she met Beaudoin, another when somebody puts something out there that I haven’t considered, I don’t say, ‘No, math teacher there. The two became friends, and have kept that’s too crazy.’ I’ll say,‘You know, maybe — that’s something I haven’t tried before, I’m in touch. Glenn left King High School to become willing to give it a go’,” she said. Glenn said she has worked to build a clithe mathematics department chairwoman at new Wharton High School. Beaudoin mate “that isn’t so focused on perfection, but is focused on getting better every time. I came along with her. Opening a new school and helping to es- think that has really helped all of us to get tablish its culture is an experience Glenn better, to refine our process.” That provides an atmosphere in which wishes every educator could have. Next, she taught in what was then people who are struggling aren’t afraid to Hillsborough’s County virtual program, be- say:“Hey, this is not working and I am not fore leaving the district in 2006 to join sure what to do next,” she said. As a leader of a school that relies on Pasco County Schools as an assistant princitechnology, it’s essential to stay abreast of pal at Mitchell High. She worked briefly at Land O’ Lakes new tools, Glenn said. She calls her learning design coaches the High, too, before being selected in 2009 to become the inaugural principal of the dis- “Lewis & Clark” of the school. “They spend a lot of time reading, looktrict’s new Pasco eSchool. A decade later, Glenn remains in that ing at different technologies, testing and role. Along the way, the school and mem- vetting different things,” she said. bers of its staff have been recognized across And, because they are on the forefront of the state and nationally for outstanding per- change, what they learn can sometimes be formance. helpful to colleagues across the district. Located in Trinity, Pasco eSchool is not They can help others avoid potential pitlike a traditional school. falls, and help them to manage through the For one thing, its students come from “pain points” when making a shift to a new across Pasco County, and throughout system, she said. Florida. While delighted to be chosen as the It has 450 full-time students and 9,800 principal of the year, Glenn was caught off students taking at least one online class. guard by the honor. Over the course of last school year, it served “It’s a little bit hard for me to wrap my 17,800 students. head around the fact that I received this recognition,” the principal said, during a folTHIS PRINCIPAL ENJOYS A GOOD low-up interview.“There are so many great leaders here in Pasco.” CHALLENGE As a nominee for Florida Principal of the As the school differs from traditional schools, so does the role of the principal, Year competition, Glenn plans to do her best “to represent the excellent leaders we Glenn said. The job requires collaborating with dis- have in our schools.”
Lakes, within the Project Arthur Master Planned Unit Development. It includes land within two ecological corridors: the North Pasco to Crossbar Corridor, and the North Pasco to Connerton Corridor. The acquisition includes a substantial portion of the remaining acreage not already protected in the North Pasco to Connerton Corridor. It also includes about 647 acres in the Five Mile Creek Corridor, which is all of the acreage of that corridor that is located in Project Arthur, Brown said. That includes everything in the corridor from Starkey Wilderness Park to the railroad tracks, she added. There’s also 147 acres for a new park, which will be mostly passive in nature because of its proximity to the two ecological corridors, but there will be some active components, she said. The land is being purchased from LenAngeline LLC, and the James and Mabel Family Partnership LLLP, et al, according to agenda backup materials. It is being acquired under the county’s ecological corridor ordinance, which aims: • To preserve a continuous network of wildlife habitat between existing public lands • To protect and conserve native vegetative communities, endangered and threatened species • To protect natural functions of wildlife habitats and invaluable ecosystems Len-Angeline, and James and Mabel Family Partnership LLLP, et al. (Bexley) — elected compensation instead of density transfer. This acquisition will protect the floodplain of the Pithlachascotee River, particularly the forested wetlands along the river channel, Brown said.
It also includes measures to sustain the mature forested communities along the Pithlachascotee River and the adjacent flatwoods, she said. It protects the floodplain of Five Mile Creek, particularly the forested wetlands along the flow-way. And, it includes measures to sustain the native communities along Five Mile Creek and the adjacent flatwoods; and measures to sustain forested upland communities adjacent to this linkage. This purchase builds on significant conservation efforts over the past 14 years to protect the ecological corridors, according to county staff. The agreement also calls for LenAngeline to contribute 40 acres of upland park land along with 40 acres within the Ecological Corridors to satisfy the 80-acre park level of service requirement. The deal also stipulates that within five years of closing, Len-Angeline will collaborate with the county on park design and will spend $3 million to develop a portion of the park site. There will be a trail connection to Five Mile Creek Corridor. The agreement also includes extended possession provisions for both the Bexleys and Len-Angeline to facilitate continued cattle grazing. No leasing fee will be charged to either entity until after December 2020. It also allows for possible extended possession through Dec. 31, 2025 with a leasing charge dependent on: 1) whether LenAngeline or another developer purchases the remaining area of the Bexley property, and 2) the finalization of Sun Lake Boulevard and Ridge Road for access to the development. Two appraisals were completed on the land. The applicants’ appraisal valued the ecological corridors at about $26.9 million, while the county’s appraisal put it at slightly under $17 million.
COURTESY OF CHRIS WILKERSON OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
The ‘peanut’ roundabout, as shown on this rendering, would help motorists make smoother turns off Van Dyke Road. The design also aims to keep traffic moving continuously.
PEANUT, from page 1A All three roundabouts would form into what is known as a “peanut” design. This configuration has a long width to better facilitate entry points that are farther apart. If it is constructed, it would be the first of its kind in the state, according to the Florida
When experience matters to you!
Department of Transportation. The proposal also calls for pedestrian-bicycle paths running along the north end and south end of Van Dyke Road. A shared-use trail connection would link the Upper Tampa Bay Trail to the Northdale Lake Park Trail. Potential detours and road closures cannot be determined yet,Wilkerson said.
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December 4, 2019
Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source
Football duo readying for prestigious tournament By Kevin Weiss email@example.com
wo Pine View Middle School seventh-graders are gearing up for one of the nation’s most prestigious youth football events. As members of FBU (Football University) Team Tampa, center Niko Spilotro and quarterback Jayce Nixon will participate in the annual FBU National Championship tournament in Naples, beginning Dec. 7. The 32-team tournament is described as “youth football’s biggest event,” uniting all-star athletes and elite-level prospects of all backgrounds from across the United States. Pine View Middle is in Land O’ Lakes. National champions are crowned for sixth, seventh and eighth grade divisions. The team’s first game is against FBU Jacksonville. If Team Tampa wins, it will vie for the Florida region championship, against the winner of the Dec. 8 game between Team Central Florida-Team Southwest Florida. The Florida region winner then would advance to Championship Week, which is Dec. 15 to Dec. 19, where the team could potentially face other FBU all-star teams from across the country, beginning with the Southeast region winner (either a team from Georgia, Mississippi or northwest Florida), and on from there. Hundreds of FBU national alumni have gone on to play in the NFL and Division I college football. Some notable names include Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, and Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Getting to compete against the nation’s best and likely some future big names thrills the two 12-year-old teammates and friends. Spilotro called it “a great honor” to be on Team Tampa and participate in the national showcase. “I love to be able to compare myself to other great players to help enhance my game more,” he added. It’s likewise a “pretty big” deal for Nixon, a left-handed pocket passer. He put it like this:“I get to tell my friends I’m one of the kids (on Team Tampa) and I get to play with Niko, and I get to meet all these new kids.” Plus, he said:“I also get to go against better competition that’ll make me better in the long run.” Besides being Pine View teammates, the
COURTESY OF FOOTBALL UNIVERSITY
The 32-team FBU National Championship tournament is described as ‘youth football’s biggest event,’ uniting all-star athletes and elite-level prospects of all backgrounds from across the United States. COURTESY OF TONI SPILOTRO
Pine View Middle School seventh graders Niko Spilotro, left, and Jayce Nixon will participate in the annual FBU (Football University) National Championship tournament in Naples, beginning Dec. 7. They are members of FBU Team Tampa, which features the Tampa Bay area’s top middle-schoolers.
fact that they are the team’s center and quarterback makes their Team Tampa journey all the more unique, they agreed. “It’s very special,” Spilotro said. Having been on the same team, they are familiar with how each of them plays, which will work to Team Tampa’s advantage. Nixon said the Team Tampa coaches have praised the duo for their cohesion during snap exchanges and other drills during regular practices at Jefferson High School. The team’s head coach is Carlo Thompson. The assistant coaches are also high school coaches and former college players. “The coaches said we work really good together and (they) could tell that we’ve played together before,” Nixon said.“We developed that trust with the team, so having (Niko) there is always good.” With FBU games being streamed online at FloFootball.com, it also could give the duo some more national exposure and get them on the radar of scouts and college coaches.A few games may even air in select television markets. It’ll be a new experience, Nixon said. “I really never played in a league like this where people are going to play on TV and stuff,” he said. When it comes to the pigskin, both of these boys are serious. The 6-foot-tall Spilotro plays hockey and basketball to improve his footwork, balance
and hand-eye coordination in the offseason. But, that’s all in a quest to enhance his football skills as an offensive and defensive lineman . “Football is definitely my favorite sport,” he said. He loves that it’s a team sport and requires the entire team to perform well. He also likes to measure his personal progress. “I love to see how far I have come and how far I’m going to be able to go. I really love just how you’re able to kind of let loose and play aggressive,” Spilotro said. Nixon, meanwhile, started running track last year to improve his speed and agility. He picked up the new sport “not to become a running quarterback, but just have the ability, if the pocket does break down, to get out and make a play.” He also regularly plays flag football and in 7-on-7 football leagues to hone his overall quarterback skills. The two boys took different routes to Team Tampa, which is coming off back-toback seventh grade FBU national championships, which they claimed in 2017 and 2018. Spilotro last year attended an FBU minicombine in Naples, then attended an FBU regional camp in Orlando, where he was selected to the 2019 FBU Top Gun Showcase, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The South Carolina event is an annual na-
tional showcase designed to highlight the country’s middle school and prep studentathletes in an intense position-specific test of technical skill and ability. He performed well enough at the showcase to be named a Class of 2025 All-Top Gun Team selection. And, he carried that momentum into Team Tampa tryouts, where he made the roughly 25-member squad that features the Tampa Bay area’s top seventh-graders, with players from as far away as Avon Park and Bartow. It hasn’t all come easily for the athlete, however. Spilotro has overcome a rare eye disorder called congenital nystagmus, a condition where the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, which can result in reduced vision and depth perception. A Shriners hospital patient, Spilotro had surgery to correct the condition about two years ago. “Physically, he’s had to really overcome some things to get to the level where he’s at,” his mother,Toni Spilotro, said.“He just didn’t walk into this world being a big, tough boy. It’s something he’s had to learn over the years and overcome his own challenges.” Nixon, meanwhile, didn’t go through the FBU camp circuit. He instead was discovered by a rival coach while playing for the Bay Area Packers in the Tampa Bay Youth Football League (TBYFL).The signal-caller impressed enough to make Team Tampa after being invited to a tryout. His new team has opened his eyes to the amount of talent in the Tampa Bay area. “With my other (youth football) teams, it’s usually about one or two really good kids, but with this team, it does feel as a step up,” he said.
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COURTESY OF SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
The Saint Leo women’s volleyball program earned its seventh straight NCAA tournament berth.
SAINT LEO EARNS TOURNAMENT BID
The Saint Leo women’s volleyball team is NCAA tournament bound — for the seventh year in a row, and a total of 11 times overall. The Lions earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division II South Region and will face No.4 seed Embry-Riddle in the opening round. The eight-team regional begins Dec. 5, hosted by No. 1 seed Lynn, in Boca Raton. Saint Leo enters the 2019 postseason with a 21-10 record and 12-8 mark in conference play. The team is riding a three-match winning streak, including a 3-1 victory over Embry-Riddle on Senior Night
December 4, 2019
on Nov. 16. Saint Leo had four wins against regional foes during the regular season, over No. 1 seed Lynn, No. 2 seed Tampa, No. 4 seed Embry-Riddle and No. 6 seed West Florida, respectively. Saint Leo has advanced to two of the last four NCAA South Region semifinals, but is seeking a return to the championship match of the region for the first time since 2009.
YOUTH XC RACING SERIES
The Hillsborough Harriers youth crosscountry club is accepting runners in grades three through eight for its 5K winter training series.
COURTESY OF JOHN MEDVID
Big hauls at two-day tournament Jason Russel, left, and Paul DuPhily teamed up to win the South Pasco Bassmasters November Classic at the Lake Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, hauling in 10 bass for a total weight of 26.79 pounds across the two-day tournament. The duo caught their haul on the edges of assorted vegetation, using soft plastics and Rat-L-Traps. The South Pasco Bassmasters fishing club is looking for new members for its 2020 season. For information, visit SouthPascoBassmasters.com, or email John Medvid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The series consists of five 5K races between January and April in the Tampa Bay area. Weekly workouts for the series are on Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday in the Lutz and Carrollwood area. The club currently has over 40 boys and girls runners, from beginners to some of the
top age-group runners in the state.The boys team recently finished as the state’s topranked middle school cross country club team. Cost for the 5K series is $80 for new members. Registration includes a Harriers race uniform. For more information, visit HarriersXC.com.
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Two-year-old Rocco Cracchiolo is quick to make friends with the furry Pepe.
DECEMBER 4, 2019
Children and their parents embrace friendly skunks, while Kat Wysocki reads a story about the furry animals.
These skunks are cuddly, not stinky By Brian Fernandes email@example.com
kunks have a reputation that precedes them. And, it’s not particularly flattering. It’s no secret that they are known for their ability to smell up a place with their spray. Florida Skunk Rescue, however, is working to help dispel the negative perception that many have about the furry creatures. Recently, Kat Wysocki, vice president of the rescue organization, brought some skunks to the Lutz Branch Library for a “Reading Doesn’t Stink” presentation. The program, for kindergarteners through third-graders, was a way to add some fun to reading, while educating kids about skunks. “We rescue and foster them, and then we find forever homes for the ones that can be adopted out,”Wysocki said. Granted, these are not the typical skunks found in the wild. Instead, they are skunks that have been domesticated. The rescue team only rescues skunks that serve as pets and that have been abandoned, or must be given up by their owners. The domesticated skunks typically are raised on farms and sold in pet stores. The rescue organization has locations in Hudson and St. Petersburg, but provides services throughout Florida. “We’ve picked up skunks as far as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and all the way up to Tallahassee,”Wysocki said. Florida is among several states that allow skunks to be treated as pets. During the library presentation, parents and library staff were initially reluctant to to hold the furry creatures. But, children soon were smiling, as they held and petted the skunks. The visiting skunks did not spray anyone — they couldn’t The scent glands are removed from domesticated skunks when they are 2 weeks to 3 weeks old. Removing the scent glands prevents the release of the odor that skunks spray as a defense mechanism,Wysocki said. Besides skunks that have been abandoned, some skunks at the shelter were placed there by owners who moved to another state, where it’s illegal to have pet skunks. When the rescue organization takes in a
Lily is an example that domesticated skunks don’t have to stink but can be friendly.
Kat Wysocki of the Florida Skunk Rescue helps to retrieve pet skunks like Lily.
Skunks enjoy eating worms, crickets and quail eggs, Wysocki said.At the shelter, the team will treat them to omelets, too, she added. Pepe is one of the skunks who garners attention from both kids and She said domesadults. The furry animals were a part of a presentation at the Lutz ticated skunks often Branch Library, on Nov. 19. roam like cats and form unique relaskunk, it undergoes an evaluation by a vet- tionships with their owners. erinarian, and is quarantined for any “A lot of these guys come from loving contagious diseases. homes,” she added.“They’re extremely sensiThe rescue team uses public events and tive and they bond with their people. It’s social media to help spread the word that almost childlike.” there are skunks available for adoption. During the skunks recent visit to the liNot all of the pet skunks they take in can brary, it was apparent that the children were be adopted out. Some pet skunks have been connecting with the animals. abused or have medical issues; others are They took turns holding the three visittoo old. ing skunks. The lifespan of a striped skunk is 10 Adults also warmed up to the animals, as years when under human care, and seven the program went on. years when in the wild, according to the As Wysocki read a book on skunks to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation children, their attention would momentarily Biology Institute. shift from the story to the furry friends they
were holding. The rescue organization wants to introduce young children to wildlife, and help them develop a fascination for reading. And, the organization makes presentations at schools and museums. The skunks also can be therapeutic when presented at nursing homes or to those suffering from post-traumatic stress. However,Wysocki emphasized that it’s a good idea, in general, to be cautious around skunks. For instance, it’s important to keep your fingers away from the animal’s mouth: It might mistake it for food and bite it. She also said there are clues when wild skunks are getting ready to spray. It may stomp its feet, puff up its body, charge or pull up its tail. Wysocki said the rescue organization welcomes the opportunity to offer presentations. “We never pass up an opportunity to educate,” Wysocki said.“We are big believers that the more you teach kids to love and understand animals – at this age – the more compassionate adults they will become.”
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Up-close and personal Jumping spiders are generally friendly to humans and are not harmful to people. They are carnivorous by nature, but tend to shy away from humans. But, keep yourself protected, as they can sting badly. All jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes. Ray Martinez photographed this jumping spider at his home in Lutz.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sabre loves people Sabre, a rescue pet, is a 9-year old pitbull/catahoula mix. She loves to swim and go camping. She understands more than 50 words and phrases. Sabre’s proud owners are Nancy and Jim Budinoff, of Wesley Chapel.
PET OF THE WEEK FAMILIES RECEIVE A $30 GIFT CARD TO CHUY’S TEX MEX.
Readers can now find Pets of the Week and Local Wildlife photos on our website at LakerLutznews.com, under the Pets/Wildlife link.
Send us a picture and information on your favorite pet! Write a short paragraph about why your pet is special along with a photo and mail to: Pet of the Week, c/o The Laker, P.O. Box 479, Lutz, FL 33548 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, ATTN: Pet of the Week PLEASE NOTE: OWNERS NAME AND ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED FOR YOUR PET TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.
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The kennels are overflowing at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa, so adoption fees are cut in half, in an attempt to get dogs and cats “Home Before the Holidays.” The kennel was at 106% capacity for dogs and 94% capacity for cats, as of Nov. 27. The half-off special will run until Dec. 31. All dogs and cats are microchipped, vaccinated, registered, and spayed or neutered. The Pet Resource Center also is asking residents to take the #FosterExpressChallenge and foster a dog for as little as two hours up to two weeks, to take a dog on a field trip and give them a full holiday break. Short-term fostering can be a great way for adoptable dogs to get a much-needed respite from life in the shelter, and the additional exposure could help them find a forever home. The shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TOXIC FOOD AND DECORATIONS
Babs is a mature girl
Veterinarians at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital see an approximate 60% increase in chocolate-related emergency visits on Christmas Eve, according to a news release. Dozens of dogs and cats have been treated because they have gotten into holiday-related food and items, from chocolate and turkey bones to tinsel and toys.
BluePearl offers these tips to make it a safe holiday season for your pets: • Keep the food away. Keep chocolate, along with any other sweets and baked goods containing chocolate, away from pets. It’s important to know that even in small doses, table scraps including turkey, turkey skin, gravy and meat fat can cause a life-threatening condition in pets called pancreatitis. • Be mindful of decorations, and carefully dispose of gift wrapping. Christmas trees, electric lights, water additives, ornaments, candles, tinsel and other holiday decorations, if consumed by pets, can cause intestinal blockages that may require surgery. Electric lights and candles can cause fires, pet burns (if chewed), or worse. Gift wrapping should be cleared away, as sparkly ribbon or glittered bows can be tempting for a pet. • Designate a comfortable, quiet place inside for pets to retreat. Pets can become emotionally distressed with the commotion of the holidays. Designate a private room or crate somewhere quiet. Be mindful of the front door — as people come and go — to be sure pets don’t make a break for it and wind up getting lost. • If traveling, pack for the pet. Bring pet food, fresh water, medications, copies of medical records, ID tag, veterinarian information, a crate, bed/blanket, and toys. Pets traveling in a vehicle should be restrained with a secure harness or carrier, away from airbags. • Plan ahead. Scope out 24/7 emergency veterinary hospitals along your travel route before there is an emergency. Keep a digital and hard copy list of the hospitals’ phone numbers.
Babs is a large girl whose heart matches her size. Friendly, gentle and sweet, Babs never wants you to stop petting and brushing her. She can offer the right person a calm demeanor and a strong steady love.
Share your pet news If you have pet news about adoptions, walks or other events for pet owners and their pets, you can let us know by sending us an email. We just need the basics: who, what, when, where and why. The information should be submitted two weeks prior to the desired publication date. We also need a contact name and number, in case we have questions. There is no guarantee of publication, but we consider each item we receive. If you’d like to make a submission, send it to email@example.com. Readers can now find Pets of the Week and Local Wildlife photos on our website at LakerLutznews.com, under the Pets/Wildlife link.
Rocky is not a fighter Rocky may be his name, but he is not a fighter. Rocky survived the streets as a stray to end up at the shelter learning to play. He loves to run, go for walks and is still learning to play ball. Rocky likes walking with other dogs, if there is space between them. If you introduce Rocky to a new dog, please do it slowly, as he may not like it. Rocky knows basic commands.
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If you would like to adopt Babs or Rocky, be sure to visit Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes. The adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. All adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines. For more information, email email@example.com.
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December 4, 2019
OVERTIME LABOR LAW RULES
Lourdes Bahr, community outreach specialist for the wage and hour division of the United States Department of Labor, will provide information about the new overtime labor law rules that take effect Jan. 1. The lunch ‘n learn session will be on Dec. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the conference room at the North Tampa Bay Chamber office, 1868 Highland Oaks Blvd., Suite A, in Lutz. Lunch will be catered by Stonewood Grill & Tavern.The cost is $15.
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HART RECEIVES TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
NORTH TAMPA BAY CHAMBER COFFEE
Attend a coffee social with the North Tampa Bay Chamber at the SpringHill Suites Tampa North, Land O’ Lakes, at 16615 Crosspointe Run in Land O’ Lakes.The coffee is held on the first Thursday of every month, which is Dec. 5 this month.The coffee is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.The event is free. Bring lots of business cards.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has received a grant of $4.3 million from the Federal Transit Authority to replace diesel buses with compressed natural gas buses, according to a news release. The Federal Transit Authority received applications for 318 eligible projects, totaling $1.9 billion. Just 94 projects received funding.
HART operates roughly 35,000 daily trips, covering a service area of 1,266 square miles, and has a bus fleet of 180 buses.
The North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce planned to take part in these ribbon cuttings in December: • Glory Days, 28812 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel • Shawn Harrison & Associates, 5331 Primrose Lake Circle, Suite 100,Tampa • Hampton Inn, 11780 State Road 54, Odessa • Apricot Lane Boutique, at The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive,Wesley Chapel • ATT&T North Dale Mabry, 14446 N. Dale Mabry Highway,Tampa • Profile by Sanford, 14837 N. Dale Mabry Highway,Tampa • Scrubs ‘n Such Uniforms, 23016 State Road 54, Lutz Also, Coffee Speaks ‘N Tea Talks, at 19651 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Suite C-2, in Tampa,
had a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 26.
LEARN ABOUT SCORE, AT WOW
Susan Crane, a SCORE mentor and presenter, will talk about the free services that the organization provides and about its volunteer opportunities a the WOW meeting set for Dec. 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Beach House Assisted Living at Wiregrass, 30070 State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel.WOW is a women’s networking group of the North Tampa Bay Chamber. Preregistration and prepayment are encouraged. Online prepay is $5. Pay at the door is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. For more information, visit NorthTampaBayChamber.com, and click on the Events tab.
The North Tampa Bay Chamber monthly membership luncheon will spotlight three nonprofit organizations in the community: Continued on next page
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The session is set for Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the SMARTstart West Entrepreneur Center, 4532 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey.The class is on the first floor.To register, visit PascoEDC.com, and click on the December events tab. The Human Society of Tampa Bay, Oasis Pregnancy Care Centers and Sunrise of Pasco Inc. The luncheon is set for Dec. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Fox Hollow Country Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway in Trinity.To preregister and prepay, visit NorthTampaBayChamber.com, and click on the Events tab. For more information, call (813) 994-8534.
RISK MANAGEMENT FOR ENTREPRENEURS
This free session, which is part of the Entrepreneur Education Series, will focus on avoiding, reducing and insuring against threats to your business’ potential success.
DADE CITY BUSINESS BREAKFAST
The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce’s business breakfast will be on Dec. 17 from 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., at the Dade City Heritage & Cultural Museum, 14206 U.S. 98 Bypass in Dade City. Call the chamber for more information at (352) 5673769.
The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce membership breakfast is set for Dec. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Seven Springs Golf Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., in Trinity.To register, visit GreaterPasco.com, and click on the Events page for December. For more information, call (727) 842-7651.
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The Wesley Chapel Speaks Toastmasters meets the first and third Monday of each month at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., in Tampa. This group seeks to help its members develop and strengthen their public speaking skills, improve their communication and more. Guests can attend two meetings for free; after that, it’s $55 every six months. Toastmasters is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Sip a cup of coffee and do some networking on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 8 a.m., at the First National Bank of Pasco, 23613 State Road 54 in Lutz. The event is hosted by the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with First National Bank of Tampa. Enjoy a free cup of coffee and stay for the great company and conversation.
The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce is helping to spread the word about Blanket Tampa Bay, a 501c3 charitable nonprofit, that is collecting blankets for the homeless and less-fortunate. It has a goal of collecting 2,000 clean, new or gently used blankets. Visit Facebook.com/blanketthehomeless for more information. The blankets will be distributed on Christmas Eve at both locations of Trinity Café. For pickup, call (813) 300-9277.
Despite its acronym, (Service Corps of Retired Executives) volunteers do not have to be retired or an executive, they simply need the experience and willingness to be able to help small businesses succeed. Current local volunteers have backgrounds in human resources, engineering, accounting, sales, marketing, production and other fields.The needs of the clients the organization serves are even more diverse. To find out more, visit PascoHernando.score.org.
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The LAKER / Lutz NEWS WORD SEARCH & SUDOKU APPLE
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To solve a SUDOKU, the numbers 1 through 9 must fill each row, column and box. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and box. You can figure out the order in which the numbers will appear by using the numeric clues already provided in the boxes. The more numbers you name, the easier it gets to solve the puzzle!
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December 4, 2019
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The Laker/ Lutz News
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December 4, 2019
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orr 6855 Gall Blvd. Zephyrhills, FL 33542
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Optimum HealthCare, Inc., is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Optimum HealthCare, Inc. depends on contract renewal. For acccommodation of persons with special needs at meetings call 1-866-245-5360 (TTY: 711). Optimum HealthCare, Inc. complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does noot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Optimum HealthCare, Inc. cumple con las leyes federales de derechos civiles aplicaables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, p o sexo. Optimum p HealthCare,, Inc. konfòm ak lwa sou dwa sivil Federal ki aplikab p yyoo e li pa fè diskriminasyon sou baz ras, koulè, peyi nacionalidad,, edad,, discapacidad Ó Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitoss de asistencia lingüística. Llam orijin, laj, enfimite oswa sèks. Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: me al 1-866-245-5360 (TTY: 711). Kreyòl Ayisyen (French Creole): ATANSYON: Si w pale Kreyòl Ayisyen, gen sèvis èd pou lang ki disponib gratis pou o u. Rele 1-866-245-5360 (TTY: 711). From October 1 to March 31, we are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. From April 1 to September 30, we are open Monday through Fridayy, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. H5594__20NPSR_HURRY_M
December 4, 2019
County spends $22 million on land; A ‘peanut’ roundabout on Van Dyke Road?; Principal of the year is surprised by honor