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The LAKER

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WESLEY CHAPEL/NEW TAMPA EDITION

LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM

Auto Accident? Slip and Fall? FREE CONSULTATION

Local businesses hit by COVID-19

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Tampa Premium Outlets, at 2300 Grand Cypress Drive, has barricades to keep people out. The website said the outlet mall was temporarily closed because of concerns about COVID-19. CHRISTINE HOLTZMAN

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Drive around the region and the impacts of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are obvious. Grocery store parking lots are full — with people lining up before the stores open to get their hands on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other scarce items. There’s less traffic on the road because many people are working remotely, and that number may climb if ‘stay at home’ mandates are announced. While grocery stores are slammed, restaurant, gym and nightclub parking lots are empty. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has temporarily shut down bars, nightclubs and gyms, and has ordered dining rooms be closed at restaurants. Businesses are feeling it.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered restaurant dining room areas to be closed because of concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

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INSIDE, PAGE 1B COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE PARKS

Wild horses on Paynes Prairie are descendants of horses that lived on the prairie in the 1600s, when it was part of a Spanish cattle ranch called Rancho de la Chua. Today, a trail in the park is named for the ranch. More on this nature lovers’ paradise, page 1B.

Get all your Hospital visitation limited, PUBLISHER’S NOTE favorite elective surgeries canceled Helping one another local news stories online. By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Hospitals across the region are limiting visitors and canceling elective surgeries, as they ramp up preparations to treat increasing cases of people infected by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). As of 11 a.m. on March 23, The Florida Department of Health reported 1,096 confirmed cases of Florida residents and 75 cases of non-Florida residents, for a total of 1,171. Of those, 73 involved Hillsborough cases and 13 cases in Pasco. Statewide, there have been 14 deaths. In response to the evolving threat, BayCare Health System,AdventHealth West Florida Division, and HCA Healthcare West Florida have announced changes in their visitation policies. BayCare Health System said its changes would take effect on March 21. “Only in certain, specific instances, will

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The LAKER WESLEY CHAPEL/NEW TAMPA EDITION

LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM

Auto Accident? Slip and Fall? FREE CONSULTATION

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The LAKER

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of heading toward a construction start Amici Plaza in spring with an opening likely

by the end of 2016. Pasco County records show a conceptual Owners of Amici Pizza & Deli are planthe plan with about 3,000 square feet for ning to build a new stand-alone restaurant, for restaurant, and about 1,800 square feet with additional retail space, on Wesley retail. Chapel Boulevard. “We’d like to have our own building and The new restaurant is a short distance a bigger kitchen,” said Andrea Mannino. from the existing Amici restaurant in Grand No decisions have been made on the adOaks Square, at Wesley Chapel and Pet Lane. ditional retail space, he said. Andrea and Josephine Mannino, are

The site is located at the corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Wesley Chapel Boulevard, which is also known as County Road 54. Pasco County is moving forward with acquisition of right-of-way along County Road 54 to prepare for the expansion of the twothe lane road into a four-lane road at 54 junction of State Road 56 and State Road See PIZZA, page 13A

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18920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Ste 101 Lutz, FL (Corner of Sunlake & Dale Mabry)

101 18920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Ste Lutz, FL (Corner of Sunlake & Dale Mabry)

Walk-Ins Welcome

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FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

EDITION

FREE ADMISSION KATHY STEELE/STAFF PHOTOS

Mark Pizzurro, Joe Traina and Peter Abreut

anticipate opening their craft brewery

in Land O’ Lakes in spring.

I th

2017

last day July 9, 2017. the jail and construction of new fire stations By then, Baker will • Relocating have worked 35 years central Pasco more government offices to in public service, 24 Baker also plans to fill vacancies for a of those years with few key leadership positions that remain, Pasco County. cluding an assistant county administrator infor Her to-do list, in public safety and administration. short form, includes: Progress has been made, Baker said, but • Completing mas- government services still could be more ter plans and updates customer-friendly. for storm water, solid A culture that was decades in the waste and tourism making is being changed, she said.“You don’t • Funding and building a diverging get to dia- turn a canoe.You’re turning mond road design to ease traffic congestion a ship.” Public service wasn’t Baker’s first at State Road 56 and Interstate 75 career choice. • Completing the State Road 56 extenOver the years she worked sion as a waitress, • Nurturing SunWest Park, the county’s flight attendant and a theater manager. She also served in the U.S.Air Force Reserve. fledgling aqua park Her undergraduate degree was in • Replacing and repairing aging busiinfra- ness administration. structure and roads damaged by the It wasn’t until she accepted a secretarial summer flooding • Making progress on the expansion of See RETIRE, page 11A Michele Baker

Kumquats reign supreme at area festival

The first kumquat tree in St. Joseph took root more than 100 years ago, when C.J. Nathe planted it in his backyard. He added a few more, and soon he had small grove on an acre of fertile ground. a The kumquat king, as Nathe was later dubbed, transformed a quiet back road community into the Kumquat Capital of the World. An open house will take place on Jan. and Jan. 29 at the Kumquat Growers 28 packi h d

Margie Neuhofer and her h

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Publisher

Coronavirus disease 2019, otherwise known as COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. It remains unclear how bad it’s going to get, or how long it’s going to last — and that’s causing stress and

anxiety. Still, in the midst of the illness and deaths, shutdowns, cancellations and lay-offs — we know that our communities are filled with good-hearted people. We have witnessed, for years, how these kind and generous souls have helped others in myriad creative and wonderful ways.We know this is happening now. Please help us tell those stories. Email us a synopsis of the particulars, along with contact information, to news@lakerlutznews.com.

Threat of COVID-19 disrupts rhythms of daily life By B.C. Manion and Kevin Weiss bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

By Kathy Steele

Saturday, January 30, 2016 9 AM - 5 PM Historic Downtown Dade City

See HOSPITAL, page 11A

By Diane Kortus

JANUARY 27, 2016

Pasco administrator to retire in

By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker expects to be very busy over the next year and a half. She’ll be crossing off a to-do list, one by one, before leaving in 2017 to go on a lengthy road trip with her husband. The couple will hit the road with their recreational vehicle and their motorcycles, on a tour of as many baseball parks and national parks as they can squeeze into a year. “That’s been our dream,” Baker said, so letting her contract lapse in July 2017 makes sense. But, don’t expect a lame duck administrator. “There’s no kicking back here,” Baker said.“This isn’t me slowing down. ” Baker has told Pasco County commissioners she won’t seek renewal of her current two-year contract, which makes her

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

®

©

WESLEY CHAPEL/NEW TAMPA

Amici Pizza plans stand-alone location

visitors be allowed into facilities,” according to a BayCare news release, issued on March 20. “We regret this is necessary, but for the protection of our patients, team members, physicians and our community, it is imperative that we limit the number of people in our facilities,” said Dr. Nishant Anand, chief medical officer for BayCare Health System. “The few visitors who will be allowed into hospitals will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, the disease resulting from novel coronavirus.Those who are deemed a risk will be restricted from entering the facility and may be referred to an Emergency Department.” Visitors may still be allowed, if approved by the hospital administrator on duty, in these circumstances: • Inpatient: Labor and delivery, postpartum, pediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care • End of life situations

KATHY STEELE/STAFF PHOTO

DON’T MISS A SINGLE ISSUE!

The full version of The Laker is now available online. Visit LakerLutzNews.com and click E-Editions in the top left corner.

Health and economic threats loom large in light of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID19), but there have been great costs, as well, on a personal level. Life as we knew it, just a few weeks ago, has been turned upside down. Recommendations to limit gatherings to 10 people are killing plans for personal celebrations — such as weddings, graduations and retirements, as well as birthday and anniversary milestones.

Concerns about spreading COVID-19 are causing parents to keep their children away from the grandparents. Spring break trips and visits to theme parks — that families had been looking forward to for months, were cancelled. And, even memorial services for loved ones are being postponed to allow for a larger celebration of life, later. Retired teachers Judy and Glenn Alvarez, of Lutz, said the COVID-19 pandemic caused an unwanted cancellation in their life. “We were supposed to go the Master’s — a bucket list thing,” Judy said. She also noted that it’s annoying to be

unable to find things in the grocery store. “Chicken, for example, there wasn’t any fresh chicken.” The retired Lutz Elementary School teacher said she’d be surprised if schools reopen this year. “I think that’s disappointing, too. Kids — playing their last game — not knowing they were playing their last game,” she said. Glenn, a former baseball coach added:“If you’re a senior, this was your big chance in high school to shine.And, all of a sudden, it’s shut down.” See LIFE, page 11A


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Floridians choose Trump, Biden in preference primary By B.C. Manion and Kevin Weiss bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

Floridians went to the polls in the midst of a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — causing some disruptions, and requiring poll workers and election officials to take special precautions. Lester and Betty Coupland, both 84, wore surgical masks to their polling place at Pasco County’s Precinct 3, at Pasco-Hernando State College in Dade City. Both favored Bernie Sanders. Bettie said she supported Sanders because of his stand on health care.“That’s the main thing,” she said. “I just think he’s the best candidate, to me, compared to all the others,” Lester said. Meanwhile, at Hillsborough County’s Precinct 595 at the Lutz Community Center, neither Judy Alvarez or her husband Glenn were worried about going to the polls, despite the pandemic. Judy said she trusted the poll workers to do their due diligence. “They were good in there, wiping everything down. No problem,” she said. Glenn, agreed: “It was very good to see how courteous they were and how concerned they were.” Both said they supported Biden. “I always look forward to voting. It’s our civic duty,” Judy said. “I think we need a kinder, gentler time right now. Bernie is a little bit angry, for me.” Glenn agreed:“I just wanted to vote in the primary election. He’s just a calmer influence. We need to have a united country. I think Joe will be able to unite us.” Across the state, Floridians overwhelmingly chose Biden and Donald J.Trump as their preferred candidates. Florida is a closed-primary state, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote to select their party’s nominee. Turnout in Pasco was 29.78%, with 76,957 ballots cast. Hillsborough’s turnout was 31.73%, with 196,972 ballots cast. In Pasco, Biden received 56.79% of the Democrats’ votes, while Bernie Sanders received 24.92%. Michael Bloomberg, who has dropped out of the race, received the next highest share of the vote, at 9.72%.

CHRISTINE HOLTZMAN

A sign asked voters to keep a safe distance from each other at Precinct 8, at Heritage Park Building A, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. B.C. MANION

Judy and Glenn Alvarez said they went to their precinct in Lutz to vote because they consider it their civic duty. They weren’t worried about potential threats from coronavirus disease2019 (COVID-19) because they had done their due diligence, regarding keeping safe, and trusted that poll workers would do the same.

Trump received 94.59% of the Republican party’s votes. In Hillsborough, Biden received 55.35% of the Democrats’ votes, while Bernie Sanders captured 26.71%. Michael Bloomberg received the next largest share of the vote, receiving 9.53%. Trump received 92.94%. Across the state, polling places that had been in nursing homes were moved because of state restrictions forbidding outside visitors to nursing homes. Some counties also reported that poll workers simply did not show up for duty. Voter Mirta Villa, who cast her ballot at her precinct at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, said she supported Biden. “He was the vice president. He has more experience.We should have somebody who can speak for us.We should have somebody who has experience,”Villa said. In Zephyrhills, at Precinct 6 at Alice Hall Community Center, 29-year-old Brittni Manautou gave her support to Sanders. “I just think from the beginning, he has always been on the same platform, whereas other candidates have changed with the times, as what they see fit, but he has run on the same thing and before he was radical for it, but now he’s right on point.

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“He just has so many different things he runs on. Between that and him with his support with AOC (Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), I just feel like he’s, aside from being consistent, the Medicare, he just doesn’t change. He cares for the students, the younger generation, whereas everybody else writes us off,” Manautou said. Voters Joe and Charissa Garcia, of Zephyrhills, split their support. Charissa supported Biden: “I believe he has the better chance beating Donald Trump.” Joe voted for Sanders. “The reason for that is because I’m going to vote for any Democrat come the general election, but right now I’m just voting with where my views align, regardless of whether they’re going to win or not, because it’s been so many years since I did that. It’s always the lesser of two evils, and I’m sick of that. “So with Bernie, all of his ideas are great. “We need a balance.We’ve gotten too capitalistic, and we kind of need the socialism to balance things out again. I think the way that we are today with capitalism, it’s way too much, like too overbearing on everything else, and there’s a good harmony when you have a bit of socialism mixed in with the cap-

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LOCATION: 3632 Land O' Lakes Blvd. Suite 102 • Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639 MAIL: P. O. Box 479 • Lutz, FL 33548 PHONE/FAX: ph: 813.909.2800 • fax: 813.909.2802 IT SUPPORT: STEVE MISTRETTA

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italism.You know, I was a Republican before the last election. I’m fiscally conservative, but my social views are very liberal.There’s just not a place for me, there’s no centrists that I could fit into, and honestly that’s the real reason,” Joe said. Blanca Roman, a 26-year-old medical assistant at Florida Medical Clinic, said she voted for Sanders because she supported his platform. If Biden is elected, she said,“we’d probably just go back to the same way it was when (President Barack) Obama was in office.” She said that wasn't terrible, but she thinks “there were some things that could’ve been done differently, that Bernie would take and actually do differently. The whole Medicare for all thing, I’m down for it.”

THESE ARE TRYING TIMES

The LAKER / Lutz NEWS

EDITORIAL

B.C. MANION

Mirta Villa, a voter who cast her ballot at her precinct at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, said she supported Joe Biden because of his experience as vice president.

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Wee are working W to kkeeep you safe. Like many people and organiz ganizations, ations the team at Gulfside is close closelyly monitoring the current situation concerning COVID-19 and its effects on our community. W Wee are working hard to ensure that we are following safety guidelines and recommendations ons from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as federal, statee and local governments. The health and safety of our team members, patients, visitors andd volunteers remains to be our highest priority. Please know that we are working diligently ntly on assessing each location, department and function of our organization, along with implementing mplementing an overall plan to mitigate risk and keep everyone safe. At this time, we are continuing to accept referrals, process new admissions, dmissions, and provide quality care for patients receiving services from Gulfside. We are working with our partners throughout the community to ensure that all this is being accomplished li h d with ith the th highest of quality standards and compliance in regards to infection control. If you havvee any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call us at 800-561-4883. Our team is available to answer your questions and address concerns. TToogether, we can move forward and protect those at risk. Thank you for your support of Gulfside, and I wish good health to you and your loved ones. Sincerely, Linda L. Wa Ward, President & Chief Executive Officer, Gulfside Healthcare Services

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March 25, 2020

3A


What’s Happening

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

SCREEN-FREE THINGS TO DO • Create a scavenger/treasure hunt. Make up your own or use ideas listed below: – Indoor scavenger hunt. Make a list of what your kids can search for throughout the house, such as:A toy with wheels, a book with the first letter of your name in the title; a pair of matching socks; four things that are green; something very soft; a toy smaller than your hand; something round; a book with numbers in it; five Lego items that are all different; a photo of someone you love; an item you can see yourself in; an item that makes you feel cozy; a toy that has three different colors; a movie that has “s” in the title; and, your most squishable stuffed animal. Offer a snack as a treat….after everything gets put back where it belongs. – Outdoor scavenger hunt. Make a list of what your kids can search for out in nature, such as: Five leaves that look different; a stick that is longer than your hand; a rock with spots on it; a flower; a flat rock; 10 blades of grass; something you love to play with; a piece of trash you can recycle; something that is brown; something that is heavy; something that is very light; something that needs sun to live; an item smaller than your thumb; something that starts with the letter ‘m’; and, something that smells good. Offer a snack as a treat, when the mission is complete. • Teach practical skills, such as how to: sew on a button; flip a pancake; plant a seed; balance a checkbook; pound a nail; do laundry; create a budget; start a fire; fry an egg; make jam; write a journal; or sprout a potato. • Bake some cakes or biscuits. • Sort through old photos and make a scrapbook of memories. • Ask kids to design a game that you can make the next day: such as a paper boat race or homemade skittles using a tennis ball and empty toilet paper rolls. • Encourage kids to make a gift or greeting card for someone. • Have an indoor family picnic.

NOTE TO READERS: Due to the continuing developments regarding coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) —the cancellations of events, and shuttering of schools and businesses — The Laker/Lutz News has compiled a list of websites that are offering free online activities, for kids and adults. Also listed are creative screen-free things to do at home, as well. — Compiled by Mary Rathman

• Draw or create a family tree. Make an art gallery at home to show off artwork. • Organize belongings and throw out what you don’t need. Have kids organize their rooms. • Let your child spend some time with friends on Skype or on the phone. • Show your child how to take care of plants and let them garden, too. Or, plant some flowers in pots if you don’t have a garden. • Have a film day and watch a favorite movie. Ask your child to write a film review or draw a movie poster. • Make finger puppets and create a theater out of a box. • Start a family book club. Discuss your favorite characters, what part you liked best and why. • Make potato stamps, and stamp paper or a shirt. • Go camping in the yard or living room. • Make your own mini golf course. Find ideas online. • Try paper origami. Find instructions online. • Ask the kids to put on a play or magic show, using dress-up clothes and props from around the house. • Play board games and card games. Note: The status of local libraries continues to evolve. Check library websites, or follow on Facebook and Twitter for further announcements.

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• AYearOfManyFirsts.blogspot.com: Get educational ideas. • EntertainKidsOnADime.com: Sign up to read the blog for a list of 100 activities to do at home with kids. • FromABCsToACTs.com: Offers links to educational websites for kids, including Make Me Genius,The Magic School Bus, Cool Math,The KIDZ Page, NGAkids Art Zone, BBC History for Kids, Steve Spangler Science, Mission US,The Happy Scientist, Youngzine, Fuel the Brain, Mr. Nussbaum, Exploratorium,Turtle Diary, e-Learning for Kids, Sesame Street, Fun Fonix,Tvokids,The Story Starter, NASA Kids’ Club, Crypto Club, Earthquakes for Kids, Smithsonian Learning, Study Jams and more. • FunBrain.com: Play games while practicing math and reading skills. • HighlightsKids.com: Read, play games and conduct cool science experiments. • Kids.NationalGeographic.com: Learn all about geography and fascinating animals. • MOSI: Visit Facebook.com/MOSIinMotionTampa, Facebook.com/mositampa or MOSI’s Instagram page (@mosi_tampa): Live videos of 15-minutes of demo/hands-on activities and ideas about various concepts, along with “Field trip Fridays.” • PBSKids.org: Hang out with your favorite characters while learning.

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• ScaryMommy.com/astronauts-storytime-in-space-kids-books/:Watch astronauts reading stories from space.

• Seussville.com: Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss and his friends. • Smore.com/wfg8d: Tools, tips and info to support eLearning news for Pasco County parents. • StarFall.com: Practice your phonic skills with these read-along stories. • StorylineOnline.net: Have some of your favorite stories read to you by movie stars. • SwitcherooZoo.com: Watch, listen and play games to learn about amazing animals. • The Boca Raton Museum of Art is launching new virtual educational and enriching. experiences online and through its social media channels.A special series, “Keep Kids Smart with Art,” will be available to help parents and children who are home from school.Visit the museum website, BocaMuseum.org, or social media channels: @bocamuseum or #BocaMuseumAtHome, for updates.“Being inspired and creative have not been canceled,” according to the museum’s website. • The Florida Aquarium has launched SEA-SPAN Facebook Live, so guests can still ‘visit’ the aquarium.To watch live, check out the Aquarium’s Facebook page at 10 a.m., to be entertained and educated from your own home. Sessions also will be posted to FLaquarium.org and on YouTube, so the shows can be watched on demand. • Tinyurl.com/toxrwnn: More than 60 math sites are listed that can provide standards-based math curricula, practice activities and games, assessment tools and instructive insights, and professional development. • Tinyurl.com/rq8uhf3: NASA has made its entire media library publicly accessible, and copyright free. • VirtualSchoolActivities.com: A collection of sites to live webcams, virtual tours/trips, and other miscellaneous fun academic sites, including the Atlanta Zoo, the British Museum London, the Great Wall of China 360, Library Science Center: New Jersey, National Museum of Natural History: Smithsonian, National Park Service Virtual Tours, Spy Museum,Wolf Conservation Center, and much more. • Washingtonian.com: Search “Mo Willems.”Willems, author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,”“Knuffle Bunny,” and the “Elephant and Piggy” series, will host a livestream “Lunchdoodle” video every weekday at 1 p.m.Videos can be viewed at Kennedy-Center.org/education/mo-willems/.

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tiny house is opening doors to a world of opportunities for area students, thanks to a handson homebuilding initiative between a high school magnet program and the Sales & Marketing Council of the Tampa Bay Builders Association. Students at the Center for Construction Technologies, a magnet school in St. Petersburg, work side-by-side with TBBA members, who mentor students and demonstrate construction trade skills. “This program provides us with a tremendous opportunity to educate students about our industry, the joy of providing a home to a family and, of course, the many career opportunities in home construction,” says Scott Campbell, a former TBBA president. The program was established in 2018 when TBBA members recognized the immense need to encourage and support careers in skilled trades for high school students and young adults. “Students relate what they learn in the textbook to what they see during the field experience,” says Lincoln Yates, assistant principal of the magnet school. “They’re attentive and ask great questions.” “The Tiny House Project is a great opportunity to help our local youth while also helping our industry,” says Michael Kramer, vice president at Sharp Design Studio Architecture,

which donated design plans for the program’s tiny house. “Finding talent is always challenging, and anything we can do as an industry to promote jobs and provide proper training will set them up for success,” Kramer says. “This kind of engagement has the potential to lead to fulltime jobs for these students, and hopefully a full-fledged career.” The Tiny House Project also benefits the local economy, says Jennifer

mentoring the 123 students participating in the program. TBBA members donated over 80% of the supplies and labor, and the remaining materials were purchased through monetary donations. The Laker/Lutz News was one of the TBBA members involved in the project from its inception, through the leadership of Terri Williamson, senior account manager for the newspaper. Williamson is the president elect of the Sales & Marketing Council, which presented a $10,500 check to help finance the Tiny House Project. “The tiny house capstone Members of the Tampa Bay Builders project has allowed us to betAssociation helped build a tiny home ter prepare our students for with high school students to encourcollege, career and life, by age and support careers in skilled bringing student apprenticetrades. Helping paint the home is ship opportunities into our Terri Williamson (wearing blue) of The classroom. Students have Laker/Lutz News, and Lauren Morgan. had the opportunity to hear from the various trade professionals, work alongside Motsinger, executive vice president of them and gain valuable experience TBBA. and insights that would have other“We are providing an alternative wise not been possible,” says housing product that is sustainable, Assistant Principal Yates. portable and affordable, and when The tiny house will be showcased it’s all done will be enjoyed by home- at a future Suncoast Tiny House owners for years to come,” says Festival. Funds generated from the Motsinger. home’s sale will support the magnet Over the past seven months, the program for years to come. For more information about this 28-foot custom tiny home was built by Tampa Bay area skilled-trade pro- project, please visit TBBAtinyhouse.com, fessionals, interior designers and where you can see a full list of particisuppliers, while actively teaching and pating companies.

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Avalon Park Wesley Chapel is developing a downtown that includes four freestanding office buildings that will have a mix of retail and commercial uses.

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Pasco County Backs Downtown Avalon Park

he Avalon Park Group has overwhelming support and backing from the Pasco County Commission to create a brand new town center for the Wesley Chapel community. Downtown Avalon Park Wesley Chapel is being planned as a mixeduse development on 215 acres located north of State Road 54, about three miles east of I-75. The plan includes four freestanding office buildings that will have a mix of retail and commercial uses. The first phase is already under construction and, when completed, will have 75,000 square feet of commercial space within walking distance to residents living in the community’s single-family homes, townhomes and apartments. “We are creating a real downtown with businesses offices, shops and restaurants, because we want to greatly reduce the need for our residents to drive outside their community to get to work, take kids

to school, shop and dine, and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities,” said Stephanie Lerret, senior vice president for the Avalon Park Group. “And now, with the full support of Pasco County, downtown Wesley Chapel will become a reality within the next few years.” In February, the Pasco County Commission unanimously voted to approve an incentive package totaling $33.5 million. The agreement outlines that in exchange, the Avalon Park Group will spend about $83.3 million to build roads, multi-story parking decks and transit-related infrastructure. In all, Avalon Park Group is planning to spend more than $800 million to develop its Wesley Chapel community of homes and downtown center. In return, Pasco County has agreed to provide an annual rebate of the previous year’s property tax payments, which will be capped at $32 million. These county rebates represent 38% of the total cost of public improvements.

David Engel, manager of “Instead of building the county’s office of ecosubdivisions, we are nomic growth, spelled out building towns,” said Beat some specifics at a recent Kahli, president and CEO county commission meetof Avalon Park Group. ing. “Having jobs within our “The typical buildings are community is the best four stories in height. way to resolve traffic conCommercial will occupy the gestion caused by daily first floor and three floors of commutes.” residential above it. There Kahli’s company alalso are five to six parking Beat Kahli ready has done a similar decks and four freestanding project — Avalon Park Class A office buildings,” Orlando — and is currentEngel said. ly developing Avalon Park Tavares Avalon Park Wesley Chapel will in- and Avalon Park Daytona Beach clude 2,695 residences, 165,000 using the same standards. square feet of Class A Office, and Commissioner Jack Mariano said 190,000 square feet of commercial he’s aware of Kahli’s “tremendous space, Engel said. “Fifty percent of success” in Orlando. the residential trip generation on the “I know you’re going to have it site will stay on the site, once the right here, as well. I’m glad you project is complete,” Engel said. picked Pasco County,” Mariano said. The project is expected to generCommissioner Kathryn Starkey ate 1,065 full-time jobs and have a added, “This is cutting-edge plantotal economic output of $84.4 mil- ning, right here. Being able to live, lion, according to county work and play in the same neighbordocuments. hood is a great solution for sprawl.”

Pinecrest Academy Sends Out Acceptance Notices

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chool acceptance emails went out earlier this month to families who had applied to Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel, the new K-6 charter school being built at the entrance to Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. “We are excited to be providing our high-performing school for all of our families. Thank you for applying for Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel and creating our inaugural Panther family,” said Principal Aimee Mielke, on the school’s Facebook page. Mielke also announced that the school’s official website is now up at PinecrestWesleyChapel.com. “We’re LIVE and it is beautiful with lots of information,” she said. The principal has been receiving lots of inquiries from parents — and these are some of the most asked questions: What are Pinecrest’s school hours? 8:15 a.m. - student drop-off and breakfast 8:30 a.m. - classes begin 2:50 p.m. - dismissal begins Are students required to wear uniforms?

Aerial photo of Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel.

Yes. We will be partnering with All Uniform Wear. All items, including jackets/sweaters, must be purchased through our uniform shop. Students also are required to wear black, closed-toe shoes. When will we be notified if our child has been accepted? The first acceptance emails were sent out Monday, March 9. The new school will open this fall with 650 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and plans to expand to serve up to eighth grade. It is

the first Pinecrest Academy in Tampa Bay. With 16 schools nationwide, Pinecrest Academy Inc., has made a name for itself in the education community. As Principal Mielke would say, “When you walk into a Pinecrest school, you know you’re in a Pinecrest school.” Mielke is excited about the advanced programs Pinecrest will offer its students, including a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum, and a dual English/Spanish language program. With the STEM program, Pinecrest

students will learn about new technologies, such as robotics, and will have fully functioning STEM labs in all grades — something most schools do not offer. Pinecrest also will have self-contained classrooms for gifted students, where pacing will be faster and performance tests much more in-depth, to allow gifted students to flourish in their education. “All Pinecrest schools have an emphasis on high-quality instruction. We’ll continuously be monitoring the data so we know what each student needs, and have many different programs available to focus on the needs of the individual student,” says Mielke. Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel is one of the most important elements of the goal to build a brand-new town in Avalon Park Wesley Chapel, says Stephanie Lerret, senior vice president of marketing for the Avalon Park Group. Lerret noted that the developer’s goal is to have the very best school in the entire state. “Our residents are ecstatic to have the option of sending their children to one of the top charter school operators in Florida,” said Lerret.

Avex Homes Model Is Open For Tour

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ue to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the Avalon Park Wesley Chapel clubhouse/amenities and Welcome Center are closed until further notice. Staff will continue to work remotely, and can be reached if you have questions at info@avalonparkwesleychapel.com, or by calling (813) 783-1515. The Avex Homes model, at 5216 Autumn Ridge Drive, remains open with the following hours of operation: Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Beazer Homes model is open by appointment only, by calling (813) 422-5549 or emailing Ted.Burkhalter @ Beazer.com or melissa.davis@beazer.com.

NEW TOWNHOMES

With tree-lined streets that wind around sparkling lakes and flowerfilled parks, Avalon Park Wesley Chapel exemplifies small-town America. Avex Homes of Avalon combines this desirable small town charm with innovative floor plans and luxury features, which are now

available in its new townhome community. Avex Home’s distinctive and affordable townhomes are solidly built with rich architectural detail and floor plans designed for easy family living. All townhomes offer a traditional focus on the front porch to promote its small town community feel. Two townhomes are available now, each at 1,608 square feet, with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a two-car garage. These homes are affordably priced at $233,144 and $234,190.

To schedule a tour of these homes, email todd@avexhomes.com. Few communities offer the recreational activities found at Avalon Park Wesley Chapel, thoughtfully created for residents of all ages. New in 2019 was an expansive second amenity center with a zero-entry pool, splash pad, spa and picnic area. Avalon Park families also enjoy a wide array of other amenities, including another swimming pool, tot lot, basketball courts, pocket parks with mini-libraries, dog park, and trails and walkways that will interconnect with its planned downtown.

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March 25, 2020

9A


Health

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PREMIER HEALTHCARE UPDATES

Premier Community Healthcare’s health centers will remain open at this time, but all events have been postponed, and there will be limited contact based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for social distancing. Premier is limiting its waiting room capacity to five persons. After checking in, patients will be asked to wait in their vehicle until a nurse calls the patient to be seen. All Premier locations will be closed on March 27 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and will reopen for business at 10 a.m. As per the recommendation of the American Dental Association, Premier’s dental centers will provide emergency dental services only, if you or your child is experiencing oral pain.This will remain in effect until April 6, at which time a re-evaluation will take place for updates.

Every year, many seniors are targeted by scammers who want to steal Medicare numbers to do things like rack up fake health care charges and commit identity theft. A webpage with information for Medicare beneficiaries related to COVID-19 can be found at Medicare.gov/medicarecoronavirus. According to a news release from the Department of Elder Affairs, Medicare covers these related needs: • Lab tests for COVID-19. Patient pays no out-of-pocket costs. • All medically necessary hospitalizations, which includes if patient is diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged, but instead a hospital quarantine is necessary • If a vaccine becomes available, it will be covered by Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). A Medicare Advantage Plan gives access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests.Always check with your plan on coverage and costs. Medicare also covers virtual check-ins to connect with a doctor by phone or video, or even an online patient portal, to determine the need for an in-office visit.

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Nurse recognition Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point awarded registered nurse James Riley as the February DAISY award winner. Riley is a nurse on the 2 Central Unit and was recognized by several patients for the care he provided them. The patients praised Riley for making a lasting impact, and for taking time out of his busy day to just sit and listen, and talk to them. The DAISY winner receives a Healer’s touch sculpture, cinnamon rolls for the whole team, and a DAISY pin. Riley, center, stands with hospital officials and members of his unit with the award.

To protect yourself from Medicare fraud, keep these points in mind: • DO protect our Medicare number and treat your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. • DO review your Medicare claims for errors and problems, including fake charges, double billing or other fraudulent activity, waste or abuse. • DO visit Medicare.gov/fraud to learn more about protecting yourself. • DON’T give your Medicare card or Medicare number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it. For questions or more information, visit ElderAffairs.org, or call (850) 414-2000.

DONATE TO CARES

In an effort to expand CARES (Community Aging & Retirement Services) outreach during this ever-developing pandemic, Jemith Rosa, president and CEO, is asking for monetary donations. According to a news release, the organization reports that due to the crisis, many seniors will face a loss of socialization and will turn to CARES as a lifeline for quality of life, and critical information. As a result, the organization is in need of food, nonperishable items, medications and more, as it foresees an inevitable increase in demand from seniors. With seniors self-isolating to stop the spread of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID19), CARES will need additional funds to operate the telephone assurance program. The program makes weekly phone calls to home-bound seniors to provide comforting

conversation and verification of the senior’s well-being. The telephone program is looking to expand to help get critical information to the senior population. Donations can be sent to CARES, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson, FL 34667, Attn: COVID-19, or online at CARESfl.org. For information, call Melissa Mathe at (727) 862-9291, ext. 2046.

CORONAVIRUS INFO LINE LAUNCHED

AdventHealth has launched a free phone service for Floridians who have questions about coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), including the opportunity to speak with a nurse, as appropriate. According to a March 20 news release, the AdventHealth Coronavirus Information Line, (877)-VIRUSHQ, is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It serves as a one-stop shop to connect Floridians with resources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health. The phone line is not intended to replace a physician-patient relationship. Nurses can answer general medical questions and will refer the caller to the appropriate next steps. AdventHealth is hoping this service also will offload nonclinical call volumes from health care offices. AdventHealth also has launched CoronavirusSignsAndSymptoms.com, so consumers can get answers to top COVID19 questions.

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10A

March 25, 2020

www.LakerLutzNews.com


HOSPITAL, from page 1A • Behavioral Health Unit • Emergency Room:Waiting room only • Outpatient procedures: Waiting room only when accompanying a patient receiving sedation St. Joseph’s Hospital-North in Lutz and Morton B. Plant North Bay in New Port Richey are BayCare hospitals within or near The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. AdventHealth hospitals in and near The Laker/Lutz coverage area are AdventHealth Carrollwood, AdventHealth Dade City, AdventHealth Tampa, AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and AdventHealth Zephyrhills. “This is an unprecedented time in health care, and our priority is to keep our patients, team members and ultimately our greater community safe, while we continue to treat those who need our care,” Mike Schultz, president and CEO, of AdventHealth West Florida Division, said in a news release. Hospitals across the region are limiting visitors.To be sure you have the latest information, check the website. Before allowing a visitor to enter, according to a news release, HCA Healthcare West Florida said its staff will be asking these questions: • Have you had a fever and signs/symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, flu-like symptoms or shortness of breath)? • Have you traveled outside the country within the last 14 days (including a cruise)? • Have you been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 without wearing the proper protective equipment? • Are you currently being tested for COVID-19? If a potential visitor answers yes to any question, he or she will not be allowed to enter the facility, except to seek emergency medical assistance. Medical Center of Trinity and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point are both HCA Healthcare West Florida hospitals. On another front, hospitals are holding off on elective surgeries, as per an order by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. AdventHealth West Florida Division announced in a March 20 news release, that it will immediately: • Postpone all inpatient surgeries that are not time-sensitive • Postpone outpatient surgeries that are not time-sensitive • Postpone all outpatient procedures in diagnostic centers that are not time-sensitive

LIFE, from page 1A People across The Laker/Lutz News region noted that some view COVID-19 as a serious threat, while others, not so much. Eighty-four-year old Bettie Coupland, of Dade City, said precautions are necessary. “It’s a very serious thing,” she said.“We only go where we have to go.” In fact, she and her husband, Lester, weren’t sure whether they would head to the polls on March 17 for the Presidential Preference Primary. Ultimately, they decided to go — but, they wore masks. Charissa Garcia, of Zephyrhills, said “a lot of people are not taking it seriously.” Her husband, Joe, agreed: “We’re not preparing enough. We’re not ready for what’s coming, and everybody around here is acting like, ‘Oh, it’s just the common cold,’ and all this other stuff, and there’s going to be a rude awakening here.” He also noted that there’s a lack of consistent messaging from the government and a lack of available tests. “We’re all walking time bombs, and we don’t know who has what.We could all be carrying it asymptomatic and we don’t know that, and we’ve got nothing but snowbirds around us that are ready to migrate back home,” Joe said. The couple said they’re doing their best to stay out of public places. Even though the government is urging people to use social distancing — that is staying 6 feet away from each other to avoid spreading the virus — many are failing to comply. “I see what’s going on in Italy, and they were in this same situation 10 days ago, and us being Americans — we’ve never dealt with something like this here,” Joe said. He also noted that Americans tend to believe that things that happen in other

Help stop the spread • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. • Keep frequently touched surfaces and objects clean. Source: Florida Department of Health

“AdventHealth will provide surgery only to patients whose needs are imminently lifethreatening, with malignance that could progress, or with active symptoms that require urgent and immediate care” the release says.“This decision allows us to further plan for the increased need for hospital beds, resources, and advocate for patient and team safety.” Similar policies are in effect at other hospitals in the region. Also, efforts continue to expand testing for COVID-19. BayCare Health System, which initially operated seven testing sites, announced it had screened more than 6,100 people and collected specimens for testing from nearly 3,500 during five days of testing. The hospital chain recently announced that on March 23 it would be consolidating its COVID-19 test collection sites to high volume locations and to provide geographic access. It now is operating its testing sites at one location each in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. The Hillsborough location is at BayCare Urgent Care, 3440 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 100, in Tampa.The Pasco location is at BayCare Urgent Care, 4821 U.S. 19, in New Port Richey. BayCare is concentrating on using its limited test supplies to identify patients who have the virus. Patients should be referred by a physician and should have current symptoms — cough, fever, shortness of breath — and meet other criteria recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, according to a BayCare news release. Patients should bring documentation from a physician that they have been referred for testing.

countries couldn’t happen here. So, he said,“people aren’t taking it seriously, and we’ve got a lot of tough times to go through.” Thirty-four-year-old Brandon Bristow, an educator from Zephyrhills, said he thinks people need to take necessary precautions — but, he also believes that the threat has been blown out of proportion. At the same time, though, he added:“It’s better safe than sorry.” Bristow said he works with children, so he’s constantly washing his hands. “Also, I am watching how much people interaction I’m having,” he added, and being sure to use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces. Church congregations are being affected, too. Instead of holding regular services, churches are livestreaming them. Fred Perkins, the pastor of New River Methodist Church, off State Road 54, in Zephyrhills, planned to broadcast his service on YouTube, according to his daughter-in-law,Amanda Perkins. The church has been broadcasting its contemporary service on My Facebook Live for a couple of years, she said. But, the church has two other services that are primarily attended by senior citizens. “They’re not able to come to those, so we are going to be, for the first time, going to be broadcasting on a YouTube channel this weekend, so they can hopefully tune in,” she said. Our Lady of the Rosary, in Land O’ Lakes, also livestreamed two Masses on March 22, one in English at 9:30 a.m., and one in Spanish at 11:30 a.m. To give the services a more personal touch, the parish asked families to email a photo of their family to the church office. They planned to enlarge the photos to place them on chairs in the church, so the priests could see the faces, while celebrating the Masses.

BUSINESS, from page 1A

Need some help?

Some have cut staff, including The Laker/Lutz News, which laid off three employees. Some businesses have ceased operations, at least for now. Tampa Premium Outlets had barricades blocking the entrances. Its website notes that the closure is through March 29, but directs potential shoppers to “stores” and “dining” areas of the website to see if essential retailers, such as pharmacies and food delivery/take-out, are available. Others are adapting practices to try to preserve business or to respond to changing customer behaviors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Walkabout Eatery, a restaurant at 18430 Livingston Ave., in Lutz, is serving its customers with takeout, drive-thru and delivery through Uber Eats.The restaurant also has limited its hours to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and reduced its staff. In keeping with the governor’s order, Chick-fil-A, at Cypress Creek Town Center, off State Road 56, has closed its dining room and is offering drive-thru only. Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets, which has several locations in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area, is opening at 7 a.m., on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to allow shoppers age 65 and older the chance to shop for an hour before other shoppers are allowed to enter. Also, Publix stores are closing an hour earlier, to give staff additional time to do preventative sanitation and restock shelves. Pharmacy hours have been changed to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with regular hours on Sunday. Business owners and employees, meanwhile, grapple with uncertainty. Amanda Perkins , a hairdresser for 11 years, has had Haven Hair Studio for two years at Porte Noire — A Salon Collective, at The Shops at Wiregrass. During an interview last week, she said she’d had a number of cancellations — related to COVID-19 because of where the clients recently traveled, or out of a client’s concern about a relative’s compromised immune system. She was still operating her shop last week, but was getting nervous. “For me, if it only stayed at six, seven, eight cancellations, that wouldn’t be the end of my world,” Perkins said. But, she added:“Everybody has all of the same questions: ‘What if this? How do we deal with this?’ It is just nerve-racking.” On March 22, she decided to temporarily suspend services, according to her Facebook page. She said she will be emailing her clients to inform them how she’ll be handling appointments, both future and missed. Hope Kennedy, president/CEO of the North Tampa Bay Chamber, said the uncertainty is a widespread concern. “It’s very hard for the service industry, and we have a very large service industry in Wesley Chapel and in North Tampa Bay,” said Kennedy, who leads a chamber of about 700 members. The chamber has reached out to its

Information on these websites/links may be useful: • North Tampa Bay Chamber: NorthTampaBayChamber.com • Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce: GreaterPasco.com • Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce: ZephyrhillsChamber.org • Pasco Economic Development Council Inc.: PascoEDC.com • FloridaDisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments • SBDCtampabay.com/coronavirus

members and has conducted two surveys to get a pulse of what’s happening, Kennedy said. “I can tell you the trend is definitely there’s going to be a very negative impact on our small businesses in our communities,” Kennedy said. In fact, one business indicted it won’t be able to make it back, Kennedy said.“We’re three days in and we’re already hearing that.” As the situation continues to evolve, stress levels are high, said Kennedy, who understands the sentiment. “I told somebody the other day, I feel like I’m going through a hurricane, the BP Oil Spill and the Recession, all at the exact same time,” Kennedy said. But, Kennedy pointed out that she has experienced all three of those, as a chamber executive, and her organization is working hard to find out what chamber members need and to help point them toward resources that can help. “There’s so much out there and it changes so rapidly,” said Kennedy, who currently has her chamber office set up on her dining room table at home. “We’re updating our website almost hourly for the various links,” she said. Meanwhile, she’s encouraging everyone to:“Keep calm and shop local.” The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce is sharing a similar message. It’s encouraging its members to “shop local, shop small, shop now.” The Greater Pasco Chamber announced it would be reaching out to its members who operate restaurants to find out their new hours of operation and whether they operate takeout or delivery, and also to share menu links, when available. Once that information is collected, the chamber plans to share it. It, too, is sharing information about potential sources of help. The Pasco Economic Development Council Inc., a nonprofit economic development agency, also wants to help businesses. It has compiled a list of potential sources of loans and other types of help that are posted on its website, PascoEDC.com. While local organizations are trying to help businesses seek out sources of help, Gov. DeSantis is urging that economic assistance be provided quickly and simply — to those needing it, in light of COVID-19.

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March 25, 2020

11A


Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source

Coronavirus cancels many sports events By Kevin Weiss kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

A

s fears regarding coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) continue to ramp up, so do cancellations on the sports landscape — nationally, regionally and locally. The unexpected cancellations began on March 10 when The Ivy League, a Division I collegiate athletic conference comprised of private schools in the Northeast, announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and it said it would limit the number of spectators that can attend spring sports — as a direct response to accelerated coronavirus cases across the country. In short order, many other sports organizations — professional, collegiate, amateur, recreational and youth — followed suit by postponing or canceling events during ensuing days. The NBA and the NHL League suspended their seasons indefinitely. The MLB canceled spring training games and pushed back the start of the 2020 regular season. Even WWE’s WrestleMania 36 — scheduled for April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa — has been moved to a “fanless” venue at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. Meanwhile, the NCAA on March 12 canceled Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments (more widely known as March Madness), as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, in light of ever-evolving news regarding the public health threat of COVID-19. In a similar move, the NJCAA (National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association) on March 16 canceled all upcoming basketball championships, as well as spring competition, effective immediately. The NCAA and NJCAA decisions means that Saint Leo University (Division II NCAA) and Pasco-Hernando State College (Division II NJCAA) have canceled the remainder of the spring season, as well as all activities for

FILE

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, public school athletics activities, such as track and field, are canceled until at least April 15, per a statewide directive from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

all fall, winter and spring sports until further notice. The Saint Leo athletic department, in a release, said:“The health, safety and welfare of all of our staff and student-athletes is paramount. Taking these precautions now will help keep our student-athletes healthy so they can successfully complete their academic coursework and resume competition in Fall 2020.” Postponements and cancellations also have affected high school sports. All athletics activities at Hillsborough and Pasco county public schools are canceled until at least April 15, as part of a statewide directive from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Academy at the Lakes has canceled all sporting events, including games and practices, through at least March 29. Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School also has canceled athletic practices, games and nonschool functions until at least April 15. The FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic

Association) also announced there have been no final decisions concerning state series or state championship events. Furthermore, spring sport rankings will not be released until further notice. “As we receive information from state authorities and health departments, the FHSAA will continue to make decisions for each sport individually, moving forward,” the statewide athletics organization said, in a release. Many local youth and adult sports leagues have postponed or canceled their spring seasons, too. Pasco County Parks announced all events, activities, youth and adult sports leagues, field reservations and so on have been canceled until at least May 1. County parks will continue to remain open for day-use only, however recreation complexes and community centers remain closed until further notice.That includes the

Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, Heritage Park Community Center, James Irvin Community Center, Odessa Community Center, among others. Likewise, Hillsborough County recreation centers are closed and athletic activities have been canceled until at least April 13, but Hillsborough County parks are open. Meantime, large sports leagues put on by local churches also have been postponed or shuttered. Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz has canceled the entire spring season for youth baseball, youth softball and men’s softball. Pending developments with the coronavirus, the church plans to ramp up sports registration on July 1 for its fall youth soccer and adult coed soccer leagues. Grace Family Church, which has campuses in Lutz and Land O’ Lakes, has postponed its basketball, kickball and softball leagues, until further notice.

Locals named to All-State football teams By Kevin Weiss Athletes within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were well-represented on the FloridaHSFootball.com’s All-State teams for the 2019 season. In total, 18 players from four local schools in Hillsborough and Pasco counties were named first-team, second-team, third-team or honorable mention for their respective classifications. The All-State teams were compiled by FloridaHSFootball.com, along with the consideration of coaches nominations and consultation of all-area/all-county teams and members of the media from around the state. Steinbrenner High School (8A) garnered the most selections among local schools, with eight. That included three first-team choices (quarterback Haden Carlson, senior offensive lineman Matt Adcock, senior utility Deon Silas), three second-team choices (senior receiver Dean Patterson, junior linebacker Austin Brannen, junior defensive back Matt Durrance) a third-team choice (junior defensive lineman Aiden Bitter) and an honorable mention (junior defensive lineman Desmond Mamudi). Carlson also was named the Class 8A Offensive Player of the Year. The Florida International University signee completed 62.4% of his throws for 2,382 yards, 33 touchdowns and five interceptions, guiding the Warriors to a 12-2 mark and the Class 8A state semifinals. Gaither High School (6A) also was wellrepresented on the All-State list, with seven selections. That included three first-team choices (senior quarterback Tony Bartalo, senior offensive lineman Jake Karsen, senior defen-

sive back Hunter Mintzer), two-second team choices (senior receiver Deveon Knighton, junior athlete Jordan Oladokun) and two third-team choices (sophomore receiver Drelin Pittman, sophomore defensive lineman Mario Eugenio). Bartalo also was named the Class 6A Overall Player of the Year — helping the Cowboys to a 12-2 mark and the Class 6A state semifinals. The Bethune-Cookman signee completed 62.6% of his throws for 3,194 yards, 45 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also made an impact with his legs, rushing for 382 yards and five touchdowns. Bartalo’s 45 touchdown passes were the most in Florida among all classifications, and good for fifthmost all-time in state history. Wiregrass Ranch High School (7A) had two All-State selections — senior linebacker Dylan Ridolph (second-team) and senior receiver Keith Walker (third-team). It marks Ridolph’s third time on the AllState listing. The Catawba College signee exits as one of the most productive defensive players in Pasco County history. He holds the county record for most career sacks, with 48. He also tallied 274 total tackles and 78 tackles for loss across three varsity seasons. Elsewhere, Zephyrhills Christian Academy senior defensive lineman Malik Jones garnered Class 2A first-team defense honors.The 6-2, 296-pound Florida Atlantic University signee ranked third in the state in sacks (29) in 2019, also registering 113 total tackles and 38.0 tackles for loss. There were no All-State representatives in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area from Classes 5A, 4A, 3A or 1A. Last year, 24 players from nine local schools in Hillsborough and Pasco counties were named first-team, second-team, thirdteam or honorable mention for their respective classifications.

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Baby strollers and leashed dogs are welcome. For information and to register, visit TampaLuckyRun.com.

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

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TAMPA LUCKY RUN RESCHEDULED The third annual Tampa Lucky Run has been rescheduled to May 31 at Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive in Lutz. Hosted by Speed Starz Track/Running Club, the event will include an 8K run, 5K run/walk, Lucky Challenge (8K and 5K), 1mile run/walk, and kids fun run. Race times vary between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. All participants will receive a T-shirt, finishers medal, water bottle, PDQ discount card, goody bag and more. Other prizes will be available for top finishers in each age bracket.

12A

March 25, 2020

FILE

Steinbrenner High senior quarterback Haden Carlson was named Class 8A Offensive Player of the Year by FloridaHSFootball.com. FILE

Gaither High senior quarterback Tony Bartalo, shown with Gaither head football coach Kirk Karsen, was named Class 6A Overall Player of the Year. He threw 45 touchdown passes — the most in Florida. CLASS 8A • Haden Carlson, Steinbrenner, senior, quarterback (first-team offense, offensive player of the year) • Matt Adcock, Steinbrenner, senior, offensive lineman (first-team offense) • Deon Silas, Steinbrenner, junior, utility (first-team offense) • Dean Patterson, Steinbrenner, senior, receiver (second-team offense) • Austin Brannen, Steinbrenner, junior, linebacker (second-team defense) • Matt Durrance, Steinbrenner, junior, defensive back (second-team defense) • Aiden Bitter, Steinbrenner, senior, receiver (third-team offense) • Desmond Mamudi, Steinbrenner, junior, defensive lineman (honorable mention)

CLASS 7A • Dylan Ridolph, Wiregrass Ranch, senior, linebacker (second-team defense) • Keith Walker, Wiregrass Ranch, senior, receiver (third-team offense) CLASS 6A • Tony Bartalo, Gaither, senior, quarterback (firstteam offense, overall player of the year) • Jake Karsen, Gaither, senior, offensive lineman (first-team offense) • Hunter Mintzer, Gaither, senior, defensive back (first-team defense) • Deveon Knighton, Gaither, senior, receiver (second-team offense) • Jordan Oladokun, Gaither, junior, athlete (second-team defense) • Drelin Pittman, Gaither, sophomore, receiver (third-team offense) • Mario Eugenio, Gaither, sophomore, defensive lineman (third-team defense) CLASS 2A • Malik Jones, Zephyrhills Christian, senior, defensive lineman (first-team defense)

SUMMER BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Registration is open for the Catholic Youth Sports Summer Basketball League. There will be boys and girls leagues, for players age 5 to 18, as well as an adult league for those 18 and older. The season runs from June 1 to July 31. Games will be played on Saturdays at the St. John Paul II Youth Center, 17520 Lakeshore Road in Lutz. Costs range from $50 to $90 per player. The league is seeking coaches and referees. To register, visit OLORSports.org. For additional information, contact Patrick Poland at (813) 484-8621 or sportsdirector@ladyrosary.org.

www.LakerLutzNews.com

Perfect game!

COURTESY OF WALTER JONES

Braden Jones, 11, recorded a perfect game for the Land O’ Lakes Little League (LOLLL) White Sox, retiring all 18 batters faced in a 5-0 win over the LOLLL Nationals. Jones fired 62 pitches, striking out nine batters, while allowing no hits, walks or runs across six innings.


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

B

MARCH 25, 2020

An awe-inspiring place for nature lovers Worth the Trip Karen Haymon Long

S

Special to The Laker/Lutz News

ometimes, you have to go inland to see “The Real Florida.” To see the “Real Florida” at its very best, visit Paynes Prairie, stretching 2 miles on both sides of U.S. 441 in Micanopy, a hamlet south of Gainesville. The 50-square-mile prairie is protected within Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Even speeding past to a Gator game, or heading north for vacation, you’ll know it’s something special. Blue skies and billowy clouds arch high over tawny grasses swaying in the breeze. Fish leap from ponds. Shorebirds stand tall in swampy marshes. The sun rises on one side of the prairie and sets on the other. If you’re lucky, you may see flocks of migrating sandhill cranes, grazing bison, wild Spanish horses, roaming cattle, and alligators slipping into tranquil waters. The 22,000-acre park offers a world of exploration, whether you hike, fish, birdwatch, horseback ride, camp, boat or kayak. It’s a photographer’s paradise, with 300 species of birds, river otters, bobcats, Florida black bears, wild pigs, white-tailed deer, coyotes, marsh rabbits and hundreds of other critters. Hiking through canopied forests on the prairie’s edge and staring out over prairie grasses, I thought about the pachyderms, bigger than our elephants, that lived on this land 2.6 million years ago. They shared it with camels, llamas, tortoises as big as bulls, bison, horses and nearly 20-foot-long sloths. We felt lucky to see American eagles, Great Blue Herons, snowy egrets, turtles, moorhens, limpkins, coots and woodpeckers. When visiting, you may want to bring binoculars. We were glad we had them when we needed to use them to see the bison, wild horses and cattle far out on the prairie. We took peaceful hikes through forests of palms, giant oaks, pines, magnolia trees and palmettos bordering the prairie. Often, we were alone and trails were silent, but for the crunch of leaves under our feet. The great naturalist William Bartram, who visited the prairie in 1774 when it was called the Alachua Savanna, wrote about seeing those same types of trees. He said emerging from the dark forests to the wide open prairie made him feel “on the borders of a new world! On the first view of such an amazing display of the wisdom and power of the supreme author of nature, the mind for a moment seems suspended, and impressed with awe.” Bartram met with Seminoles and their chief,Ahaya the Cowkeeper, who lived nearby and ran cattle on the prairie. The “Siminoles,” as he called them, slaughtered cows, prepared a feast for him and let him hunt for plants on their land. They called him Puc-Puggee, which means “the Flower Hunter.”Today, the park’s campground is named Puc Puggy. The prairie was named for the Cowkeeper’s eldest surviving son, Payne. The ancient prairie was formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock and the merging of sinkholes. Its waters drain into a sinkhole at the northeast region of the prairie and into Orange Lake to the south. Back in 1871, that sinkhole - called the Alachua Sink - clogged up and water rushed over the prairie, forming what locals called Alachua Lake. It was so deep steamboats ran on it, carrying passengers, lumber, oranges and other cargo between Micanopy and Gainesville. In 1891, the sinkhole opened up, the lake drained 8 feet in 10 days and became a marshy prairie again. Today, it’s wetter than some years, and

KAREN HAYMON LONG

Paynes Prairie offers wide-open views of the sky, marshes and ponds. Even the most traveled naturalists are in awe.

COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE PARKS KAREN HAYMON LONG

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park encompasses 22,000 acres. The main entrance is off U.S. 441 in Micanopy, south of Gainesville.

some trails were partially closed on our visit due to flooding. The best way to see the prairie is to head to the park’s main entrance at its southern end, where you’ll find the Visitor Center with exhibits and a video on the history of the prairie, an observation tower, hiking trails, the campground, picnic area, playground, boat ramp and access to Lake Wauberg. Farther north, off U.S. 441, look for a sign for the 3-mile, roundtrip La Chua Trail, a boardwalk/grassy trail around Alachua Sink and marshes to an observation platform. (This was partially closed on our visit). A fishing pier north of that trailhead offers panoramic views of the prairie and some good fishing. On our visit, a fisherman looked at a huge catfish he just caught and said proudly,“That’s the first fish I’ve caught in years.” North of the prairie, off Williston Road in Gainesville, find Sweetwater Wetlands Park, which offers 3.5 miles of gravel and boardwalk trails over wetlands, ponds and grasses dotted with turtles, moorhens, Great Blue Herons, limpkins, anhingas and other birds. The 125-acre Gainesville city park was created to protect the quality of water that drains into Paynes Prairie and the Florida Aquifer by filtering out pollution and harmful nutrients. Its use is more restricted than the state park’s because of the filtering processes. No boats, fishing, bikes, horses, drones or pets are allowed. But, it’s a wondrous place to walk for watery views and birdwatching.

Tips for the Trip NOTE: Visiting Paynes Prairie is worth the trip, but it will have to wait awhile. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced March 22 that it would be closing all state parks effective immediately to ensure social distancing in light of concerns about potential spread of coronavirus diease-2019. It is uncertain when the state parks will reopen. Before heading that way, be sure to call ahead. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is at 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy. HOURS: 8 a.m. to sundown daily; Visitor Center open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. COST: $6 per car with two to eight passengers; $2 for one passenger, and for walkers and bikers. EVENTS: Coffee with a ranger; talking to naturalists about William Bartram; gazing at stars with members of the Alachua Astronomy Club; birding with members of the Alachua Audubon Society. INFO: For the events schedule and other information, see FloridaStateParks.org, and click onto Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, or call the ranger station at (352) 545-6000 or the Visitor Center at (352) 4664100. Sweetwater Wetlands Park is at 325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville. HOURS: 7 a.m. to sunset daily. COST: $5 per car; $2 for walkers and bikers. INFO: SweetwaterWetlands.org; (352) 393-8520.

American alligators are a common sight in the waters along the La Chua Trail and in Lake Wauberg.

COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE PARKS

American bison in the park descended from 10 bison transplanted to the prairie in 1975 from Oklahoma. Long ago, bison lived in the prairie and roamed throughout the southeastern United States.

COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE PARKS

Bald eagles often soar over the vast prairie. They are among 300 species of birds you might see there.

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CHRISTINE HOLTZMAN

The Porch of Peace By Steve Melton, cowboy poet

Come now, pull up a chair, on the porch of peace. Stay and rock awhile, let your worries cease. We'll tell a few stories, maybe a joke or two. It’s good to be together when the day is through. Feel the gentle breeze as it blows from east to the west. It carries away the heat and your cares, It makes you feel at rest. We’ll watch the sun go down, see the sky turning red Stop thinking about your troubles, before we go to bed. Stop. Listen to the quiet. We don’t hear that much anymore. We need to hear it more often, It gives our hearts and minds time to restore. Next time you are in the area, please stop and stay awhile The porch of peace will leave you with a smile. Editor’s note: The Laker/Lutz News typically doesn’t publish poetry, but we decided to make an exception to offer a counterpoint during these trying times. Steve Melton is a cowboy poet and a native of East Pasco County.

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Theresa Sierra, of Land O’ Lakes, caught this osprey still holding the tail of his lunch in his powerful claw. Ospreys search for fish by flying on steady wingbeats and bowed wings, or circling high in the sky over relatively shallow water. They often hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. You can often clearly see an osprey's catch in its talons, as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch.

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Public schools to go back in session â&#x20AC;&#x201D; remotely By B.C. Manion bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Florida students in kindergarten through 12th grades will remain off school campuses until at least April 15 because of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While students will remain off campus, they will receive some type of online or remote instruction beginning at the end of March, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Superintendent Kurt Browning provided a March 22 update on the situation in Pasco County Schools, in via a video posted on the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website (Pasco.k12.fl.us). â&#x20AC;&#x153;At this time, our campuses are closed until Wednesday,April 15. However, starting on Tuesday March 31, learning will resume â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even through the time our schools are closed. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll transition to distance learning.â&#x20AC;&#x153; Browning then explained the chain of events that will occur. The district already has sent a newsletter to parents, providing how-to instructions to help them and their children navigate distance learning, Browning said. On March 27, the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructional staff will return to school, virtually, to receive a four-hour training, relating to

distance learning. Then, on March 30, the district will distribute devices to parents who do not have a computer at home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will take place at the school your student attends,â&#x20AC;? Browning said.â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough devices to provide a computer to every student in our district, but we will do everything we can to provide appropriate devices to families who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have them. We want all of our students to have the ability to go online and continue learning.â&#x20AC;? On March 31, the district will transition to distance learning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That means school is in session on March 31. Not in our physical classrooms, but online,â&#x20AC;? the superintendent said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our distance learning plan is designed to keep students on track, so that learning continues, even though our schools are closed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not optional.We expect our students to be engaged and learning,â&#x20AC;? Browning said. Hillsborough County is having its Set Up for Success week, March 23 to March 27, which will give teachers and parents a chance to get comfortable with eLearning, finalize lesson plans and get access to devices and computers, according to the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website.

Where to find meals for children

These school feeding sites in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area are providing meals for children under 18 years old. The children must be present to receive a meal. Pasco sites, operating 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., through March 27, include: â&#x20AC;˘ New River Elementary School, 4710 River Glen Blvd., in Wesley Chapel â&#x20AC;˘ Pasco High School, 36850 State Road 52 in Dade City â&#x20AC;˘ Zephyrhills High School, at 6335 12th St., in Zephyrhills Hillsborough sites, which operate 9 a.m.to 1 p.m., opened on March 23. They include: â&#x20AC;˘ Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., in Tampa â&#x20AC;˘ Mort Elementary School, 1806 E. Bearss Ave., in Tampa â&#x20AC;˘ Paul R. Smith Middle School, 14303 Citrus Pointe Drive in Tampa

â&#x20AC;˘ K-12 school grades will not be calculated for 2019-2020 and schools in turnaround may continue their current status for 2020-2021 to avoid disruption to school leadership and operations. â&#x20AC;˘ Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data and results. Tests that were not available to be taken shall not be counted. â&#x20AC;˘ All Florida College System institutions are providing virtual or other remote learning to students for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester.

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FOR SALE Spacious kitchen, living room, FL room and shed. s Price to seell. $26,000. Call Vicky V Jones 813-7782-3259

â&#x20AC;˘ All Florida public and private K-12, and career and technical center campuses are closed through April 15.

Classwork during Set Up for Success week will not be graded. Graded work and full eLearning will begin on March 30. For more details on Hillsboroughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan, visit the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at SDHC.k12.fl.us.

Own Y Yo our Ho ome

ACRES

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Mobile Home H Community ASK ABOUT FREE LOT RENT

NO CDD - NO HOA 3 Bed/2Bath home Lake Padgett Estates Completely Remodeled. Worry free granite counters and tile floors! Plenty of room to add a pool or detached family quarters. Bring the Boat and the Horse - This Home is part of Lake Padgett Estates giving you access to 3 ski lakes. Amenities include access to Lake Padgett 200 Acres, Lake Saxon 87 Acres, Lake Joyce 25 Acre fishing lake and East Lake 100 Acres. Each lake has its own private park with boat ramps. Horse riding stables and tennis courts. Come be a part of the annual Boat and golf cart parades. BONUS - NEW ROOF - New Bath Rooms and Kitchen - All Tile! Call Cody at 813-909-0712

5153 DAISY ST. - MOVE-IN READY 2/1, cozy & clean. ce entral airr,, walk-in showerr,, screened room. W&D hook up in shed. Financing Availa able

ASBEL CREEK IN LAND O LAKES Absolutely stunning, meticulously maintained home in the back of Asbel Creek! Homeowner had all the bells and whistles included when this home was built. The view from the back of the home is of a pond that blends right into the conservation area, plenty of wildlife to see while sitting in the hot tub in the large screened in patio. Inside the home there are three large bedrooms, and two bathrooms, all downstairs with a HUGE bonus room upstairs. The kitchen is completely upgraded as well with everything including an adorable window seat. Builder installed pest tubes located inside home. This is a home you have to see to believe! Call Stacy at 813-842-3077

5046 PENINSULA A ST. 1 bed / 1 bath, Central C AC, quick sale $6,900

HUNTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GREEN CONDO Lovely 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo only minutes from Wiregrass Mall and Tampa Premium Outlets in gated community. Building 600 is at front of complex! Open floor plan greets you at the front door. Master bedroom has walk-in closet and spacious bathroom featuring a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Screened lanai. Community features: golf, fitness center, pool, tennis courts, and playground. Nearby hospitals, restaurants, schools along with easy access to I-75 and I-275 make this a desirable area of Tampa Bay to live in. Call Cody at 813-909-0712

5 & Dean Dairy Road State Road 54 5028 Fisher St â&#x20AC;˘ Zephyrhills, FL 33542 3) 782-1189 (813 sunnysidemhp.com manager@s nnysidemhp.com www.sun

HERITAGE HARBOR- DRASTICALLY REDUCED 3/2/2 on golf course. Gated, clubhouse with all amenities including tennis, playground and resort style pool. Screened Lanai overlooking hole #17. A/C is 2 years old and roof only 3 months old. Excellent school district. $324,900. Call Irving at 813-843-6026 SUNCOAST LAKES JUST REDUCED 3-bed, 2-bath POOL home. NO CDD. Huge living room/dining room combination with lots of space. You will love the spacious eat-in-kitchen with plenty of cabinet space. Spacious master bedroom features a beautiful tray ceiling, sliding door to the back patio and large walk in closet. Upstairs is a bonus roomâ&#x20AC;Śmake it your home theatre room! Saltwater pool with privacy shades on one side of lanai. Solar exhaust fans! Suncoast Lakes features a community pool, tennis courts, basketball courts and a playground. The neighborhood is ideally positioned, close to the Suncoast Parkway for an easy commute to Tampa and close to restaurants, shopping centers and schools. And just a short walk at the end of the street is the Suncoast Trail perfect for walking and biking. Call Cody at 813-909-0712 MOTIVATED SELLER!! NO CDD- NO HOA. This LUXURIOUS Residence offers 4103 SF features 5 Beds, 3 Baths and vastly spacious 3 Car Garage with Mudroom & Butler's Pantry access. HURRICANE proof with extra Rebar and Poured CONCRETE. Plastic PVC ROOF 50 years Warranty. Beautiful large PAVER Circular Driveway provide access to an IRON double DOOR entrance to enjoy a comfort Family Room with electric Fire Place, large Dining Room, Wine Room and Cocktail Bar. The Deluxe Chef's Kitchen with a massive granite expansive Island. The opulent Master Bedroom offers magnificent view to the Pool. Luxurious Master retreat with large His & Her Walk-in Closets with Island on the middle, slide door provide access to the Grand Lanai with New Pool and SPA surrounded by Travertine. Friendly Neighbors, Mature Landscaping, Shades Trees. The best of Indoor/outdoor living. Live the Florida Lifestyle to the Fullest. You will fall in Love with this truly Welcoming Family Home. $ 715,000 Call Ivan at 813-451-4041

RENTALS 3/2/2 GREAT POOL HOME with screened lanai in Asbel Creek. All appliances and inside utility room. Fenced corner lot. Community playground with volleyball and basketball, picnic tables. Excellent school district. Call Irving at 813-843-6026

LAKE LOTS JUST REDUCED!! 2.44 ACRE FISHING LAKE LOT zoned ASC-1 with 308' road frontage and 290' depth in Lutz on Newberger Road. No CDD or HOA fees like the mansions across the street, so bring your toys and enjoy country living, but be at the Outlet Mall in 10 minutes! Call Faith Garcia 813-503-6610

STOP AND VISIT OUR OFFICEâ&#x20AC;ŚAGENTS ON DUTY!

Classifieds 813-909-2800 â&#x20AC;˘ classifieds@lakerlutznews.com

GENERAL EMPLOYMENT

HOMES FOR SALE

HOMES FOR SALE

LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL? We care about the people we serve, and we care about the people we employ. We are a vibrant, innovative place to work, where employees are valued for their talents. THE GOODWILL CYPRESS CREEK STORE IS NOW HIRING THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS: Assistant Sales Manager: responsible for assisting the store manager in the management functions of a retail store. This is a working supervisory position where directing the work, delegating assignments, and physically performing any necessary tasks will all occur routinely. Sales & Sr. Sales Associates: responsible for assisting customers, stocking, displaying and rotating store merchandise, and conducting cash register transactions. Processing & Sr. Processing Associates: responsible for greeting donors, accepting donations, preparing donated and new goods for sale in stores through sorting, cleaning, categorizing, sizing and pricing. Job Requirements: High school/GED or equivalent preferred. Prefer some experience in retail. Subject to criminal history background checks. Subject to alcohol and drug testing. Apply online at www.goodwill-suncoast.org/careers or in person at our Cypress Creek Superstore, 2390 Willow Oak Dr, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544 We are an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans and a Drug Free Workplace.

CALL ME TODAY! Stacy Robinson OFFICE:

813-949-3600 CELL:

813-842-3077 stacythehomegirl@gmail.com

New and Used homes available in Arbor Oaks, a 55+ community located in beautiful Zephyrhills. Limited Time 50% lot rent for 1 year with new home purchase Newby Realty 941-479-2849

HOMES FOR SALE Mobile Home and Land 2 bed + add. room w/ masonary foundation, 1.5 bath. Furnished, Cen. AC/Heat, Caport w/ concrete driveway, & outbuilding. In Zephyrhills. $42,000 Call 570-404-5431

Equal Housing Opportunity.

Russell Adams Realty Inc. 2502 Land Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lakes Blvd. Land Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lakes, FL 34639

JOB TO POST? call

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813-909-2800 LEGAL SERVICES, NON-ATTORNEY

DIVORCE WILLS EVICTIONS STARTING AT $65 1-Signature Divorce Missing Spouse Divorce * WE COME TO YOU! *

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STOP TAKING PILLS Get Your Medical Marijuana Card fast & easy!

Contact us for a FREE EVALUATION Call Now! 813-756-0091 or visit cmmdr.com

HOME FOR SALE?

ADVERTISE with BUY 3 WEEKS GET 1 FREE The Laker/ Lutz News 813-909-2800 813-909-2800

Tell them you saw them in The Laker/Lutz News! www.LakerLutzNews.com

March 25, 2020

5B


SPONSOR:

Facebook.com/ChuysTampa

813-948-2211

25750 Sierra Center Blvd. Lutz, FL 33559

www.Chuys.com

Samson will make you smile Let Athena capture your heart Samson has been with the shelter for just over 100 days, and he's eager to meet you. Although his strong stature can't be around young children, don't let that fool you, as he is a sweet, loyal pup that will become family to you in an instant. Samson absolutely loves walks and the outdoors.

This sweet puppy is looking for her furever home. Athena has been with the shelter for just over 60 days, and is looking forward to meeting you. She is a super-loving, loyal dog that adores snuggles and playtime. Her sweet face can make you melt! Athena loves meeting new people and making friends. If you would like to adopt these pets, be sure to visit Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes. The adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. All adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines. For more information, email adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net.

Cuteness overload, times two

PET PAWS

Chance and Samantha are 9-month-old reverse brindle boxers, and are brother and sister. Born in Niceville, these pups were relocated to Lutz when they were 10 weeks old. They really wanted to be Pets of the Week because they love Lutz and all that it has to offer. And, both love their daily day care at Pet Paradise in Wesley Chapel. Chance and Samantha live with Jim and Lisa Patterson in Lutz.

ONE-EYED WONDER RETURNS TO THE WILD

While Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), may be closed to the public, its work to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine life continues unabated. A one-eyed juvenile green sea turtle named Small Fry was released at Fred Howard Park on March 19. A fisherman in New Port Richey found Small Fry on Dec. 11, Dr. Shelly Marquardt, said in a news release. According to Marquardt, a physical exam was performed and revealed that Small Fry had a mild case of fibropapilloma tumors, but there was a very large tumor on its left eye. CMA’s veterinarian determined that Small Fry required surgery to remove the tumor to see if the eye was still functional. The examination determined that tumor was so extensive that complete removal of the turtle’s left eye was necessary.

PET OF THE WEEK FAMILIES RECEIVE A $30 GIFT CARD TO CHUY’S TEX MEX. COURTESY OF CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM

Small Fry, a one-eyed juvenile green sea turtle, was released at Fred Howard Park on March 19.

“We continued to monitor Small Fry’s post-operative progress, but he never showed any complications from the loss of his eye,” Marquardt said. Small Fry was cleared for release by Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Send us a picture and information on your favorite pet!

Write a short paragraph about why your pet is special along with a photo and mail to: Pet of the Week, c/o The Laker, P.O. Box 479, Lutz, FL 33548 or email to mrathman@lakerlutznews.com, ATTN: Pet of the Week PLEASE NOTE: OWNERS NAME AND ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED FOR YOUR PET TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.

24416 State Road 54, Lutz 33559 • 813-428-6994 At the corner of SR 54 and Oak Grove Boulevard

info@petpointanimalhospital.com • www.petpointanimalhospital.com

ANIMAL SERVICES

Pasco County Animal Services (PCAS) takes the health and well-being of the community and team members seriously. To extend caution, PCAS will suspend all vaccinations clinics,Trap-Neuter-VaccinateRelease (TNVR) drop-offs and outreach through March 31. The shelter will remain open during its normal business hours and will still provide services, including owner reclaims, adoptions, pet fostering and regularly scheduled services. The Wednesday low-cost vaccination

clinics have been be suspended, with a plan to resume on April 1. Sunday TNVR drops and field TNVR projects also have been suspended. If a customer has been working with a team member, the team member will be in contact. If you regularly drop off on Sundays, you are asked to refrain from utilizing the shelter. The TNVR services are scheduled to resume on April 5. Any outreach events also will be rescheduled at this time. For updates, visit PascoCountyFl.net/408/Animal-Services.

Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm • Saturday 8am-4pm • VACCINE HOURS: WEDNESDAY 2-4

PREVENTIVE CARE • MEDICINE • SURGERY • DIGITAL X-RAY • DENTAL CLEANING ASK US ABOUT OUR AFFORDABLE WELLNESS PLANS

$29 EXAM

One per client, discounted multi-pet exam for second pet Call Now & mention PROMO EXAM

813-428-6994 Dr. Moses Kawalya, DVM, DABVP

(Board Certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners)

NEW LOCATION

NEW! DROP OEFF CAR

WALK-INS WELCOME

New Clients Receive a

When your pet can’t travel with you...

IN WESLEY CHAPEL!

KT’s Pet Park, Inc. INDOOR-OUTDOOR RUNS WITH A/C • DAYCARE • LODGING • TRAINING

FFREE REEEE BBATH AATTH Low cost spay/neuter, vaccines and wellness clinic

& NAIL TRIM

WITH 3 NIGHT STA TA AY Y EXP. 3/31/20

S ST STATE TA TA AT TE O OF F THE THE ART AR RT T FACILITY FA F ACILIT TY Y WE’RE YOUR DO OG’S FAVORITE VA VACATION SPOT!

813-995-2275 • 10125 L AND O’ L AKES BL LV VD.

• Quality Pet Care • Satisfaction Guaranteed • Reliable and Trustworthy Caretakers HOURS: 9:30am – 2pm • Monday – Thursday & the first Saturday of every month www.plannedpethoodwc.com • 813-524-6400 33931 State Road 54 • Wesley Chapel, FL 33543

5709 Happy Tails Lane • Lutz, FL 33558

COME CHECK US OUT! FREE Use of Dog Park 5-7pm

813-758-2393 Dog Boarding in a park-like setting

NO KENNELS OR CAGES !

OVER 3 ACRES OF LAND!!

Only $20 for

BUY 3 WEEKS, GET 1 FREE* IN THE ALL NEW PETCETERA DIRECTORY!

CALL RIGHT MEOW!

(813) 909-2800 The LAKER / Lutz NEWS

sPay & neuteR CLiniC:

7:30 am – 7 pm •••••••

Only $30 for All Day & Overnight •••••••

Only $10

for each additional dog!

FIRST VISIT IS FREE!

Treating gy your p petts like our own. Ava ila

Call for appointment: (includes pre-anesthetic exam, anesthesia, pain & antibiotic pre-medication)

24/ ble 7

cat neuter: $40 • cat spay: $50 • dog neuter: $50-$95* • dog spay: $60-$120* *Based on weight Pets should be healthy & not Pregnant. Must be current on rabies & dhPP/FVrcP Vaccines.

(813)

949-4416

21515 Village laKes shoPPing center

land o’laKes Monday-Friday 8 aM - 6 PM saturday 8 aM - 2 PM

vaCCine CLiniC:

DentaL CLeanings:

Monday-Friday 1 - 2 pm

Cats and Dogs <25lbs – $160 Dogs 25-50lbs – $180 Dogs >50lbs – $205

Walk-ins Welcome. includes brief exam prior to vaccinating. Consult is add’l $50 available by appt. • • • • • •

Rabies 1 yr $15.00 Feline Leukemia 2 yr $25.00 Feline Distemper Combo 3 yr $30.00 Rabies 3 yr $30.00 Canine Distemper Combo 3 yr $30.00 Bordetella/Kennel Cough $18.00

Price includes: anesthesia, monitoring, scaling, polishing. exam and blood work additional and required prior to anesthesia. Please call for details.

FAMIL A LY Y-OWNED & OPERATED

(813) 78 88-3065 www w.FaithfulFriend dsCremation.com

U Dirty Dog PEt GRoomiNG

813-948-2400 Cats Welcome

w w w. g e n t l e c a r e p e t h o s p i t a l . c o m Facebook.com/gentlecare Pet Hospital 6B

March 25, 2020

www.LakerLutzNews.com

19025 US HWY 41 N • Lutz

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The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-March 25, 2020  

Local businesses hit by COVID-19; Hospital visitation limited, elective surgeries canceled; Threat of COVID-19 disrupts rhythms of daily lif...

The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-March 25, 2020  

Local businesses hit by COVID-19; Hospital visitation limited, elective surgeries canceled; Threat of COVID-19 disrupts rhythms of daily lif...