Page 1

I’m For A Friendlier Florida

ONLY NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED IN ZEPHYRHILLS, “CITY OF PURE WATER” Y o u r H o m e t o w n n e w s p a p e r s i n c e 1 9 11

Thursday, December 8, 2011 100th Year - No. 11

PUSH-UP FUNDRAISER Wrestlers from Zephyrhills High do push-ups for pledges to raise money for Special Olympics and the school wrestling program. PAGE 8B

COMMENTARY Columnist Dave Walters echoes the sentiments of many Christians and other folks when he wishes a Merry Christmas, instead of happy holidays, to everyone.

FHZ flips switch for Christmas season Annual Tree decorating and lighting is enjoyed by thousands at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills By Dave Walters News Reporter

Mayor Cliff McDuffie and several thousand others counted down from 10. When they collectively hit zero, the lights of 53 Christmas trees glowed and the skies over Florida Hospital Zephyrhills lit up with fireworks Sunday. The joyous occasion was the 27th Annual Tree Decorating and Lighting at Florida Hospital. Trees representing all 50 states along with an international tree, a Canada tree and a tree honoring our troops were decorated by local groups and individuals. Ò IÕ ve been honored to do this nine times and it just kicks off the season in Zephyrhills,” McDuffie said. “It is a very valuable part of Zephyrhills and I am proud to be a part of it.Ó For some it is a labor of love. Charlie Grigelevich and her friends took their love for their home state of Rhode Island and put it into the Rhode Island Christmas Tree. Ò Most of us lived in Rhode Island and others were from nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts. Last year we saw many

➤TREE LIGHTING: See Page 6A

PAGE 11A

Four-month-old Mia Rose Summers meets Santa Claus for the first time at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills Sunday afternoon.

For the second time in four years, unbeaten Pasco earned a berth in the state football tournament. The Pirates, who lost in the 2008 state semifinals, visit Crawfordville Wakulla Friday. Zephyrhills drops its seasonopening wrestling match to rival Pasco. Bulldogs place 17 male and female athletes on the AllSunshine Athletic Conference lists.

Festival of Lights festivities make downtown brighter for many By Dave Walters News Reporter

Zephyrhills kicked off the Christmas season with an all-day event that featured games, elephant rides, food and fun. All of that was culminated with the Annual Festival of Lights Parade that brought nearly 3,000 people to 5th Avenue in the historic district. Ò This is the biggest parade and the most people IÕ ve seen in years,Ó said Nora Davis, who has been coming to the Zephyrhills event for six straight years. Ò I remember when the parade was over pretty quick. Ò This year was absolutely wonderful. ItÕ s a great way to bring everybody together for the holidays.Ó The event was presented by Zephyrhills Main Street and sponsored by GoinÕ Postal, The Zephyrhills News, Pasco Times, City of Zephyrhills, Progress Energy, CF Industries, Walmart, CraddockÕ s Air Conditioning and Heat and San Antonio Citizens Federal Credit Union. Main Street events are to give back to the community while attracting people to the businesses in the downtown shopping district. Main Street accomplished both as people milled around 5th Avenue all day taking in shopping and family fun until the parade started at 6 p.m. When the parade concluded, the crowds didnÕ t thin out very much.

PAGE 1B

The Gulfside Regional Hospice Bereavement Program recently held a Feast of Remembrance for East Pasco residents. PAGE 2B

Three of Santa’s Elves -- Cynthia Binka, Kaylin Miller and Madison Rogers -- marched in the downtown parade.

➤FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: See Page 10A

DAVE WALTERS

Dade City parade becomes a Magical Night

Handpick your own Christmas tree at Ergle’s

Thousands turn out to kick off the Christmas season

Ergle Christmas Tree Farm makes for wonderful holiday memories

By Dave Walters

COLORING CONTEST

Hey kids, do your best in the Christmas Coloring Contest for a chance to receive a prize. PAGE 8A

Zephyrhills News

DAVE WALTERS

’Tis the season in Zephyrhills

SPORTS

FEAST OF REMEMBRANCE

50¢

News Reporter

By steve lee

The Dade City Annual Magical Night Christmas Parade had it all Friday night. Horses, dozens of floats, elves, monster trucks and Santa Claus made their way down 7th Street where thousands cheered throughout the 90-minute parade. Stacked 10 deep along the sidewalks and intersections, the crowd was estimated to be nearly 7,000. Frank VanScoyk was one of many who had a front row seat for the festivities that helps Dade City kick off the Christmas season. Ò We got to see all of this stuff going on

Bringing home a sweet-smelling tree is only the half of it at the Ergle Christmas Tree Farm. Train rides, barnyard animals, Christmas cactuses and strawberries also are part of the memorable experience. Rick and Ann Denz, a couple from Saint Leo, recently made their annual visit to ErgleÕ s to purchase a Christmas tree. Their children are grown now, but the DenzÕ s fondly recollected family trips there with daughters Eliza, now 22, and 21-year-old Rebecca when both were little. Ò We love it,Ó Ann said. Ò It supports local business and the trees are always fresh and beautiful.Ó

News Reporter

➤DADE CITY PARADE: See Page 7A INDEX Church Classifieds

Bentley Linville has yet to turn 2, but he already has helped pick out the family Christmas tree. The child and his family are among many folks who handpick their trees at Ergle’s. JAN LINVILLE

Clubs/Parks

5B

Community Calendar

➤ERGLE: See Page 2A 2A

5A

Crime Reports

10B

Legals

10B

9B

Commentary

11A

Sports

1B, 6B, 7B & 9B

T.V. Guide

11B

Crossword Puzzle

9A

Weather

3A


I’m For A Friendlier Florida

ONLY NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED IN ZEPHYRHILLS, “CITY OF PURE WATER” Y O U R H O M E T O W N N E W S P A P E R S I N C E 1 9 11

Thursday, October 20, 2011 100th Year - No. 4

JROTC HOSTS BATTLE OF BATTALIONS

Alpha Company is the overall champion in a battle of several field events at Zephyrhills High SchoolÍ s Bulldog Stadium. PAGE 9B

WHO’S NEW

Check out the babies born at the Pasco Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital Zephyrhillls.

Crowds slither to Rattlesnake Festival Small-town appeal attracts thousands to 45th annual event BY DAVE WALTERS News Reporter

The population of San Antonio is just under 1,000 people, but for one weekend a year, that figure explodes when nearly 10,000 people call this community home as they attend the 45th Annual San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival. The otherwise sleepy town of San Antonio awakened last weekend to celebrate the rattlesnake and the gopher turtle with performances, reptile shows, snake demonstrations, games, food and the ever-popular gopher races. The gopher race tracks were filled with children and later college students and adults trying to manipulate the wooden gopher turtle to the finish line.

➤RATTLESNAKE: See Page 6A

The gopher races were close and a lot of hard work for the youngsters at the 45th Annual Rattlesnake Festival.

COMMENTARY

Spirited week to be capped by parade, football game and dance

Columnist Dave Walters compares the tight security environment at Anclote for the Zephyrhills High football game to a popular movie. Student columnist Haley Freeland, who has not attended many football games, gets into the Bulldog spirit.

SPORTS

Zephyrhills High football team wins fourth straight game to remain in the playoff hunt. Unbeaten Pasco junior varsity football team has yet to be scored upon. Four local teams fare well in the SAC swim and dive meet. Local golfer wins the Zephyrhills Open. PAGE 1B

COLORING CONTEST

Hey kids, donÍ t miss out on a chance to win prizes by entering the Halloween Coloring Contest. PAGE 8A

Zephyrhills News

DAVE WALTERS

Special days for ZHS homecoming

PAGE 2A

PAGE 11A

50¢

BY STEVE LEE News Reporter

ZHS faculty who got into the spirit of things for dress-up days during homecoming week were: (left to right) Anna Crociatia, Barbara STEVE LEE Czdec, Tara Rowe, Andressa Williams, Deborah Gillars, Richard Laity, Scarlett Swails and Dustin Rowe.

The big day for the Zephyrhills High School Homecoming is Friday. ThatÍ s when the community comes out in droves for a downtown parade traditionally followed by a night football game at Bulldog Stadium. FridayÍ s parade is at 1 p.m. and the game against the Sunshine Athletic Conference rival Ridgewood Rams starts at 7:30 p.m. Earlier this week, however, students and faculty got into the spirit of things with four special days to commemorate homecoming. Dress-up days for Monday through Thursday were as follows: Wacky Tacky Day, ThatÍ s Entertainment Day, Multiplicity Day and Orange & Black Day. MondayÍ s theme featuring silly-patterned or gaudy clothing with outlandish accessories turned into a contest between teachers and students as to just how wacky and tacky everyone could get. ñ TheyÍ re all dressed pretty tacky today,î principal

➤HOMECOMING: See Page 7A

Tax Collector’s Office will 4th Annual Fall Festival held at the Groves not return to Zephyrhills anytime soon Mike Olson plans to eventually find a facility to serve Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel BY DAVE WALTERS News Reporter

More than 60,000 customers who used the Pasco County Tax Collector’s branch office in Zephyrhills that closed down earlier this year from storm damage will have to wait quite a bit longer to have local services again. A storm ravaged the roof at the Tax Collector’s Office on Allen Road, allowing severe rain damage and ultimately a mold condition leaving the facility useless without nearly $100,000 in needed repairs. According to Tax Collector Mike Olson, the fiscally responsible solution was to close the office, consolidate staff into the Dade City and Land O’ Lakes offices and search for an alternate site to build a regional office that would serve residents of Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel. ñ I felt overall it was best thing to do,î Olson said Monday. ñ It was a wise decision. We had a clause in lease that allowed us to vacate.î Olson said he had damage experts in the facility immediately after the April storm to dry everything out, but environmental consultants

INDEX

reported that mold had formed in the building and the only way to make it usable again was to have the building gutted and completely renovated. ñ There was some feedback and some of it wasnÍ t good,î Olson admitted. ñ It was an act of God. We made the only decision we could make to close its doors. We apologize for any inconvenience. “That office served 5,000 customers a month, I put that office there nearly 12 years ago and it hurt me to close that out.î Olson said he understands the inconvenience it has caused residents of Zephyrhills who now have to drive to the Pasco County Government Center in Dade City to take care of their vehicle registrations, driverÍ s licenses and other services. ñ When you open the doors you help the people,î Olson said. ñ When you close the doors, it inconveniences them. Again, it was the right decision. It would take $100,000 to replace everything from air conditioning ducts to furniture to drywall.î Olson said the search continues for an alternate space big enough for a regional facility to handle customers from Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel ñ In a bad economy, itÍ s a good time to buy land, but it is also a bad time to put money into a big facility,î Olson explained. ñ IÍ m getting land offers, but weÍ re not in any hurry right now.

➤TAX COLLECTORS: See Page 11A Clubs/Parks

Church

5A

Crime Reports

Classifieds

9B

Commentary

5B

Annalicia Ortega, a 5-year-old from Tampa Palms, makes her choice in the pumpkin patch at the Fourth Annual Fall Festival Saturday at the Groves. The two-day event atrracted about 25,000 visitors and has increased in attendance each year. STEVE LEE

Wesley Chapel Chamber event lures thousands for weekend of festivities BY STEVE LEE News Reporter

The Wesley Chapel Fall Festival had something for everyone „ kids and adults alike. Best of all, it was free. Last weekendÍ s fourth annual event at the Groves in Wesley Chapel featured numerous events and activities to attract shoppers and visitors on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Presented by the Wesley Chapel Community Calendar

2A

10B

Legals

10B

11A

Sports

1B, 2B, 6B, 7B,8B & 9B

Chamber of Commerce and Simpson Farms, the two-day festival has grown from a turnout of more than 5,000 at the initial event to about 25,000 this year. ñ Wesley Chapel has grown and people know where we are now,î chamber board member Cindy Fleming said. ñ I think it went wonderful. We had as big a crowd as we ever had. Everybody loved the bands and the kidÍ s area was packed. WeÍ ll be back next year, bigger than ever.î While the initial festival listed 5060 vendors, marketing director and chamber member Christine Hope counted 145 sponsors, vendors and community partners for this yearÍ s

➤FESTIVAL: See Page 4A T.V. Guide

11B

Crossword Puzzle

9A

Weather

3A


ONLY NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED IN ZEPHYRHILLS, “CITY OF PURE WATER” Y O U R H O M E T O W N N E W S P A P E R S I N C E 1 9 11

Thursday, October 27, 2011 100th Year - No. 5

CITY SIGN ORDINANCE City officials intend to beef up enforcement on the sign ordinance.

It was a ghoulish good time on Main Street Halloween Howl event attracts thousands to Fifth Avenue BY DAVE WALTERS News Reporter

PAGE 2A

RED RIBBON WEEK

Local elementary schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week by teaching students to say no to drugs. PAGE 10A

COMMENTARY Columnist Dave Walters writes about all the things happening in Zephyrhills. As a Zephyrhills High School senior, student columnist Rachel Wise recalls four years of homecoming events and community activities.

Princesses, zombies, ladybugs and baby chicks flooded Fifth Avenue for the annual Halloween Howl Saturday night presented by Main Street Zephyrhills. From curb to curb, thousands of children and parents strolled through downtown to take part in the event that allows a family-friendly controlled trick or treat environment that featured games, pony rides, bounce houses and a costume parade. Ò This is a great thing for my kids,Ó said Audrey Phillips, who brought her twoyear-old son Jarred as Spiderman and four-year-old daughter Molly as Tinkerbell. Ò We can come right here to down-

town and let the kids have fun and not have to worry. Ò IÕ m sure weÕ ll still go trick or treating, but this is probably more fun for them. There wonÕ t be any games and pony rides on Halloween.Ó Main Street Zephyrhills kept the Haunted House tradition going at the former Wachovia Bank Building where over 1,200 people crept through the maze of darkness, wild lights and zombies. Ò We do this every year and it keeps getting better,Ó said Main Street Executive Director Gina Granger. Ò We just want to bring the community together. ItÕ s an exciting event for the kids and itÕ s free. ItÕ s a controlled environment and it makes the parents feel that things are safer for their children. Ò All in all, we just want to make something exciting for the kids and make sure they had a good time. I think we did that.

➤HOWL: See Page 7A

Mandi Hartwig attended the Halloween Howl with daughters Mallory and Lindsey Hartwig.

Hundreds walk to support new breast health center BY DAVE WALTERS News Reporter

Imagine a woman just days before her vacation trip getting a report back on a mammogram that there was something suspicious that needed a biopsy, but the only appointment she could get would be in three weeks. How could anyone enjoy their trip with that hanging over their head? A quick alternative from doctors at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills got the biopsy done and let her know that the test was negative. In an effort to support the Simpson Breast Health Center at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, honoring others who have survived breast cancer, battling breast cancer and someone who lost their lives to the disease, hundreds of people took to the track Sunday at FHZ for the Annual Sister Stroll. Pink shirts, shorts and bras were the attire for those who marched lap after lap in support of the overall fight against breast cancer. Ò I think it really shows the community support for

SPORTS

PAGE 1B

COLORING CONTEST

Hey kids, donÕ t miss out on a chance to win prizes by entering the Halloween Coloring Contest. PAGE 8A

Clad in Pink, the participants of the Sister Stroll at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills stand ready at the starting line.

➤STROLL: See Page 4A

DAVE WALTERS

Parade highlights ZHS homecoming

Residents say Brownfield designation will plunge values Economic development plan could make the City of Pure Water appear contaminated BY DAVE WALTERS News Reporter

Public outcry was heard Monday by residents in and outside the city limits pertaining to the possibility of having land in their area deemed potentially contaminated. Officials from the county are encouraging members of City Council to get on board with state-funded Brownfield Designation Project that would designate 7,500 acres of land as potentially contaminated. While there is little to no evidence yet as to any contamination, having the Brownfield designation would make the land attractive because of possible tax breaks to industries interested in moving to the Zephyrhills area Pasco County and Zephyrhills staff are cooperating with the Pasco Economic Development Council to encourage targeted industries to locate or expand existing operations into Pasco County. What makes the area viable to industries thinking of moving to the Zephyrhills area is the

➤COUNCIL: See Page 11A Zephyrhills News

DAVE WALTERS

Sister Stroll raises funds and awareness

PAGE 11A

Centennial Middle football team wins championship and clinches undefeated season. Wiregrass Ranch claims two cross country titles. Zephyrhills High football team wins fifth straight, a homecoming victory over Ridgewood, to remain in the playoff hunt.

50¢

INDEX

The freshmen’s hollywood-theme float was voted the best in the homecoming parade.

Pep rally, football game and dance cap festive week for students and community BY STEVE LEE News Reporter

Most high school football teams in America have homecoming games to drum up community support. Some schools have dances as well. Few, however, commemorate the annual occasion with a

Clubs/Parks

Church

5A

Crime Reports

Classifieds

9B

Commentary

5B

Community Calendar

NANCY KING

parade. Zephyrhills does. A downtown parade culminated a week-long celebration with the entire community coming out Ñ thanks in part to no school last Friday Ñ to support Zephyrhills High School students and faculty. Up the road on US 301, Pasco had its own parade on Friday as well. And just like the Bulldogs, the Pirates had a football game that night followed by a dance on Saturday night. Ò This is great,Ó said Jim Drumm, hired as the city manager in May and witnessing his first downtown parade in Zephyrhills. Ò YouÕ re seeing more

➤PARADE: See Page 6A 2A

10B

Legals

10B

11A

Sports

1B, 2B, 3B, 6B, 7B & 9B

T.V. Guide

11B

Crossword Puzzle

9A

Weather

3A

Oct. 20-27, 2011 Front Page  

Oct. 20-27, 2011 Front Page

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you