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Victims’ advocate wins state award
By Kevin Weiss firstname.lastname@example.org
A longtime Pasco Sheriff’s Office civilian supervisor has earned a statewide honor from the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA). Gina Youmans has dedicated her career to helping crime victims and their loved ones, as a supervisor of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocates Unit.
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The 28-year veteran of the law enforcement agency is being recognized for her work. Youmans is the recipient of the inaugural FSA Civilian of the Year award.This award, sponsored by the Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund,“recognizes exemplary service above self by a civilian employed at a Florida sheriff’s office.” Youmans was officially named the 2019
Civilian of the Year at the FSA Summer Conference banquet in Tampa; she was nominated for the award by the sheriff’s office command staff. Youmans said winning the award was “humbling,” adding it was also nice to see the agency’s victim advocates unit recognized as a whole. See AWARD, page 11A
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Reptiles put on quite a show During a recent show at the Hugh Embry Branch Library in Dade City, Bruce Shwedick, owner of Reptile Discovery, a mobile, live reptile show based in Plant City, shows off a corn snake to 12-year-old Isaac Dawkins, of Dade City, left, and 8-year-old Soren Wallace, of Dade City. For a closer look at Shwedick’s show, turn to page 1B.
Frolicking in the Florida snow? That’s the plan at a new winter park approved for Northeast Pasco
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FEBRUARY 3, 2016
Auto Accident? Slip and Fall?
By Kathy Steele
The site is located at the corner of of heading toward a construction start Magnolia Boulevard and Wesley Chapel Amici Plaza in spring with an opening likely Boulevard, which is also known as County firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of 2016. Road 54. Pasco County records show a conceptual Pasco County is moving forward with acOwners of Amici Pizza & Deli are planthe plan with about 3,000 square feet for Road ning to build a new stand-alone restaurant, for quisition of right-of-way along County restaurant, and about 1,800 square feet 54 to prepare for the expansion of the twowith additional retail space, on Wesley retail. the lane road into a four-lane road at Chapel Boulevard. “We’d like to have our own building and 54 junction of State Road 56 and State Road 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 adSee PIZZA, page 13A Oaks Square, at Wesley Chapel and Pet Lane. ditional retail space, he said. Andrea and Josephine Mannino, are
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FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
JANUARY 27, 2016
Pasco administrator to retire in
By Kathy Steele
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
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 By Kathy Steele email@example.com
Saturday, January 30, 2016 9 AM - 5 PM Historic Downtown Dade City
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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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By B.C. Manion firstname.lastname@example.org
Children, and adults alike, will have a new recreational option when a new winter park opens for business in Northeast Pasco. The Pasco County Commission on Aug. 6 approved the addition of a snow park, which will be situated next to Tree Hoppers Aerial Adventure Park, on the north side of St. Joe Road, about 800 feet east of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard, in Dade City. The conditional use, approved by the board, applies to a western parcel that makes up about 58.5 acres and an eastern parcel that makes up about 60 acres. The western parcel, which consists of areas of dense vegetation and a mature tree canopy, will be used for the winter park. Under the conditions, it can operate up to 120 days a year The eastern parcel, which is the Tree Hoppers site, consists of zipline and rope ridge obstacle courses, concession areas, and a gift and pro shop. It also is used for fall festivals and Halloween festivities, including Scream-A-Geddon.Those activities will be allowed for up to 56 days a year, according to the conditions. Both attractions will operate between two days and seven days a week, and they will not be allowed to operate at the same time, the conditions say. The Pasco County Planning Commission and the county’s planners recommended approval of the request. They also recommended approval for the sale of beer and See SNOW, page 11A
Members of the Pasco County Commission and the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club display a check representing the Rotary Club’s contribution to help pay for a playground designed for children with special needs. The playground will be built at Wesley Chapel District Park. AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and the Lennar Foundation also contributed, bringing the total contributions to $125,000.
Local donors help propel playground development By Brian Fernandes email@example.com
A new playground designed to be welcoming for children with disabilities is planned for Wesley Chapel District Park, and the project got a big boost from some local donors. The Wesley Chapel Rotary Club, AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and the Lennar Foundation are contributing a combined total of $125,000 to help Pasco County pay for the project. The Pasco County Commission recognized the groups and their contributions at their meeting on Aug. 6. Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore has been involved in the initiative since the beginning. He noted that he has spent quite a bit of time at the park, coaching teams. “I realized there was a void of play-
ground equipment for children with special needs,” Moore said. So, he approached Keith Wiley, director of Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, to discuss the issue. Wiley shared the same concern. So, the two men set out to find accessible playgrounds around the country, to serve as a model for an “inclusive” playground in Wesley Chapel. Moore also reached out to the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club, AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and the Lennar Foundation to ask for their help to make the playground happen. Wiley and members of those local organizations expressed their thoughts about being part of the project. With a video and an unofficial schematic, Wiley explained some potential features of See PLAYGROUND, page 11A
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Baseball and softball school approved in Wesley Chapel By B.C. Manion firstname.lastname@example.org
A request to allow a private baseball and softball school in Wesley Chapel has gained approval from the Pasco County Commission. In granting the request, commissioners overturned a decision made on Feb. 21 by the Pasco County Planning Commission. Planning commissioners had denied the request , despite a recommendation for approval by county planners, who said the request was consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan, as conditioned. Attorney Barbara Wilhite appealed the planning commission’s denial, on behalf of her clients, Ryan A. and Elizabeth J. Prior. The approval allows the school to operate on 5 acres, on a property 320 feet south of the intersection of Hadlock Drive and Elkmont Lane. The rules governing the appeal hearing, which was held Aug. 6, barred the introduction of new testimony, so Wilhite explained her clients’ request by outlining the conditions contained in the original request. Among other things, those conditions included: • Limiting the number of students on the property on any given day, and at any given time • Limiting the hours of operation • Prohibiting outdoor speakers and public address systems • Keeping balls within the applicants’ property The main issue during the planning commission hearing dealt with access to the site,Wilhite said. One proposed condition dealt specifically with improving the road, but the attorney noted,“ultimately, the neighbors objected to anything being done with that road.” Wilhite also pointed out that during the planning commission hearing, the county staff testified the road was accessible. Wilhite characterized the planning commission’s action on the request as being confusing. “It ended up being a 3-2 vote for denial. Interestingly enough, that swing vote was the person who recommended approval and moved approval,” she said. The motion for approval “didn’t get a second,” she added, “and then that person ended up being the swing vote for denial.” Wilhite also cited testimony by Denise Hernandez, of the county’s planning staff, who told planning commissioners that another baseball school had been approved on
land with the same zoning category about 2 miles away. “The record was very clear, and your staff was very clear that this was a compatible use,”Wilhite said. Elizabeth Prior also spoke to commissioners. “Obviously, myself and my husband are the applicants for this special exception. “The neighbors that are objecting, we bought the house from them.They had full knowledge of what we wanted to do before we bought the house from them. “My husband does private clients, it’s one on one, maximum of four at any one time. “The staff at Pasco County approved the application, with conditions,” she said, adding that two staff experts testified that the road was sufficient. She told county commissioners that Planning Commission Michael Cox’s motion for denial appeared to be based on “opinion” rather than the record. Attorney Dave Smolker, of the law firm Smolker Bartlett in Tampa, represented the Dion family, who own property next-door, during the appeal. “The Planning Commission got it right. This use is simply too intense for this particular location. Sometimes that’s the way it is. It’s a square peg in a round hole,” Smolker said. He also attempted to introduce information that was not part of the record during the planning commission meeting, which was met by objections from Hernandez. Smolker told commissioners there was no basis for overturning the planning commission’s decision. Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley asked Hernandez to compare the conditions for the current request with the baseball school that was previously granted. Hernandez said the conditions proposed for the Priors’ application were stricter. Commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Mike Moore spoke in favor of overturning the planning commission’s denial. “I’m kind of shocked that this was denied,” Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said. Commissioner Mike Moore agreed.“I’m going to support overturning this,” he said.“I think this is ridiculous.” Beyond overturning the planning commission’s decision, board members also called for reducing the restrictions on the baseball and softball school. For instance, they increased the allowable hours of operation, and they removed a condition relating to road improvements.
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How to stay safe while enjoying the water By Brian Fernandes email@example.com
Although summer is winding down — being safe around water is a year-round pursuit. Practical tips to help avoid danger, in or near water, can make a difference for both experienced and non-experienced swimmers. In fact, infants are being encouraged to get acquainted with swimming before learning to walk. “The earlier you start, the better,” said Maggie Mueller, site manager at the Seal Swim School in Lutz.“Just being in swim lessons can help prevent drownings from happening.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the No. 1 cause for unintentional, injury-led deaths among children between ages 1 and 4. For ages 5 to 9, it is the second-leading cause for unintentional, injury-led deaths. To help reduce these cases, organizations like the Seal Swim School have implemented classes for infants to adults. With several branches spread throughout Tampa Bay, the school’s Water Babies course allows little ones to get familiar within a pool setting. At 6 months old, they can transition into a new class that helps them learn proper breathing control in water.This entails gradually raising infants up overhead, then briefly dipping them underwater. “Once they have their breath control down, then it comes to learning their balance and buoyancy,” Mueller explained. “Once you get all three of those together, they’re able to swim a little bit on their own.” Babies have the capacity to learn these swimming techniques within a matter of weeks, she said.
At the Seal Swim School, even infants can learn proper breathing control while in the water.
perience, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. The organization reported that nearly half of those from ages 10 to 17, who drowned between 2005 and 2014, were reportedly trained swimmers. As long as the swimmer is within a clear field of vision, the observer can be inside or out of the pool. Mueller also suggests not using floatation devices when training a child in a home pool.This may give the child a false sense of security. She noted that,“if they’re used to wearing a life jacket or puddle jumpers, they don’t know the difference - whether that’s on or not. If they get access to the pool, they’re going to run, jump in and think they can [float].” Another false notion is that if a child is struggling in the water, they will always scream or splash, making a scene. However, many sink to the bottom without notice. In some cases, the descent may be so quick, that the child may not have time to react. This is why vigilance in the water is always a good idea.
HOW TO KEEP SAFE One common misconception is that skilled swimmers are fine if left alone in the water. However, they, too, should have someone else present. Parents are more likely to leave their child unattended if they have swimming ex-
WHAT TO DO DURING AN INCIDENT Aside from precautions, there are methods that can be used during an incident. At Seal Swim School, kids are taught to “get the wall” if they accidently fall in the water. With this, children are drilled to immediately turn around and clutch the edge of the wall they fell from. If they cannot grasp the edge or need time to breath, they are shown how to roll onto their backs and float facing upward. Alex Delgado is the Aquatic and Programs director at the YMCA in Zephyrhills. There, he and his staff also provide helpful techniques, such as Jump-Push-Turn-Grab. “If you fall in, you push off the bottom, it gets you back to the top, then you grab the edge and climb out,” he explained. YMCA students practice this drill by diving into the water and going through the steps, in cycles, to become more accustomed. In a situation where a victim feels helpless, the reaction may be to fight the water, said Mueller. However, she suggests that the best thing to do is “relax, take a deep breath,
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roll on your back and float.” By doing this, the individual will maintain buoyancy while preventing water from filling the lungs. Because these techniques do not come instinctively, Mueller and Delgado stress the importance of taking swimming classes to sharpen those skills. When tending to a victim in the water, one should still be tactful in the approach. If a child should go missing, the search should first begin at any large body of water, whether a pool or a nearby lake, because time is crucial. Any objects obstructing a clear view should be moved out the way in order to scan the bottom of the water. Instructors also tell students to “reach or throw, don’t go.” This encourages throwing a floatation device, or extending a long object to a struggling victim. They suggest the rescuer lay on his or her stomach while using an object, like a pole or foam pool noodle, to draw the victim to the edge. “You never want to jump in and try to save somebody unless you’re a 100 percent sure they cannot overpower you,” Mueller advised. The rescuer should be at an advantage, such as an adult tending to a small child. Even if CPR has been performed successfully, call 9-1-1 just to be on the safe side. Even when someone remains conscious after a near-drowning incident, it is still important to seek medical attention. Early warning signs to watch for include: • Someone positioned vertically instead of horizontally while underwater • Age:The very young or elderly may need more vigilance • A swimmer not removing hair from his or her face, could signal they’re having trouble staying afloat • Someone struggling to cling to nearby objects It’s always a convenient time to learn how to swim, and the measures in reducing danger. To find a local Seal Swim School branch, visit SealSwimSchool.com. To find a nearby YMCA class, visit TampaYMCA.org.
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CENTRAL PASCO CLUB
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a Creative Write Teen Club on Aug. 15 at 4 p.m., for teens to work on and share their stories and poems.There also will be guided activities to encourage creativity. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
The Central Pasco Democratic Club will meet Aug. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Meadow Pointe I Community Center, 28245 County Line Road in Wesley Chapel. Meetings feature guest speakers and briefings on the Pasco County Democratic Party. Admission is free. For information, call Cindy Beres at (813) 702-4387, or visit Facebook.com/centralpascodems.
The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer a Learning Adventure: Mother Goose Rhyme Time on Aug. 15 at 10 a.m., for ages 3 to 5 and a caregiver or parent.The nursery rhymes will have a pet theme. For information, call (813) 7800064.
FAMILY PLAY DATE
The New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will host a family play date on Aug. 21 at noon. Join in after story time to get to know other parents, and let children play and interact. For information, call (813) 788-6375.
The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host “Console Yourself Gaming” on Aug. 15 at 3:30 p.m., for grades 8 to 12.There will be video games and board games. For information, call (352) 567-3576.
PEACE OF WOODSTOCK
The Land O’ Lakes Senior Center, 6801 Wisteria Loop in Land O’ Lakes, will host “Alligator or Crocodile?” on Aug. 16 at 1 p.m.The guest speaker will be Bruce Shwedick, of Reptile Discovery. Live alligators and crocodiles will be present. Admission is free. For information, call (813) 929-1200.
TELL A JOKE DAY
The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host National Tell a Joke Day on Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for all ages. Stop in anytime, learn a joke, tell it to a library worker and get a prize. For information, call (352) 567-3576.
The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will offer a free movie for adults on Aug. 16 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the showing of “The Upside,” and a free family movie on Aug. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., showing a recently released movie. Kids ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.There will be free popcorn at both movies. For information, call (352) 567-3576.
The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer the AARP Smart Driver course on Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are no tests, and participants could receive an insurance discount.The workshop fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.To register, call Bev Cogdill at (813) 907-3908.
The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will show the film “Poms” on Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. Popcorn and water will be provided. For information, call (813) 788-6375.
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a kid’s craft,“Charlie’s Choice,” on Aug. 17 at 2 p.m., for kindergarten to fifth grade.There will be pet-themed paper crafts, paper fishbowls, dog bookmarks, and more. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
MAKE A DOG BANDANA
LIONS AND LEOS
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a teen sewing class on Aug. 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., for ages 13 to 18.Those ages 9 to 12 can take the class on Aug. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participants can learn sewing machine basics and sew a dog bandana. If the bandana is donated to Pasco County Animal Services (there will be a collection box), kids can have their time signed off as
The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host “Peace of Woodstock” on Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. The event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the three-day festival of peace, music, love and fun. Admission starts at $22. For information and tickets, visit CarrollwoodCenter.org, or call (813) 922-8167.
WOODSTOCK EVENT The New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., will host “Peace, Love and Music” on Aug. 17 at noon, to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. This Hippie Fest, for all ages, will feature live music with Mr. Brad, and bohemian crafts. For information, call (813) 273-3652, or visit HCPLC.org. volunteer time.All supplies will be provided.A Foundry waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian before class. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
show, and games. Guests can meet the Kol Ami family, including new member Rabbi Rachel Blatt, and sign up for youth groups. For information, call (813) 962-6338.
NIGHT AT BALLPARK
The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce will offer a night out at the ballpark on Aug. 17 at Spectrum Field for the Clearwater Threshers vs. the Florida Fire Frogs.This is Fan Appreciation Night with postgame fireworks.Tickets are $20 per person. Kids age 4 and younger are free. Family and group pricing is available. Each ticket includes Hot Corner Café seating and all you can eat and drink from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (hot dogs, hamburgers, peanuts, etc.) Gates open at 5 p.m.The game starts at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, contact Charlotte Ortiz at (727) 842-7651 or email@example.com.
The 4-H Brooker Creek Explorers Club will host an informational meeting at the Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs, on Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. Enrollment is open to ages 5 to 18. The club encourages public speaking, community service and leadership. For information, email 4Hbrookercreekexplorers@gmail.com.
Wesley Chapel Rotary Noon will host a Casino Night on Aug. 17 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Lexington Oaks Golf Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, to benefit a project for children with special needs, and other Rotary projects.There will be a silent auction, raffles and prizes, and a cash bar.Tickets are $20 per person, which includes $1,000 in casino chips and hors d’oeuvres.Tickets can be purchased at WCRotaryCasinoNight.eventbrite.com/.
KOL AMI OPEN HOUSE
Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road in Tampa, will host an open house on Aug. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.There will be hot dogs, fruit, cookies, a bubble and magic
The East Pasco Democratic Club will meet Aug. 19 at Beef O’ Brady’s, 14136 Seventh St., in Dade City.The guest speaker will be Elaine Togneri, of the National Organization of Women. Dining and mixing starts at 5 p.m., followed by the meeting at 6:30 p.m. For information, call (813) 383-8315, or visit The East Pasco Democratic Club on Facebook.
MAKE RECIPE BOOK
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a recipe book-making class on Aug. 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., for ages 16 and older. Participants will use simple binder rings and personalize pages to make their own recipe book.All materials will be provided. Registration and a waiver are required. Call (813) 9291214.
The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will offer the AARP Smart Driver class on Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Register by calling (813) 907-3908.
UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will present “Things That Go Ouch in the Garden” on Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., at the New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. Participants can learn what to look for and what to avoid, as there are critters that can hide in the garden.Admission is free. For information, call (352) 518-0156.
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a craft class on Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants can use crochet hooks, string and beads to create tassel jewelry. Registration is required by calling (813) 929-1214.
The Wesley Chapel Lions (for adults) and the Leos of Wesley Chapel (for ages 12 to 18), are service club organizations that provide general services to the community, and they are welcoming new members.The membership cost for the Leos is $5. Both clubs meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month in the Lexington Oaks Community Center, 26304 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. The Leos meet at 5:30 p.m., and the Lions meet afterward.The next meeting is Aug. 27. Prospective Leos and their parents can attend any meeting, and volunteers can get community service hours for high school. For information, visit WCLions.org.
DONATE FOR PIONEER MUSEUM The Pasco County Tax Collector’s offices will be collecting charitable donations during the month of August for the Florida Pioneer Museum & Village, and the West Pasco Historical Society. For information, visit PascoTaxes.com.
Artists and art collectives residing in Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties can submit applications for the exhibit,“Skyway 2020:A Contemporary Collection.” Selected artists will be presented at one of four participating institutions: the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg;The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; the Tampa Museum of Art; and, the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum,Tampa. Submissions can include work on paper, painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance, sound, research-based art, and site-specific installations. Deadline is Sept. 3. For information and to apply, visit tinyurl.com/yywqqquc.
Out of Our Hands Gallery, 14245 Seventh St., in Dade City, is inviting artists to let their imaginations fly. In celebration of the Monarch butterfly and Dade City’s new Monarch Project, artists of all styles and mediums are asked for interpretations of the Monarch for a juried gallery show. Artwork (2D and 3D) must portray or represent the Monarch in some form — from Realism to Impressionism, from Fauvism to Pop Art. There also will be an Emerging Artist category for ages 14 to 17. Entries are due Sept. 7. For entry form and details, visit OutOfOurHandsGallery.com. For information, call (352) 437-3204.
SUPPORT ANIMAL RESCUE
Asturia in Land O’ Lakes is seeking vendors and anyone who would like to donate an item or gift basket for a silent auction, as part of its annual Fall Festival scheduled for Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.The festival will benefit E.A.R.S., Elizabeth’s Animal Rescue & Sanctuary. For information, contact Carla Luigs at (904) 599-9015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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August 14, 2019
Closer Look a N
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Create a native landscape — use right plant, right place By Dr. Whitney C. Elmore Special to The Laker/Lutz News
Grand reopening of Tampa Bay golf course By Deborah Bostock-Kelley Special to The Laker / Lutz News
Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club unveils a completely updated golf course with a ribbon-cutting event on Aug.19, hosted by the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce. The Grand Reopening Celebration is from noon to 2 p.m., at the clubhouse inside this master-planned community off State Road 52 and I-75, in San Antonio. Raffles and door prizes will be given away during the celebration — individual rounds of golf, lunch, golf packages, and merchandise from the golf shop. In addition, promotional pricing will be offered, and The Grill Room will feature a special lunch buffet. "We closed our golf course on April 15 to do a complete renovation on all of our putting greens — on both our Championship Course and our Par 3, nine-hole Executive Golf Course," said General Manager/COO Seth VanHall. Over time, the well-maintained health and root structure of turf on any golf course deteriorates due to the applications of fertilization, herbicide and fungicides used to maintain fine grass at such a low height. Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club re-grassed its greens to establish a better root structure and ultimately, top layer of turf.
"This allowed us to take our greens back to their original sizes and improve the quality of turf,” said VanHall. The Grand Reopening Celebration gives the public a sneak peek at the improved golf course before it officially reopens to the public on Aug. 27. "Our golf course and restaurant are always open to the public, and we welcome our friends and neighbors to join us at our ribbon cutting,” said VanHall. “The public is welcome to play our courses anytime, and we typically have tee time availability for nonmembers on weekday afternoons, weekends, and evenings.” On Aug. 26, before reopening to the public, Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club is hosting a Pro Am golf event with PGA professionals from the North Florida section of The PGA of America, for resident members. "We have 25 foursomes – paired with a PGA professional," VanHall said. "That will be the officially relaunching of the golf course, and then the following day, we begin normal operating hours. We are excited to showcase our new and improved putting greens and golf courses that are in great shape, as well." Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club is played by golfers of all skill levels – from amateur to professional. The 9-hole, Par 3 golf course is open daily from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., until Daylight Savings Time, when the golf course will close at 5 p.m.
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Florida has an abundance of beautiful native plants. There are vines, trees, shrubs, ground covers and a few palms that are native to the state, and can make excellent additions to the landscape. Some of these natives even serve as food sources for local wildlife, such as butterflies and some bats, and some can help negate the harsh heat and sun, and reduce the potential for flooding. However, just because a plant is native doesn’t mean it will thrive everywhere. Remember: The Florida Friendly Landscaping principle of putting the right plant, right place still applies. When plants are put in the wrong place, they won’t do as well and, in some cases, they become a problem. For example, a native that loves the shade won’t survive in the bright sun, or a native that needs to be high and dry won’t make it with “wet feet.” Putting native plants in the right spots will help prevent many disease and insect problems. Like other plants, natives need routine maintenance to keep them looking good and living their best life. Occasional pruning and removal of dead tissue is just as necessary with natives as non-native, non-invasive exotics. Planted and maintained correctly, natives will thrive in the Florida landscape. As with all plants, plant them “high” with the uppermost root of the root ball just above the surrounding soil and mulch, with a layer 2 inches to 3 inches deep that’s no closer than 6 inches from the trunk or base of the plant. Native plants also need to be watered frequently to get established. Research shows there’s no difference in the amount of water required for establishment between natives and non-native plants. Keep in mind, however, the bigger the plant, the longer the establishment period; light, frequent hand-watering is best for establishment. For a three-gallon or smaller plant, irrigate to deliver one gallon of water three to four times per week, for up to five months. For trees, irrigate with two gallons to three gallons of water per inch of trunk di-
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COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Beautyberry, according to the University of Florida, is also called American mulberry.
Coontie, like all cycadas, has ancient origins, according to the University of Florida.
ameter, two to three times per week, for up to six months. Once new roots are observed, less supplemental irrigation is necessary unless there’s an extended period of drought. There are many great native plants to consider for the landscape, but the basic Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles still apply.As with all plants, natives should only be located where there’s enough room for them to grow to their full potential height and width.And, some natives can be aggressive or potentially weedy (i.e., Spanish needle) so be sure to consult the UF/IFAS Aquatic and Invasive Plant directory (http://plants.ifas.uf l.edu/plants-bycommon-name/) prior to planting. Consider planting natives such as bald cypress, muhly grass, coontie, and beautyberry, but only if it’s the right plant for the right place. For a list of native plants to consider in your landscape, visit http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/nativeplants.html. Dr. Whitney C. Elmore is the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension director and an Urban Horticulture Agent III.
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Nikki Alvarez-Sowles named county clerk & comptroller tate law with the Tampa firm of Echevarria, Codilis & Stawiarski P.I., and spent a year as Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Nikki real estate development manager for the Alvarez-Sowles to serve as the Pasco County nonprofit Housing & Education Alliance Clerk & Comptroller. Inc., before joining the Palm She will serve in that role Beach Clerk & Comptroller’s through January 2021, filling out Office as director of branch court the balance of term for the post services. vacated by Paula S. O’ Neil, who A chance meeting with O’ Neil retired on July 1. and several members of her execAlvarez-Sowles is the counutive team during a statewide ty’s eighth clerk & comptroller. conference luncheon led to furShe was named an interim sucther discussion and, ultimately, cessor by Sixth Judicial Circuit Alvarez-Sowles joined the Pasco Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino, Clerk & Comptroller’s Office. upon O’ Neil’s retirement. She Examples of her involvement received DeSantis’ appointment Nikki Alvarez-Sowles include: on Aug. 9. • Immediate past president, “I am humbled and honored Leadership Pasco to have Governor DeSantis’ and Chief Judge • West Pasco Bar Association, member Rondolino’s appointments,” said Alvarez- and past president Sowles, in a news release from her office. • Rotary Club of New Port Richey Alvarez-Sowles has served as the chief She also has been a member of various operations officer since 2010, guiding the committees and workgroups devoted to adoption of numerous taxpayer-friendly ini- performance excellence in government tiatives, boosting efficiency, enhancing work, such as: transparency and reducing costs, the release • Florida Clerks & Comptrollers’ Best says. Practices Workgroup Florida Sen. Wilton Simpson, whose dis• Supreme Court workgroups trict includes most of Pasco County, speaks • Florida Bar Small Claims Rules highly of Alvarez-Sowles, in the release. Committee “Nikki’s commitment to serving the • Pasco-Hernando State College hardworking people of Pasco County shines Technical Advisory Committee for Paralegal brightest through her steady leadership and Studies unwavering work ethic,” Simpson said.“On • Pasco County Schools Success Plan behalf of the people of Pasco County, I want Committee to thank Gov. DeSantis for ensuring an hon• Advisor to board of directors for orable public servant takes the reigns here Housing and Education Alliance Inc. in Pasco.” This year, Alvarez-Sowles served as a Born in Tampa, Alvarez-Sowles played Florida Governor’s Sterling Examiner and soccer at the University of South Florida joined Florida Center for Public (where she was a member of the Scholar- Management, Certified Public Manager Athlete 3.0 Club and a student government Program, based at Florida State University, as senator) before earning her law degree at an adjunct instructor. Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, She is married to Kevin Sowles, and they Michigan. have two children: daughter Lexi and son From 2000 to 2005, she practiced real es- Soren.The family lives in Land O’ Lakes.
The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
COURTESY OF PASCO TAX COLLECTOR MIKE FASANO’S OFFICE
From left: Tim Couet, assistant tax collector/ external services; Becky Bennett, Pasco Kids First (representing Lauren’s Kids); Dwayne Richards, road tester; Jody Grove, director of information technology; Sharlo Ward, customer service supervisor; Gia Stone, customer service representative; Tammy Dziedzico office manager; Alicia Albanese, training manager; Samantha Bisconti, consumer advocate, and Mike Fasano, tax collector.
Lauren’s Kids benefit from donations The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano’s office collected donations for Lauren’s Kids, a statewide organization that works to prevent childhood sexual abuse, during the month of June. The five branch offices of the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office promoted the Lauren’s Kids specialty license plate and collected cash donations. The value of 52 specialty tags sold and cash donations collected equals $8,468.04, according to a news release from Fasano’s office. Lauren’s Kids was created in 2007 by State
Sen. Lauren Book, herself a victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted caregiver. Book has taken her own experiences and turned them into an opportunity to help children find hope and healing. For details about the charitable promotions sponsored by the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office or any other services provided, call Greg Giordano, assistant tax collector/ communications and special projects at (727) 847-8179, or visit PascoTaxes.com. For more information about the services provided by Lauren’s Kids, visit LaurensKids.org.
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MOSI has added an Educational Outreach Van to increase its scientific reach into the community, according to a news release from MOSI. The van will be used as a part of MOSI in Motion, one of the venue’s educational outreach programs. The Ford Transit 350 will serve as a mobile science lab for MOSI’s team of educators, as the educational museum COURTESY OF MOSI seeks to ultimately deliver A mobile science lab will help MOSI reach more students. 1,350 in-school science experiences, the release said. The nine-county initiative is estimated to don’t want having access to our educational have the potential of affecting up to programs to be one of those reasons. Now, 219,000 students, the release adds.The ini- with our van, we will have the ability to do tiative also has the goal of providing at least regional outreach.” half of the programs at no charge to The new van also will elevate MOSI’s schools, serving low income families. profile, by traveling to events and communi“Research shows a child’s interest in ty functions. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and MOSI plans to have a series of “Random Math diminishes as they enter middle Acts of Science” in coming weeks and school,” Julian Mackenzie, MOSI’s chief exec- months, to showcase the van, and demonutive officer, said in the release. “While a strate how engaging and exciting science number of things contribute to this, we can be, the release said.
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August 14, 2019
The Laker/Lutz News likes to keep our readers informed about available classes, seminars, lectures and events regarding health and wellness issues. Hospitals, doctors, individual practitioners and anyone related to the health care industry can submit information, at least two weeks in advance, to be considered for publication. Submissions should include who, what, where, when, cost and contact information. This information should be emailed to email@example.com.
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The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is available to provide free information and assistance to Florida Medicare beneficiaries. The SHINE Program will offer a free presentation on Medicare basics on Aug. 15 at 1 p.m., at the Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St. Topics will include Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and financial assistance programs. To reserve a seat, call the local Elder Helpline at (727) 217-2111.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will host a Tuesday Tutorial on “What You Need to Know About Sepsis” on Aug. 20 at 11:30 a.m., at the Rao Musunuru M.D. Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive in Hudson. The featured speakers will be Dr. Shaival Thakore, hospitalist medical director, and Dr. Adam Lazarus, emergency department medical director. Registration and a complimentary lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the tutorial at noon. For information and reservations, call (727) 869-5498.
Vital Hearing will host a “Better Hearing Starts Now” seminar on Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St. The presentation will include how we hear, medical conditions associated with hearing loss, health risks of untreated hearing loss, and new hearing aid technology. A hearing aid manufacturer also will be available to answer questions. For information and to register, call (813) 780-0064.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway, in Land O’ Lakes, will host a GriefShare session on Aug. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the Nicodemus Room, for anyone who has lost a spouse. To register, visit LadyRosary.org.
Tobacco Free Florida will present a free “Tools to Quit” class on Aug. 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, 1400 Fivay Road in Hudson, in the cafeteria. Participants can prepare a plan, learn ways to deal with cravings, what physical and emotional symptoms to expect, and how to cope with them effectively. Four free weeks of patches, gum or lozenges will be available, while supplies last (and if medically appropriate). Registration is required by contacting Shenna Thompson at (813) 929-1000 or email@example.com.
WELLNESS FOR MEN
The University Area CDC (Community Development Corporation) will offer a free six-week class on wellness for men starting Aug. 22, at 14013 N. 22nd St., Annex C, in Tampa. The class will meet every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., through Sept. 26. Topics will include goal setting, selfawareness, healthy lifestyles, finding focus and success, relationships, and stress management. To sign up, contact Erica Nelson at (813) 558-5212, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEART ATTACK SURVIVAL
AdventHealth Wesley Chapel will present “Surviving a Heart Attack:Why Care in the First Hours is Critical” on Aug. 22 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Dr. Gilbert Postler, interventional cardiology, will speak on the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. A light lunch will be provided.
Reservations are required by calling (813) 929-5432, or online at AHWesleyChapel.com/events.
LUNCH & LEARN
Premier Community HealthCare will offer a Lunch & Learn and a ribbon cutting on Aug. 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the Hernando County School District, 919 N. Broad St., in Brooksville. The event will feature Premier’s Mobile Dental Program. Participants can learn about Premier’s health care services, volunteer opportunities and community resources. Lunch will be served at noon.The ribbon cutting will be at 1 p.m. Register at tinyurl.com/y2jvejaq.
The New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will offer one-on-one Medicare counseling on Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. Sessions will run for one hour. Appointments are required by contacting Geralyn Fortner at (727) 570-9696, ext. 273, or Geralyn.email@example.com.
AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, 2700 Healing Way, will offer a free hernia lecture on Aug. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Suite 305. Dr. Hugar McNamee, board-certified general surgery, will discuss today’s latest advances in abdominal surgery, including minimally invasive and robotic hernia repair. Participants also can have a free hernia screening. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required by calling (813) 929-5432, or online at AHWesleyChapel.com/events.
Keystone Place at Terra Bella, 2200 Livingston Road in Land O’ Lakes, offers free Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups the fourth Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m.The next meeting is Aug. 27.
The groups are for family members, caregivers and others interested in learning more about dementia and coping skills. For information, call Kathleen Miller, support group leader, at (727) 236-7659.
The Land O’ Lakes Senior Center, 6801 Wisteria Loop in Land O’ Lakes, will offer a seminar on Medicare options on Aug. 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., presented by BayCare. Admission is free. For information, call (813) 929-1200.
The Neuroscience Center of Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will have its monthly meeting of its stroke support group, the Bayonet Babblers, on Aug. 29 at 3 p.m., at the Rao Musunuru M.D. Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive in Hudson. The meetings will provide general stroke education and fun activities relating to the possible side effects of stroke. Those who attend also will be able to provide input as to the topics for future meetings (the last Thursday of every month, same time and location). For information, call (727) 869-5498.
The YMCAs of Tampa Bay recently expanded a program to help seniors prevent falls — EnhanceFitness is now available at 22 locations. The 16-week evidence-based program is offered at no cost to the participant, due to the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. The YMCAs partner with BayCare Health System to help refer patients into the program who are at risk for falls. EnhanceFitness participants meet three times a week for an hour.The program includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, stretching and balance work. For information, email EnhanceFitness@tampaymca.org, or stop by one of the YMCA locations.
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Coronary Robot at Medical Center of Trinity Is First In Tampa Bay Sponsored Content for The Laker/Lutz News
Patrick Cambier, M.D., an Interventional Cardiologist at Medical Center of Trinity (at left), and Jeff Suchan, R.C.I.S., lead technician in the hospital’s cardiac catherization unit, next to the new coronary robotic system.
Altman and her team conduct 1,200 cardiac catherization annually at Medical Center of Trinity, or an average of 23 procedures a week. It is one of the most vital, life-saving services the hospital offers. This new technology provides several improvements that benefit both patients and the medical team doing the procedure, explains Patrick Cambier, M.D., an Interventional Cardiologist who has worked at Medical Center of Trinity for several years. “Using this technology gives physicians a greater level of precision, which results in a more predictable outcome,” said Dr. Cambier. “It gives us a live, visual feed that shows us exactly where we are in the vein, confirms exact measurements to place the stent and even signals if the physician pushes too hard on tissue.” Cambier adds that the system levels the playing field, making cardiologists equally skilled by compensating for a surgeon’s age and experience. “I like to say it makes me a younger version of myself,” says Dr. Cambier. “The robot assists in a precise delivery of stents and balloons to open a blockage, including helping us get to blockages that previously could not be reached with the human hand.” Another advantage of the system is that the physician sits apart from the X-ray source in a radiation-protected cockpit. Although patients have limited exposure to radiation during a stent
procedure, medical staff have a higher safety risk. “This means we no longer need to wear a heavy lead apron to protect us from radiation during the surgery, which makes it easier on our bodies during the procedure,” said Dr. Cambier. Dr. Cambier describes Medical Center of Trinity as a hospital of the future. “We’re located in a fast-growing area that is attracting young, professional families, including many top executives. Our vision for Medical Center of Trinity is to offer these families the best medical care possible by providing cutting edge procedures that help them stay healthy,” said Dr. Cambier. “We are the wave of the future.” Medical Center of Trinity is a 340-bed, all-private-room hospital located near the intersection of State Road 54 and Little Road. It has received an A Safety Grade from Leapfrog, and is recognized among the nation’s Top Performers on five key quality measures — heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and stroke — by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America.
Since opening in 2012, Medical Center of Trinity has been committed to adding new technologies to care for patients from admission through discharge, with a goal of never needing to transfer a patient to another hospital. “This has always been a destination health care center, and not a stopping off point to another hospital,” said Mary Sommise, director of marketing at Medical Center of Trinity. “We are continually adding new diagnostic tools, innovative treatments and new service lines that keep our hospital at the very highest level of patient care.” Heart and vascular care is an area the hospital has invested in heavily, most recently with a new robotic system that helps guide physicians during coronary/peripheral angioplasty, a surgery that opens blocked arteries. During angioplasty, a cardiologist uses a joystick to connect to the robot that allows the doctor to “see” inside the artery as he moves a stent forward, millimeter by millimeter, until it reaches the blockage. The physician then puts the stent in place, opening the artery and restoring blood flow. “We are proud to be the first medical center in the Tampa Bay region to adopt robotic-assisted technology for our coronary and peripheral interventions program,” said Leigh Massengill, chief executive officer of Medical Center of Trinity. “It truly emphasizes our continuous commitment to delivering state-of-the-art technology to our patients and clinical community.” Installed earlier this summer, the hospital’s cardiac catherization team works with the new vascular robot almost every day. Bobbi Altman is director of cardiac catherization, and oversees a staff of 14 nurses and techs. A nurse for 25 years, Altman has spent her entire career working with patients with blockages in their arteries who are at risk for heart attacks and strokes. “Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the country,” said Altman. “It is exciting to be on the cutting edge of technology, which not only prevents heart attacks, but also relieves patients of chest pain and painful leg blockages. Angioplasty surgery truly improves the quality of life for our patients.”
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The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a PBS representative for two workshops on free educational resources available through the PBS website. • Aug. 19 at 11 a.m.: For prekindergarten and kindergarten • Aug. 20 at 5 p.m.: grades one to five Parents, teachers, families and homeschoolers can attend. Registration is required by calling (813) 929-1214.
Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts will offer a free workshop,“College Bound: Figuring It Out, Part 2” on Aug. 22 at 7 p.m., for students interested in musical theater, acting, music and dance programs at the college and university level. Topics will include tools and knowledge to navigate the various performing arts programs, how to submit a solid application, and how to prepare for prescreen and entrance auditions. For information, call (813) 222-1040, or visit PatelConservatory.org.
5K FOR SCHOOLS
The Hope 5K, “Hope for the Schools,” will take place Aug. 31 at Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., in Lutz. Proceeds from the run will benefit Sunlake High School, Charles Rushe Middle School, Oakstead Elementary School, Chamberlain High School, Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School and Sligh Middle School. The event includes a 5K run and a 1-mile Fun Run. The Hope 5K will start at 8 a.m. Registration through Aug. 16 is $35;Aug. 16 to Aug. 31 is $40. The Fun Run will begin at 8:10 a.m., and costs $20. There also will be an award ceremony and a pancake breakfast after the run. For information, visit Idlewild.org/Hope5K.
As the academic year kicks off, Saint Leo University is expecting 815 new freshmen and 186 transfer students when classes begin on Aug. 20. University officials believe this is the
largest incoming group of students (1,001) in the school’s 130-year history. Last year’s incoming class totaled 689. Saint Leo also will see an increase in international students, from 86 last year to 181 this year. Notable characteristic of the incoming Fall 2019 class include: • 50 percent from Florida • 31 percent from out of state • 19 percent from international countries • 24 percent first-generation students • SAT scores increased from 1070 to 1182 • Unweighted average GPA is 3.26 Students began arriving on Aug. 9 and can move in until 1 p.m., on Aug. 15. Parents and families can join students for the first two days of orientation, starting Aug. 15 with a Welcome to the Pride at 3 p.m. Most of the new student orientation activities on Aug. 16 will center on academics. For more information and a schedule of events, visit SaintLeo.edu, or call (855) 3008566.
Pitching in to help stock classrooms
SCHOOL GRADES INCREASE
Pasco County Schools saw school grade improvements with increases in the number of A and B schools, and decreases in the number of schools under state review. These improvements reflect the dedication of Pasco County students and teachers, as the district’s grade remains a B. Fifteen schools improved by one letter grade: Bexley, Lake Myrtle and Wiregrass elementary schools improved from a B to an A; Deer Park, Gulf Trace, Marlowe, Pine View and San Antonio elementary schools improved from a C to a B; and,Anclote, Calusa, Chasco and Richey elementary schools improved from a D to a C. Wendell Krinn Technical High School scored an A in its opening school year.
COURTESY OF PATRICIA SERIO
The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club’s Education Committee had its annual ‘Backto-School Supplies’ fundraiser luncheon and used the proceeds to shop for supplies for local schools. Shopping for school supplies were Marcy Edmondson, Carol Montgomery, Gail Howard, Devyn Espy and Pat Wagner.
BEST LPN PROGRAM
Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) was recently ranked first among Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs in Florida by NursingProcess.org, according to a press release. There are more than 160 LPN programs in the state that are approved by the Florida Board of Nursing, of which NursingProcess.org ranked the top 15 programs, with PHSC coming in first. Each program on the rankings list received a score based on several factors including NCLEX-PN first-time pass rates, graduation rate, academic quality, and affordability. For information about the school’s LPN program, visit PHSC.edu.
Members of The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club’s Education Committee filled several SUVs with school supplies, which were delivered to several area schools that had the greatest need. The committee will continue to collect items to stock teachers’ cabinets with necessary items, as well. Gail Howard and Carol Montgomery stand beside an SUV filled with backpacks and supplies.
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AWARD, from page 1A “I’m just proud of the agency. It’s a big deal,”Youmans said. “I can’t be happier. It’s a wonderful thing,” she said. Youmans took a circuitous route into the criminal justice field and victim advocacy. A native of Long Island, New York, Youmans followed her family to Florida shortly after graduating college. She originally planned to work in banking or as a paralegal, but a friend told her the sheriff’s office was hiring civilian staff for the 1990 opening of the Land O’ Lakes jail. “I was like, ‘All right,’ because I wasn’t able to find anything,”Youmans recalled. Youmans was hired as a receptionist at the jail in 1991. Within a year,Youmans was transferred to the agency’s fugitive warrants unit, where she worked for the next dozen or so years, handling the paperwork and logistics for extraditions, processing inmates and so on.“It was actually really cool,”Youmans said. In 2005, Youmans transferred to the agency’s victim advocates unit at the behest of a co-worker, who put a request in for her for an open advocate position. Youmans worked her way up to unit supervisor in 2015. Youmans admits she wasn’t really familiar with the unit beforehand. “I was like, I don’t even know what that is,”Youmans said of victim advocacy.“I read the description and was like,‘Oh, that sounds interesting.’”
HELPING PEOPLE AT DIFFICULT TIMES
Youmans later learned she beat out 100 other applicants for the role. To this day, she still recalls one question during the hour-and-a-half interview for the job that stuck out: “Could you hold a dead baby?” It’s those types of difficult circumstances victim advocates must navigate regularly,
COURTESY OF PASCO SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Pasco Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocates Unit supervisor Gina Youmans, right, and Pasco Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Sgt. Michael Rosa speak to a child as part of a crime investigation.
Youmans said. The victim advocates unit assists in major cases — homicide, suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, and crimes against elderly, among others. They’re on-call 24/7. Generally, advocates offer victims information, emotional support, and help finding resources and filling out paperwork. Sometimes, advocates go to court with victims and speak on their behalf. So, say there’s a homicide in the middle of the night, the unit responds “to be there” as liaisons for the decedent’s survivors, Youmans said. “We form a rapport and help them, and let them know that if they need us — to reach out and we’re here,”Youmans said. Advocates guide victims through the investigation process, too. Youmans explained:“We’re there to explain why forensics is there, why the detectives are there, why the medical exam-
iners are there, shield them from the media, but explain to them why the media is there, explain the entire process that is going on and accessing their needs the whole, entire time.” Youmans said the toughest part of the job is death notifications — the delivery of the news of a death to another person, usually a family member or spouse. Of the thousands of cases the unit responds to each year, suicides are the most common call out for the unit,Youmans said. Youmans put it this way:“Like you see on television, you ring the doorbell, knock on the door, and you know as soon as they open the door, they’re going to know. People know when they open the door and they see a uniformed person and another sheriff’s office member there,”Youmans said. “Anytime you deal with citizens and victims, they will guide you in the direction of where you go.There’s no certain way to deliver the message on death notifications or
SNOW, from page 1A
COURTESY OF KEITH WILEY
This is an unofficial concept of elements Pasco County would like to implement for the new playground at Wesley Chapel District Park. The play space is intended to welcome children with special needs. It will be adjacent to the park’s other playground, with access between them.
PLAYGROUND, from page 1A the playground. The new amenity will be built next to the district park’s current playground and be connected with several sidewalk paths as easy access points. The play space will have rubber flooring for safety. The surface also will offer a smooth transition for those moving about in wheelchairs. Equipment will be spaced apart to provide enough room for mobility, and built at low levels to provide an easier reach. Some children may not be able to get out of their wheelchair, Moore said, so there are things they’ll be able to reach from a seated position — for them to play with. Benches will be shaded by canopies and a butterfly garden is expected to be planted nearby. “When we look at our brand promise, our brand promise is to feel whole,” said
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Tyson Davis, interim CEO of AdventHealth Wesley Chapel. “I can’t think of a better way to apply that brand promise in our community, than being a part of this project.” Chris Casella, president of the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club, added:“It’s about helping them (special needs children) get together in the community with other children [and] have fun just like everyone else.” Part of the contribution came from a grant from Rotary District 6950, which oversees the Wesley Chapel branch. During the same meeting, commissioners approved a request from the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department to transfer $215,000 from the Connerton District Park budget to the Wesley Chapel District Park budget, to help pay for the cost of the universally inclusive playground. With funds in place, the county expects to break ground on the project by early October.
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wine for consumption at the sites, which the county commissioners also approved. Attorney Clarke Hobby, representing the applicant, detailed plans for the winter park, which he said will have a snow hill, where people can go snow-tubing, an area where people can play in the snow, and other features. The snow is made using new technology, and the snow will stay in place for long periods, provided the weather doesn’t exceed 80 degrees, according to Hobby. “I will tell you, as a native Floridian, staying under 80 degrees doesn’t happen a lot and, even though we’re allowed 120 days to operate the snow hill here, something tells me that it’s probably going to be more like 45 days,” Hobby said. “We think we can be good neighbors and not create what is going to be a traffic or noise issue for our neighbors,” Hobby added. Access to the properties will be off St. Joe Road, Hobby said. Thousands of trees will be planted, which will create an evergreen condition and provide a noise and visual buffer, for the neighbors, he added. He cited a dozen letters in support of the project. But, there were opponents, too. Judy Geiger submitted a binder full of documents and expressed opposition to the request. She also introduced Bob Hunter, a planning expert, who said he was there to speak at her request.
anything else, they guide you in the direction of where you go next,” she said. Youmans supervises a six-member unit, which includes five other advocates and a victim services technician. She also oversees two unit volunteers and interns throughout the year. Youmans said soft skills are a must for advocates, more so than formal education credentials. “Approachability is so important. That’s what counts in the end,” she said. She added, “It takes a unique person to do this position and I’ve always known that. A special kind of person has to do it, and I have six really special people that are truly passionate about it, and leaders in their own right, and hungry and want to learn.” Through her own experience and early mistakes on the job, Youmans has a list of what she calls her ‘Do Not Says’ for her unit when they’re responding to victims and families of traumatic events. They go like this: • Do not say,‘Hi, how are you?’ • Do not say,‘I know how you feel.’ • Do not say,‘Time will heal.’ • Do not say,‘It’ll be OK.’ Instead,Youmans said,“It’s just reading situations and reading people.That comes from my experience of doing it. Some victims are good with the closure words. Some aren’t. It depends. Most aren’t.There’s no closure to them.” The victim advocates unit supervisor acknowledged the job can be emotionally and physically taxing, at times. But, a passion to help others keeps her going. That — and a Metallica heavy metal playlist has helped, too — she said, in jest. “For myself, I’m just doing what I love,” she said. “I truly feel blessed to have been placed in this position.” Her fellow advocates also keep morale up, when times get stressful. “We are like family. I’m not trying to be cliché, but we’re truly there for each other. It’s an amazing thing to see,”Youmans said.
Hunter, former executive director of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission and a former president of the American Planners Association, told commissioners that the request is inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. He also said the use is inappropriate and should not be approved. Stephen Gonzalez, who lives on St. Joe Road, put it like this:“It’s just in the wrong place.Why isn’t this on (U.S.) 301, up where there used to be a golf course, north of Dade City? That’d be a perfect spot for this business.” Gonzalez also complained to commissioners about the trash left behind on his road from people attending Scream-AGeddon. Hobby said the location works well for his client because of the natural topography. “We’re working with the hills; we’re not cutting them down, we’re going to augment them,” Hobby said. Commission Chairman Ron Oakley told Hobby: “You worked very hard with that neighborhood. I appreciate everything you did.” Commissioner Jack Mariano weighed in with words of support: “The Tree Hopper thing, I think was a great addition to the county. Scream-A-Geddon was tremendous. I think this will be a nice amenity, as well.” Commissioner Mike Moore, who is chairman of the Pasco County Tourist Development Council, agreed:“I think this is going to bring a lot of great things.” But, Moore also asked Hobby to ask his client to keep an eye on St. Joe Road, to address any problems with trash.
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August 14, 2019
Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source
Fall football preview: Pasco County THE TEAMS
W By Kevin Weiss
With the 2019 high school football season almost here — preseason classics begin Aug. 16 and regular season kicks off Aug. 23 — we take a look at how Pasco County teams in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area stack up.
PASCO COUNTY SCHOOLS IN LAKER/LUTZ NEWS COVERAGE AREA (2018 RECORDS)
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
ACADEMY AT THE LAKES WILDCATS
LAND O’ LAKES GATORS
Head coach: Shawn Brown (sixth year) The back-to-back eight-man state champions will look to three-peat with a team that again returns head coach Shawn Brown and his son, standout junior quarterback Jalen Brown. In addition to its fourth-year starting signal-caller, Academy at the Lakes returns All-Conference standouts in center Dwight Downing and defensive end Elijah Freedman, along with several other key contributors on both sides of the ball. The Wildcats enter the season on a 20game winning streak (including a win by forfeit) that dates back to September 2017. They outscored opponents last season by a combined margin 309-90.
• Duval Charter (Sept. 6, 7 p.m.) • at Harvest Community (Sept. 13, 7 p.m.) • Real Life Christian Academy (Sept. 20, 7 p.m.) • First Baptist Christian Academy (Sept. 27, 7 p.m.) • at Master’s Academy (Oct. 4, 7 p.m.) • at Eastland Christian (Oct. 10, 7 p.m.) • Lakeside Christian (Oct. 18, 7 p.m.)
BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN HURRICANES Head coach: Joe Vaughn (first year) Following a 4-5 mark last season, Bishop McLaughlin will look to get above .500 in 2019 with new head coach Joe Vaughn, who brings with him more than a decade of NFL and Division I experience as a strength and conditioning coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of Kansas, respectively. Joining Vaughn as an assistant defensive backs coach is seven-year NFL veteran Keith Tandy, who played for the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons from 2012 to 2018. The big-name coaches may have their hands full this season, breaking in a new starting quarterback and replacing top tacklers Brandon Beinhauer and Bryant Beinhauer.The Hurricanes, however, return one of the area’s most productive tailbacks in senior Adam Berry, who registered 807 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 carries last season.
• at Christ’s Church Academy (Aug. 23, 7 p.m.) • Out-of-Door Academy (Aug. 30, 7 p.m.) • Cypress Creek (Sept. 6, 7 p.m.) • Shorecrest Prep (Sept. 20, 7 p.m.) • at Bradenton Christian (Sept. 27, 7 p.m.) • Santa Fe Catholic (Oct. 4, 7 p.m.) • Saint Stephens Episcopal (Oct. 11, 7 p.m.) • at Bayshore Christian (Oct. 18, 7 p.m.)
Head coach: Chad Walker (second year) Land O’ Lakes is looking to build off a solid 2018 campaign, which included the program’s first winning season since 2013 and a narrow miss of the postseason. Likely helping that cause for secondyear head coach Chad Walker is the addition of two former NFL players to the team’s coaching staff in Aveion Cason and Kelvin Kinney. Cason, a St. Petersburg native, was a running back for eight years in the NFL, playing for six different teams from 2001 to 2008. He brings with him some high school coaching pedigree, as well. In 2017, he was the head coach of Texas’ TrinityChristian-Cedar Hill team that went 12-1 and won the TAPPS Division II state title. Kinney, meanwhile, was a defensive end for the Washington Redskins from 1996 to 1999. He also played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and had three different stints with the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm (2003 to 2005, 2008, 2010). Aside from new coaching additions, the Gators return one of the area’s most efficient quarterbacks in senior Ethan Forrester and much of his offensive line. Forrester, however, will have to build a rapport with several new skill players with the graduations of All-State tailback Kyle Leivas and top receivers Jacob Neary and Nate Howard. Meantime, the Gators are without five leading tacklers from last season, but expect a breakout showing from junior defensive end Zavian McKinnon, who led the team in sacks (3.0) last season. • Pasco (Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.) • at Countryside (Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.) • at Mitchell (Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.) • Tampa Catholic (Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.) • at Sunlake (Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.) • Freedom (Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.) • at Gaither (Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.) • Wiregrass Ranch (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.) • at Fivay (Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.) • Zephyrhills Christian (Nov. 1, 7 p.m.)
WIREGRASS RANCH BULLS Head coach: Mark Kantor (fifth year) Wiregrass Ranch is seeking its thirdstraight playoff berth, but some recent transfer news has added a wrinkle to that objective. Earlier this month, senior dualthreat quarterback Hunter Helton announced on social media he was transferring to Armwood High School — marking the second such Bulls player exodus to the Seffner-based powerhouse this summer. Junior receiver/defensive back Noah Biglow also transferred to Armwood, a sea-
FROM EACH TEAM
• Jalen Brown, Academy at the Lakes, junior quarterback • Adam Berry, Bishop McLaughlin, senior tailback • Jalen Warren, Cypress Creek, senior athlete • Ethan Forrester, Land O’ Lakes, senior quarterback • Darrion Robinson, Pasco, junior receiver • Jonathan Wallace, Sunlake, junior defensive end • Jelani Vassell, Wesley Chapel, senior athlete • Dylan Ridolph, Wiregrass Ranch, senior linebacker • Zyre Roundtree, Zephyrhills, junior tailback • Malik Jones, Zephyrhills Christian, senior lineman
August 14, 2019
EIGHT-MAN: 10-0 OVERALL, 7-0 DISTRICT
ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL BULLDOGS 11-1 OVERALL, 6-0 DISTRICT
BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN HURRICANES 4-5 OVERALL, 3-1 DISTRICT
CYPRESS CREEK MIDDLE HIGH COYOTES 3-7 OVERALL, 1-0 REGION
LAND O’ LAKES HIGH SCHOOL GATORS 7-3 OVERALL, 2-2 DISTRICT
PASCO HIGH SCHOOL PIRATES
PLAYERS TO WATCH
ACADEMY AT THE LAKES WILDCATS
2-8 OVERALL, 0-4 DISTRICT
WIREGRASS RANCH HIGH SCHOOL BULLS 7-4 OVERALL, 4-2 DISTRICT
SUNLAKE HIGH SCHOOL SEAHAWKS 4-6 OVERALL, 1-3 DISTRICT
WESLEY CHAPEL HIGH SCHOOL WILDCATS 5-5 OVERALL, 4-2 DISTRICT
ZEPHYRHILLS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY WARRIORS 7-4 OVERALL, 0-1 REGION
son removed from hauling in 11 balls for 163 yards and a touchdown, and posting 23 tackles and three interceptions on defense for Wiregrass Ranch. The Bulls seem to be well-equipped to withstand the recent exodus, though. Sophomore quarterback Rocco Becht, the son of 11-year NFL veteran Anthony Becht, is expected to take the starting role left behind by Helton.And, the young signal-caller should have plenty of weapons to ease the transition, with the return of multiple productive tailbacks and three leading receivers from 2018. Most importantly, perhaps, is the return of first-team All-State linebacker Dylan Ridolph, who already has the county’s all-time career sacks mark (37).
• Zephyrhills (Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.) • at Wesley Chapel (Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.) • St. Petersburg (Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.) • Nature Coast Tech (Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.) • River Ridge (Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.) • at Armwood (Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.) • at East Bay (Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.) • at Land O’ Lakes (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.) • Tampa Bay Tech (Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.) • at Largo (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.)
ZEPHYRHILLS BULLDOGS Head coach: Nick Carroll (fourth year) Zephyrhills has done nothing but win games under head coach Nick Carroll, going a combined 29-6 in three seasons, including an 11-1 mark in 2018. But, this year could prove one of the Bulldogs’ tougher, to maintain those winning ways, as the program must replace 23 seniors, including four All-State honorees. With a heavy ongoing quarterback competition between sophomore T.J. Jackson and junior Nick Novo, the team may place more emphasis on the run, thanks to an experienced offensive line paced by All-State guard Demetris Wright and the return of top rusher Zyre Roundtree (541 yards, six touchdowns on 81 carries).
• at Wiregrass Ranch (Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.) • Ponte Vedra (Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.) • at Lake Gibson (Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m.) • at Wesley Chapel (Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.) • Tarpon Springs (Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.) • Sunlake (Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.) • at Anclote (Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.) • at River Ridge (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.) • Gulf (Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.) • Pasco (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.)
The LAKER / Lutz NEWS INSIDE: Directories, Classifieds, Games & More
AU G U S T 1 4 , 2 0 1 9
Getting up-close and personal with reptiles By Christine Holtzman firstname.lastname@example.org
love of dinosaurs at age 5 led Bruce Shwedick into a lifetime of work with reptiles. The Plant City man, who operates Reptiles Discovery, recently brought his traveling reptile show to the Hugh Embry Branch Library in Dade City. Shwedick’s show features gentle, captive-born reptiles, which he presents in a safe, non-threatening manner to people at his shows. He focuses on educating the audience, with the purpose of helping them understand these often misunderstood creatures. His talks emphasize the need for safety and for conservation. Since Reptile Discovery was founded in 1994, Shwedick has put on shows in more than 1,000 schools, in 45 states, and in Washington D.C. Shwedick, a Maryland native, said he was just 10 when he followed in his older brother Michael’s footsteps in raising reptiles. Michael is also a reptile specialist, and is the founder of Reptile World Inc., in Maryland. The brothers enjoyed visiting the National Zoo and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., he said, and he still has fond memories of those experiences today. Shwedick began presenting educational shows in 1974. He has traveled to Africa, South America and throughout Asia to learn more about these creatures, by speaking to people in those locales and observing reptiles in the wild. The reputation he has developed because of his knowledge about reptiles has led to shows at theme parks and to the role of reptile curator at Cypress Parks. He even was featured on Nickelodeon’s “LIVEWIRE” many years ago. Recently Shwedick — also known as Mr. Bruce — shared his knowledge and showed off his reptiles at the Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City. He captivated the crowed with a mix of personal stories, reptile facts, safety tips and a presentation of live reptiles. Children and adults in the audience had the chance to touch many of the reptiles he exhibited. One of those was ‘Baby,’ a yellow-footed tortoise, who was gentle and graceful, and loved to eat bananas. The reptile handler also brought “Chopstick,” a docile, Chinese alligator, that he’s been taking to shows for more than 20 years. Another reptile he displayed was “Alexander the Great,” an alligator snapping turtle from the Okefenokee Swamp. His appearance was brief because the swift-moving turtle was not quite as friendly as the others. Mr. Bruce also showed off a blue-tongued skink lizard, a corn snake, a West African slender-snouted crocodile, and at the show’s conclusion, a 14-foot-long albino reticulated python, named “Banana Boy.”
Seven-year-old Samantha Cook, of Dade City, gets a chance to touch a blue-tongued skink lizard, held by handler Bruce Shwedick.
Bruce Shwedick, of Reptile Discovery, feeds a piece of banana to ‘Baby,’ a yellow-footed tortoise. The 35-year-old Baby was hatched at the Bronx Zoo. These tortoises are found in the Amazon rainforest and are among the largest of the land turtle species.
Rhiannon Spillane, of Wesley Chapel, and her 2-year-old son, Harrison Martin, touch ‘Banana Boy,’ a 14-foot-long albino reticulated python, as handler Bruce Shwedick cradles the snake’s head.
Trust the ERCareNearMe.com
Above, Bruce Shwedick shows the audience a West African slender-snouted crocodile, named ‘MBecky’. Shwedick also raised MBecky’s parents. At left, 8-year-old Lauren Cook, of Dade City, pets ‘Chopstick,’ a 25-year-old Chinese alligator. ‘Chopstick’ has been accompanying his handler, Bruce Shwedick, to presentations for more than 20 years.
A close look inside the mouth of an alligator snapping turtle. This species has the ability to attract fish, using its worm-like tongue.
PET PAWS CLEAR THE SHELTERS DRIVE
25750 Sierra Center Blvd. Lutz, FL 33559
Pasco County Animal Services (PCAS), 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes, is teaming up with NBCUniversal Media, Telemundo and hundreds of shelters across the country for the fifth annual nationwide “Clear the Shelters” pet adoption drive on Aug. 17 from noon to 6:30 p.m. To help families bring home a new pet, PCAS will offer waived adoption fees. The adoption fee applies to all dogs and cats with no exclusions. All adoptions include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccinations. Adopters will be required to purchase county licensing for a new pet. For information, visit MyPasco.net/PAS.
Max is precocious
Max is a 9-month-old Blue Chihuahua. He has a blue tint in his fur, especially around his ears, and an exquisitely curled tail. Max loves playing catch and tag with his toy monkey while running at stealth speed. He takes anything into his lair under the dining room table, such as paper, socks and plastic and his favorite pastime is finding the biggest piece of mulch to chew on. Max’s proud owner is Katie Wyka, of Land O’ Lakes.
PET OF THE WEEK FAMILIES RECEIVE A $30 GIFT CARD TO CHUY’S TEX MEX. 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 email@example.com, ATTN: Pet of the Week PLEASE NOTE: OWNERS NAME AND ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED FOR YOUR PET TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.
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National Homeless Animals Day falls on Aug. 17 and more than 85 million U.S. petowning households are projected to spend $75 billion this year, according to the personal finance website,WalletHub. WalletHub compared the creaturefriendliness of the 100 largest cities, across 24 key metrics, to determine where animal companions can enjoy the best quality of life, without breaking the bank. The top 10 most pet-friendly cities: Scottsdale,Arizona; Orlando;Tampa;Austin, Texas; Phoenix,Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; St. Louis, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. To view a full report, including the least pet-friendly cities, visit WalletHub.com/edu.
PASCO PARK WALK
Pasco County Animal Services and the county’s parks, recreation and natural resources department team up for Pasco Park Walks. Volunteers from Animal Services stroll with adoptable dogs through one of four Pasco parks starting at 9 a.m., on the first Saturday of the month. The next walk is at Withlacoochee River Park Walk, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., in Dade City, on Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. The public is invited to bring their own dogs, too, for the “pack walk.” Walks last 45 minutes to an hour. Rules and guidelines include: • Bring secure 6-foot leashes with col-
lars. No retractable leashes are permitted. • No prong or electrical collars. • Respect everyone’s space. No face-toface contact permitted among dogs. • One handler per pet is required. • Bring poop bags. • Bring water. Participants may be able to adopt a dog, on the spot.
MAKE A DOG BANDANA
The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a teen sewing class on Aug. 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., for ages 13 to 18.Those ages 9 to 12 can take the class on Aug. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participants can learn sewing machine basics and sew a dog bandana. If the bandana is donated to Pasco County Animal Services (there will be a collection box), kids can have their time signed off as volunteer time.All supplies will be provided. A Foundry waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian before class. For information, call (813) 929-1214.
SUPPORT ANIMAL RESCUE
Asturia in Land O’ Lakes is seeking vendors and anyone who would like to donate an item or gift basket for a silent auction, as part of its annual Fall Festival scheduled for Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival will benefit E.A.R.S., Elizabeth’s Animal Rescue & Sanctuary. For information, contact Carla Luigs at (904) 599-9015 or email@example.com.
SHARE YOUR PET NEWS
If you have pet news about adoptions, walks or other events for pet owners and their pets, you can let us know by sending us an email. We just need the basics: who, what, when, where and why. The information should be submitted two weeks prior to the desired publication date. We also need a contact name and number, in case we have questions. There is no guarantee of publication, but we consider each item we receive. If you’d like to make a submission, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers can now find Pets of the Week and Local Wildlife photos on our website at LakerLutznews.com, under the Pets/Wildlife link.
DID YOU KNOW?
Readers can now find Pets of the Week and Local Wildlife photos on our website at LakerLutznews.com, under the Pets/Wildlife link.
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An appropriate home, for this bird
Charlie is a stunner Charlie is an 8-year-old female orange kitty that has lived at the shelter for more than four months. She does have some skin allergies that will need ongoing treatment, but she has not lost her love for life or her hope for a new furever home. Charlie is already spayed, microchipped and vaccinated.
Marisol Fontanez snapped this blue jay fittingly perched on a fence at the Blue Jay Mobile Home Park in Dade City. Blue jays are large, crested songbirds that like to mimic the call of hawks, especially red-shouldered hawks.
PUT YOUR PET IN THE SPOTLIGHT! We are looking for photos and information on your favorite pet. Include in your short story your pet’s name, age, breed, and anything else you would like to mention. Don’t forget to include the owner’s name and city of residence! Send photo and information to:
The LAKER/Lutz NEWS Email to: email@example.com, SUBJECT: Pet of the Week Mail to: Pet of the Week, c/o The Laker, P.O. Box 479, Lutz, FL 33548
Parker smiles for the camera Parker is a handsome young pup that arrived as a stray in early July. He is a staff and volunteer favorite, and the story has been told that Parker absolutely adores belly rubs. He is a medium-size pup and weighs about 55 pounds. Parker will be waiting to meet you!
If you would like to adopt Charlie or Parker, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 14, 2019
JOHN SMITH SUBS GRAND OPENING
strengthening resumes, targeting companies and other skills needed to be successful when searching for a job. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited. RSVP by Aug. 18, by calling (813) 344-0220, or by emailing rsvp@TBJL.org.
Jon Smith Subs, in Lutz, will have its grand opening this week and will offer some special deals for customers. The sandwich shop is in The Shoppes at Ballantrae Village, 17790 State Road 54, Unit 104, in Lutz. The store’s celebration will be on Aug. 15, beginning at 10:30 a.m., with a ribbon cutting with the Carrollwood Area Business Association at 11:30 a.m
Send business news to email@example.com
KURT BROWNING TO SPEAK
Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning will be the featured speaker at The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Aug. 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., at the Seven Springs Golf & Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., in Trinity. Fees are $20 for members and $30 for others. To order your ticket, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘REVERSE TRADE SHOW’
Pasco County’s purchasing department is inviting local vendors who would like to do work with the county to attend its “reverse trade show.” The free event is on Aug. 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes. “This is a great opportunity for business owners to learn how agencies throughout the county purchase goods and services, and how they can participate in future solicitations,” Pasco County Purchasing Director Stacey Ziegler, said in a news release announcing the event.
FREE JOB SEARCH BOOT CAMP
TampaBay-Job-Links will offer a free job search boot camps on Aug. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Nonprofit Leadership Center, 1408 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 140, in Tampa. The event is intended to help people kick their job search into high gear. Topics will include conducting self-assessments, creating a professional brand, enhancing interview skills, networking,
Representatives from more than a dozen county departments, the county’s Constitutional Offices, local municipalities and others are expected to be there. To register, send an email to email@example.com.
FREE BUSINESS MENTORING
If you need free, individual, confidential small business mentoring, chances are that Pasco Hernando SCORE can help.Visit PascoHernando.org to request a mentor.
WOW-TOO will host three local nonprofit organizations to share information about what they do.The meeting will be Aug. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Holiday Inn Express-Trinity, 2125 Corporate Center Drive, Trinity. Cost is $5, cash or check only, at the door. Continued on next page
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AT&T OPENS NEW STORES
Scott Himelhoch, vice president of land acquisition for Taylor Morrison, will be the featured speaker at North Tampa Bay’s Economic Development Briefing on Aug. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please visit NorthTampaBayChamber.com.
AT&T has opened two new stores in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. One is at 14446 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, and the other is at 18455 N. U.S. 41 in Lutz. They are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Award finalists named
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SPELLING BEE SPONSORS NEEDED
The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors for the 17th annual Ambassadors “Catch the Buzz” Spelling Bee.The event will be held on Sept. 12, beginning with a team registration and cocktail hour at 5 p.m., and followed by the Spelling Bee from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will be at The Hive (The Event Center), 8718 Trouble Creek
Award finalists have been announced for the Pasco Economic Development Council Inc.’s 33rd annual Awards and Trade Show.These are Pasco County businesses that have demonstrated exceptional growth by capital investment and employees, innovation in technology, and good corporate citizenship in their communities. The nominees were interviewed and scored by the Pasco EDC awards committee.
• Hudson Bowling Supply Inc. • Medical Center of Trinity • Millian-Aire Enterprises Corp. • The Point Distillery • Trxade Group Inc. • Welbilt The trade show will feature about 50 exhibitors. The event generally attracts more than 600 business and community leaders from through Pasco County. This year’s event is set for Sept. 5 at Saddlebrook Resort and Spa. To reserve your spot, go to PascoEDC.com, and click on events.
Here are the finalists, for the six awards that will be presented. • AdventHealth Wesley Chapel • Airprompt AC/Electric • American Consulting Engineers of Florida LLC • Architectural Signage & Printing • Bay Tech Industries Inc. • Connected Cities • Design & Construction Innovations • Gulfside Healthcare Services
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August 14, 2019
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3632 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard | Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639 U.S. 41, 1.5 miles north of SR 54 813-298-7363 | www.copperstone.info
August 14, 2019
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Victims’ advocate wins state award; Frolicking in the Florida snow?; Local donors help propel playground development
Published on Aug 14, 2019
Victims’ advocate wins state award; Frolicking in the Florida snow?; Local donors help propel playground development