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New and renovated schools planned

By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

The Pasco County School Board received an overview last week on projects planned to construct, renovate, expand and repair schools across the district. They also heard a wrap-up on projects in progress or finished this year. The presentation, by Chris Williams, director of planning services and Olga Swinson, chief finance officer, came as the

district prepares to vote on a final capital construction budget in September. Numerous projects are underway or planned in communities across central and east Pasco County. Major milestones this past year have included: • Beginning the design of the Cypress Creek Middle School • Finishing the site development for Starkey K-8, as well as designing that faciilty • Replacing the roof at Denham Oaks.

• Continuing work on massive renovations at Land O’ Lakes High School and Woodland Elementary, and adding capacity to both locations • Purchasing 30 cng buses and five diesel buses, and 35 radios • Purchasing more than 8,000 computer and laptops, and more than 2,400 iPads Major projects planned for 2018-2019: • Beginning a major overhaul at See SCHOOLS, page 11A

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Exploring the world through photography Students had a chance to learn how to explore the world visually, while improving their photography skills during a photography camp at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch. The four-day camp focused on giving students, ages 11 to 14, a better understanding of how cameras work, a detailed look at the art of photography and the various skills needed to produce excellent images. Above, after learning about the camera’s histogram, 13-year-olds Luci Alicea, left, and J.J. Guadalupe, both of Wesley Chapel, put their knowledge to use. The teenagers love photography and want to get more comfortable with its technical aspects.

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Share your wildlife pho otos If you’ve captured a photograph of an interesting bird or wild creature, we’d love to share your image with our readers.

sider If you’d like us to consider graph, publishing your photograph, please email it to us att news@lakerlutzne ew ws.c com. Please be sure to include what kind of animal it is, and where you took the picture. Also include your ur contact information, so we can get in touch with you, if we need to.

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Thirteen-year-old Maddi Koyonda, of Wesley Chapel, checks out the different modes her camera offers, while searching through its menu during Day 3 of a photography camp at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch. Maddi enjoys taking photos of people and nature and was interested in learning to use a camera properly.

Instructor and professional photographer John Stalter gives the aspiring photographers a lesson on the camera histogram and how it is used to analyze an image so they would know what adjustments are needed to achieve the image they intended to create.

Ownership Wesley Chapel couple launches agreement tourism-themed podcast reached on Hercules Park By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

The city of Zephyrhills and the Pasco County School Board are ready to complete a deal that will deed part of Hercules Park to the city. The Zephyrhills City Council approved an inter-local agreement with the school district on June 25. The agreement will be presented to school board members on July 24. If approved, Zephyrhills would own about 9 acres of the approximately 15-acre park, off Gall Boulevard. “We’re glad. We’re happy,” Zephyrhills City Manager Steve Spina said. Negotiations have been ongoing with school district officials for years on the park’s fate. See PARK, page 11A

Wesley Chapel’s Andy and Shannon Herbon love exploring Florida — then sharing those experiences with anybody who’ll listen. As often as they can, the Herbons and their two young children venture across the state to visit theme parks and state parks, beaches, springs and waterfalls, hidden gems and other attractions. From the Florida Panhandle, to St. Augustine, to Miami — they’ll go just about anywhere to seek out fun, meaningful adventures. “We live in paradise, so take advantage of it,” Shannon said. The married couple’s interest in traveling the state recently sparked the idea to create a Florida tourism-themed podcast called, “Sunshine State of Mind,” that focuses on activities, events and destinations around the state. The free, weekly podcast launched in April and has 18 episodes to date. “We’d always be doing stuff on the weekends and friends would ask us for tips…and

COURTESY OF ANDY AND SHANNON HERBON

The free, weekly podcast is available for download on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean and TuneIn.

we kind of got to be real pros at what do around Florida, and we said,‘Well, why don’t we do a podcast about this?’” Andy explained. The couple got the extra motivation they needed to start recording as Shannon was See PODCAST, page 11A


KATHY STEELE

Workers are installing a digital billboard for Clear Channel Outdoor at 1714 Dale Mabry Highway, in front of a Walmart Super Store.

Digital billboard lights up Land O’ Lakes Look and Feel Your Best, Inside and Out

By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

The digital age of outdoor advertising is coming to central Pasco. Motorists may be familiar with a twosided “Tri-Vision” billboard on U.S. 41, north of State Road 54.The Champion Outdoor billboard flips through a trio of advertisements on each side, as slats rotate and marketing messages change. But, the area’s first digital billboard is being installed on the west side of the apex where Dale Mabry Highway and U.S. 41 meet, in front of the WalMart Super Store, according to county permitting records. Thousands of motorists pass through the juncture at North Dale Mabry Highway and U. S. 41 daily, making it a prime site for outdoor advertisers. The location is one of four digital locations in Pasco County planned by Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. as the company moves ahead on the digital campaign it began about nine months ago in the county. Another location in central Pasco is slated for digital at 6027 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Activity in west Pasco also is changing the billboard landscape. Permits for demolition of several static billboards and installation of two digital billboards happened in 2017 at 2310 U.S. 19 in Holiday, and on State Road 54, east of Little Road, in New Port Richey, according to county records. A representative of Clear Channel couldn’t be reached for comment. The Pasco County Commission approved an ordinance in early 2017 to allow permitting of new billboards as part of a strategy to

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reduce visual blight on the county’s major corridors. Until then, a ban on new billboards had been in effect for about 17 years. Outdoor advertising representatives lobbied for the ordinance, which allowed new billboards and established rules for converting static to digital billboards. Provisions also were included for Tri-Vision billboards. It took nearly two years of negotiations to strike that bargain. County representatives wanted to eliminate a glut of static billboards dotting the roadways, including those in disrepair. Outdoor advertising representatives wanted to get their digital messages in front of passing motorists. Clear Channel, OUTFRONT Media and The Champion Family of Companies participated in crafting the ordinance. So far, Clear Channel in its agreement with Pasco has removed about 8,220 square feet of static billboard advertising. During the next months, another approximately 8,220 square feet will be taken down by Clear Channel, according to data provided by Pasco County. The ordinance targeted billboards on major roadways including segments of State Road 54, U.S. 41, U.S 19, State Road 52 and Interstate 75. A cap permits a maximum of 37 digital billboards in the county, with more digital allowed in some areas than others. County officials estimated about 190 static billboards would be eliminated through the new regulations. Some sites are off limits to digital including The Heart of Land O’ Lakes Vision Plan, Connerton New Town, the Villages of Pasadena Hills Stewardship District, and the State Road 52 gateway into Dade City.

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Some things truly are priceless Knowing Your History

By Doug Sanders

Special to The Laker/Lutz News

COURTESY OF DOUG SANDERS

President Abraham Lincoln’s signature remains legible after 154 years.

R

emember finding a coin or arrowhead and wondering if it’s worth anything? Imagine having a large document signed by Abraham Lincoln, passed down from one generation to the next, and not really knowing its value or its history with the nation’s 16th president. For now, it has a safe and protected place in the home of 84-year-old Martha M. Fountain, a lifelong resident of Zephyrhills. She lives in a community that was founded in 1909 by Capt. Howard B. Jeffries as a retirement colony for Union Civil War Veterans. A newspaper man himself, Jeffries would not have missed the opportunity to write about Martha. She has been the artifact’s owner since her husband’s death in 2016. Married for 31 years to Guy Joseph Fountain Jr., Martha remembers the document hanging in her husband’s office of the Best Way Electric Company in Dade City. “I’m not much into history,” Martha explained during a recent interview in her home, with her caregiver at her side.“I don’t know much about my husband’s family history,” she added. Following six months of research with several military websites and The History Center at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village north of Dade City, the remarkable life of the man named on the Lincoln document begins to emerge. It turns out Guy Fountain had a greatgreat uncle named Samuel Warren Fountain. He was only 15-years-old at the outbreak of the American Civil War on April 12, 1861. Samuel had to wait until 1864 before joining an infantry of the 8th Corps of the

COURTESY OF ROBERT MASSEY

As part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864, Samuel Warren Fountain served under Maj. Gen. David Hunter during the Civil War.

COURTESY OF DOUG SANDERS

Dated December 15, 1864, Martha Fountain proudly holds ‘The President’s Thanks and Certificate of Honorable Service’ signed by Abraham Lincoln at the Executive Mansion in Washington City.

Army of West Virginia, which became famous for having future U.S. presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley serving in its ranks. Samuel Fountain graduated from West Point on June 15, 1870, four months before the death of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Lexington,Virginia. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the 8th U.S. Cavalry, he was active for the next 20 years in military campaigns against Geronimo and Sitting Bull. He once described a skirmish in New Mexico as “rough country where horses cannot go.” During the Spanish-American War, Samuel Fountain served first commanding a squadron of the 8th Cavalry in Cuba. As Adjutant General in the Philippine Islands, a captain on his staff was John J.

“Black Jack” Pershing, who later served as the commander of the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front during World War I. In 1904, when Fountain was a lieutenant colonel, he was put in charge of security at the St. Louis World’s Fair. According to the Arlington National Cemetery website, a local newspaper reported this: “Under his direction the members of the guard controlled the great mass of people… and on the last day of the Fair, when disorder and vandalism were feared, every officer and member of the guard was on duty, and so placed that when the lights were out and the World’s Fair at St. Louis had passed into history, not a disorderly act had occurred, or a dollar’s worth of property had been destroyed.” Ironically, Geronimo was also at the fair as a living exhibit intended as a “monument to the progress of civilization.” Under guard, he made bows and arrows while Pueblo women seated beside him pounded corn and made pottery. Geronimo also sold auto-

graphs and posed for pictures. Samuel Fountain was a brigadier general a year before the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in the nation’s capital. He gave a speech about Abraham Lincoln during his appearance before the Union League Club of Philadelphia on February 9, 1921: “Other men have reunited a divided nation, or liberated an enslaved race, or carried to conclusion a fratricidal war, or swept immoral institutions from the earth by consummate Statesmanship; but no man ever combined and carried through, chiefly by the clarity of his mind and the purity of his character, several such gigantic enterprises in half a decade.” Samuel Fountain died on Nov. 15, 1930, five months after the birth of Guy Fountain, and six years before the death of Capt. Howard Jeffries in New York City on March 20, 1936. Martha Fountain recalls turning down an offer to sell the Lincoln document still in her possession. But, with no children, she is undecided about its future. At this point, she’s not sure what she will do with it. Before doing anything, she plans to consult her lawyer, John Council. Council has had his own brush with preserving history, having a law office in Dade City at the historic red brick jailhouse, where the last legal hanging in Pasco County was carried out on Jan. 4, 1918. Doug Sanders has a penchant for unearthing interesting stories about local history. His sleuthing skills have been developed through his experiences in newspaper and government work. If you have an idea for a future history column, contact Doug at interstar1@juno.com.

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July 11, 2018

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What’s Happening

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

CUB SCOUTS REGISTRATION

Cub Scout Pack 33, of Land O’ Lakes, is registering girls and Lions (kindergarteners) as part of its pack. Girls and boys meet separately on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., but will be considered part of Pack 33. For information, email cubpack33lol@gmail.com.

VEGETABLE GARDENING

UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will host a free seminar on vegetable gardening July 12 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at One Stop Shop, 15029 14th St., in Dade City. Participants can learn about how to choose a location for a garden, what makes good soil, when to plant different vegetables, and how to control common vegetable garden pests. For information, contact Eden Santiago at (352) 521-1255 or esantiagogomez@pascocountyfl.net.

CRAFT LIFE ANNIVERSARY

Craft Life Brewing, 2624 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, will celebrate its two-year anniversary July 13 and July 14. Music begins at 8 p.m., Friday, with the group “Stonegrey.”There also will be live music all day Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. The headliner will be “Solar Exposure” at 8 p.m. Special beers will be released, and there will be food on-site.There will be extra parking at Meineke Car Care on Friday after 6 p.m., and on Saturday after 4 p.m.The celebration will go on until midnight, both days.Admission is free. For information, visit Craft Life Brewing on Facebook, email craftlifebrewing@gmail.com, or call (813) 575-8440.

SCIENCE-RELATED FILM

Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., in downtown Tampa, will show the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” July 13 at 4 p.m., as part of its CinemaSTEM series, films with an educational twist.After the screening, Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay meteorologist Dave Osterberg will talk about the weather patterns that created “the perfect storm,” what a perfect storm in Tampa Bay would look like, and tips on weathering the 2018 hurricane season. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids ages 2 to 12, and $7 for theater members. For information, visit TampaTheatre.org.

SOUNDS OF SUMMER

The Hilton Garden Inn, 2155 Northpointe Parkway in Lutz, will host “Sounds of Summer” July 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.There will be local talent performances, local vendors, a free car wash, family games and more. For information, call (813) 491-4900.

SHADE PLANT SEMINAR

UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will offer a free seminar on “Made in the Shade” July 14 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.The guest speaker will be a master

Road in Dade City.The guest speaker will be Jeff Miller on the topic of Pasco County from the 1800s to today, via the origins of the names of the towns appearing on historical maps.A carry-in dinner precedes the program, so guests should bring a dish to share, as well as cutlery for personal use, plate(s) and a beverage. For information, contact Madonna Jervis Wise at (813) 7820246 or MadonnaJWise@gmail.com.

Book bazaar

The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host a book bazaar July 13 and July 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a diverse selection of books, audio and video media, magazines and related materials, for a modest cost. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

BEERFEST FUNDRAISER

The Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., in downtown Tampa, will host its annual beerfest fundraiser July 21 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.The theme will be “Hop Gun,” and guests are invited to don their beer goggles, dress as a favorite “Top Gun” character, or come in a costume inspired by the movie. There will be craft beers and local brewers, and snacks and samples from area restaurants. Discounted advance tickets are on sale until July 20. For tickets and information, visit TampaTheatre.org.

Book launch

CHOCOLATE OLYMPICS

James Willis III will host a book launch July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2101 Northpointe Parkway in Lutz, for his book,“How on Earth Did I Get Here?” To RSVP or preorder the book, you can visit JimWillisBooks.com.

The New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., will host “Teen Chocolate Olympics” July 23 at 6:30 p.m. Guests can meet the library’s Teen Advisory Board and take part in sweet competition and chocolate fountain fun.There will be relay races, contests and games with a chocolate twist and prizes.The event is for ages 11 to 18. For information, call (813) 273-3652, or visit HCPLC.org.

BIBLE DAY CAMP

Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, will host its annual Vacation Bible School Day Camp July 23 to July 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for ages 5 to 12.The cost is $15 per child, and $10 for each additional child in the family. Payment is nonrefundable. For information, call (813) 215-6001, or email julielynne333@yahoo.com.

gardener on plants that love the shade. Registration is requested online at tinyurl.com/y7mt6gu5.

for this free workshop, visit tinyurl.com/ybq5md8u.

ROCK PAINTING

Cobb Grove 16 Theatres, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, is offering its free Kids Summer Movie Escape.The theater will show “Despicable Me 3” and “Ferdinand” July 17, July 18 and July 19 at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Same-day ticketing only. Large groups, schools and camps are welcome. For information, call (813) 948-5444, or visit CobbTheatres.com.

DRIVE-THRU PRAYER

BUTTERFLIES & BLOOMS

TAMPA ORCHID CLUB

FREE KIDS’ MOVIES

Church Street Shoppes Toys, Kites & More will feature “Painting Rocks” during the Dade City Merchants Christmas in July & Art Walk on July 14. Members of 15 rock groups, including Dade City Rocks, Zephyrhills Rocks, East Pasco Rocks and others, will be available with a few rocks to trade and will share some of their own rock-painting techniques.The shop will provide basic paints and brushes, and chairs for those interested in painting their own rock, under a tent in the parking lot next to the store.Admission is free.

MUSHROOM WORKSHOP

UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will host a lecture on mushrooms July 14 at 10 a.m., at the Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St.The guest speaker will be Dr.Whitney Elmore, Pasco County Extension director, on the topic of small-scale mushroom farming.Topics include mushroom cultivation and species selection.To register

UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will offer a “Butterflies and Their Blooms” lecture July 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. Participants can learn the six steps in designing a butterfly garden to attract butterflies.To register for this free lecture, visit tinyurl.com/y8jmnm4h.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The Pasco County Historical Society will meet July 20 at 7 p.m., at the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer

Atonement Lutheran Church, 29167 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, continues to offer Drive-Thru Prayer under the portico every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Stop by; you can stay in your car. Our Caring Ministry partners are there to share your cares and concerns in prayer. Everyone is welcome. Tampa Orchid Club will meet July 24 at the Northdale Recreation Center, 15550 Spring Pine Drive in Tampa. Bill Thoms, an expert Bulbophyllum grower/breeder, will present a talk on general orchid culture and will demystify “Bulbos,” a diverse Florida friendly orchid genus. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., with the meeting beginning at 10 a.m. There will be a bloom table where experts discuss orchids brought in by members; plants for sale; and a silent auction. For additional information call Barbara Barkhurst at (813) 949-7467.

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More programs, initiatives on tap at PHSC, provost says By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

Pasco-Hernando State College — which recently has been recognized as one of the top schools in the nation for its return on educational investment — continues to add new programs and initiatives. That was the message that Dr. Stan Giannet, the college’s provost, delivered to a crowd at a recent Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the Golden Corral. The state college received notification from the Department of Education last month that it was one of the top schools for affordability in bachelor’s degree programs. And, earlier this year,WalletHub, a national economic magazine, ranked PHSC among the top three community colleges in the nation for return on educational investment, out of more than 800 candidate schools.The WalletHub study took into account student learning outcomes plus the cost. “We’re a major state power in higher education,” said Giannet, who has been at PHSC for more than 27 years. Giannet, also PHSC’s vice president of academic affairs, said the college has “exceeded every metric” from employability, to test score passage rates in workforce

KEVIN WEISS

Pasco-Hernando State College provost Dr. Stan Giannet was the featured guest speaker at the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce July 5 monthly breakfast meeting at Golden Corral. He discussed some of the new programs and initiatives the state college has in the works.

programs — suggesting over 95 percent of PHSC students who graduate with associate of science degrees or receive technical certificates find employment in their chosen career field. “There’s nothing worse for a college to do than to have a degree program where

students invest money, invest time, get out in the workforce and (find) they’re not employable in the industry or the career of their choice.We don’t have that,” he said. The state college provides training for more than 30 careers in business, health, industry and technology, and public service through new bachelor’s degree,Associate in Science degree and certificate programs. And, while he’s proud of the institution’s growth and achievements over time, the college has much more on tap, Giannet said. The state college has more than 15,000 students and 500 faculty and staff members across its five full-service campuses in Brooksville, Dade City, New Port Richey, Spring Hill and Wesley Chapel. Giannet told the crowd:“We have a lot of things in the pipeline.” The state college is building a $15.5 million performing arts instructional center, expected to be complete by Aug. 2020. The facility will be built on a 5.5-acre tract of land donated by Pasco County Schools on the campus of Cypress Creek Middle High School, off Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel.

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The state college plans to develop an Associate’s of Science degree in digital design and graphic multi-media technologies, and, Associates of Arts degrees in dance, music, and theatre. Several accompanying technical certificate programs also will be offered through the arts center. The arts center will be shared with Pasco County Schools, and will be a venue for various community events. “It’s going to be fantastic,” Giannet said. The college also is working on other degree offerings, he said. The college offers two four-year degree programs currently, and is working to identify a third, Giannet said.The current four-year

degrees, introduced in 2014, are for a bachelor of science in nursing and a bachelor of applied science in supervision and management.The college also is working with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to develop an A.S. degree in crime scene technology and forensics. That program will likely be offered at the Dade City campus, with clinical training opportunities at the Adam Kennedy Forensics Field “body farm” on the grounds of the Pasco Sheriff’s detention facility in Land O’ Lakes, The college also is gearing up for several contract and corporate workforce training programs that are set to come online. Among them are a 911 training program for the Hernando Sheriff’s Office; a child protection services leadership program for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office; a medical scribe exclusive online training program; and, a childhood education certification program for the Pasco and Hernando school districts. Elsewhere, PHSC is expanding its welding technology program to the west side of the county. The welding program has been offered on the Dade City campus. Now, Giannet said night classes will be available Marchman Technical College in New Port Richey, thanks to a developmental partnership between the college and Pasco County Schools. That expansion is much needed due to an increased demand for certified welders and lack of programming the county’s west side, the provost said. “We have a huge waiting list for welding on this (east) side of the county,” Giannet said. Our welders, when they graduate from our college, they’re snatched up by the industry. “It’s a win-win situation for our community,” he added. Giannet also talked about the college’s new aviation program, which debuted last year. The college offers four aviation-related associate degree programs — professional pilot technology, aviation administration, aviation maintenance administration, and unmanned vehicle systems. Several PHSC students have already become certified pilots — including a female pilot in what is “a traditionally male-dominated industry,” Giannet noted. He expects the program skyrocket in the coming years. “Aviation is going to be the hottest industry in the nation, with the impending shortage and retirement of all these aviation professionals...so we’re really excited for that program,” the provost said. The college is next looking to create more aviation partnership, with facilities such as the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport. It already has an existing partnership with American Aviation Flight Academy, at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport, he said.

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Members of the GFWC New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club, from left, Jenny Sharpless, Haadhaq Lawrence and Raequel Tomsich, participate in the Women Build at Habitat for Humanity of East & Central Pasco County.

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The GFWC New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club is a part of the Greater Federation of Woman’s Clubs, Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs. The club has been instrumental in setting up libraries in schools, advocating for legislature regarding families and the community, and encouraging change at a local level. Members also can participate in community service projects. For example, last year, several members signed up as guardians and accompanied veterans from World War II,Vietnam and the Korean War on a trip to Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C., as part of Honor Flight of West Central Florida. Club members also traveled to Aruba and joined 64 ladies representing GFWC Junior Woman’s Clubs from around the United States to assist the Woman’s Club of Aruba with several projects. Members have also spent time mentoring young ladies of the Pasco Girl Power program at Lacoochee Elementary. Some of the club’s other projects include: TPD Rich House, Sunrise of Pasco, Meals on Wheels of Tampa, Trinity Café,

March for Babies Walk, and “Share the Love” and “Reverse Trick or Treat” at The Legacy of Highwoods Preserve. Haadhaq Lawrence, incoming president, announced her theme for the 2018-2019 year — Change Agents: Utilizing the power to make a difference with skills, confidence, power, courage and relationships. Lawrence explained, in a release,“Being a change agent takes you and me and our efforts to change the world we live in. Each individual... has made an impact on the lives of so many people and our goal for this coming club year is to recruit more change agents to aid in our mission.” The New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club has been awarded the highest honor a Junior Club in Florida can receive — the Mary Clark Award, for the most outstanding club in the state.This is the fourth time the club has received this award. While the club takes a brief break over the summer, the GFWC New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club will be accepting new members this fall. The group meets from August through May, on the second Monday of each month, at the New Tampa Regional Public Library. For membership information, visit GFWCNewTampaJuniors.org, or email juniors@GFWCNewTampaJuniors.org.


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Health

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Wellness Send health news to news@lakerlutznews.com

SKIN SEMINAR Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will offer a seminar called “Let’s Talk About Your Skin” on July 12 at 5 p.m., at Inspiration Place, Wellness Plaza, third floor. The guest speaker will be Lolita Wilczar, medical esthetician. Participants can learn how to care for skin to keep it healthy and glowing; advanced approaches to skin care; and, the aging process and effective ways to combat cellular damage. Reservations are required by calling (844) 504-9378 or visiting FHWesleyChapel.org/Events.

HEARING SCREENINGS

The Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida will offer free hearing screenings and free amplified phones to Florida residents with hearing loss July 16 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, at 8061 Congress St., in New Port Richey. This is a new monthly program in collaboration with The Volunteer Way. For information, call (727) 312-3881.

BLADDER HEALTH

Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will present “Urinary Incontinence and Bladder Health” on July 17 at noon, in the fourthfloor classroom. The guest speaker will be Dr. Gina Kirkpatrick, urology. Topics will include accidental leakage; abnormal urges to urinate; needing to go eight or more times a day; and signs, symptoms and treatment options. A light lunch will be provided. Reservations are required by calling (844) 504-9378 or visiting FHWesleyChapel.org/Events.

GULFSIDE BENEFIT

Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care will host a Charity Casino Night on July 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Gulfside’s West Clinical Office, 6117 Trouble Creek Road in New Port Richey. The event will feature mystery prize drawings, a silent auction, and casino-style gaming. All proceeds will benefit hospice patients and their families in Pasco County.

COURTESY OF ALZHEIMER’S FAMILY ORGANIZATION

Project aims to help ease frustration

Members of the Brooksville Girl Scout Troop 24302 earned their sewing badges by creating Fidget Mats for the Alzheimer’s Family Organization. The mats may help sooth the agitated fidgeting of those with dementia. The West Hernando Branch of the Hernando County Library donated the space and provided free introductory sewing lessons for the project, and the scouts completed 10 fidget mats. Members of the troop are Alexa Brook, Isabel Shelby, Madeline Grob, Hannah Opyoke and Ami Rodriguez, under the leadership of Sarah Shelby and Angela Brook.

Event gaming tickets are $35 per person in advance and $40 at the door. Admission includes three hours of gaming, fun money tokens, door prizes, hors d’oeuvres, one free drink and a photo booth souvenir. Guests must be age 21 and older, and cocktail attire is requested. Tickets can be purchased online at CharityCasinoNight.org. For information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Leesa Fryer at (727) 845-5707 or leesa.fryer@ghppc.org.

ADULT DAY CENTER HONORED

Jaime’s Adult Day Centers, of Lutz, has been recognized by the National Adult Day Services Association as an Adult Day Services Center of Distinction for its outstanding service and unique activities for its members. The center’s monthly programming is developed by a certified recreation therapist and encompasses social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical activities. Social wellness considers satisfaction in personal relationships with family and friends, and participation in the community Emotional wellness considers one’s ability to recognize, accept and manage feelings, strengths and limitations. Spiritual health considers the connection with a higher being. Intellectual wellness looks at skills and knowledge within the individual.

And, physical well-being considers activities, such as exercise and a balanced diet. Activities at Jaime’s range from themed parties to pet therapy with teacup goats. There also are Zumba Gold classes, resistance training and yoga; expressive arts and music therapy; daily prayer, and more. For information, call (813) 527-6315.

HOSPITAL ADDS NEW ER DEPARTMENT

Morton Plant North Bay Hospital has completed the final phase of its emergency department, continuing to improve care for the West Pasco community. Morton Plant’s new emergency department opened last December for patient care, featuring private treatment rooms, a spacious waiting area, nature-inspired artwork and contemporary design touches. The final phase added a 15-bed unit for those requiring more observation or monitoring and four additional treatment rooms, bring the total to 28 private treatment rooms. The permanent ambulance entrance also has opened. The hospital is at 6600 Madison St., in New Port Richey.

TOPS PROGRAM

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at the JF Swartsel Lodge, 3109 Lutz Lake Fern Road in Lutz, every Wednesday.

Weigh-in is from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., followed by a meeting until 10:30 a.m. The cost is $5 a month, or $32 for the year. New members are welcome. For information, call (813) 908-3587.

STRENGTH AND BALANCE

Silver Sneakers Flex Strength & Balance Classes take place on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., and Fridays at 10:30 a.m., at The Groves Golf and Country Club Civic Center in Land O’ Lakes. These are low-impact classes for men and women, designed to improve flexibility and balance, which can help prevent falls, broken hips, and more. Admission is free to Silver Sneakers members and $5 per session for non-members. For more information, please contact Tom Marbell at (352) 409-2984 or Trainwithtomm@gmail.com.

NAMI FAMILY SUPPORT

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Pasco offer a NAMI Family Support Group the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. The group is open to family members and caregivers of someone with a mental illness diagnosis. For information, call (727) 992-9653, or visit NAMIpasco.org.

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A Smoothie Just For You Special to The Laker / Lutz News

Have you had your smoothie today? No matter the time of day, a smoothie can be an energy drink, dessert, snack or even a nutritious meal. “Smoothies are a universal food. We can make it fruity, make it healthy, and even make it a little naughty and extra sweet,” said Murtaza Choilawala, a local Planet Smoothie owner. “No matter your mood, a smoothie can satisfy all your food desires and needs.” Choilawala is part owner of four Planet Smoothie establishments, including a new Planet Smoothie across from The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. “We open at seven in the morning, and many days we already have four or five customers waiting outside to get their smoothie for the day, especially people looking for healthy alternatives to typical fast-food breakfasts,” Choilawala said. Planet Smoothie uses fresh ingredients that include apples, blueberries, strawberries, acai, chia seeds, matcha green tea, leafy greens, wheatgrass, whole grain oats, almond milk, and many more healthy ingredients. “We pride ourselves on the use of fresh fruit,” Choilawala said. “We use real fruit, which means we peel our bananas and core our apples. Other fruits are flash frozen as soon as they’re picked, so they retain their flavors and nutrients.” Planet Smoothie prides itself on its all-natural selection. It uses Truvia, a stevia-based sweetener that is naturally made, and does not use any artificial flavorings or sweeteners. To help customers quickly find the smoothie best for them, Planet Smoothie menus are organized by the

health benefits of particular smoothie groups. “If you look at the Planet Smoothie menu, it’s divvied up by lifestyle,” Choilawala said. “What is your goal? Do you want a smoothie to give you energy, help you lose weight, or supplement your nutrient and protein intake for the day?” asked Choilawala. Planet Smoothie also offers a list of add-ins, and encourages customers to experiment and pick their own flavors to create their own custom smoothie. “We can work with you to create whatever you want,” said Choilawala. “Typically, if you give us a few fruits, we’ll start you off at a base. Or, we can just swap out strawberries and bananas for something else. We’re pretty flexible — you don’t have to follow a menu.” Choilawala also emphasizes that Planet Smoothie focuses on more than just product quality. “Although we are a franchise model, each store is locally owned and operated. We’re a family business,” he said. “Customer service is a big focus for the Planet Smoothie brand. It’s not just a great smoothie, but it’s a great experience. We train our employees to make sure that they meet the needs of the customer.” Try a smoothie at the new Planet Smoothie Wesley Chapel location off State Road 56, directly across from The Shops at Wiregrass.

Send school news to news@lakerlutznews.com

COLLEGE WORKSHOP

The Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library, 1505 Nebraska Ave., in Tampa, will host a College Readiness Workshop for high school students July 21 at 10:15 a.m. Assistance will be provided to help high school students understand resources for researching potential colleges, scholarships and other financial help, as well as how to prepare applications and get ready for the next chapter in life. For information, call (813) 273-3652.

PROGRAM APPLICATIONS

Pasco-Hernando State College is accepting applications for the Bachelor of Science in nursing online degree program that will start in August. Those interested must complete an application and submit an essay no later than 7:30 p.m., July 24. The BSN program prepares currently licensed RNs who have an Associate in Science in nursing, or diploma graduates of nursing programs, with additional skills in management, leadership, theory and research. For information, visit PHSC.edu.

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

Hillsborough County officials awarded scholarships to 59 students, to assist them in reaching their goals and recognizing them for their academic achievements. Hillsborough County Social Services partners annually with the Community Action Board to offer scholarships worth up to $5,000 to eligible students. Recipients include both high school and college students, and are selected on thorough evaluations of their application materials. The institutions of higher learning with award recipients include: Bethune-Cookman

University, Clark Atlanta University, Hillsborough Community College, Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Lake Erie College, LIM College, Northwest Missouri State University, Saint Leo University, Southeastern University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of the Ozarks, University of South Florida, University of West Florida and Vanderbilt University.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Dean’s List: • Kelly Barry, of Odessa, Clemson University, South Carolina • Matthew Berube, of Lutz, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania • Mackenzie Morgan Cuffe, of Odessa, Clemson University • Nathan Mansour, of Odessa, University of Dayton, Ohio • Caroline Amanda Meisner, of Lutz, Greensboro College, North Carolina • Vinayak Ruia, of Lutz, Georgia Institute of Technology • Taylor Trumbetti, of Lutz, University of Delaware President’s List: • Amanda K. Clifford, of Lutz, University of Alabama • Kelly Mcdermott, of Lutz, University of Alabama • Samantha Politano, of Land O’ Lakes, Florida State University • Andrew Jacob Scwitzgebel, of Lutz, University of Alabama Degrees: • Alexander Botex, of Lutz, Master of Engineering-mechanical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York • Russell Ludwig Perciavalle, of Lutz, Bachelor of Science-accounting and business administration from Washington and Lee University,Virginia • Justin Lee Roberts, of Wesley Chapel, Associate of Arts, Rogers State University, Oklahoma • Jasmine Vann, of Lutz, Bachelor of Science-human services from Springfield College, Massachusetts

1942 Bruce B Downs Blvd • Wesley Chapel 813-388-9585 M-F 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-9pm, Su 10am-7pm COURTESY OF PASCO EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Forty-four Pasco County 12th-graders received a Take Stock in Children scholarship.

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July 11, 2018

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TAKING STOCK IN THE FUTURE

Take Stock in Children, a program with the Pasco Education Foundation, awarded 44 Pasco County 12th-graders a Take Stock in Children scholarship.These students completed a multi-year commitment to the program by maintaining good grades, attendance, behavior, and remaining drug and crime-free. Each student will receive a tuition-paid scholarship for up to four years of college. Recipients pictured: Marwa Ali, Alivia Aguilar, Gabrielle Bryant Brown, Ajhani Burgess, Frankkeishia Butler, Adib Butt, Emily Chappell, Kody Condento, Elizabeth Cooper, Karina Deschamps, Kobie Doerr, Brionna DuPree, Dale Dupree, Eden Faison, Christopher Feliciano, Henry Ferreiro, Samorie Floyd, Paola Gines,

Reynaldo Gonzalez, Faith Graves, Michael Guastella, Josiah Guzman, Haley Jacobs, Alyssa Laliberte,Arturo Leis-Pretto, Jordan Meath, Ashanti Mitchell, Jordan Nowak, Aviana Poole, Gwendolyn Price, Jamyra Rainey, Samantha Rodriguez, Kimberly Ruiz, Rachel Ryel, Natalie Santos, Darryl Scott,Yaisel Sifuentes Soto, Chelsea Smith, Tichino Smith, Kiersten Spatz, Shelby Stanley, Kayla Stedman, Elizabeth Sutton, Cordelia Truesdale and Katherine Wiggins. Take Stock in Children is an awardwinning program that provides scholarships, mentors and hope for a better future to deserving, yet at-risk, children. To learn more, please visit TakeStockPasco.org.


SCHOOLS, from page 1A Zephyrhills High School, which includes adding capacity • Continuing the Land O’ Lakes High and Woodland Elementary projects • Beginning construction of Cypress Creek Middle School • Continuing design of Starkey K-8 • Working with the Pasco County library system on the Starkey Library/Theater design • Purchasing 40 diesel buses, 40 radios and several fleet trucks and service vehicles • Purchasing more than 7,000 computers and laptops and about 1,290 iPads. As the district continues to build, it also continues to grow,Williams said. The big question is which areas will grow at the fastest pace, requiring new schools first, the planning director said. He gave board members an overview of the current situation. Odessa Elementary is projected to be at 114 percent, Williams said, adding that he expects relief for that school to come when Starkey K-8 opens, which is scheduled for 2021. “I’m also concerned about Connerton (Elementary).They’re projected to be at 944 students this coming year, or 124 percent of capacity,” he said. The district has opened up some additional seats at Sanders Memorial Elementary STEAM Magnet School, giving applications from Connerton students a higher priority, Williams said, so hopes that will help reduce Connerton’s enrollment. School board member Colleen Beaudoin also suggested the district do more to advertise Pine View Elementary School’s candidacy program for the IB Primary Years Programme. Some students might choose to attend Pineview, if the families knew about that program, she said. “Pine View and Connerton are so close. Maybe some families might want to get into that (IB) pipeline,” Beaudoin said. In Wesley Chapel, there are some schools near the new Union Park Charter Academy that are over capacity, but Williams expects the charter school to have significant impact on enrollment at nearby schools. “Union Park is up to 483 students,” Williams noted. In addition to affecting elementary enrollments, it also will affect middle schools because the charter school is for kindergarten through eighth grade students. Meanwhile, in Zephryhills, Woodland

PARK, from page 1A The park land is a legacy from about 80 acres once owned by the Hercules Powder Co. The company, which converted pine stumps into resin and turpentine, had been the city’s largest employer. The school board, which eventually came to own portions of the property, signed an agreement for Pasco County to operate the park. But, nearly eight years ago, Pasco closed the park as a cost-savings measure. The park has languished until the city and school board reached this new agreement. “Sometimes, it’s worth waiting for,” said Spina. In addition to the land, Zephyrhills would receive about $13,000, which could be used for general cleanup or possibly to cover demolition of structures at the park’s former aquatic center. The money is a donation from develop-

Major projects for 2018-2019: • Beginning renovation at Zephyrhills High School: Includes massive overhaul, as well as adding capacity. • Continuing major renovations at Land O’ Lakes High and Woodland Elementary • Starting construction on Cypress Creek Middle School • Continuing Starkey K-8 design • Working with the Pasco County library system on the Starkey Library/Theater design • Purchasing 40 diesel buses, 40 radios and several fleet trucks and service vehicles • Purchasing more than 7,000 computers and laptops, and about 1,290 iPads.

COURTESY OF ANDY AND SHANNON HERBON

Andy Herbon, left, and Shannon Herbon recently created a Florida tourism-related podcast, ‘Sunshine State of Mind.’

Elementary School’s enrollment is well over capacity, but the district is adding capacity at the school as part of the current renovation,Williams added. The district expects to increase its middle school capacity with the opening of Cypress Creek Middle in 2020 and with the opening Starkey K-8 in 2021. When Cypress Creek Middle opens, it will help to relieve crowding at Wiregrass Ranch, which is projected to be at 139 percent of its capacity. When the middle school opens, Cypress Creek High’s capacity will increase substantially. The district also is hoping to open an East Side Technical High School in 2022, which will affect enrollments at high schools on the east side of the county, Williams said. Williams said Central Pasco’s growth does pose challenges. “Sunlake High School is of concern because it still continues to grow,” he said. The district has a future high school in the Bexley area, as well as the Starkey area, Williams said. “We have to continue to evaluate when it makes sense to try to add additional capacity,” he added. The district’s construction needs and maintenance needs continue to grow, but it doesn’t have the revenues to match the needs, Swinson said, forcing the district to put off projects that are needed because it doesn’t have the money. Projected revenues for capital purposes remain lower than they were in 2007-2008, she said. ers who bought park acreage from the school board at the corner of Eiland and Gall boulevards. The site has a new WaWa gas station and convenience store, which recently had a grand opening. As part of the agreement, Zephyrhills’ officials agreed that the remaining park land would be kept for public use only. Spina said area schools would be able to use the park for special events. A master plan for Hercules Park is under consideration, but Spina said no decisions have been finalized. In 2017, plans for the park included trails, a picnic area, a trailhead for bicyclists and an outdoor center. But, Spina said, “It’s not our intent to open the aquatic center.” A decision also must be made on what to do with a building located by the swimming pool, he added. Some playground equipment remains at the park, but Spina said, “It might be replaced. It’s badly out of date and doesn’t meet ADA (Americans with Disability Act) standards.”

PODCAST, from page 1A wrapping up her master’s degree in digital media this spring from University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She figured a podcast would make for the perfect thesis project. They’ve been recording ever since, making it a regular part of their weekly routine, from their home studio.“After you do it, it kind of gives you a little buzz, like,‘Yeah, that was fun,’”Andy said of podcasting. In each episode, which run about 40 minutes, Shannon and Andy discuss, review and debate destinations and tourism news throughout the state. Podcast topics have included “Our Summer 2018 Bucket List,” “Ten Amazing Places Floridians Don’t Want You to Know About,”“Ten Tips for Saving Money at Walt Disney World,” and “Florida Tourist Trap Alternatives.” Said Andy,“People love lists. It’s a way to break it down easy - easy to digest.” Other episodes have been reviews of entertainment venues such as TopGolf, Legoland Florida and other spots along the Interstate 4 corridor. Yet, the podcasters don’t just focus on major tourist attractions such as Disney World, Busch Gardens or Universal Studios, nor the state’s collection of well-known beaches. They also like to dive deep into lesserknown locales, such as Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy, known for its bison and wild horses; Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, a contemplative garden and bird sanctuary; and, Devil’s Den Spring in Williston, where divers, swimmers and snorkelers travel in an underground spring inside a dry cave. Locally, they’ll share tips and ideas about some of their regular adventure staples like Hillsborough River State Park and Lettuce Lake Park. Sometimes the banter comically spreads to other Florida-related topics, such as to whether the state truly can be considered part of the South. Andy and Shannon happen to be at opposite ends of that debate. “It’s the south, geographically, but culturally it’s not the South,” says Andy, who moved to Tampa from Chicago in 2001. Shannon quickly counters, as a sixth generation Floridian born in Tampa and raised in Land O’ Lakes:“My argument is that just because all of the northerners came and invaded doesn’t mean that those of us from Florida aren’t Southern.”

THIS PODCAST IS PICKING UP LISTENERS

Lighthearted quibbles aside, “Sunshine

State of Mind” has steadily grown in popularity. After telling several friends and family members about the podcast, word-of-mouth eventually spread to complete strangers, many who’ve come to use it as a resource for upcoming vacations to Florida. The podcast has a 5-star peer review rating (the highest possible rating) on iTunes among 34 reviewers. Each episode has averaged anywhere between 150 to 200 downloads, Shannon said. The most popular episode is “Ten Tips for Saving Money at Walt Disney World” with more than 300 downloads, closely followed by “Our Summer of 2018 Bucket List.” Also, the podcast’s official Twitter page has nearly 3,000 followers and YouTube page has more than 1,400 subscribers. “It’s been a lot more successful off the beginning than we thought,”Andy said, noting the number of listeners increases each week. Shannon added:“Every once in a while when we do hear from strangers it’s like, ‘Wow, people are actually listening! What a thought?’ It’s kind of surreal because it’s only been a couple of months.” Living in a subtropical state where others vacation is something the Herbons try not to take for granted, especially Andy, who came from the cold Midwest. He explained:“Up there you’re stuck indoors six months out of the year and you really can’t do anything, and here, the festival season is great here during the winter time; there’s just so much to do all the time.” Added Shannon:“(Andy) kind of opened my eyes to,‘Wow, we really do have amazing things here,’ because to him, it was all new…” They try to instill the same mindset into their kids, who are ages 10 and 11. Said Shannon,“We don’t want them indoors, on their screens all day. We want them outdoors, experiencing Florida, having fun and being active…” For families looking to get their kids out of the house this summer, Andy and Shannon highly recommend a visit to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, in Spring Hill. The park, which opened in 1947, is renowned for its live mermaid shows, river boat cruises, animal shows and Florida’s only spring-fed water park, Buccaneer Bay. “I feel like it’s so underrated,”Andy said of Weeki Wachee. “It’s such a great park,” Shannon added. “It’s very ‘Old Florida’, like ‘Old Florida’ nostalgia. They have the waterpark, which is included with the admission, and you can swim in a spring; it’s beautiful.” For information on Sunshine State of Mind, visit SunshineStatePodcast.com or email the Herbons at contact@sunshinestatepodcast.com.

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July 11, 2018

11A


Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source

Distance runner receives Academic All-State honors By Kevin Weiss

2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

A

s he was busy shattering school records in cross country and track, Freedom High School’s Alejandro Michel was also leading the pack in the classroom — posting a weighted 8.8285 grade-point average and earning salutatorian honors for the Class of 2018. Those accomplishments resulted in a rare statewide designation for student-athletes: Alejandro Michel was one of 24 athletes named to the Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team. The recognition program honors graduating seniors who excel in both athletics and academics. He was just one of 12 male athletes receiving the honor. Each Academic All-State Team member was recognized at a banquet on June 11 in Gainesville. Each also received a $1,700 scholarship and a commemorative medallion. “Really, a big honor,” Michel said of the prestigious student-athlete designation, in a recent interview with The Laker/Lutz News. “Throughout high school my two main focuses were really just running and academics, so, this was something I genuinely enjoyed.” The 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team selection committee received applications from 146 qualified student-athletes and evaluated them based on athletic participation, academic record, extracurricular activities, community service, and essay. Michel, who graduated in May, checked all those boxes — and then some. Besides being Freedom High’s secondhighest ranked graduate, Michel earned his associate’s degree from Hillsborough Community College. He also was a member of the mathematics honor society, Mu Alpha Theta, where he placed third in the Calculus division of the Math Bowl. Athletically, as a four-year member of the track and cross country teams, Michel set school records in the cross country 5K (16:18), and, in the 1,600 meter (4:35.26) and 3,200 meter (9:50.66) runs for track, respectively.

COURTESY OF ALEJANDRO MICHEL

As a four-year member of Freedom High’s track and cross country teams, Alejandro Michel set school records in the cross country 5K (16:18), and, in the 1,600 meter (4:35.26) and 3,200 meter (9:50.66) runs for track. He plans to try out for the Florida State University track team at some point, and hopes to run professionally or semi-professionally.

When not busy with studies or running, Michel tutored students in math and spent hours volunteered at the Florida Hospital in Tampa. Balancing the many demands came naturally to Michel. That’s because, according to him, distance running and education are perfect complements to one another in establishing a positive, well-balanced lifestyle. The discipline, dedication and focus required to excel in distance running also helped him focus in his studies. “I think they both aid each other really well,” Michel said.“I can’t see myself being just a runner, and, I can’t see myself being just a student. Really, if I get tired of running, I like learning, and, when I get tired of learning, I can take a break outside and go for a run.” He added:“Distance runners share a certain mentality they can’t find in other sports, maybe in a few other endurance sports. Running is special, not just for skill and being physically fit, but mentally, as well.” When he was a freshman, he woke each weekday at 3 a.m. to go for a run before school. Then, he would run with the cross country and track teams after school. It was

lights out at 6 p.m. “It was definitely tough,” Michel said of the two-a-days, “but it set me up well to break records in the next couple years.”

UP NEXT: COLLEGE AND MORE RUNNING

Michel plans to attend Florida State University this fall. He intends to major in statistics and minor in computer science through an accelerated program which will allow him to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in three years. Career-wise, he’s determined to become an actuary and pursue a professional or semiprofessional running career, on the side. Michel said he’ll formally try out for the FSU track team at some point, but may take this year to train on his own. He recently began training with a new running coach who’s geared workouts for longer races, such as 8Ks and 10Ks, and eventually marathons. Frankly, Michel can’t picture himself not being a competitive runner. “I tell myself,‘If I’m willing to run, I might as well give it my all,’” Michel said. He added:“When you’re really becoming successful, you can either look at the idea of

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced the 24 student-athletes for the 24th annual Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team, a recognition program that honors graduating seniors who excel in both athletics and academics. One of the more important special recognition programs the FHSAA sponsors, a total of 12 girls and 12 boys from across the state received a total of $50,000 in scholarships. The 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team selection committee received applications from 146 qualified student-athletes and evaluated them based off of athletic participation, academic record, extracurricular activities, community service, and essay.

becoming successful as a motivator, or, you can really like the process — and with running, I really enjoy running.” The runner lists his mother, Zandra Michel, and younger brother, Max Michel, as key influences in his academic and athletic prowess. He recalls being in fifth grade, regularly jogging 5 miles with his mother as the start of his running career.“Eventually, I got to the point where I was able to not only maintain with her, but eventually pass her,” he said. Max, meanwhile, also pushed him to succeed. They are two of seven siblings, close enough in age that Max also graduated high school this year, from Middleton High School. Like his brother, Max has also made a name for himself, last year being elected national president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). It is the world’s largest student career organization, boasting 230,000 students. The younger sibling also was a member of his school’s swim team, appearing in multiple district and regional meets. The brothers will room with each other at FSU this fall.

CHECK Karate academy captures 27 medals at nationals

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COURTESY OF LES BOROWSKI

Wesley Chapel’s Keiko Shin Karate Academy 27 medals, including 16 gold medals, at the AAU/USA Karate National Championships. The June 27 to June 30 event was held at the Broward Convention Center, in Fort Lauderdale. COURTESY OF DARLA SARHADDI

SUNLAKE GOLFER SHINES AT PRESTIGIOUS TOURNAMENT Sunlake High senior Jordan Sarhaddi earned a top 10 finish at the 69th annual Press Thornton Future Masters golf tournament in Dothan,Alabama, firing a combined 2-under par over three rounds (69-70-69— 207) to finish in a three-way tie for eighth place in the boys 15-18 division. Sarhaddi was among 240 golfers in his age group to compete in the prestigious event at the Dothan Country Club, held June 28 to June 30. Sarhaddi, along with Plant High’s Carson Moran (also 2-under par) represented the highest finishers from the state of Florida. The Future Masters serves as one of four major tournaments that is held for junior golfers every year.The list of PGA Tour players who have competed in the Future Masters includes Patrick Reed who won the masters this year, Bubba Watson who is the first player on Tour to have three wins this year, and many others.

FALL GIRLS BASKETBALL LEAGUE IN LAND O’ LAKES

Registration is ongoing for the inaugural GO (Girls Only) Fall Basketball League, which runs from July 28 to Sept. 15 and is open to girls ages 6 to 13. The league, operated by Sunlake High School varsity girls basketball coach Reesa Pledge and former Division I basketball player Christina Watlington, will focus on fundamentals and skill development. All games will be played on Saturdays, while league practices will take place Monday or Wednesdays nights at the Sunlake High School gymnasium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Cost is $100 per player. For more information, visit facebook.com/GoBasketballnow or e-mail the coaching staff at gobasketballnow@gmail.com. To register, visit 123formbuilder.com/form3733826/Event-Registration-Form

SEND SPORTS NEWS TO KWEISS@LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM

COURTESY OF DENNIS CASTELLANO JR.

Undefeated!

Land O’ Lakes’ Pasco Piranhas 12U baseball club last month won the Cal Ripken ‘Iron Forge’ Experience tournament, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, going a perfect 9-0, besting teams Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Canada and Georgia. In the championship game, the Piranhas defeated the Big Stix Gamers, of McDonough, Georgia, 4-3.

SoUtHeRn

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July 11, 2018

Once again, Wesley Chapel’s Keiko Shin Karate Academy (KSKA) shined at the AAU/USA Karate National Championships, bringing home a combined 27 medals, including 16 gold medals in kata, kumite and team kumite events. Seventeen KSKA athletes, ages from 6 to 18, competed in the June 27 to June 30 nationals in Fort Lauderdale, which featured 3,000 elite, top karate competitors from the United States and beyond. The karate academy, under the guidance of sensei Ernesto Fuentes, has experienced similar success in the major competition in previous years. In 2015, KSKA took 20 students to the AAU nationals in Raleigh, North Carolina, and returned with 34 medals, including 22 gold medals.The next year, the team claimed 17 medals at nationals. The academy is located at 3753 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. For more information, call (813) 994-9253, or visit KeikoShin.com.

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

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J U LY 1 1 , 2 0 1 8

Lutz Independence Day has tradition, flair By Randy Underhill Special to The Laker/Lutz News

T

he atmosphere was festive as thousands converged on the community of Lutz to celebrate the Fourth of July, on a bright, sunshiny day. The event included a 5-K, a 1-mile fun run, a baking contest, a flag-raising ceremony, a baking contest and, the main attraction — a parade. This Independence Day marked the nation’s 242 birthday, and was the 74th time that Lutz to celebrate. Vendors were there early, along with a small display of antique farm tractors. Hundreds of runners for the 5-K and for 1-mile fun run were there early, too, warming up for their races. The color guards for Boy Scout Troop 12 and the Civil Air Patrol presided over the flag-raising ceremony in front of the Lutz Branch Library. People set up their chairs and blankets along the parade route, or sat on the bleachers across from the library. And, the colors of the day were red, white and blue. Parade-watchers had plenty to see in a fun-filled, parade that lasted nearly two hours and boasted 63 entries this year. Vehicles drove by, flashing lights and sirens, and parade participants tossed candy and beads to the delight of children along the route. The stage of Lutz’s Train Depot building was the setting for annual changing of the guard, as last year’s Honorary Guv’na Kori Rankin passed along the coveted sash to Domenic DiFante, this year’s winner. This year, the fundraiser brought in more than $13,600 in donations. The cake auction was a big hit, as the 22 entries — including cakes, cupcakes and a 5-pound apple pie — fetched bids ranging from $25 to $125. The GFWC Lutz-Land O' Lakes Woman's Club, Inc., the Lutz Civic Association and several local businesses sponsored this year’s celebration.

RANDY UNDERHILL

A large crowd gathers along the parade route and watches as Canine Companions proceeds to downtown Lutz.

Grandmother Luz Breton, of Lutz holds a bag for 2-year-old Eva Jimeno, as the other girls, Sofia Caban, age 7, Victoria Caban, age 4, and Bella Jimeno, age 4, collect candy and beads tossed from the parade entries at the Lutz Independence Day celebration.

Jennifer Rankin, right, swears in Domenic DiFante as the new Honorary Guv’na of Lutz, on the platform of the Lutz Train Depot.

Brian Zebrowski, of Lutz, hands his 6-year-old daughter, Gabriella, a treat from the Atomic Trolle, while 4-yearold Tre’Anna Harrison and grandmother Michelle Bollman,owner of the treat mobile, look on.

The top bidder for the Army Truck cake was June Mussleman, who won with a bid of $25. The cake was created by Sarah Robison, age, 15, of Lutz. Andrew Delaney, age 9, a Trinity Oaks student, sits atop an antique Ford tractor as grandpa Rohn Harmer,75, stands by. Both grandpa and grandson took part in the run, with Andrew placing third in the 1-mile run.

The flag-raising ceremony was conducted by the color guards of Boy Scout Troop 12 and the Civil Air Patrol, Carmen Rae sang the Star Spangled Banner, in front of the Lutz Branch Library during the Lutz Independence Day festivities.

The start of the 8 am 5-K run heading west on Lutz Lake Fern Road. There were 337 runners in the 5K and 108 runners in the 1-mile run. Sixteenyear-old Jake Turner, from Brandon won the 5-k with a time of 16:20.


Mike is a great companion Mike is a 9-year-old border collie that was found at a rescue eight years ago. At that time, he had never been in a car or a house and was not house-broken, due to abuse through neglect. Mike has come a long way. He has earned several obedience titles and is a certified therapy dog. Most of all, he is a wonderful companion to, and member of, the Pietropaoli family of Land O’ Lakes.

Bella is a lovely lady

Bella is a smoky grey girl that arrived at the shelter in March, after her owner unfortunately passed away. Animal Services’ veterinarians do recommend that she has a follow-up with your regular veterinarian for senior lab work. Bella loves to spend time snuggling in her bed.

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If you would like to adopt Bella or Little Foot, be sure to visit Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes. The adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. All adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines. For more information, email adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net.

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LOCAL WILDLIFE Watching from a distance Siri Abeyratne, of Wesley Chapel, came upon this alligator sunning itself. An alligator will control its body temperature by basking in the sun.

PET PAWS PETS AND DISASTER Plan to take your pet with you in an evacuation • Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route accept pets. If you know you may need to evacuate, call ahead for a reservation. Ask if no-pet policies can be waived in an emergency. • Most Red Cross shelters do not allow pets, but will allow service animals. • Your pets may be more comfortable together, but be prepared to separate them, if necessary. • Include your pets in evacuation drills, so they become accustomed to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly. • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, and that your dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, upto-date information. Prepare an emergency supply kit for your pet.The kit should include: • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or a carrier • Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter, litter pan, a manual can opener • A first aid kit • Current photos of your pets, in case they get lost • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, the name and number of your veterinarian • Pet beds and toys if easily transportable Know what to do when a disaster approaches • At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements • Be sure your pets are wearing their collars

• Be sure your pet disaster kit is stocked • Bring your pets indoors, so you won’t be searching them if you have to leave quickly • Be aware that the behavior of your pet may change dramatically after a disaster, becoming more aggressive or defensive • Keep you pets under your direct control, as fences and gates may have been damaged • Be aware of hazards at nose, paw or hoof level, particularly debris, spilled chemicals, fertilizers or other substances that may pose a risk to your pets • Consult your veterinarian if any behavior problems persist For more information on emergency actions to take for livestock, horses, birds, reptiles or other small animals, such as gerbils or hamsters, visit RedCross.org, the Humane Society of the United States HSUS.org or Ready.gov. Source: American Red Cross

ANIMAL SERVICES PARK WALK

Pasco County Animal Services will host a Park Walk July 14 at 9 a.m., at Withlacoochee River State Park. Staff and volunteers from PCAS will have adoptable dogs participating in the walk, but guests can bring their own dog, too. Participants must follow these rules: • All dogs must be on a leash. No flex/retractable leashes will be permitted. • Clean up after your pet. Waste bags will not be provided. • Dogs are not allowed face-to-face contact. • Bring water and bowls for your pet. • One pet per handler at all times.

• Prong or electronic collars are not permissible. Plan to arrive early enough to allow yourself to find parking and for your pet to settle in. For information, call (813) 929-1212.

SPECIAL OFFERS FROM PCAS

Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes, offers these specials: Extended-Stay Assistance Adoption Program: All adopters taking home an animal in the care of the shelter for 100 days or more receive 50 percent off their adoption fee.The discount does not apply to a county-required license. Military/First Responders Adoption Program: All active, retired or reserve military personnel, as well as fire, police and emergency responders, receive 50 percent off their adoption fee. Adoption discount does not include county-required pet license. Seniors for Seniors Adoption Program: Anyone age 55 and older may adopt any animal 5 years of age or older for a waived adoption fee, which includes microchip implant, spay/neuter surgery and all vaccinations. County-required pet licensing is not included.

ALLIGATOR SAFETY ADVICE

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) works to keep Floridians and visitors informed by providing advice about living with alligators. Alligators become more active during the warm weather months and inhabit all 67 counties in Florida. They can be found anywhere there is standing water.

Although alligator bite incidents resulting in serious injury are rare in Florida, everyone should take precautions when in and around the water. Take precautions and swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. Also, keep pets on a leash and away from the water. Because alligators control their body temperature by basking in the sun, they can easily be observed. But, people still should keep their distance. Feeding alligators is dangerous and illegal. Most interactions consist of seeing alligators at a distance, however, if there is a concern about a specific alligator, FWC urges residents and visitors to call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) 3924286, to report the reptile they believe poses a threat. Learn more at MyFWC.com/Alligator.

SHARE YOUR PET NEWS

If you have pet news about adoptions, walks or other events for pet owners and their pets, you can let us know by sending us an email. We just need the basics: who, what, when, where and why. The information should be submitted two weeks prior to the desired publication date.We also need a contact name and number, in case we have questions. There is no guarantee of publication, but we consider each item we receive. If you’d like to make a submission, send it to news@lakerlutznews.com. Readers can now find Pets of the Week and Local Wildlife photos on our website at LakerLutznews.com, under the Pets/Wildlife link.

Your Family Chiropractor Yo For 40 years It is a great honor to be your hometown chiropractor for 40 years. We send our thanks and gratitude to our many patient families in Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Odessa, Spring Hill, Wesley Chapel, north Ta Tampa and greater T Ta ampa Bayy..

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July 11, 2018

3B


BUSINESS AWARDS

The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce held its 2018 Installation & Awards Banquet on June 29 at The Groves Golf & Country Club in Land O’ Lakes. Annual business awards were given to the following: • Large Business of the Year (tie) – Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and IERNA’s Heating & Cooling • Small Business of the Year – Architectural Signage & Printing • Civic/Non-profit Organization of the Year – Lutz/Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club • Community Service Award – Tony Masella • Member of the Year and Ambassador of the Year – Rosie Helm

Send business news to news@lakerlutznews.com

CO.STARTERS BUSINESS COURSE

SMARTStart Pasco’s CO.STARTERS program is starting a nine-week business curriculum on July 14 at the SMARTstart Dade City Entrepreneur Center, at 37837 Meridian Ave., in Dade City. Classes will be on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. July 11. The nine-week program will be led by a trained coach in a small, supportive group setting.The course is designed to build the foundations to launch a new product, service, or business week-by-week, by sharing ideas with people like yourself. The cost is $295. To register, visit Smartstartpasco.com/upcoming-sessions.

COURTESY OF CENTRAL PASCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Large Business of the Year (tie) Cayne Conover, left, David Gainer, Elayne Bassinger, Rob Kress of IERNA’s Heating & Cooling, Kurt Conover of Regional Medical Center Bayonet, and Les Saland.

MEMBERSHIP LUNCH

The Greater North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly membership lunch July 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1

Ambassador of the Year Rosie Heim, Ambassador of the year, left, Kathy Balthazard, Jim Englemann, Laure Taylor, Judi Fisher, Lyz Piper, Kimberly Smith, Michael Berthelette, and Kristie Dimarakis.

See BUSINESS DIGEST, page 5B

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You can register online at CentralPascoChamber.com. For more information, you can call the chamber at (813) 909-2722, or send an email to office@centralpascochamber.com.

COMMON GROUND PITCH BREAKFAST

SunTrust Bank will have its ribbon cutting July 11 from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., at 34511 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills. For information, contact the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce at (813) 782-1914.

SMARTstart CO.STARTERS will host the monthly “Common Ground Pitch Breakfast” July 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the SMARTstart Dade City Entrepreneur Center, at 37837 Meridian Ave., No. 309, in Dade City. Each month, two people present a fiveminute pitch to introduce their business ideas to Pasco County’s local entrepreneurial community. Each pitch is followed by a question-and-answer session, and an opportunity for feedback. The event if free.The SMARTstart programs are supported by the Pasco Economic Development Council. To register, please visit SmartstartPasco.com/events, or call Andrew Romaner, SMARTstart incubator program manager, at (352) 437-4861.

NETWORK BREAKFAST

NORTH TAMPA LUNCHEON

Send business news to news@lakerlutznews.com p.m., at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway in Trinity. The cost is $20, but please RSVP. For more information, please call the chamber at (813) 994-8534, or email office@northtampabaychamber.com.

SUNTRUST BANK OPENING

The Wednesday Morning Network Group will meet July 11 at 7:30 a.m., at Hungry Harry’s Family Bar-B-Que, at 3116 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Each attendee will be able to present a 30-second pitch. The sponsor is Copperstone Executive Suites. The cost is $10 at the door for members or guests.

The North Tampa Chamber of Commerce will have its July 2018 Momentum Thursday on July 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Atria Lutz, at 414 E. Chapman Road in Lutz. Guest speaker is Special Senior Agent Michael Horn, of the United States Secret Service. Horn will discuss cybersecurity including common scams and tips on how to

protect yourself. For early bird registration, RSVP online with credit card at NorthTampaChamber.com or by email to the chamber at Contact@northtampachamber.com by 5 p.m. July 11, at the discounted rate of $15 (whether you eat or not). After that date, the cost is $20 (whether you eat or not), payable at the door by cash, check or credit card. For information, call the chamber at (813) 563-0180.

STORAGE CENTER OPENS

Storage Center of Wesley Chapel will have its ribbon cutting and grand opening July 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 1891 Trout Creek, behind WaWa and Nutrition S’Mart, located at Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and State Road 56. For more information, contact Storage Center’s co-manager Bill Lehman at (727) 432-6636, or send an email to Billlehman77@yahoo.com.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce will have its general membership meeting July 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Suncoast Parkway, 2155 Northpointe Parkway, at Northpointe Village. Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley will be the guest speaker. The sponsor is Asturia-A Hines Community. The cost for members is $20 if paid by

July 12.Afterward, the cost is $25 for members and non-members. For more information, please call the chamber at (813) 909-2722, or email office@CentralPascoChamber.com.

COFFEE SOCIAL

The North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its Monthly Coffee Social on July 19 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Buttermilk Provisions, 2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. This is a “no agenda” event with time for social networking. For information, call Grace Martin at the chamber at (813) 994-8534, or visit NorthTampaBayChamber.com.

ZEPHYRHILLS MIXER

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will have a chamber mixer July 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Pin Chasers, 6818 Gall Blvd. in Zephryhills. For more information, please call the chamber at (813) 782-1913, or email admin@zephyrhillschamber.org.

COLDWELL BANKER TOP REALTORS

Coldwell Banker F. I. Grey & Son Residential Inc., announced the following Top Realtors for the month of June. Top selling agent by units is Eric Jenkins; and by volume, is Tricia Shade. Shade also is top producing agent by volume.Top listing agent by units and volume is Kristy Thurber.Top producing agents by units is Charles Pardee and Bob Werner (The Super-Agent Team).

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CATERING ASSOCIATES - FOOD PRODUCTION Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care in Land O’Lakes is hiring Food Production Catering Associates.

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6B

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Free roof program By Mary Rathman

mrathman@lakerlutznews.com

COURTESY OF PATRICIA SERIO

An ‘honor’ to be part of the celebration

Members of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club formed a caravan to travel to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to welcome home veterans who flew on an Honor Flight. The veterans visited the war memorials in Washington D.C., particularly the World War II monument. The woman’s club has for many years supported numerous projects benefiting veterans and active duty military. The Little Women of Lutz joined in to recognize active duty military members upon their arrival.

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SEE SOLUTIONS, PAGE 6B

The LAKER / Lutz NEWS

Now through July 27, 1st Choice Roofing Inc., of Hudson, is accepting nominations for its “No Roof Left Behind” campaign, a nationwide program that provides free roofs to local community members in need. Anyone can participate and nominate a friend, neighbor or family member. Nominees must own the home they are living in and be a resident of Pasco or Hernando County. All submissions must have at least one accompanying photo. The free roof recipient also must be current on his or her mortgage payments. The staff at 1st Choice Roofing will review all the nominees and select four finalists. The finalists’ stories and photos will be displayed on the 1st Choice website, and the public will be able to vote from Aug. 6 to Oct. 1. The winner will be revealed online on Oct. 15. Local businesses also can participate as sponsors or volunteers. “No Roof Left Behind is a great way to rally the community together,” said Ken Phillips, 1st Choice owner, in a news release. The program provides a local contractor the framework to provide a new roof at no cost to a deserving homeowner in need. Everyone can play a part, whether it is by swinging a hammer or donating services, products or time, Phillips said. For information about 1st Choice Roofing and its No Roof Left Behind program, call (727) 271-0360. Nominations can be submitted at 1stChoiceRoofers.com/free.

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7B


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

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

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8B

July 11, 2018

www.LakerLutzNews.com

The Laker-East Pasco-July 11, 2018  

New and renovated schools planned; Ownership agreement reached on Hercules Park; Wesley Chapel couple launches tourism-themed podcast

The Laker-East Pasco-July 11, 2018  

New and renovated schools planned; Ownership agreement reached on Hercules Park; Wesley Chapel couple launches tourism-themed podcast