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Cost rules out U.S. 41 underpass By Kathy Steele ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Even dropping the cost from more than half a billion to $250 million, an underpass at U.S. 41 and State Road 54 would be too pricey. Members of the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization have opted not to add the underpass - also called a tunnel - to a list of recommended road designs to ease traffic congestion at U.S. 41 and State Road 54. Pasco County Commissioner Mike

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Moore said “it’s worth looking at everything.” But, the tunnel option is “cost prohibitive.” Finding a solution is important because the intersection is one of Pasco’s busiest with about 100,000 vehicles passing through daily. Members of Pasco County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization in April got sticker shock from a study that estimated the underpass would cost $550 million. Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano then persuaded the MPO board to

delay its decision for more research. He questioned the initial costs, suggesting that MPO staff search for existing, and shorter, underpasses in other municipalities. “I don’t think they found what I was looking for,” Mariano said. But, he added: “I feel better with these numbers as far as being realistic.” The initial study considered an underpass of 6,000 linear feet. The new data looked at costs for an underpass of 2,500 linear feet. See UNDERPASS, page 19A

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The Laker/Lutz News is once again honoring our local high school graduates by publishing their names in today’s newspaper. Beginning on page 7A, we are recognizing more than 3,500 students from the 11 high schools in our distribution area.This is the 11th consecutive year we’ve published this edition, a popular keepsake for the families we serve. It is an honor to acknowledge our community’s young people who have worked so hard to achieve this goal. Graduating from high school is an accomplishment that sets our kids on a path to success as they enter adulthood, and one that is critical to their future. We read and hear much today about how our youths are attached to their digital devices and out-of-touch with anything that does not directly involve them. But, I believe that perception is greatly exaggerated, and that today’s teens are no different in their interests, worries and aspirations than those of other generations. Graduating from high school has always required commitment and perseverance. And, like the classes before them, the Class of 2018 consists of good kids who focused on their studies, listened to their teachers and parents, and worked hard to complete the many requirements needed for graduation.They dream, as other graduates before them — to live a fulfilling life and help make the world a better place. High school graduation is also a testimony to parents, who kept their child focused on achieving this important goal. It was their support, encouragement and confidence in their son or daughter that kept their student going when they didn't want to do their homework or go to school and, in some cases, had even considered dropping out. Over the next few weeks, students will proudly walk across the stage and accept their diplomas as their parents watch from

CHRISTINE HOLTZMAN

Yes, that was a pair of horses you saw strolling down the street Members of the Riddock family greet Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Meunier, as he rides his horse, Teagan, in the Long Lake Ranch subdivision in Lutz. Four-year-old Chase Riddock, tries to pet the horse, while his mother, Tanya, holds his brother, 2-year-old Cooper. The patrol makes periodic rides through Pasco County neighborhoods. Its next scheduled ride is on May 21, in the Angus Valley community of Wesley Chapel. After that, a ride is planned for June 4 in south Zephyrhills. Below, Deputy Meunier can be seen with Mounted Posse volunteer Beverly Sturtevant riding on her horse, Andy.

See HONORING, page 19A

Continued growth expected for Pasco’s housing market, expert says By B.C. Manion bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

lakerlutznews.com

B INSIDE, PAGE 1B

Pasco County is in a rapidly growing region, so more growth is expected, a national real estate expert said last week at an event organized by the Central Pasco Association of Realtors. Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, made his first visit to Pasco County, to address more than 150 real estate professionals gathered at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel. Yun anticipates moderate growth in national home sales, forecasting 3 percent to 4 percent in most parts of the country, and slightly greater increases in Florida. There are a number of factors contributing to Florida’s strong real estate market, and Pasco County, in particular,Yun said. Florida continues to attract foreign investors,Yun said.

Canadians come to the Sunshine state to escape the cold. British are very dominant in purchasing property in Orlando. Germans like areas such as Fort Myers and Naples.And, Latin Americans are attracted to the Miami area. “Many Puerto Lawrence Yun Rican residents are seeking better opportunities here in Florida,” he added. “Greater Tampa, including Pasco, has not had a large global exposure, but you are getting more of it,”Yun said. He predicts Florida will continue to see an acceleration in population growth, especially in light of recent changes to the tax code. “The end result, it is an additional tax burden for people living in the New England states, Connecticut, New Jersey and

New York,” he said. “People will be seeking:‘How do I lessen some of the burden?’ One way to do that is coming to Florida,”Yun said. He also noted that the current housing recovery is on healthy footing. The nation certainly doesn’t want what happened in 2005, when the housing market was hot:“Anyone with a heartbeat was somehow able to get a mortgage and buy a home,” he said. “I’m fairly confident that this increase will not lead to another decline because the fundamental backdrop is different.We’re in a job-creating environment,” he said. And, perhaps most importantly, underwriting standards are tough. Much higher credit scores are required to get a mortgage, he said, noting that, if anything, underwriting standards may be too stringent, especially for people who are selfemployed. “Home sales are rising, but in a very See HOUSING, page 19A


Making a difference through Special Olympics By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

For these teachers, Special Olympics is a longtime passion. With nearly 15 years combined as volunteer coaches, Connerton Elementary’s Jean Howey and Jenna Moore have experienced the positives of the world’s largest sports organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities, and strives to “transform lives through the joy of sport, training and competition.” Together, the teachers run Connerton’s Special Olympics Unified sports program, which pairs special needs athletes with nondisabled peers, or ‘partners.’ Athletes and partners compete yearround against other unified programs across Pasco County and Florida — in everything from basketball, bocce and bowling, to track and field and cycling, and more. The Connerton educators estimate the school features about 40 coed athletes and “at least that many on campus who are partners.” Howey, a physical education teacher, and Moore, who teaches special-needs students, coordinate times for the athletes and partners to practice together in gym class, at recess and other planned times at the end of the school day. Beyond that, the educators help facilitate various school inclusivity campaigns such as “Best Buddies” and “Spread the Word to End the Word.” “Best Buddies” pairs basic-education students and kids with disabilities.“Spread the Word to End the Word” aims to eliminate hurtful language when talking about people with disabilities. The teachers even formed an afterschool

COURTESY OF JENNA MOORE

Connerton Elementary School physical education teacher Jean Howey has been actively involved in Special Olympics since joining the school in 2014. She also helps facilitate various school inclusivity campaigns such as ‘Best Buddies’ and ‘Spread the Word to End the Word.’

running program for boys and girls. In addition to the unified sports, these initiatives have helped eliminate misconceptions that some may have about students with physical or intellectual limitations, the teachers said. Additionally, it has fostered tight-knit bonds and lasting friendships between basic-education student and their specialneeds peers, from prekindergarten up through fifth grade. “They see they’re more alike than different and they become friends.They want to come play with each other and visit with each other,” said Howey, who’s been at Connerton since 2014. Moore added,“there’s just something so

pure and natural about their friendship and how they care for each other.” It shows up in different ways, the teacher added: “Just the little things that they do to encourage each other — it’s a really special thing.” While Special Olympics offerings have been available at the Land O’ Lakes school since it opened in 2010, the more inclusive unified program was newly introduced this year. New Port Richey’s Longleaf Elementary is the county’s only other elementary schools that also offers a unified program. According to Special Olympics Florida’s website, unified programs enable Special Olympics athletes to not only learn and play new sports, but also experience meaningful inclusion. Each athlete is ensured of playing a valued role on the team.

OPENING THE DOOR TO NEW FRIENDSHIPS, EXPERIENCES The teams also provide a forum for positive social interaction. All participants are of similar age and ability, and unified teams are constructed to provide training and competition opportunities that meaningfully challenge and involve all athletes. The educators advocate for more unified programs to be introduced at other elementary schools, suggesting it teaches kids at a younger age the importance of social inclusion and breaking down stereotypes about people with disabilities. In some cases, the athletes prove better at a particular sport or activity than their

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unified partners, to their partners’ surprise. That signals a pleasant moment for both the athletes and their partners alike, the educators said. Said Moore, “I think one of the cool things is (partners’) realization like, ‘They can do this! They can do it!’They’re realizing like they have this preconceived notion about what someone can do and it’s like, ‘They’re blowing me away, they’re blowing me out of the water.’” Added Howey:“You get partnered with someone who might be deemed ‘normal’ and you’re better at something than they are? That’s a really cool feeling.” The program also creates opportunities for special experiences. This coming weekend, Howey and Moore will be taking eight students (six athletes, two partners) to the Florida State Summer Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, in Lake Buena Vista. The event, which runs from May 18 to May 19, is the culmination of athletes’ training and competition cycle for a specific sports season. In order to compete in a State Championship event, athletes and teams must have completed eight weeks of training, and compete at county and area level competitions. Connerton students will participate in such events as bocce, cycling, a unified relay, and soccer skills. (While all grade levels can compete in Special Olympics, children must be at least 8 years old to participate in area and state games.) During the stay, students will also partake in a dance and pizza party, and other activities led by Special Olympics, such as a free health examination, and opening and closing ceremonies. For some athletes, State Summer Games marks the first time they’ve ever stayed the night away from family. In essence, the weekend is wholly dedicated to the kids. “It’s really exciting for the kids,” said Moore. “It’s a big deal, and you can’t go there and not be happy. It’s impossible to not be happy,” she said.

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Multiple myeloma group aims to provide support By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Camille Wilson wasn’t sure what was wrong with her when she began experiencing pain in the front of her torso, and in her back. She was sent to a spine surgeon, who did surgery, but also a biopsy, which revealed there was a problem with her blood. Next, she saw a doctor who diagnosed her with lymphoma — but her son, who is a doctor, urged her to seek a second opinion, and when she did, she was diagnosed and treated for multiple myeloma. She underwent stem cell transplant, using her own stem cells. “It was probably 85 percent satisfactory, for the remission,” she said. She remains on a chemotherapy maintenance program, which does have side effects, she said. “Sometimes they’re acute. Sometimes, they’re not so bad,” she said.The side effects include rash and itchiness, nausea, leg cramps and neuropathy. She’s now a four-year survivor of multiple myeloma, a white blood cell cancer that is commonly found in the bone marrow. “Having this disease is work — to try to keep yourself stable, to keep yourself on top of all of the new things coming out, drugs, therapies, who’s the best doctor to go to,” Camille said. “I have a primary care physician. I have a primary oncologist, and then I have a myeloma specialist, and that’s what is recommended,” she said. “The myeloma patient journey is very difficult and can be quite horrific at times,” she said, noting, because she has experienced the challenges, she and her husband, Jim, decided to set up a support group to help others fighting the battle. “I’ve seen other patients, what they went through, and I felt it was time for me to give back, contribute,” Camille explained. The group meets on the third Saturday of the month at the Wilsons’ home, 6520 Yellowhammer Ave., in Tampa.The meetings are in the dance studio, Floortime Studio, which is attached to the house.

Multiple Myeloma support group WHEN: Third Saturday of the month, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. WHERE: Floortime Studio, 6520 Yellowhammer Ave., Tampa COST: Free DETAILS: The North Tampa Multiple Myeloma Educational Group provides information and support to patients who have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Friends, family and caregivers are welcome. Generally, there is a program and a free lunch. INFO: Call Camille or Jim Wilson at (813) 624-3872, or email northtampa@imfsupport.org.

for caregivers. “You at least have the opportunity to seek out and find different opportunities for dealing with your disease,” Scott said, which can include things such as nutritionists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other sources of help. Much more is known about multiple myeloma than was in the past, Camille said. “There’s a lot of hope,” Camille added, noting there are many new treatment advances. The support group draws members from Pasco and Hillsborough counties, Camille said.At its last session, there were 17 people, including members from Zephyrhills,Wesley Chapel and Lutz. Eventually, Camille and Jim, would like to shift the meeting place to a new location — possibly to a meeting room at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North. “My husband and I have to set up all of our tables. We’re getting older,” she said. “There might come a day when it won’t be that easy for us to do all of this lugging. “I’d like to get into a nice meeting room in a medical establishment because we are an educational group for multiple myeloma,” she said. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North is a good location, she said. It has meeting rooms and a restaurant.

B.C. MANION

Jim and Camille Wilson host a monthly Multiple Myeloma support group in their home, to help patients who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Meetings generally feature a guest speaker, who addresses issues, such as latest medications, resources that are available and medical questions. Patients, caregivers, family and friends are welcome and there is generally a free lunch, provided by pharmaceutical partners, Camille Wilson said. The group is affiliated with the International Myeloma Foundation, and the couple travels each year to an annual meeting where they are brought up to speed on the latest information about the disease, and spend time with other support group leaders, sharing what they’ve learned along the way. “With almost every meeting (at their home), we do go around the group and each person gets a chance to speak about their journey,” Camille said. “We share our experiences,” she said. They also share information, such as news on medications, clinical trials, sources of financial help and other relevant data. Newly diagnosed patients often are afraid and overwhelmed by their lack of knowledge about the cancer. They need a place where they can talk

with others who can share what they’ve learned and can relate to their feelings, Jim said. “They need someone to talk to,” said Jim, the support group’s co-leader. “Generally, when they leave, they feel so much better. They know they’re not alone. The roundtable sharing part of it is very effective,” Camille said. Danny Scott, who lives in Wesley Chapel, has been attending the meetings for just about as long as Jim and Camille have been holding them. He goes to two other support groups, as well. “You’re seeing and talking to other patients with active myeloma,” he said. “Myeloma is a disease where no two patients react, or are treated the same way. “You find out things that work for people, which the MDs or the oncologists don’t really know about,” he said. There are often practical tips that others have discovered, Scott said. The support is a good source of information from other patients about various approaches that can be helpful, Scott said. They are also can provide useful information

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What’s Happening

Your Community Calendar • Submit 2 weeks in advance to: news@lakerlutznews.com • All listings free of charge

CUB SCOUT MEETING

Bring your own supplies or borrow a few. The group is open to all levels of art enthusiasts. For information, call (813) 7800064.

Cub Scout Pack 9 will host its monthly pack meeting and yearly roundup for new scouts May 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at McKitrick Elementary School, 5503 W. Lutz-Lake Fern Road, in the cafeteria. For information, email Jean-Maurice Yazbeck at jeanyazbeck@yahoo.com.

WRITING PROGRAM The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host The Land O’ Lakes Scribblers May 22 from 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., for age 16 and older. Participants can use the time to practice writing skills with creative writing prompts. Local authors can share their writings. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

JAM SESSION The New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will host a ukulele jam session May 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for all levels. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

KNITTING CLUB

CLASSIC GAMES

The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host a Knitting Club May 22 at 12:30 p.m. Bring your own supplies and an optional bag lunch. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer classic board games, card games and video games, for adults, May 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

STORY TIMES

GARDEN GATE CLUB

The New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will host story times May 23 for toddlers ages 1 to 2, at 10:15 a.m.; and for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 at 11 a.m. For information, call (813) 7886375.

The Zephyrhills Garden Gate Garden Club will meet for its year-end lunch May 17 at 11:30 a.m., at Terra Restaurant, 6834 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills.There will be summer breakfast get-togethers on June 21, July 19 and Aug. 16.

INTRO TO EBAY

JAZZ PERFORMANCE The Florida Jazz Express, an 18-member jazz band, will celebrate its first anniversary with a performance May 17 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Dockside Grille, 5015 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey.There will be an assortment of classic and modern big band music.Admission is free. For information, call (516) 480-8587.

TEEN ANTI-PROM The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a Teen Anti-Prom on May 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., for ages 13 to 18.The theme will be the 1920s, “Flappers & Mobsters.”The best costume will win a prize.Teen volunteers can get six volunteer hours from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., for setting up and cleaning up, too. Admission is free, but $5 will include access to a VIP room for pizza, video games and snacks. For information, call (813) 9291214.

CANINE MOVIE

The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will offer an “Intro to eBay” May 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

COOKBOOK CLUB Local YMCAs will offer a free three-week “Safety Around Water” session to kids who have never tried a Y swim lesson. Twice a week, May 21 to June 7, certified instructors will introduce water safety skills that could save a swimmer’s life. The program is for ages 3 to 12. During the sessions, children can learn a sequenced set of skills that can reduce the risk of drowning, and give them confidence in and around water. Children must be present the first day of class, and bring their own bathing suit and towel. A YMCA membership is not required, but preregistration is. The local venues participating are: East Pasco Family YMCA, 37301 Chapel Hill Loop, Zephyrhills, (813) 780-9622; and New Tampa Family YMCA, 16221 Compton Drive, (813) 866-9622. Additional food will be available for purchase. For information, visit UACDC.org.

Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., in downtown Tampa, will show the classic canine movie,“Best in Show,” May 18, as part of its CinemaSTEM pairing with science-related subject experts.After the screening, Jay Stutz, assistant curator of zoological operations at Busch Gardens, will discuss the psychology of training “man’s best friend.”Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids ages 2 to 12, and $7 for theater members. For information and tickets, visit TampaTheatre.org.

AUTHOR FAIR The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a Local Author Fair on May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

BUG-THEME CRAFT

SABBATH AND DINNER The family friendly temple, Congregation Beth Chavaim of Pasco County, will host its monthly Jewish Sabbath services and kosher dinner at a member’s house May 18 at 6:15 p.m.The cost of the dinner is $14 per adult. For reservations and information, email familyfriendlytemple@yahoo.com.

DRIVER SAFETY The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer the AARP Driver Safety Course May 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.There are no tests, and participants could receive an insurance discount.The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.To register, call Bev Cogdill at (813) 907-3908.

FREE FAMILY MOVIE The University Area CDC (Community Development Corporation) will host a free family movie night May 18 at 6 p.m., with a showing of Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out” at the University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd St., in Tampa. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Drinks and popcorn will be free.

The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will host the Cook Book Book Club May 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.The theme is “five, or fewer, ingredients.”Visit the library to browse through the cookbooks. Bring your recipe and (optional) samples to share.There will be taste-testing discussions. For information, call (813) 7800064.

Free swim lessons

The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a “Don’t Bug Me!” craft May 19 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., for kindergarten through fifth grade. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

SKYWATCH AT MOSI The Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., will host a SkyWatch on May 19 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., for all ages. Participants may have visibility of the moon,Venus and Jupiter, and possibly the double-star system of Alcor and Mizar in the Big Dipper. No tickets are required. For information, call (813) 987-6000.

LANDSCAPE PRO TRAINING

one from the store. Learn to paint a design or picture on the shirt using stencils. Signup is online at ChaptersHealth.org/calendar-chaptershealth. For information, call (813) 355-4830.

The UF/IFAS Pasco Cooperative Extension Service will offer “Green Industry Best Management Practices” training May 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.The program is designed for landscape professionals that apply pesticides and fertilizers commercially.The cost for training and lunch is $30.All participants must have a photo ID and a prepaid ticket. No refunds will be given. Preregistration and prepayment are required by May 23 online at bit.ly/2KGLNVe.

KIDDUSH LUNCHEON

FARM ACTIVITIES

Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road in Tampa, will host a Kiddush luncheon May 19, after the 9:30 a.m. Shabbat services. Admission is free, but non-members should RSVP by calling (813) 962-6338.

Sweetfields Farm, 17250 Benes Roush Road in Masaryktown, will again showcase its ‘living labyrinth’ — a sunflower maze — on weekends during the month of May from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays (last admission on farm grounds is at 3 p.m.) The maze also will be open Memorial Day, May 28.Admission is $9.50 plus tax for age 12 and older; $5 plus tax for ages 3 to 11; and free for age 2 and younger. No pets are allowed.This is an outside activity, and subject to close if weather is severe. No rain checks or refunds. For information, call (352) 279-0977, or visit SweetfieldsFarm.com.

LUTZ GUV’NA DEBATE The 2018 Lutz Guv’na Race will host a debate May 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Old Lutz School, 18819 U.S. 41.Attendance is open to the public. For information, email jenn4parade@gmail.com.

COOKOUT & SEMINAR Samantha Taylor Fitness will host a free cookout and nutrition seminar May 19 at 12:30 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Studio, 2206 Knight Road. Reserve your spot at SamanthaTaylorSeminars.com.

BOOKS FOR TROOPS Books for Troops, a nonprofit group that provides recreational and educational reading material to men and women in uniform free of charge.The group is asking for specific books to answer a request from Forward Operating Base Fenty.All books on the required military reading lists are for officers and enlisted on active duty or reserve duty.These donations will be accepted in hardback.The list of needed books can be found at BooksForTroops.org/books-requested. Donations can be dropped off at Simply Self Storage, 22831 Preakness Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes.

TECH HELP The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer one-on-one tech help, by appointment only, May 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For information and to make an appointment, call (813) 780-0064.

T-SHIRT PAINTING Life’s Treasures Thrift Store, 4910 S.Allen Road in Zephyrhills, will offer a free T-shirt painting workshop May 19 at noon. Supplies to paint one shirt will be provided. Bring a plain T-shirt or purchase

SONS OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION The Tampa Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will meet May 19 at the Golden Corral Restaurant, 11801 N. 56th St., in Temple Terrace. For time and information, call (813) 899-1833.

ART IN THE AFTERNOON The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth 0St., will offer “Art in the Afternoon” May 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for teens to seniors.

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POLITICAL AGENDA

Storm season is coming; prep now Political meetings set; endorsement given The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report

REPUBLICAN CLUB MEETINGS

The start of hurricane season is June 1, and everyone should have a plan and prepare their families, pets, homes and businesses for potential storms. Now is the time to check evacuation zones, make arrangements, build a supply kit, secure your home and/or business, and stay informed with emergency alerts. Residents should ‘prepare for the worst’ by having a plan in place before a hurricane or tropical storm hits. These tips will help with a safety plan or checklist: • Compile a plan. Have a plan that covers necessities and likely needs, such as getting sandbags, where to go during an evacuation, and how to get there. Share your information with family members. • Register for alerts. In Pasco County, use the Alert Pasco app to receive emergency notifications and/or threatening severe weather messages. In Hillsborough County, the mass notification system is HCFL Alert. Keep your contact information updated to ensure you get alerts in real time. • Know your zone. Residents, visitors and businesses should know what evacuation zone they are in by visiting PascoCountyFL.net or HillsboroughCounty.org. • Pack an evacuation kit. Generally, every kit should have water, food, medications, personal hygiene items, important papers, changes of clothing and footwear, blankets or sleeping bags, a battery-powered radio and flashlight, a first-aid kit, and cash. • Prepare your pets. Have a plan in place

FILE

Hurricane Maria, which hit Florida last September, had winds so fierce that not only were trees knocked down, but the bark also was stripped from them.

should you need to take your pet to a shelter, and always take a pet carrier, food, medications, and proof of current rabies vaccination and registration tag. • Register for special-needs assistance. Anyone with special needs, seniors, and those without transportation can register for programs in place to help these individuals prepare and find safe shelter and transportation. • Ready your property.Take steps to get your residence or property ready for hurricanes and inclement weather. • Protect your business. Take steps to minimize losses and increase business survivability. • Stay informed. Use social media accounts to get official information and updates during emergencies.

The Republican Club of Central Pasco and the Pasco Federated Republican Woman’s Club will host a joint meeting on May 21, beginning with a social at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will feature a meet and greet with Pasco County School Board candidates Allen Altman, Cynthia Armstrong, Megan Harding, Heide Janshon and Tara O’Connor. The meeting also will be a potluck dinner, so bring your favorite dish. The club will supply the beverages. The meeting is open to the public, and the club encourages anyone that seeks to be involved in the political process to attend. The club meets at Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. For more information, call (813) 996-3011.

DEMOCRATIC CLUB MEETING The Trinity Democratic Club’s May upcoming meeting will feature Ryan Torrens, candidate for Attorney General and Roy David Walker, candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. The May 23 meeting starts at 6:30 p.m., at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway in Trinity. Doors open

at 5 p.m., for dinner and happy hour, selfpay, with food and beverages available for purchase throughout the meeting. For questions, call (415) 609-3633, or email trinitydems@earthlink.net.

ENDORSEMENT Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller Paula S. O’ Neil has endorsed Mike Moore in his re-election bid for the District 2 seat on the Pasco County Commission, according to Moore’s campaign. Political Agenda is a column that runs only during election years. It gives candidates a place to announce they are seeking political office. It lets voters know of upcoming Meet the Candidate nights or political forums. It is a place where political clubs can announce upcoming meetings, and it will include news that is pertinent to voters for upcoming elections. It will not include political fundraising events. There is never a guarantee of publication, but we do consider each item we receive. Please submit items for consideration at least two weeks prior to the desired publication date. Send submissions to news@lakerlutznews.com.

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Pasco schools adopt new safety measures By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

An initiative to place school safety guards into Pasco County’s elementary schools attracted 125 applicants for 53 job slots. Training for the safety guards is scheduled to begin in June, with a goal of having the guards prepared for duties by August. Some applicants were retired law enforcement officers. “We’re excited about the level of interest and the caliber of people who are interested,” said Betsy Kuhn, assistant superintendent for support services with Pasco County Schools. The update on hiring school safety guards was part of a broader presentation on school safety, hosted by the Pasco County Schools public school district on May 7, at the Wiregrass High School cafeteria. About 100 people attended, including parents, teachers, school board members and school bus drivers. The presentation highlighted the school district’s response to a new state law requiring elementary schools to have armed security. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act is a reaction to the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland when 17 people were killed. Lawmakers approved some financial assistance for boosting school safety, and for mental health care. But, school officials said funding is inadequate, and won’t pay to place School Resource Officers, who are certified law enforcement officers, at every school. The school district now has SROs at its

KATHY STEELE

Betsy Kuhn, assistant superintendent for support services at Pasco County Schools, standing, and Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning, sitting to the right, led discussion on school safety at Wiregrass High School.

middle and high schools. The security guards that will provide protection at elementary schools are a less-expensive option. Before being stationed at schools, the guards will go through 132 hours of training with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Other topics discussed at the public meeting included the school district’s update to its Active Threat Plan; the highlights of the state’s new restriction on firearms; and mental health care services.

MAKING CAMPUSES SAFER The school district began a review of its existing school safety plan in January. The updated version was implemented in August. Priorities are on safety, prevention efforts and working collaboratively with the sheriff’s office. An assessment of the district’s 90 facilities is underway.The final report will look at additional ways to eliminate vulnerabilities

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on campuses, Kuhn said. “We want to make sure we remain vigilant as we get farther away from Parkland,” she said.“We’re looking at how we balance our facilities so they are welcoming to the community, but safe.” That isn’t a balance everyone supported. One woman during public comment said, “I don’t want my school open to the community. I want it closed.” About a dozen people spoke during public comment.They talked about their fears, and those of their children or students.They also spoke about how the school district can improve safety, and do better at communicating to parents and school employees. Rayomond Chinoy has two children who will attend high school next year. He has met privately with school officials about his concerns. One issue he raised at the public meeting is how school officials would stop potential shooters from entering school buildings, once they have been identified as threats. He also worries about safety on school field trips. “I don’t think they’ve figured out a balance yet,” said Chinoy, speaking after the meeting.“I want to know this is how we’re going to fix it. This is where the money is coming from.” Some also wanted greater emphasis on prevention efforts, and mental health support. Browning said, “This district works incredibly hard to identify those kids who need extra support.” But, funding is an issue. And, regarding the issue of identifying potential active shooters, Browning said, “I don’t know of anyone who is a clairvoyant who knows what’s in the head of every kid.” Lt. Troy Ferguson, with the sheriff’s office, talked about law enforcement’s role in school safety. “It’s a sad commentary on society that

we have to have these types of meetings,” he said. But, the sheriff’s office monitors threats on a daily basis. Recently, a teenager who moved from Pasco to Ohio made a threat on social media. Ferguson said he was arrested in Ohio. And, even if it means waking parents at 2 a.m., to ask about a tweet or Facebook post by their child, Ferguson said deputies will do what’s necessary for safety. Active shooter situations generally last 6 minutes to 12 minutes, he said. In those moments, response plans rely on a “mitigation strategy not a prevention strategy,” Ferguson said. The goals are self-evacuation; communications and alerts for school lockdown and barricading classrooms; concealment; and, as a last resort, countering the attacker. “It’s literally about defending your life and the life of a child, looking for a place to take refuge,” Ferguson said. The sheriff’s office, similar to the school district, wants to strike a balance. “We want to be inviting to the community,” said Ferguson. “We don’t want to think about building moats and putting in big dragons, just yet.” There were divisions among those at the meeting on whether to arm school employees, including teachers, with firearms. Browning said state lawmakers want SROs at every school, but they didn’t provide funding for that. “We can’t afford true SROs on all of our campuses,” he said. But, he added, “I’m not ready to arm district personnel. I’m just not ready to do that.” Browning said deputies responding to active shooters would have trouble distinguishing between school employees and the shooter. One woman suggested that district personnel could wear badges or special vests, if they were armed. Some parents spoke about building modifications that were needed. For example, they said many schools have doors with glass windows that can be broken for easy access into classrooms. Once the campus assessment is done, Browning said the district will know more about additional expenses needed to boost safety measures.The next step would be to identify financial resources, which might involve local fundraising activities. “This was an insightful evening,” Browning said.“We’re still working through the plan. We can do a better job of communicating. The conversation does not stop here.”

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Steven Papola - Still Serving and Protecting the Public As An Allstate Agent Allstate allows us to access alternative markets that it has selected to be stable enough to meet the standard of Allstate’s When the World Trade Center col- quality control, when Allstate has deterlapsed during the Sept. 11 terrorist mined the risk to be unacceptable to its attacks, Steven Papola was close enough underwriting. Those alternative markets to see it fall, as he was on his way to begin are in Property and Commercial the recovery effort at ground zero. Insurance. This allows agents to access That was the day he gave up a success- additional Homeowners Insurance compaful insurance business in Blue Point, New nies, as well as other companies, not affilYork, to resume full-time work as an offi- iated with and not part of Allstate. cer for the New York Police Allstate has re-entered the Department, where he had homeowners insurance marworked previously for 15 ket with the introduction of years. Castle Key Indemnity After assisting with the Insurance Company on a 9/11-recovery effort, Papola limited basis and, if the risk moved to Florida and served qualifies, the insured is likely a 10-year stint as a deputy to save significantly. sheriff with the Pasco Steve likes to compare County Sheriff’s Office. This the quality of customer servpast March, he returned to ice at his agency with those insurance sales, opening an of online, toll-free number Allstate office in Lutz. insurance services. Steve views insurance as Steve Papola, Agent “I own this a natural extension of serv- Centurion Insurance and business,” Steve said. “This ing and protecting the pub- Financial Services, Inc. is me. I represent Allstate, I lic. have skin in the game, and “A customer is a customer, whether will never treat you like that 800 number. you’re wearing a uniform serving them in I’m going to make sure you are treated one capacity, or wearing a suit and serving well and are satisfied.” them in another capacity,” says Steve. Steve believes that Allstate agencies He also considers Allstate, informally like his are an integral part to a communicalled Big Blue, a natural business partner ty. for a former police officer from the NYPD “We help communities grow, because Blue. we open agencies and employ people who Now, Steve protects people against come in and work with us from the local financial loss. His agency offers many area,” Steve said. “An Allstate agency is types of insurance — automobile, home- not just a place that sells insurance. It’s a owners and property, flood insurance, and business that contributes to the communibusiness and commercial. He is especially ty and puts people to work.” proud of the specialty lines offered, includPapola’s Allstate office is located at ing motorcycle, boat, recreational and off- 1528 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Suite 102, in road vehicle insurance. Papola also offers Lutz, in Tropical Village Plaza across from more than just Allstate products, includ- WalMart. For more information, call ing life insurance, annuities and retire- (813) 995-6013, or visit ment plans. Agents.Allstate.com/Steve-Papola

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: INSISDAELS &

VALS, GRADS YOUR ES IN NAM T! PRIN

Lutz News Class of 2018

Class of

Lutz NEWS 2018

A SPECIAL KEEPSAKE EDITION FOR GRADUATES, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2018! Ending one chapter, starting a new one By B.C. Manion bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

T

hey are members of the Class of 2018, and they will be marching — by the thousands — into their futures. Students from across Lutz, Odessa, Land O’ Lakes,Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, San Antonio and Saint Leo are donning caps and gowns, and are leaving their high schools behind. These are students who have grown up in the age of technology. They’ve mastered Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.They’re experts at posting to Facebook and YouTube. Their Smartphones are their constant companions and texting comes second-nature to them.And, someday, perhaps not in the too distant future, they’ll be riding in driverless electric-powered cars. They’ve been witnesses to history. They’ve seen the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, and also of President Donald J.Trump, a real

estate mogul and reality television celebrity. They’ve seen activism grow, and in many cases, have been a part of it. After the Feb. 14 slaying of students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, students — both locally and across the nation — organized demonstrations to pressure lawmakers to make changes to gun laws. They’ve also seen or have played a role in other growing movements, including the #MeToo Movement, Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March on Washington.

Back to betterr.. Fasterr.. Central Pasco | We Wesley Chapel

Soon, these graduates will be assuming a larger role in making their own mark on history, both in their personal lives and in the world, at large. Some will head off to the University of Florida, Emory University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, Florida Institute of Technology, Boston College, New York University, Duke University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida and Florida State University. Of course, others will be staying closer to home, attending Saint Leo University, the University of South Florida, Rasmussen College, PascoHernando State College and Hillsborough Community College. Their major fields of study include aerospace engineering, computer science, pre-medical, environmental engineering, biology, health science, nursing, biochemistry, engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, chemistry, communication sciences and disorders, business administration, international business and Japanese. Others will be

studying to work in skilled trades, or heading directly to the workforce. Before beginning a new chapter, though, these graduates are pausing to celebrate their accomplishments so far. They will gather at events with friends and family to savor this milestone in life. Some commencement ceremonies will be in intimate settings; others, in huge auditoriums. And, while the world around them remains unpredictable, it’s likely most of these gatherings will include the time-honored traditions of pomp and circumstance, caps and gowns, speeches, music and photos. Of course, the big moment comes, for all of those assembled, when the name of their particular graduate is announced. After the ceremonies come the post-commencement celebrations — as unique and varied as the graduates themselves. As they head in their myriad directions, to decide their own paths in life, please join The Laker/Lutz News in saluting members of the Class of 2018, and congratulating them on their accomplishments.


Lutz News Class of 2018

Congratulations Class of 2018

MAY 22 AT 12:30 P.M., AT THE FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS ANTICIPATED GRADUATES:

ORIANA ISABELLA CHACON

BRANDON TYLER GREGORY

ALI ABDULABBAS

ARYANA ROSE CHANDLER

NERIL DERIC GRIFFITH

BRENDAN JAMES ABEL

MAYA CHANTHAVONG

LIANA J. GUEVARA

ANJU ABRAHAM

JACOB PARKER CHORONENKO

NOAH JAVIER GUZMAN

Best wishes as you begin life’s next chapter.

MOHAMMAD ABUGHWEILI

NATHAN D. CINTRON

MELINDA ROSIE ANNA HARDRICK

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

ALYSHA SAHIMAR ACEVEDO

ANTHONY CIVIL

L A DELBERT A. HARROLD

ARLINGTON ACOSTA LAGOS

GENEVIEVE MARY CLARK

JAMES STEPHEN HART

DE'ANDRE ISAAC ADEKANMI

ALDEN NICOLE COCHRAN

CAMILLE DYER HEBERT

MUHAMMAD SAMEER AHMADI

SPENCER SCOTT COLEMAN

SAMANTHA MONIQUE HELTON

SARIM FAISAL AKRAM

MAYKELIS M. CORTORREAL

NADIA CAROLINA HERCULES

NOUR MAHMOUD AL THABTIH

COLE BRENDAN CRAWFORD

JAILENE HERNANDEZ

MIGUEL A ALBARRAN

CHASE A. CREWS

KEVIN EDUARDO HERNANDEZ LOPEZ

ELLEYNA MICHELLE ALDERMAN

HARLEEN VANESSA CRUZ

JORDAN WILLIAM HICKS

JENNIFER ALEJO

SEBASTIAN J. CUEVAS

ONWARD HIELD

CHLOE BRIANNE ALEXANDER

JASON LANE CUNNINGHAM

ALIYAH MICHELLE HILL

RILEY FLETCHER ALLGOOD

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RAYVIN S. HOBDY

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JEREMIAH S. DE LA ROSA

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FARAH ARMOUSH

NDEYE FATOU DIBA

ALDIAN ISAACS

SHEILA ARTOLA

VIVIANA PATRICIA DO NASCIMENTO

JOSEPH DESTINE IZQUIERDO

Let the caps fly!

®

Jerry McCarthy, Agent 1531 Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548 Bus: 813-949-3669 jerry.mccarthy.b0ep@statefarm.com 1501231

FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL

State Farm, Home Office, Bloomington, IL

Congratul t ations t Class of 201 18 We’ll have a party for or you!!! The Republican Club of Central Pa asco Pasco Federated Republican W Womens Club Meets the 4th Monday of each month h at 7:00 p.m.

Copperstone Executive SSuites 3632 Land O Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakkes, FL 34639 813-996-3011

NATALYA AMARIS ASTEASUAINZARRA

KAREEM A. JACKSON

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NAVARRA' A. JAMES

JERREMIE AUSTIN

JACQUELINE VIVIANNE JANSEN

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KEVIN A. JEFFERIS

ALEXANDER PRESTON BALMASEDA

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DELIBELLE CAEZ CRUZ

DEJANEE DANIELLE GARDNER

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CAYLA MAREE GASS

BRIAN D. LONY

KRISTINA N. CALIXTO

ALIESHA RACQUEL GATLING

WALTER JOEL LOPEZ

REGINA SHANTE' CANTAVE

QUINTON J. GOLIDAY BILLETT

KAYLIN M. LOWELL

ANNIE ANRAN CAO

DANIELA ISABEL GOMEZ ALFONZO

ANTHONY DAVID LUMADUE

AIDEN EDWARD CARNEY

JONATHAN ANTHONY GOMIS

KATE CASIS MAHILUM

MAKAYLA LOUISE CARON

MARILYNN BERNADETTE GONZALEZ

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AMY JIRABEL CARRILLO

DESTINY ZARI GOODSPEED

YASLEN MARINO

ABDIEL R. CASADO HERNANDEZ

T'JAYA GRAHAM

INGRID MARIA MARRERO

ANAIHYA J M CASILUS

TIMOTHY ANDREW GRAMS

HASEEM KAHLIL MARSHALL

ANTHONY T. CASSIDY

TYLER JEREMY GRAY

JADE A. MARTIN

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Jus t a No te t o s ay:

YIP PPEE! HO OORA AY Y! HURRAH! CONGR C RATULA AT AT TIONS GRA AdUA AT TES!

Russell Adams Realty y, Inc. y,

Congratulattions Class of 20 018!

Dedicated to serving the people off Tampa Bay y.. Paid for by bilirakis for Cong Pa gress


Lutz News Class of 2018 You are achievers! Keep up the good work.

Congratulations!

Valedictorian

Salutatorian

College: University of Florida

College: Florida State University

Catherine Weng

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ELIEL M. MARTINEZ

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ASHLEY MEDRANO -PIMENTEL

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EMILY TRACY MAURICE

ADELINE RAMEY PORT

CHARLES EDWARD STRAWN

OSCAR MAYEN

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JERIC DEQUAN STUBBS

MADISON L MCCRORY

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CORTNEE JEANMARIE SUITER

KAMRAN A MCINTOSH

DANIELA MARIA RAMIREZ-MENDEZ

LAURA M SUREDA

DESTON MCPHERSON

YERLI S RAMOS

ARIES TAYLOR

ANTHONY MENA

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ADRIAN A REYES

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ASHER DANIEL RICHARDS

GERALD MICHAEL MILLER

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CHRISTIAN MANUEL RIVERA

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YOLIMAR MORALES

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MYRIEMME GEYLSAMINA TROMEBATI

CORTNEY ELIZABETH MORT

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BRANDON D VACCARO

MARK ANTHONY MOUHAWASSE

KEVIN B RODRIGUEZ

KATHERINE MICHELLE VALENTIN-TORRES

JOSIAS EVERETT MOULTON

RYAN JOSHUA RODRIGUEZ

JENNIFER VARGAS

MORGAN RILEY MOYANO

WYNTER RAINE RODRIGUEZ

CYNAI JAVANNI VASQUEZ

ANDREW PATRICK MULLIGAN

ALEK DONALD ROJAS

DAPHNE VAZQUEZ RIVERA

O'DELRA MUNGIN

WILLIAM FRANKLIN ROJKA

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JUAN DIEGO MUNOZ ROMERO

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MARIA LUISA ROLDAN-COLON

VIOMARIE N VIGO OSORIO

ANIA LEE MURILLO

LESLY ARLETTE ROMO

DESTANIE AIYANNA WALKER

JOB MIGUEL MURILLO

DIANNYARIE ROSADO

JAMES WALKER

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JESUS RUIZ

SETH WALKER

JASON ELIJAH NEIFA

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Congrats 2018 Grads Best Wishes from

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Congratula ations 2018 graduates. g May this be the beginning b of a succeessful journey.

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GILMARIE PATTERSON

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MEESAN MARWAH ZHEIMAN

AVERY A PENALVERT

OLIVIA LEIGH SOLORZANO

BRITTANY ZHENG

ALEXIS XAMID PEREZ

DERENSON SOSSOUS

JACK ZOU

DIANA LAURA PEREZ

KEYSHLA NOELY SOTO

DYLAN ANDREW ZUCCARELLO

CATHERINE LYNN WENG KIMBERLY ANN WENTWORTH MEGAN CALEY WESTFALL ETHAN P WILEY AALIYAH RENEE WILLIAMS ALVIN WILLIAMS CARSON GERRIT WILLIAMS DE'SHON A WILLIAMS JAYDEN ELLIOTT WILLIAMS

congratulations

class of 2018


Lutz News Class of 2018

T sky’s The ky’ the ky he limit l mitt limi Congratulations to the t Class of 2018, and good luck in all of your o future endeavors. We know your hard work and education will take you far, so le et your dreams lead the way as you soar onward and upward, graduates! www.FamilyFrie end dly d yT y Tam ampaB amp Bay..com

Co ongratulatiions HIS IMPORT RT TA ANT MIL LESTONE ON TH duates, Dear Grad gin the next chapter of your As you beg y life please remember th c duty. he importance of your civic 5HJLVWHUWRYRWHDQGKDYH\RXUYRLFHKHDUG Sincerely,

Brian E. Corley Supervisor of Eleections

Z Z Z  S D V F R Y R W H V F R P

STEINBRENNER HIGH SCHOOL MAY 21 AT 12:30 P.M., AT THE FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS ANTICIPATED GRADUATES: MATTHEW ABRAMSON SAMUEL ADEYANJU MAYA ADWELL MARIA AGURCIA CADE ALFIERI BAREQ ALJUBOORI YILIAN ALONSO OTANO EMILY ALPERSTEIN KATLEN ALVAREZ ESTEFANY ALVAREZ PEREZ KAMRYN ANDERSON JESSICA ANDREWS JORDAN ANDREWS VICTOR ANDREWS-POWLEY RAYANNE ANID WILLIAM ARBOGAST GABRIELL ARZUAGA ARIELLE ASTRA LYNDSEY AUSBURN CONNOR AUSTIN CLAUDIA BAAB CHRISTOPHER BABB SYDNEY BADWAY JACOB BAKER LAUREN BALLARD STEPHANIE BALMER ANUSHKA BANERJEE FAITH BANKS JOHN BARGER MACKENZIE BATES JUAN BAUTISTA NATHANAEL BAUTISTA TAYLOR BELL GERIK BENNETT STEPHANIE BERMUDEZ SHAHIL BHAKTA HOPE BIGLER JULIAN BILGRAY ALEXIS BISHOP EZEKIEL BLACKMAN HUNTER BLAIR STEVENSON BLOUNT II CATHERINE BOCASSI JACKSON BORDERS JOHNATHAN BORIS MORGAN BOWDEN JESSICA BOYINGTON MADISON BRADLEY MATTHEW BRANTLEY JENNIFER BRYANT MYKA BRYANT BLAIRE BUCK KATIE BURCAW GRIFFIN BURCHARDT ASHTON BURKE LIAM BURKHISER DILLON BURRELL KAYLYNN BUTTS LINDSEY CAGLE DREW CAITO-SAVAGE ALEXIS CAMPBELL TREVOR CAMPBELL CHASE CAMPOLONG BLAKE CARDENAS MAX CARMODY JOSEPH CARNEY DAVID CARROLL JOSHUA CASAL JR. AMANDA CASWELL TROY CATMULL DEMIETRE CHANEY SAVANNAH CHAPMAN JUSTIN CHELENA SARAH CHEN EMILY CHMIELEWSKI MEGGAN CHOATE ERIC CHOJNACKI MASYN CICCARELLO CAITLIN CIMENO AMANDA CIMMINI HIRATA KYLE CINDRIC MIA CLARK JENNIFER CLIFFORD JULIANA CLIFFORD KERRI COCHRAN ARIELLE COKER MEGAN CONRAD CAITLIN COOK CARINA COOPER SARAH COOPER LARA COPAS MCKAYLA CORDERO CHANCE CORNELL MICHAELLA COSCIA JOHN COWAN ARIEL COX BRAEDEN COXON DANIEL CRAIG ALLISON CRANE EMILY CRANWELL KAYLA CRAWFORD OLIVIA CRAWFORD ISABELLA CRUZ-O'GRADY JOSIAS CUEVAS RONALD CUERVO JR. CAMERON CUFFE HANNAH CUSHING GRACE D'ANGELO

OLIVIA D'ANGELO DEVYN DACUS DONALD DAGLO OLIVIA DAILEY TYLER DAVENPORT DAMIEN DAVIS JERAMEEL DE JESUS DIAZ DANIEL DELATORRE MIA DELBROCCO DANIEL DELGADO TRESSA DESMOND MARIANA DEYNES CARLOS DIAZ JACOBS SIMON DIBBLE ALEXIS DIBLASI DOMENIC DIFANTE JOHN DILLON III HANNAH DISKIN SAMUEL DOLGIN MADISON DOMINGUEZ NICHOLAS DONNELL ERIC DORN SALENA DORSEY AUSTIN DOSS NICOLE DUCOTE CAYLIN DUFFY CHASE DUGAN CHEYENNE DULA D'ANDRA DUNBAR COLLIN DUNCAN RENEE DUNKLE STEPHEN DUNN KELLY DUNSMORE BAILEY DURAN MCCORMACK DYN EMILY EBRIGHT ELIZABETH ECHENIQUE JACOB ECKMANN DANA EL-KALAZANI ALEXA ELLIS MOHAMED ELWAHSH DEVYN ESPY

HANNAH EVERICH MARK FARRELL TREY FATZINGER MARIO FEBRE JESSE FEDNA MEGHAN FELICE ADDISON FELL NORAH FENNELLY JOSEPH FERNANDEZ LYLA FESLER NICHOLAS FILUTA MICHAEL FISHER KIEL FLEMING SAMANTHA FONTANEZ CHLOE FONTES COLIN FORDE CASEY FOREMAN CAMERON FRAZIER JASMINE FREEDMAN BROOKLYN FREYRE TAYLOR FRIEDLY NATHALI FUENTES TRUJILLO CALEB FULFORD THOMAS GADALH SERENA GADSON JACK GALANTE KRISTEN GALLO LEAH GALLO MATTHEW GALLO KARISHMA GANGA SAMANTHA GARBER BRANDON GARCIA CESAR GARCIA ELENA GARCIA SAVIEL GARCIA BRITTANY GAVIN ALLYSON GERAGHTY NAVID GHANNAD RILEY GILROY MICHAEL GIOVENCO JESSICA GLENZER ANTONIO GONZALEZ CARLOS GONZALEZ KALEIGH GONZALEZ SKYLER GONZALEZ RUTH GOODE LEILA GOODFELLOW JELANI GORDON-MARTIN ALESSA GORE BRIAN GRAHAM CONNOR GRANT JAMES GRASINGER MICHAEL GREEN MATTHEW GREENBERG HARRISON GREENE AMBER GRIFFETH KARLI GRIFFIN

ADLER GRIFFITH DANIELLE GRIMALDO LAUREN GUILLOT IAN GUINCHO JACQUELINE HAHN JENNIFER HALL KIMBERLY HALL NATALE HALL KAYLA HALLS ROBERT HANDLY ILEANA HANSEN BRIANNA HARPER PAIGE HARRAR JENNIFER HARRIGAN JOSEPH HARRISON MARISSA HARRISON ALISON HART MOLLY HAUSER EVAN HAYES DEVIN HEATH ROBERT HEIDT TYLER HELDT ALEXANDER HENRY JEREMY HENSON CHRISTIAN HERNANDEZ HALEY HERNANDEZ MARIELYSSA HERNANDEZ NOEL HERNANDEZ GOMEZ JESSICA HERZ SETH HIBEL ALEXIS HIGH GARRETT HILL KEVIN HILL MATTHEW HILL GENEVIEVE HOLE KAYLA HOSEIN KYLA HOTTER RILEY HOWARD STEFAN HROMALIK DYLAN HUGGINS JARED HUGHES ASHLEE HURLEY CAMERON HYDER ASHLEIGH INGRAM SHANE IRONS DYLAN ISAJAR THAIS JACOMASSI JULIE JACQUES FRENSY JEAN-LOUIS TYLER JOHANNES REAGAN JOHNSON ZACHARY JOHNSON JOSEPH JOHNSTON LAUREN JOHNSTON HALEY JOHNSTONE EMILY JOLLEY MADELINE JONES ASHLEY KANG EMILY KATZ PRESTON KELEHER LONDON KELLER MACKENZIE KELLEY HAILEY KEZELL LAUREN KHAWAM JANICE KIM TORI KIRKLAND KEVIN KITTS SOPHIE KLEIN BLAKE KOLANO LINDSEY KOLANO JONATHAN KOLLAR KELSEY KORNBLUH IVANNA KOUTEREBA THEODORE KRAMER WILLIAM KRAMER JULLES KRAS KERROLLOS KRAS JESSICA KRASNOVE FAITH KRAUS CONOR KRELL NICOLE KREVSKY JOHN KROMER BROOKE KUBEL MCKENNA KUCZER MADISON KUHLMAN JORDAN LALA EMILY LALIBERTE ALEXANDER LANGIOTTI EVAN LASKY CATHERINE LEE SPENCER LEE JAMIE LEIST ANAIS LEVASSEUR KEITH LINDERBECK MASON LINKER TORI LINVILLE WILLIAM LINVILLE YUXIANG LIU MICHAEL LONG WILLIE LONG ALEXANDER LOPEZ GRANT LOPRESTI JACK LOSIER PATRICK LOWDER GIOVANNA LOZADA JAMES LUCKER ASHLYN LUDOVICI NOAH LUKE CAITLIN LUND


Lutz News Class of 2018

Shoott forr the Stars! You ur diploma is your ticket t to a brigh ht future. Ma ay it take yo ou far.

H Happy y Gradu uation! GFWC C LUTZ – LAND O’ O LAKES W WOMAN’S CLUB, INC. P.. O. Box 656 • Lutz, Floorida 33548 P W continue to support edducation We inn ourr communities through scholarships, ddonaations to schools and volunteerism.

Valedictorian

Salutatorian

Antonio “AJ” Gonzalez

Grant LoPresti

College: New York University Major: Biochemistry

College: Duke University Major: Engineering

LOGAN LUNDY ABBIE MACFERRAN MARK MACGREGOR HAILEY MACNEALY NICHOLAS MANA KYLE MANN NATALIE MANNINO TOBY MANULAK ASHLEY MARCONE ANTONY MARTINEZ NICHOLAS MARTZ SKYLAR MASON BRIANA MATTHEWS ANA MATTOS STEPHANIE MAURICI HEATHER MAYS BRIANNA MCALEER KAITLYN MCCARTHY NATHANIEL MCCLARIN GREGORY MCCOY JR JOHN MCCURDY JUSTIN MCELROY BAILEY MCFATRIDGE ANDREW MCGLONE KACEY MCGLONE CAITLIN MCHALE RACHEL MEALEY MATTHEW MEEKS ROBERT MEHLENBACHER SOPHIE MELTON ARIANNA MENDOZA JOSEPH MENENDEZ VANESSA MENENDEZ ALANYS MERCADO ALEXANDRA MERRELL SAMIR MESSAHEL SHANNON MICHAELS ALYSON MILAN SOPHIA MILIZIANO CHRISTIAN MILLER JACKSON MILLER LAURA MIRA MARLENA MITCHELL MACKENZIE MOLLOHAN HALEY MONTGOMERY NOAH MOOTHEDAN JUSTIN MORAN SHELBI MORE JESSICA MORELLI TRISTAN MORILLO MACKENZIE MORSE OLIVIA MOSHER MATTHEW MOYA MELISSA MUNZEN SHAUN MURPHY ALEXANDRA MURRAY CADEN MURRAY JACEY NAPOLI KAYLA NAVARRO SAMUEL NEAL NATHANIEL NESTER NATALIA NEWVILLE KELLI NORKAS DANIELLA NORRIS JULIENNE NORTHROP JENNIFER NOUEL NKUNU NUGLOZEH RYAN NUNEZ CARINA NUNNO JESSE O'RORKE CAITLIN O'SHEA ERIN O'SHEA KAITLYN OKONZAK ALEXCIS ONESKO JAMES ORCHARD SEBASTIAN OROZCO ALEKSANDAR OSTOJIC KYLE PACHANO ERICA PANISS SEO RIM PARK LAUREN PARKER DEMMI PARRINO CHASE PARSON JONATHAN PARTLOW MARIA LIA PASSAGLIA ISABELLA PATTON MACKENZIE PAVLOFF RAMON PEREZ NICOLE PERILLO KEATON PETRIE

JOSEF PETRO JOHN PFINGSTEN AUSTIN PHAM HIEU PHAM LEAH PHILSON MALLORY PIERCE SEAN PIERCE MEGAN PIERRO MARISA PIMENTEL SOPHIA PINIELLA NATALIA PINO CAROLINE PIRO KATELYN PLESS HAILEY PLUMB ALEXANDRA POPPER BRENNA PORTER NIKITA POTAPOV MOLLY PRUITT DAVID PUGNET DYLAN PUGNET HECTOR QUINONES DEX QUINTAL DALTON RAECKERS CHRISTINA RAMAZZOTTO NICOLE RAMAZZOTTO GIANNA RAMOS AKASH RAMRAKHYANI JACQUILYN RAMSEY BROOKE RASMUSSEN ELLEN RATLIFF SKYLER REILLY WILLIAM RENTON ISAIAH RESTO MATTHEW REXROAD ANGELICA REYES NOAH REYNOLDS HUSTON RICHTER CHRISTOPHER RINKLIN SEBASTIAN RIVERA RACHEL ROBERTS EMMAROSE RODD JAYLEE RODRIGUEZ JAZMINE RODRIGUEZ NATHANIEL RODRIGUEZ STEPHANIE RODRIGUEZ ZACHARY ROMAN RICHARD ROSENTHAL BRADLEY RYAN SIERRA SAINZ PATRICIO SALAZAR JUSTIN SALCE ZACHARY SAMPSON SANDRA SAMUEL JOSEPH SANCHEZ-LAUREANO MATTHEW SANDNER RACHEL SANTIAGO SCHERAIDY SANFELIZ BRIANNA SANTOS KINGSTON SCARBOROUGH MEGAN SCHIMMEL ANDREW SCHLEIN OLIVIA SCHNEIDER MARSHAE SCOTT ERIC SENNOTT MYKAELA SHAFFER JORDAN SHEPHERD ALEXANDRA SHIELDS KAVYA SIDDHAMALLI EMILY SIMMONS MASON SIMS YUKTA SINGH JARRETT SMITH MARCUS SMITH ROEMELLO SMITH ANDREW SNYDER SYDNIE SOHLBERG MEILYN SOLIS MATA SOFIE SORENSEN JUSTINE SORSBY CELA SOSA JOSHUA SOSA AUSTIN SPECTOR ANDREW SPENCER ALLYSON STANLEY ANGELIE STEPHENS CHARLES STEPHENS KENDELL STEPHENS JULIE STEVENS HAILEY STEWART KYLE STOKER

TAYLOR STREICHER MITCHELL STROHLER TIFFANY STUCKEN MADISON STUKA DANIELLE STURGILL JORDAN STURGILL DEMARCUS SUAREZ AIDAN SULLIVAN ALYSSA SULLIVAN ABBIGAIL SUTCH DENNIS SWIFT CASLYN SYLVA FELICIA TABACHNICK LAURA TABIMA SEMBER TALKINGTON JORDAN TAMAYO NICHOLAS TAMBASCO JORDAN TATUM JOSEPH TEDESCO MIKAYLA TEHAN JENNIFER TEIXEIRA ALEXANDER TELESZCY CONNER TENNY LOGAN TENNY EMILY TERRILL ANNABETH TESTON CATALINA TESTON KELLY THAL KRISTINA THAL YEVA THIELEMANN AUTUMN THOMAS TATIANA THOMPSON DYLAN THORMAN RAYANNE TILLBERG GABRIELLE TINSLEY GISELLE TINSLEY STEPHANIE TOLEDO CAMERON TOMLINSON ANIKA TROTMAN TESS TULLY BAILEY TURNER MADISON ULVENES JOHN UNGER CALEB URF GISELLE URRUTIA MARIE VAN DEN BROECKE KAYLYNN VANBUSKIRK TAYLOR VANDERHOOK PHILLIP VANDERLAAT JACQUELINE VANEYK CORALIS VARGAS JUSTEN VARGAS RICARDO VARGAS JR. LEXI VELTE ANGELINA VENETTO LUKE VENTURINO BRANDON VERGARA DAKOTA VERGARA CRISTINA VIDAL LEA VILLAVICENCIO NOAH VINIK ANTHONY VITALE MACKENZIE VOGT HUNTER WADE ROBERT WAGNER SHERIDAN WAHL CONNELL WALDRON DIONTE WALDRON CHRISTOPHER WALFORD KELLAN WALLACE MICAELA WEINSTOCK LOGAN WELCH DANIEL WELLER BRADEN WHITE SARAH WHITMER ZACHARY WHITMER THOMPSON WILEY ETHAN WILLIAMS KALEB WILLIAMS TIAHNA WILLIAMS EMMA WILSON KAYLA WITTYNGHAM EMMA WOLTHUIS ALICE WOOD BLAKE WOODWARD CAMERON WOODWARD CRAIG WYATT ALEXIS YAHRE EMILY YMIOLEK IZABELLE YOUNG MERNA ZAHER ZACHARY ZAYAS

“Serve “Serv Ser ttoday for a betteer tomorrow”

pla an well, worrk k hard, d attain your dream e Congratu t lations t to the Clas ss of 2018

The LAKER / Lutz NEWS 813.909.2800 • w www.lakerlutznews.com

Congratulations Class of 2018!  Preschool - High School  Full accreditation  Qualified teachers  Affordable tuition  Character training  College prep classes  Fine arts & athletics

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PASCO RESIDENTS ONLY WESLEY CHAPEL

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ALL CUSTOMERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME AT ALL PASCO TAX COLLECTOR OFFICES on Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm and Tuesday & Thursday 7:30am – 6:00pm.


Lutz News Class of 2018

Congratulations Class of 2018! Danny Burgess for State House Florida House of Representatives, District 38

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Congr ats to the

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PRIVATE SCHOOLS ACADEMY AT THE LAKES MAY 19 AT 4 P.M., AT ACADEMY AT THE LAKES

Lutz News Class of 2018 BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN HIGH SCHOOL

MAY 22 AT 7 P.M., AT THE ELEANOR DEMPSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

VALEDICTORIAN Lauren Rabbottini College: Boston College Major: Pre-med

VALEDICTORIAN Mandi Mohr College: University of Chicago Major: Molecular Engineering

SALUTATORIAN Jillian Skairus College: University of Florida Major: Biology

SALUTATORIAN Luke Detlor College: Cornell University Major: Biology

ANTICIPATED GRADUATES:

HANNAH NUNES

JOHN APSLEY

JACK O'MALLEY

TANNER BIANCHI

SEUNGJIN PARK

ANTHONY CEPARANO

JACK PASSERO

ZIYI CHEN

LAUREN RABBOTTINI

NATASHA COYNE

MICHAIAH RUSH

SHELBY DIAZ

ZIKANG SHAO

SAMANTHA DIEHL

ANTICIPATED GRADUATES:

MANDI MOHR

RACHEL BASEY

LIA PANZNER

CHRISTIAN BERENS

PRESTON PEREZ

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RACHEL PORTER ANGELINA PRADA

COLIN BODLEY

JILLIAN SKAIRUS

JOEL EASON

AMBER HEINIG

MELISSA FEINGOLD

LINDSAY HULT

ZEKUN FENG

ERIC HUTCHISON

CASSIDY FOWLER

EMMA JONES

BRIANNA BOOKER

DANIELLA TELLO-GARZON

CARSON BORAK

JAKE HRACHO

SEAN CAUTHEN

HANNAH INGRAM

CALEB CHESNUT

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MADISON JANNING

GABRIELLA DELLA SALA

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DENNIS TEICHER

OLIVIA DOWNING

KENNEDY, MONICA

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BRANDON EADS

MICHAEL KEOUGH

JACOB TOOMER

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THOMAS KRAMER

DANIEL GONZALEZ

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PAVEL YURCHENKO SHUYIN ZHENG

ZACHARY MOORE

LAND O’ LAKES CHRISTIAN SCHOOL MAY 25 AT 7 P.M., AT LAND O’ LAKES CHRISTIAN SCHOOL VALEDICTORIAN Jessica DelMonte College: Word of Life Bible Institute, and University of South Florida Major: Health Science SALUTATORIAN Emily Mengel College: University of South Florida Major: Nursing ANTICIPATED GRADUATES: GENAVEVE BRUSHWOOD JESSICA DELMONTE CAMILLE ESPINAL SYDNEY FLEEMAN RUI “SHERRY” JIANG

OWEN RYAN

ANMOL WARMAN

LYRA GABOARDI

JENSEN HARRIS

JARED RODRIGUEZ

ISAIAH SMITH

EMILY MENGEL

PARKER RYAN ROBERT SELBY KARLIE SPENCER LINDSEY STALTER ALEXIS STEELE

JULIANNA TURELL ZHONGKAI WANG JAY WEISBOND MICHAEL WELLS TYLER WHITE

ASTRID MULLIX

JOHN-PAUL KUNDA EMILY MACMICHAEL

CARY WONG KAYLEE WOODS

ALEXSUS THOMAS

NEED AN EXTRA COPY? Visit www.LakerLutzNews.com for a list of pick up locations!

Congratulations Class of 2018! We’re so proud of you and all your accomplishments.

VALERIE WRIGHT

Congrats C ongrats to to the the Class Class of of 2018 2018 “We JJump When Yoou Call!” C

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Boston College, Biology–Pre-med

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Lyra Gaboardi University of South Florida Biology-Pre-vet

Jack Passero Emory University Business, Science

Zachary Moore Duke University Biology

John Apsley Kenyon College

Daniella Tello-Garzon Northwestern University Journalism

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Lutz News Class of 2018

Class of Twenty Eighteen Look to your

FUTURE and know

YOU can do

ANYTHING.

Congratulations!

The LAKER / Lutz NEWS 813.909.2800 • www.lakerlutznews.com


Why go to an emergency center that’s connected to a hospital? What if you need the rest of the hospital?

When it comes to your health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We don’t want to risk our patients’ lives by transferring them to a different hospital for emergency surgery. Here, if you need to be rushed to surgery, it’s down the hall, not down the road. If you need a pint of blood, no problem, we’re connected. The best place to go during your emergency is a facility designed to handle any emergency. And that’s right here at BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Hospital-North. For more information: BayCareRightCareRightPlace.org

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May 16, 2018

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Health

Health Services Administration. The festival will reflect the theme, “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.� There will be a resource fair, food trucks, musical performers, and guest speakers. For information, contact Pastor Michael Kirk at (844) 843-8624 or info@tn24.org.

&

Wellness

WOMEN’S CENTER ANNIVERSARY

Send health news to news@lakerlutznews.com

ARTHRITIS PROGRAM The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has expanded its program aimed at helping those with arthritis. EnhanceFitness is a senior fitness and arthritis management program that improves endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. It also can reduce arthritis symptoms with safe, low-impact exercises led by certified YMCA instructors in a relaxed atmosphere. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control designated EnhanceFitness as a Fall Prevention Program in 2017. For 16 weeks, participants meet three times a week for an hour for aerobic workouts, strength training, stretching and balance work. The program is offered at the Bob Sierra North Tampa Family YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m., and at the East Pasco Family YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m. For information, email EnhanceFitness@tampaymca.org.

MEDICARE INFORMATION The New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will host a SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteer May 17 at 11 a.m., to answer Medicare questions. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

RECOVER REVOLUTION FEST TN24 Recovery Ministries and Recovery Epicenter will host the second annual Recover Revolution Music Festival May 19 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Trinity College Campus, 2430 Welbilt Blvd., in Trinity. The event is part of National Prevention Week, a national health observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental

The 30th anniversary of the Assure Women’s Center will be celebrated May 20 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Oasis Pregnancy Centers/Tampa (previously Assure), 14620 N. Nebraska Ave., Building C, in Tampa. Assure Women’s Center on Nebraska Avenue has been serving Hillsborough County for 30 years. Oasis Pregnancy Centers opened in 2009 in Land O’ Lakes and, shortly after, opened a second center in Wesley Chapel. Both ministries are pro-life, pro-family, faith-based organizations. The merger will provide a greater opportunity to save more babies and serve more families. Guests can visit with new team members.

CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP BeachHouse’s Caregiver Support Group will meet the third Monday of every month at 4 p.m., at BeachHouse Wiregrass, 30070 State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel. The group is a free resource for individuals caring for an elderly spouse, grandparent, mother, father, relative, or nonrelative, such as a neighbor. Participants receive education on caregiving, share success stories and coping strategies, and discuss useful resources. The next meeting is May 21.To RSVP by May 18 call (813) 508-6677.

Tracy Brown

NURSES RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE The Medical Center of Trinity has recognized two nurses with Excellence in Nursing awards, established to honor outstanding nurses who demonstrate excellence in professional mentoring and compassionate care. The awards honor those whose work and lives reflect patient-centered and humanitarian values. Tracy Brown, RN, of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, received the Excellence in Nursing for Compassionate Care honor. Brown has 30 years of experience and is dedicated to keeping up-to-date with the latest information in her field of car-

Sue Wegener

diac care to ensure patients are provided with the best of care. Sue Wegener, RN, in Behavioral Health, was given the Excellence in Nursing Professional Mentor award. In 2017, Wegener developed and implemented a Mental Health Awareness Night for Girl Scouts, to educate Scouts and their families about mental health issues. Wegener also is the chair for the hospital’s Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, raising funds and spreading awareness. She also spearheaded and integrated education pertaining to Trauma Informed Care and how it impacts the nursing practice throughout the hospital.

MEDICARE HELP Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, will offer a Medicare seminar May 22 at 6 p.m., and May 30 at 6:30 p.m., in Rosary Hall, Room 7/8. For information, email Don Lesher at don@insurhub.biz.

STROKE SEMINAR Oak Hill Hospital will offer a seminar called “Keep Your Brain Healthy: Stroke Awareness & Prevention� May 22 from 5

The Laker/Lutz News likes to keep our readers informed about available classes, seminars, lectures and events regarding health and wellness issues. Hospitals, doctors, individual practitioners and anyone related to the health care industry can submit information, at least two weeks in advance, to be considered for publication. Photos of events, recognitions and so on, also are welcome. Submissions should include who, what, where, when, cost, contact information, identifications for individuals in a photo (unless it is a large group), and a photo credit. This information should be emailed to news@lakerlutznews.com.

p.m. to 7 p.m., at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane in Spring Hill. Participants can learn about stroke prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment and recovery. A panel discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session with physicians. A complimentary hot meal will be served. Reservations are required. Doors open at 4:15 p.m. To RSVP, call (352) 597-6333.

FLESH-EATING BACTERIA Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will present “Florida Beaches and Flesh-Eating Bacteria: What to Avoid This Summer� May 22 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Dr. Surbhi Jain will discuss the risks of the Vibrio Vulnificus bacteria, what precautions to take, symptoms and treatment options.

A light lunch will be served.To RSVP, call (844) 504-9378.

INFERTILITY SERIES Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will present an Infertility Series, once a month, at its Inspiration Place,Wellness Plaza, third floor. The next seminar is May 23 at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Anthony Imudia, board-certified obstetrics and reproductive endocrinology, will present a lecture on abnormal uterine bleeding. Preregister by calling (844) 504-9378 or visiting FHWesleyChapel.org/events.

DIABETES ACADEMY The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will offer a “Diabetes Academy� May 24 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

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May 16, 2018

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Thursday, May 17, 2018 / 5:00pm – 7:00pm Florida Hospital Zephyrhills 38233 Daughtery Road, Zephyrhills Wednesday, May 23, 2018 / 5:00pm – 7:00pm Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point 14000 Fivay Road, Hudson Friday, May 25, 2018 / 10:00am – 12:00pm Pasco County Health Department 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey Friday, May 25, 2018 / 1:00pm – 3:00pm Zephyrhills Library 5347 8th Street, Zephyrhills

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COURTESY OF SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY

Family and friends cheered on the undergraduates during one of three commencement ceremonies at Saint Leo University on April 27 and April 28.

Saint Leo University graduates give the Saint Leo Lions’ ‘paws up,’ on their graduation day.

Saint Leo University awards 1,100 degrees The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report Saint Leo University awarded more than 1,100 degrees during three commencement ceremonies on April 27 and April 28 at the university’s campus in St. Leo. The university hosts 13 commencement ceremonies throughout the United States, with the first three being held at the Marion Bowman Activities Center at the St. Leo campus. Commencement ceremonies will continue for Saint Leo WorldWide and the university’s education centers through July 7, according to a news release. Former Florida Governor Robert “Bob” Martinez addressed the undergraduates during an afternoon ceremony on April 28. He was the state’s 40th governor from 1987 through 1990. Martinez also was the mayor of Tampa, from 1979 to 1996. Cassidy Whitaker, of Brandon, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science, was selected to address her classmates. Her peers are mostly traditional-age college students who earned degrees at University Campus. Whitaker cited a phrase used by Martin Luther King Jr., and former President Barack Obama:“The fierce urgency of now,” as her encouragement to look to the future. On the morning of April 28, more than 400 students earned master’s degrees and two students received their Doctor of Business Administration degrees. Stephen B. Kubasek, of Wesley Chapel, and George J. Simonof, of Jacksonville, earned those degrees. MaryEllen Elia, New York State commissioner of education and president of the University of the State of New York (USNY), spoke to graduates at the April 28 session. Elia served as superintendent of schools in Hillsborough County for 10 years.

Elia asked the Class of 2018 to think about what they would like to say to the Saint Leo Class of 2028.“You’ve had a great foundation here at Saint Leo,” she said.“And, you all have two things in common.You have purpose, and you have perseverance.” Selected as the student speaker for the graduate programs commencement was student-athlete Niclas Bez, who earned a Master of Business Administration degree. Bez, a native of Bonn, Germany, also ran men’s track for the Lions. Bez compared the journey to an MBA to his 1500-meter runs in track. At the beginning of the race, one is overwhelmed.“The great thing is that you are not by yourself. Just like having your coaches and friends encouraging you from the side of the track, you have your professors on the sidelines during your graduate degrees,” he told his classmates. Saint Leo alumnus and former Florida legislator Edwin Narain gave the commencement address for the April 27 Saint Leo WorldWide graduation ceremony for the university’s nontraditional and online students. About 330 students received their degrees in the ceremony. Narain is regional director of external affairs for AT&T, a member of the university’s board of trustees, and a former state legislator. Selected to speak to her fellow Saint Leo WorldWide students was Quinisha Abrahams, of Jacksonville, an active duty U.S. Navy chief petty officer. Abrahams earned her Associate of Arts degree in 2013, and in 2015 she resumed her educational journey with Saint Leo University. “Getting a degree by any means or medium, at any age, is no easy task,”Adams said to her peers.“But, we did. Because our own personal development matters not only to ourselves, but it will impact those around us as well.”

Jenny Buck, MD, FACOG

Malieri Colon-Rivera, MD, FACOG

Nay Hoche, MD

At Obstetrics and Gynecology of Trinity our skilled and friendly team provides high quality, comprehensive and personalized medical care for women in all stages of life. Services include routine gynecological and pregnancy care, family planning and surgical procedures. Our physicians are especially skilled in the areas of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including those utilizing the daVinci robot. We are located on the campus of Medical Center of Trinity, just 15 minutes west of the Suncoast Expressway on State Road 54.

www.LakerLutzNews.com

May 16, 2018

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as the Wendell Krinn Technical High School, with opportunities to earn industry certification and college credits in 14 subject areas. Former faculty, staff and alumni planning to attend should contact Cathy Tezber at (727) 774-3901 or ctezber@pasco.k12.fl.us. An online RSVP can also be completed at tinyurl.com/ybobnw3r.

Send school news to news@lakerlutznews.com

COOKING CHALLENGE Students from Quail Hollow Elementary School are among those preparing to show off their culinary skills in the 2018 Gridiron Cooking Challenge on May 19 at One Buc Place in Tampa. The team is going head-to-head against Lake Gibson Middle School (Lakeland), Narcoosee Middle School and Goldsboro Elementary School. The challenge is designed and supported by the Florida Dairy Farmers, and is part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative. The Quail Hollow students will prepare a recipe for Alfredo Smothered Roasted Red Pepper & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Swirls. The team is made up of fifth-graders Gracie Evans, Madison Gulley, Katelyn O’ Neil and Lindsey Overland. There also will be photo opportunities with the Buccaneers’ mascot Captain Fear, the Bucs cheerleaders, an NFL player, and the Dairy Council of Florida’s mascot, Merry Moo. The event is free and open to the public, but guests should register through Eventbrite.com.

CLOSING CEREMONIES Ridgewood High School is looking for former faculty, staff and alumni to participate in the school’s closing ceremonies May 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will commemorate Ridgewood’s 40-year history, and trophies, pictures and other awards will be given to students and staff who have earned them. There will be a family fun area with bounce houses and music. Memorabilia, such as athletic and band uniforms, will be for sale at a low price. A closing ceremony presentation will take place in the gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Ridgewood will be converted into a technical high school, and in August will reopen

LEADERSHIP APPLICATIONS Leadership Pasco is now accepting applications for the Class of 2019. Class members participate in a 10-month course, including full-day program sessions, tours and candid conversations with community leaders, to broaden their local understanding of the ever-changing needs of Pasco County. Topics include criminal justice, health care, education, government, infrastructure, media and business industries. Applications are available online at LeadershipPasco.com, and are due no later than June 1. The applications will be reviewed by the recruitment committee in mid-June and selected class members will be notified by the end of June. Monthly program sessions begin with orientation in August and conclude with a graduation ceremony in May.

STEMAGINATION CAMP Pasco County students entering sixth grade to eighth grade in the 2018-2019 school year can sign up for the summer STEMagination Camp, taking place June 18 to June 21, at R.B. Stewart Middle School. Students can explore science, technology, engineering and math in a fun and creative environment.The camp also encourages the development of self-esteem, confidence and independence. Participants can learn GoPro technology, Sphero Robot programming and CrossBraining, and earn badges. For information, contact Nikki Sundsmo at (727) 774-2791 or nrodrigu@pasco.k12.fl.us.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS • Mark C. Saunders, of Land O’ Lakes, graduated magna cum laude from Saint Leo University and plans to enter Duke University

Local junior to join Naval Academy Jacob Spielberger, a junior at Wesley academy after graduation. Chapel High School, has Spielberger has been on been selected to join the the varsity wrestling team Naval Academy Summer since his freshman year; is a Seminar in June. member of the National The U.S. Naval Academy Honor Society; volunteers at invited a select group of Healing Horses “One Child at about 2,550 young men and a Time,” and volunteers women from around the nathrough the Family of Christ tion and internationally to School where he attended elattend the summer seminar. ementary and middles The program is a fast-paced school, and the Lutheran experience for high achiev- Jacob Spielberger church he attends. He also ers who have completed offers tutoring services to their junior year in high school and are friends or family in need. considering applying for admission to the For information, visit USNA.edu. School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, in the fall. Saunders also was admitted to the University of Virginia School of Law. • Jasmine Warren, of Land O’ Lakes, graduated from Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Science in biology, specializing in biomedical and health sciences, with a minor in chemistry.Warren was awarded the School of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Scholarship Award and was inducted into the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Honor Society. • Alexia Acebo, of Lutz, participated in the “(un)Wrapt: New Arts Research by Creative Campus Fellows” at the University of Alabama. The installation includes “Mixed Reality,” a collaboration between Acebo and Alex Mannings. The project explores the process of choreographed dance for 360-degree video. • Natalie Dambrosio, of Lutz, is among students whose works are showcased in the 37th edition of Tallahassee Community College’s Eyrie Art & Literary Magazine. Dambrosio’s work, “Memories Inside,” received publication in the category of nonfiction. • Caroline Meisner, of Lutz, was inducted into Greensboro College’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education. Meisner is a junior theatre education major.

NEW ADVANCED DEGREES Saint Leo University will offer two new doctoral programs with instruction starting in the fall for the Doctor of Education: School Leadership (EdD) and Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) degrees. Both programs require 60 credit hours of advanced study, which will be accomplished through a low-residency, blended format. A limited amount of classroom time is required during the residencies, so students admitted in a given year or semester will interact with each other and with faculty members in person. Classes are expected to begin in August, pending approval of the programs by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. For information, visit SaintLeo.edu.

COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS Life’s Treasures Thrift Store, 4910 S. Allen Road in Zephyrhills, is looking for teens age 14 and older to join its team. Students can acquire volunteer hours toward the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship community service requirement, as well as develop their character, add new skills and increase their confidence. For more information, contact Anne Ferrell at (813) 357-5321 or ferrella@chapters.health.org.

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18A

May 16, 2018

www.LakerLutzNews.com


Pasco County’s outlook is bright, panel says By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Panelists speaking at a real estate conference in Wesley Chapel last week said Pasco County has been making strides and is expected to continue to do so. For decades, Pasco County has been considered a bedroom community — with residents making a daily commute to jobs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. That picture is changing, said Heidi Tuttle-Beisner, an expert in commercial real estate. “The excellent thing for Pasco County is that we now have jobs being created right here. We have big national companies that have chosen to build their developments here and hire the people that we have living in our community. “Whoever thought companies like Mettler Toledo would be here?” TuttleBeisner said. “Lots of people are paying attention to Pasco County,” she said. She also gave high marks to the Porter

UNDERPASS, from page 1A Building the tunnel would have used a technique known as “cut and cover.”This involves building a deep trench, with walls, and then covering over that. Less expensive options for dealing with traffic at U.S. 41 and State Road 54 called for elevated lanes at the intersection.The most expensive of two alternatives presented to the MPO board cost about $159 million, including about $50 million for right of way purchases. With the underpass eliminated, MPO board members approved four alternatives, including a no build solution, recommended by a volunteer task force. The recommended alternatives include a flyover, express and toll lanes, an at-grade level system of parallel roads, and dedicated bus lanes.

HONORING, from page 1A the stands.The emotional high both will experience is the culmination of 18 years of love between a parent and child, and the persistence, patience and prodding that comes with good parenting. So, it will be with well-deserved pride that parents search the listings in our graduation section to find their child’s name.And, joining them in that search will be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, and, of course, the graduate, too. For most members of the Class of 2018, this edition of The Laker/Lutz News will be the first time that the graduate will see his or her name in print.There is something innately exciting and very tangible about having your name printed in a newspaper that is also read by your family, friends, neighbors and people you know through church, community groups, and sports and recreational activities. Many of you reading today’s newspaper will circle or highlight the names you recognize, and will proudly put the section aside to save with your most treasured items. Offering public acknowledgement of each student’s achievement and providing families a keepsake of this important mile-

family for the work they’ve done to manage the development of Wiregrass Ranch, in Wesley Chapel. “People like the Porters have really done an incredible job of keeping the quality up. I don’t think we’re ever going to see (State Road) 54 be (like) U.S. 19.They set the standard,” she said, noting they have been strategic not only in building relationships. But also “building buildings that are attractive.” Mark Metheny, division president of Lennar, said he spends a lot of his time trying to find locations for new Lennar communities. A good example of the range of Lennar’s offerings can be found in Wiregrass Ranch, he said. Estancia is a multigenerational community, with a number of product lines, he said.There are homes exceeding $1 million, but there are also high-end townhomes coming in, he said. “It’s really exciting to see the growth that’s going on in Pasco County,” Metheny said. Clarke Hobby, a land use attorney based

Those recommendations came from the task force, after about two years of sifting through data and road designs. The work of the task force is part of a three-phase study of the State Road 54 and State Road 56 corridor, from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard on the east to U.S. 19 on the west. Most recently, the task force was asked to focus on two intersections: Little Road and State Road 54 in New Port Richey, and U.S. 41 and State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes. For U.S. 41 and State Road 54, task force members whittled 18 alternatives, and no build, down to the four options approved by the MPO. The next step is for the Florida Department of Transportation to dig deeper into the details, and costs of the recommended projects.That could take a year, according to MPO staff members. Public comment also will be sought, but a time schedule hasn’t been determined yet.

stone, are among the reasons we continue our tradition of producing an annual graduation section. The names of the graduates are listed by school, in alphabetical order, in our eightpage section. In Pasco County, graduates are from Land O’Lakes, Pasco, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass and Zephyrhills high schools. In Hillsborough County, graduates are from Steinbrenner and Freedom high schools. In your edition of the paper, will find graduate names from the two high schools closest to where you live, and also the names of valedictorians and salutatorians from these schools. In addition to graduates from our public schools, we also publish the names of graduates from three private schools in our community — Academy at the Lakes, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic and Land O’ Lakes Christian high schools. We are proud to contribute, in some small measure, to the emotional excitement that graduation brings. We hope that one day the graduates listed in this section will pull it out to share with their children and grandchildren — so that future generations will be able to see a physical reminder of their loved one’s accomplishment, as printed proudly in their local community newspaper.

in Dade City, said his family has deep roots in Pasco County. “We are very interested in the long-view of the county — building a great community, great places to live for our families and for many generations beyond us,” Hobby said. “We’ve watched the Porter family and have seen their vision play out. It’s a wonderful thing they’ve done at Wiregrass more than anything else, they’ve tried to create a balanced community. It’s so easy to just focus on the residential. “The harder part is to bring the employment side and the institutional side, making sure that places like the building we’re in today, are here.Without their guidance, that wouldn’t have happened,” Hobby said. He’s optimistic about the outlook in Pasco County. “There’s a bright, bright future ahead of the county,” said Hobby, who has been involved in the effort to extend State Road 56 from Wiregrass Ranch over to Zephyrhills. The four-lane extension, which covers 6.7 miles, is expected to open up within a

few months. He expects that extension to generate new activity, leading eventually to the construction of about 10,000 houses and millions of square feet of development. J.D. Porter, another panelist, told the crowd that he, too, anticipates continued growth — as well as new employment. He expects the long-awaited Raymond James office park to “start turning dirt by the end of the year.” “It’s very exciting to have one big user like that, and we are waiting for somebody to come out of the ground,” Porter said. That being said, he noted,“we are talking to two names that are bigger than Raymond James right now, in the immediate area adjacent to that. “The Raymond James announcement, once they finally go, that will be a drop in the bucket versus what actually comes down the pipeline shortly after.” Porter also noted the family wants to be sure to have a mix of development, so the community doesn’t become too reliant on big users.

HOUSING, from page 1A moderate way,” he said. “We are nowhere back to the 2005 ‘easy lending’ days. “There is no bubble, even with the strong price recovery, because we don’t have that easy subprime lending,”Yun said. However, he noted that rising home prices are beginning to hurt affordability. “We hope that price increases do not become 8 percent, 10 percent every year. Your clients will diminish, if this was to continue. “The ideal solution in the future, in the upcoming years, price growth to match similarly to wage and income growth,” he said, noting a 3 percent to 4 percent annual price increase would be ideal. A shortage of inventory is having a negative impact, he added. “Contract signing appears to be flattening out,” he said. Buyers want more choices when they are shopping for a home,Yun said. “You need more inventory,” he said. “We just don’t have enough inventory because homebuilders have not been building aggressively, or even (a) normal amount, for 10 straight years,”Yun said. Yun said efforts are being made to provide regulatory relief to community banks, which have been a primary lending source for small homebuilders. “For many years in America, most of the homebuilding was done by Mr. and Mrs.

B.C. MANION

More residential construction activity is needed to boost housing inventory — which will moderate prices and attract more potential buyers into the market, said Lawrence Yun.

Jones Homebuilding Company. They’d do about 10 homes a year. They’re not in the game today.They have challenges entering the game,”Yun said, noting that’s because of regulatory restraints on small community banks. Yun also urges local governments to do their part to get more housing permits approved. When more houses are built, prices moderate and consumers have more options. When prices moderate, “middle class families who want to own a home have a better chance to own a home,” he said. Yun noted there’s a huge mismatch between the percentage of increase in home prices and percentage of increase in incomes. “Home prices, ideally, should rise in relation to people’s income,”Yun said.

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19A


Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source

Local sprinter wins state title, has promising future By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

I

t took an injury playing football for Evan Miller to unleash his potential at the track. Miller, from Zephyrhills Christian Academy, recently captured the Class 1A boys 100-meter dash title in a blistering 10.75 seconds at the Florida High School Athletic Association Track & Field 2018 Championships at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville. Moreover, the senior was the final leg of the school’s gold-medal winning 4x100meter relay team that scorched the competition with a 42.10 second mark — joining junior NyJohn Moody, sophomore Tyler Davis and senior Calvin Samuel. Those marked the only first-place finishes at the state meet among athletes from The Laker/Lutz News Coverage area. The event was held May 4 and May 5. For Miller, the memorable showing has been a year in the making. Last summer, the multisport athlete suffered a broken ankle during a 7-on-7 football tournament. The injury forced Miller, a standout defensive back, to miss several games in the fall as a member of the Zephyrhills Christian Academy varsity football team. Unable to hit the gridiron, Miller hit the starting blocks instead, as part of his rehabilitation process. “It was like an epiphany,‘Well, we could do track,’ to help work him back into shape,” said his mother and track coach Erica Miller.“He still always had his eye on football, but we just didn’t really realize he was that good at track, so it kind of fell into place. “For him now, a year later (after the injury) to be state champ, that’s awesome; miraculous, really,” she said. Though Miller ran track his freshman year (then for Wiregrass Ranch High School) and for Zephyrhills Christian Academy as a junior, the speedster admitted this was the first time he really began to seriously train for the sport. His focus on it intensified after his football-related setback. Around December, Miller linked up with AAU track coach and personal trainer BB Roberts, who runs the Wesley Chapel-based Speed Starz Track Club, and lists NFL and MLB athletes as training clientele. Roberts, a former track star in his own

COURTESY OF ERICA MILLER

Zephyrhills Christian Academy senior Evan Miller won first place in the 1A boys 100-meter dash in 10.75 seconds at this month’s Florida High School Athletic Association Track & Field 2018 Championships.

right at Wesley Chapel High School and Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College, worked to correct Miller’s running form and technique, among other tips. Miller explained: “He helped me with my start. My start was something I really needed to work on — coming off the blocks. And then sprinting, finishing the race. He taught me transitions through the race. It’s not just getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B,’ there’s a transition, a drive phase, all that stuff…” The fixtures shaved Miller’s 100-meter personal record from a still-impressive 11.2 to a 10.69 — which he set at the Steinbrenner High Invitational in early April. Meanwhile, Miller’s time of 10.75 second in the state finals bested a 10.77-second effort from the second-place finisher, Community School of Naples senior Alex

2018 FHSAA Track & Field Championships

Murphey.The next fastest time in the 1A finals was a 10.98. Miller no doubt believed in himself at the event. “I was very confident,” Miller said, “because it wasn’t that I was much faster, but every meet I was placing either first or second, so I was very confident going into states and regionals, knowing I’ll be able to win.” He added:“I was ready to run that day. I went into the finals with the mindset of,‘I’m going to get a gold medal. I’m going to get first place. I’m not accepting under that.’ So, it felt good to cross the finish line, at first. And, it had me in a good mood for the 4x100 (relay) as well, because that was the next race.” Miller is also proud to represent his small school — which has about 250 students

Results of top finishers in T he Laker/Lutz News Coverage area, for Classes 1A-4A:

SHOT PUT 11th place: Gregory Zellers, Sunlake (15.21 meters) 23rd: Thomas Calta, Land O’ Lakes (13.40 meters)

1A

GIRLS

BOYS TEAM(S) Zephyrhills Christian Academy (tied for 7th out of 57 schools) Carrollwood Day School (48th) 100-METER DASH 1st place: Evan Miller, Zephyrhills Christian Academy (10.75 seconds) 110-METER HURDLES 6th place: Seth Cribben, Carrollwood Day School (15.44 seconds) 4X100-METER RELAY 1st place: Zephyrhills Christian Academy— NyJohn Moody, Tyler Davis, Calvin Samuel, Evan Miller (42.10 seconds) TRIPLE JUMP 9th place: Kavion Mabra, Zephyrhills Christian Academy (12.93 meters) 23rd: Christopher Sheppard III, Carrollwood Day School (11.45 meters)

GIRLS TEAM(S) Carrollwood Day School (31st out of 48 schools) POLE VAULT 4th place-tied: Hailey Crow, Carrollwood Day School (3.00 meters)

LONG JUMP 8th place: Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills (6.66 meters) TRIPLE JUMP 5th place: Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills (13.49 meters)

3A BOYS Land O’ Lakes High School (tied for 23rd out of 54 schools) Wesley Chapel High School (tied for 23rd) Pasco High School (tied for 36th) 100-METER DASH 3rd place: Isaiah Bolden, Wesley Chapel (10.75 seconds) 200-METER DASH 7th place: Isaiah Bolden, Wesley Chapel (23.07 seconds) 400-METER DASH 4th place: Mario Watson, Pasco (48.52 seconds) 3200-METER RUN 19th place: Alejandro Michel, Freedom (10:11.77 minutes)

2A

4X800-METER RELAY 16th place: Land O’ Lakes—Adam Hahn, Josiah Pineda, Joseph Pineda, Alex Normandia (8:21.95 minutes)

TEAM(S) Zephyrhills High School (tied for 30th out of 55 schools)

POLE VAULT 2nd place: Tucker Brace, Land O’ Lakes (4.65 meters)

BOYS

Gaither High School (tied for 17th place out of 46 schools) Sunlake High School (tied for 32nd) Land O’ Lakes High School (46th) 100-METER DASH 4th place: LaSarah Hargove, Gaither (11.95 seconds) 200-METER DASH 4th place: LaSarah Hargrove, Gaither (24.00 seconds) 1600-METER RUN 20th place: Natalie Abernathy, Land O’ Lakes (5:27.76 minutes) 3200-METER RUN 8th place: Natalie Abernathy, Land O’ Lakes (11:15.71 minutes) 24th: Shannon Gordy, Sunlake (12:47.54 minutes) LONG JUMP 6th place: Arielle Boone, Sunlake (5.43 meters) 20th: Gianna Levy, Sunlake (4.89 meters) TRIPLE JUMP 13th place: Arielle Boone, Sunlake (11.05 meters) SHOT PUT 7th place: Lauryn Beacham, Sunlake (11.20 meters) DISCUS 19th: Keyvyn Stinyard, Pasco, (29.54 meters)

from prekindergarten through 12th grade — in just its second year offering a boys and girls track & field program. A budding program, Zephyrhills Christian Academy also reached states last year and came home with gold in the boys 4x100 relay (43.3 seconds).That relay squad featured Miller, Samuel, Jevan Smith and Dominic Moses. “It’s kinda cool. Since last year was actually our first year ever running track and actually made it to states, it feels good to bring attention to the school for track,” Miller said. Aside from natural ability and learning to master sprinting fundamentals, Roberts credits Miller’s motivation, determination and never-give-up attitude as reasons for the prep sprinter’s all-but immediate success. “He had will. He had the potential,” Roberts said. “It wasn’t magic or anything like that. He was willing to listen, willing to learn, willing to take criticism. He came out the very first track meet, and I saw him and I said, ‘Hey, let’s work on this.’ Every other track meet we’d work on something else, until we perfected it.” Miller just turned 17 and plans to compete in football and track at Warner University, in Lake Wales. A state title in hand, perhaps Miller’s next goal is supplanting Roberts’ own 100meter best of 10.64 seconds. “I’m going to get him past that. I want him to be better than me,” said Roberts, noting he could see Miller reach the 10.4s by July. The track star has other bold aspirations in sight, too. Miller explained: “I’m looking to chop down my time as much as I can, maybe even try out for the Olympics. My parents were talking to me about the 2020 Olympics, maybe getting in that if I get my time down, in time. But, I’m just going to keep running track in college, see where I can get from that.” Roberts acknowledged such a goal is attainable for Miller, with athletic bloodlines to further tap into. Along with his mother who ran track in high school, his father, Selvesta Miller, played football at the University of South Carolina and also had a stint with the Miami Dolphins, as a linebacker/defensive end. “He can go far,” Roberts said.“He’s definitely an amazing kid, and I’m excited for what the future holds for him.”

4A BOYS Steinbrenner High School (44th place out of 52 schools) 4X800-METER RELAY 18th place: Steinbrenner—Marcus Quinones, McCrea Weller, Zachary Harrigan, Zachary Whitmer (8:18.78 minutes)

GIRLS Steinbrenner High School (tied for 18th place out of 53 schools) 400-METER DASH 6th place: Ken’naria Gadson (56.77 seconds) 1600-METER RUN 15th place: Sophia Piniella, Steinbrenner (5:17.97 minutes) 18th: Alexandra Staumann, Steinbrenner (5:22.61 minutes) 3200-METER RUN 8th place: Sophia Piniella, Steinbrenner (11.07. 57 minutes) 4X400-METER RELAY 9th place: Steinbrenner—Natalie Brown, Serena Gadson, Ken’naria Gadson, Dana Elkalazani (3:58.15 minutes) LONG JUMP 10th place: Ashley Allen, Steinbrenner (5.23 meters) POLE VAULT 10th place: Ashlyn Ludovici, Steinbrenner (3.15 meters) Triple Jump 9th place: Sara Grofter, Steinbrenner (11.07 meters) 16th: Harmony Shellman, Steinbrenner (10.45 meters)

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20A

May 16, 2018

www.LakerLutzNews.com


The LAKER / Lutz NEWS INSIDE: Directories, Classifieds, Games & More

B

M AY 1 6 , 2 0 1 8

Hitting all the right notes — together By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

MEMBERS OF SHOWSTOPPERS: Catherine Beard, Mackenzie Ferrell, Analiese Gallagher, Maitlin Hart, Chase Hemphill, Kiersten Herman, Megan Phillips, Georgia Piersall, Shelby Surratt and Haley Sanders.

I

t’s a Monday evening at the Dade City Woman’s Club and vocal coach Alison Graham sits at a small round table, near a bank of windows. Girls are sitting around her on the floor, listening as Graham reads through judges’ comments from their most recent competition. It’s a routine the girls know well. The singers, who are members of Graham Music Studios, are accustomed to performing, and also to being judged. They make frequent appearances at local events, such as the Pasco County Fair, the Kumquat Festival, Church Street Christmas, the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival, the Dade City Christmas Stroll, and the holiday show at The Shops at Wiregrass. They compete at Spotlight on Talent, a local showcase and also every year at Access Broadway in Orlando, which has regional and national contests. Graham’s groups have been competing in Orlando for about 10 years. Last summer, her middle group won the national competition and this spring, her oldest group took the top prize in regionals. Graham’s groups compete in regionals every year in Orlando, and at nationals when they’re held there. The nationals rotate between Orlando, New York and Las Vegas. While her groups and individual members in the groups have a good track record at competitions, Graham said that’s not her focus. “It’s not about the trophy,” she said. She’s far more interested in the individual development of each of her singers. Her groups also aim to foster teamwork and camaraderie. After a singer performs, Graham said she tries to talk to her before the awards are announced. She wants to know how the singer felt about the performance. Sometimes the singer will acknowledge that she hadn’t prepared enough; other times, she’ll say she gave it her all. “I don’t care what place you got. I care about:‘Did you do well for you?’ Did you do your best?’,” said Graham, who has been coaching vocal groups and giving private voice lessons for more than 20 years.

MEMBERS OF SHOWBIZ: Bailey Bardin, Amelia Collins, Haley Collins, Isabella Como, Emma Crist, Lyndsey Furtado, Lyra Lacson, Emily Loyed, Mikayla Mauradian, Kassie Miller, Mackenzie Robinson, Payton Rodgers, Emma Shireman, Analee Tomkow, Marlee Tomkow and Macy Whisnant. MEMBERS OF SHOWTIME: Carly Bowling, Katarina Carroll, Ellie DeLoyed, Sally Harper, Larkin Mainwaring, Lacey Miltner, Emeley Poblick, Sophia Poblick, Shyleigh Reeher, Mackenzie Trenkle and Keaton Ward.

B.C. MANION

Alison Graham, of Graham Music Studios, uses a blend of constructive criticism, humor and kindness to help the singers under her direction to develop their voices.

Amelia Collins awaits her part during a practice on a Monday evening at the Dade City Woman’s Club.

Georgia Piersall dons an apron for a practice session of ‘Opening Up,’ from the Broadway show, ‘The Waitress.’

STRIVING TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL She wants her singers to make the most of their ability and to continue the quest to improve. “One of the things I say all of the time is, ‘Good is the enemy of great.’ If you’re OK with good, you are not going to be great,” she said. Sometimes, the judges won’t see a performance the same way that Graham sees it. When, for instance, the judge gets it wrong in Graham’s opinion, she’ll tell the singer:“We both know you got ripped off.” In the same breath, though, she’ll remind them: “You can’t control the judges. You have to focus on what you can control.” Graham has three singing groups. In general, Showtime is made up of elementary students; Showbiz is made up of middle school students; and Showstoppers is made up of high school students. Occasionally, a younger girl may be part of an older group. And, because there are three different age groups, Graham has set up a system: “There’s a big sister, a middle sister and a little sister, and they look out for each other,” she said. They bond with each other and validate each other, too, she said. “If a girl kills it and still comes in fifth, the other girls will support her,” the vocal coach explained. Graham’s weekly group lessons are 45 minutes long, beginning at 6 p.m., for the youngest singers; then at 7 p.m., for the middle group; and at 8 p.m., for the oldest group. It costs $50 a month for the group lessons, but that doesn’t include expenses for costumes or entry fees for competitions. Most of her older singers also take private voice lessons with her. Graham began her career as a music teacher at Hunter’s Green Elementary School, but decided to offer private lessons when her son was born, more than two decades ago. The waiting list for her private lessons grew so long that she decided to form groups. Most of the singers at Graham Music Studios come from Dade City, but some come from other areas, including Zephyrhills and Sumter County. Graham said the success of her program is a result of the dedication of her singers, and the support of both their parents and the community, at large. “I have a lot of people say, ‘Is your job like Dance Moms? I bet it is.’

Showbiz, the middle group from Graham Music Studio, rehearses a number from ‘Wicked.’

“Honestly, it’s the opposite of Dance Moms. “When I came to Access Broadway, one of the moms had Starbucks for me.Another mom ran and got my lunch for me. “They are just: ‘Whatever those girls need.’ “That’s why they’re successful,” Graham said. Occasionally, though, something will come up, and she’ll have to have a chat with a parent. She’ll say:“My job is to do what’s best for the group, and your job is to what’s best for your kid. Sometimes, those things don’t overlap.” Ultimately, though,“they all have to understand that I’m the one who is going to pull the trigger in the end,” the vocal coach said. The community of Dade City provides welcome support, Graham added. “If we were from a large town, like Tampa, you just don’t know them. But in Dade City, people know these girls,” she said. Having the girls look out for each other is essential when they are performing at a large event, Graham said. At The Shops of Wiregrass, during the holidays, for instance, “when those little girls come off the stage, the big girls are waiting there for them,” she said. The girls grow attached to each other and to Graham, and the vocal coach also

bonds with the singers. There’s a lot of affection and laughter, but a good deal of focus and effort, too.

OFFERING CRITICISM AND KINDNESS Catherine Beard, a relatively new singer in the oldest group, said belonging to the group requires commitment.“It takes a lot of hard work. We all have to practice over and over, until we get it right,” she said. She thinks the singers are in good hands. “Mrs.Alison is absolutely wonderful. She’s kind and supportive. She’s experienced. She knows what she’s doing,” Beard said. Some girls in the oldest group have been singing with Graham for a dozen years. Megan Phillips joined Graham’s group 11 years ago. She was delighted when Showstoppers received the top honor at Access Broadway’s spring regional competition.The group put in extra practices to prepare and faced quality competitors, she said. Phillips appreciates Graham. “Mrs.Alison is a second mom. I’ve known her almost my entire life, and she’s a great person. She’s supportive and nice, but she’s not afraid to tell us what we’re doing wrong and what we need to improve ourselves,” Phillips said. She values the other girls in her group, too. “We really are a family here, and I love everything about Showstoppers,” Phillips said.

Mikayla Mauradian, a member in the middle group, appreciates Graham’s candor and high standards. “Miss Allison is truly a great teacher and we love her, and she always pushes us to do better, no matter the rating,” Mauradian said. Georgia Piersall, a member of the oldest group, said the bond between the singers helps them perform well together. “It definitely helps to have a group of girls who are as close as sisters to work with,” Piersall said. Plus, she added:“Mrs.Allison is so incredibly dedicated to what she does, it amazes me. She treats us like her own and is always proud of us, no matter what.” Graham feels connected to the girls, too. It’s always emotional when one of her singers graduates and moves on, Graham said. “I cry every year. I just sit there, and bawl and bawl.” The girls may leave, but they tend to come back to visit. Many show up at the end-of-year performance and pitch in backstage, Graham said. The vocal coach believes that being part of the group gives the girls something they wouldn’t have independently. “Something, at some point, is going to go wrong for you,” Graham said. The friendship and support the girls get from one another, helps cushion them for life’s blows. “It’s having a safe place to land,” Graham said.


Rescuing one another Daisy is a rescue from Pasco County Animal Services. She is 3 ½ years old. Daisy was adopted a year ago. She was going to be destroyed, as she was not doing well, but looking into her beautiful copper eyes, her family knew where she belonged. Daisy loves to sit by the pool and to play with her stuffed animals. She is doing great and has gained 15 pounds. Daisy’s patience and love rescued her proud owner, Eileen Halczyn of Wesley Chapel.

PET PAWS WOOFSTOCK IS BACK Pasco County Animal Services will host its fourth annual Woofstock on May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. There will be pet adoptions, live bands, food trucks, vendors, and a few demonstrations and performances. Lawn seating will be available so families can hang out. Entrance fee is $5. Children age 10 and younger are free. Proceeds and entrance fees will benefit sick and injured dogs and cats.

ADOPTION EVENT Carter’s Canine Rescues will host a dog adoption event May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Quality Pet Market, 1408 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz, next to Smoothie King. There will be several puppies and dogs available. For information, call Quality Pet at (813) 909-1767 or Carter’s Canine at (813) 2356366.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON Asturia, located off State Road 54 just west of the Suncoast Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, will host Dog Day Afternoon May 19 from noon to 5 p.m. Dog lovers can sit, stay and play with their pets, and kids can visit the bounce house and slide. There also will be face painting, a balloon artist, door prizes, live

music and food trucks that will offer “apPET-tizers.” More than a dozen pet-friendly exhibitors will be at the event, including local veterinarians, pet stores and groomers. For information, call Carla Luigs at (904) 810-0500 or David Weekly Homes at (813) 422-6166.

LOCAL WILDLIFE

$20 ADOPTIONS Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes is offering $20 adoption specials for the month of May. All dogs and cats are vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered and heartworm/FIV tested at the time they leave the shelter. The promotion excludes puppies and kittens age 6 months and younger, and adult dogs less than 25 pounds. For information, call (813) 929-1212.

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 news@lakerlutznews.com.

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ULTIMATE 3D RIBBON CUTTING Ultimate 3D Printing Store will have a ribbon cutting on May 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 1900 Gunn Highway, Suite 1, in Odessa. Ultimate 3D offers equipment and services. The company includes clients from automotive, health care, education, defense, architecture and robotics industries. For more information, call the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (813) 9092722, or send them an email at office@centralpascochamber.com.

COURTESY OF FLORIDA HOSPITAL

Florida Hospital executives, and guests, cut the ribbon for Florida Hospital Dade City, which was formerly Bayfront Healthcare Dade City.

Florida Hospital Dade City opens Florida Hospital executives cut the ribbon and unveiled new signs on May 8 for Florida Hospital Dade City. Adventist Health System, parent company of Florida Hospital, acquired the former Bayfront Health Dade City in April. The hospital is the Florida Hospital’s 27th hospital in the state, and the 10th hospital in the West Florida Division of Adventist Health System. Other hospitals in the west Florida divi-

EAST PASCO NETWORKING The East Pasco Networking Group will meet May 22 at 7:30 a.m., at IHOP, 13100 U.S. 301 in Dade City. Guest speaker will be Mark Warren, pastor of Richland Baptist Church and manager of Positively Christian. For more information, contact Nils Lenz See BUSINESS DIGEST page 5B

sion include Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel and Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Florida Hospital invested nearly $3 million into the Dade City facility to install an electronic medical records system for patient privacy and security. The 120-bed hospital has about 150 physicians, and a long history of community health care in Dade City. It provides acute care and is a primary stroke care center, with 27 medical specialties includ-

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FREE BUSINESS SEMINAR SCORE will have a free business seminar on “Finance Options with the SBA” on May 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the SMARTstart Dade City business incubator, at 37837 Meridian Ave., Suite 309, in Dade City. Space is limited, so register early. Topics will include how to apply for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other programs offered by the SBA. To register, you should visit PascoHernando.score.org.

Send business news to news@lakerlutznews.com at (813) 782-9491 or nilslenz@gmail.com, or Vicky Jones at (813) 431-1149 or donlvicl@yahoo.com.

METTLER TOLEDO JOB FAIR DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES IN LUTZ

Mettler Toledo will have a job fair May 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 1571 Northpointe Parkway, off State Road 54 in Lutz. Job openings are available for electrical and mechanical assemblers; electrical and mechanical engineers; regional sales manager; welders; direct marketing specialist; sales engineers; order entry administrators; field service engineers; and more. For a full list of available positions and to apply online, visit MT.com/careers.

David Weekley Homes is selling singlefamily homes in the gated community of Lakeshore Oaks, at Lakeshore Road and Lake Le Clare Road in Lutz. The homebuilder will offer one- and two-story single-family homes, ranging from 2,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Starting prices are around $425,000. The homes have four floor plans, with three bedrooms to five bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and up to three-car garages. Lakeshore Oaks is near the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, and is served by Northwest Elementary School, Ben Hill Middle School and Steinbrenner High School. For more information, call (866) 4933553, or visit DavidWeekleyHomes.com.

ZEPHYRHILLS CHAMBER MIXER The Suncoast Credit Union will host a mixer for the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce on May 17 from 5 p. m. to 7 p.m., at 32745 Eiland Blvd., in Zephyrhills. For more information, call the chamber

PASCO’S VIBRANT PLACES The Suncoast Section of the American Planning Association Florida will host a seminar,“Putting the Urban in Suburban: Building and Connecting Pasco’s Vibrant Places,” on May 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2155 Northpointe Parkway, off State Road 54. Guest speakers will be Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning with the Tampa Downtown Partnership; Rodney Chatman, planning division manager with Forward Pinellas; and a representative from Newland Communities, which is developing Bexley. Following the presentation, tethered hot air balloon rides will be available for the first 50 pre-registered attendees who want a bird’s eye view of some of Pasco’s vibrant places.Time slots for the rides will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10. To register, visit tinyurl.com/y6wqngsw.

at (813) 994-8534, or send them an email at office@wesleychapelchamber.com.

CENTRAL PASCO MIXER Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppe will host a mixer for the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce on May 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 1930 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., next door to the chamber. The mixer will have time for networking, refreshments, a swag bag and VIP access to shop for name brand items and new arrivals at the thrift shop. Proceeds from the thrift shop help provide patient care for hospice recipients in Pasco County through Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care. Gulfside Hospice is a nonprofit that serves more than 350 patients daily. Gulfside employs more than 250 professionals, and has more than 500 volunteers. Please RSVP to Neveen Walker at (727) 845-5707. For information, visit GHPPC.org.

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The North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly economic briefing lunch May 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hunter’s Green Country Club, 18101 Longwater Run Drive in Tampa. Guest speaker will be Ram Kancharia, vice president of planning and development for Port Tampa Bay. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. For more information, call the chamber

Keystone Place at Terra Bella will have an open house on May 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at 2200 Livingston Road in Land O’ Lakes. Keystone Place is a new rental complex for independent living, assisted living and memory care. Refreshments will be served. RSVP for yourself and a guest at (813) 388-2121 or (813) 695-6439, or visit KeystonePlaceAtTerraBella.com/OpenHouse.

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5B


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6B

May 16, 2018

www.LakerLutzNews.com

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May 16, 2018

7B


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May 16, 2018

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Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-May 16, 2018  

Cost rules out U.S. 41 underpass; Honoring our local graduates; Continued growth expected for Pasco’s housing market, expert says

Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-May 16, 2018  

Cost rules out U.S. 41 underpass; Honoring our local graduates; Continued growth expected for Pasco’s housing market, expert says