Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco Briefs for March 2


NAMI offers ongoing support groups

The Pasco County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers two types of support group meetings each month:

• The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a structured, closed group, open only to those with a mental illness diagnosis. This group is for individuals ages 18 and older interested in the recovery process, sharing coping skills and being with others who understand the challenges of living with a mental illness. It is facilitated by trained peers. Separate groups meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at WellCare in the Southgate Shopping Center, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey; and from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel.

• The Family Support Group is for family members and caregivers of someone with a mental illness diagnosis. Separate groups meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Medical Center of Trinity West Campus, 5637 Marine Parkway, New Port Richey; and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel.

Contact NAMI at (727) 992-9653 or visit

Hospice thrift shops need volunteers

Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppes are seeking volunteers to help at all six shop locations throughout Pasco County. Roles include accepting and sorting donated items, organizing merchandise displays, greeting customers, operating the cash register and more. A minimum time commitment of four hours a week is requested. Volunteers ages 15 and older are welcome. An online application can be completed at, or call toll-free 1-800-561-4883 for information.

Big Brothers Big Sisters needs mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientations for those interested in becoming mentors. The orientation will provide prospective adult mentors with information on the children the organization serves, the requirements to become a "big," volunteer commitments and expectations, how to handle cultural differences and the variety of programs offered through the organization. Upcoming orientation sessions include:

• 10:30 a.m. to noon March 3, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 12, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 27, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

• 10:30 a.m. to noon April 7, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 10, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

For a complete list of orientation dates and locations, visit and follow the "volunteer" links. Contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at (813) 997-6881 or [email protected]


Controlled burns held through September

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting prescribed burns now through September in the Weekiwachee Preserve in Pasco County. Located north of Hudson, about 50 acres will be burned in areas in the Aripeka Sandhills (Aripeka Road) tract. Burns will be done in small, manageable units. The purpose of the burns is to reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. The practice also reduces overgrown plants, promotes growth of new plants and maintains the character and condition of wildlife habitat. For details, visit


Chamber to host annual music fest

The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce will host the third annual Land O’ Lakes Music Festival March 24 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. The event includes a full lineup of musicians, including Solar Exposure (mix of pop, rock and country), saxophonist Marlon Boone, indie pop-rock band Actual Bank Robbers, Trigger (rock, soul and funk), Stoneygrey (classic rock), Reggae band Sowflo, and a special appearance by Fred Chandler, a multi-instrumentalist and singer. General admission is free; guests are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs. Preferred seating for those wanting seats closer to the stage is available for $20. The event also includes children’s activities, craft and vendor booths, and a variety of food, beer and wine. No coolers or pets allowed. For details or sponsorship information, call (813) 909-2722 or email [email protected]


Orchestra’s show to include noted singers

Richey Community Orchestra will present "Big Apple Adventure," featuring Dee Etta Rowe and Jimmy Ferraro on March 18 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. Cocktails are at 1 p.m., with dinner at 1:30 and show time at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40; advanced reservations required. Call (727) 919-3866 or visit

Knights to present ‘Twelve Angry Men’

The Knights of Columbus Council 11497 will present a production of Twelve Angry Men at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays, March 9-18, at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church’s Father Thomas Earner Parish Center, 8320 Old County Road 54. The show is based on the Emmy Award-winning television movie by Reginal Rose. Tickets are $15. For reservations or ticket information, contact Steve Wolfe at (614) 843-5193 or [email protected]

Church thrift shop hosts half-off sale

The Thrift Shop at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 5326 Charles St., will hold a half-price sale March 5-10. Also, during the week of March 19, will be a buy-one-get-one-free on women’s and men’s pants. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For information, call (727) 846-1378 or (727) 849-4330.

Relay event seeks sponsors, bowlers

The Kilian Grey Relay for Life of the Suncoast team will host a "9 Pin No Tamp Bowling Extravaganza" at 1 p.m. March 11 at Lane-Glo Bowl, 8631 Old County Road 54. Games begin promptly at 2 p.m. The cost is $15 per person, $10 for children 10 and younger. Included are three games, shoe rental, snacks and door prizes. There will be chance drawings. Lane sponsorships are available for $100, and include four adult bowling tickets and a large sign displaying the company/individual’s name, or a dedication. All funds will go to the American Cancer Society. For lane sponsorships, tickets, group information and other details, call Cyndie Kowalski at (727) 934-1669.

Lauren’s Kids host ‘Walk in My Shoes’

The eighth annual Lauren’s Kids Walk in My Shoes will be March 13. The walk will start and end at the Pasco Kids First children’s advocacy center, 7344 Little Road. Registration is at 3 p.m. and the walk begins at 4 p.m. It will be a 6-mile walk, with the half-way point at Pasco-Hernando State College. The walk is in honor of the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S. Registration is $15 and can be done at; teams and individuals can walk. Tours of Pasco Kids First will be available during and after the walk. For information, call (727) 835-7962 or visit


Farmer’s market to celebrate Easter

The San Antonio Farmers Market will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 10 at San Antonio City Park, 12200 Main St. Easter will be the theme of this month’s market. There will be an Easter basket/cake walk with prizes of filled Easter baskets, cakes and cookies. There will be a chance drawing for a basket filled with Easter goodies. The children’s tent will have free Easter crafts, games and treats. New vendors include Cake Crate Cafe, selling fresh baked goods, and children’s author Jane Elizabeth Streit, signing and selling her books about Claire. Returning vendors will sell fresh produce and plants, wines, jellies, jewelry, home decor, crafts and more. The monthly event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Antonio. Vendor spaces are available for $25; nonprofit agencies wishing to participate are eligible for complimentary vendor spaces. For further details, call (352) 437-5161 or email to [email protected]


Silver Follies to present annual revue

The Silver Follies of New Port Richey will present the annual Silver Follies Revue extravaganza at 2 p.m. March 11 at Heritage Springs Golf and Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway. The group, which includes 24 women performers age 60 and older, presents shows filled with dancing and singing show tunes and hits. The group is under the direction of Pat Griebel. Tickets are $10. Call Griebel at (727) 857-3293 or (727) 505-7152.


Spotlight on Talent to feature youth acts

The Heritage Arts Center Association will present the 35th annual Spotlight on Talent with two contests at noon and 7 p.m. March 10 at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road. The competition features elementary through high school students. The top 65 scoring acts, including 142 students, were chosen to perform from more than 170 students who auditioned in preliminary competitions in the annual production. Heritage Arts will present the $1,000 Pasco Heritage Scholarship, which will go to the graduating Pasco County senior who receives the highest judges’ scores at the finals. Act I will begin at noon for the younger soloists and groups, with Act II at 7 p.m. for older solos and groups. Tickets are $12 each for adults, or both shows for $20. Student tickets, through high school, are $6 each or $10 for both shows. Children younger than 5 are admitted free. All of the final performances will be awarded a trophy, and two professional panels of judges will have the task of selecting winners for cash prizes. More than $4,000 in cash, trophies and ribbons will be presented to winners in eight categories. For information, email [email protected] or call (352) 567-1720.


Free water safety offered to youth

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has teamed up with the Tampa Bay Rays to offer free "Safety Around Water" lessons to children March 12-15 at various locations in Tampa, as well as one location in Zephyrhills, the East Pasco Family YMCA, 37301 Chapel Hill Loop. The lessons are offered to the community, including beginners and non-swimmers ages 3-12. The free four-day course includes instructors teaching children a sequenced set of skills that reduce the risk of drowning and provide confidence around the water. YMCA membership is not required, but preregistration is required due to limited space. Participants must be present on the first day and bring their own swimsuit and towel. For information, visit the Y or call (813) 780-9622.

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

CLEARWATER — A longtime IBM executive is becoming the new leader of Tampa Bay’s largest public company. Tech Data on Thursday named Richard "Rich" Hume as its new CEO effective June 6. Hume joined Tech Data two years ago and is currently the chief op...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Sally Bradshaw, Kathleen Shanahan column: Barbara Bush was role model who loved Florida

Barbara Pierce Bush loved Florida.With a son as governor, she was practically an honorary Floridian! No one was prouder of former Gov. Jeb Bush than his mom, and no one a more honest critic when she felt he needed some constructive feedback! But we t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

PLANT CITY — Many remembered Durant High School football player Grover Wills, 18, for his talent on the field, but almost as many remembered his penchant for bursting into dance and song. After practice or on team trips, Wills would mesmerize those a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Child, 19 months, hospitalized after being found in New Port Richey pond

Child, 19 months, hospitalized after being found in New Port Richey pond

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 19-month-old child was transported to a local hospital Thursday after being found unattended in a pond, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were dispatched to a pond behind a home in the 4700 block of...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: No-win fishery bills would undermine businesses and innovation

The federal government delivered good news for anglers this week. Under newly approved two-year pilot programs, Florida and the other Gulf Coast states will manage red snapper fishing for private anglers. This means states can test ways to improve ac...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg Police on Thursday closed two assisted living facilities, citing "deplorable conditions," including no running water. The facilities are run by Tampa Bay Behavioral Health, located at 3434 Second Ave. S and 3418 Second Ave. S, accordin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A distracted driver from Pinellas Park walked away unscathed after his car plunged 50 feet off Interstate 275.Thomas Highhouse, 61, of Pinellas Park, was driving his 2016 Chevy Camero along Interstate 275 around 11:10 a.m. when he lo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

For the first time since its season commenced, the USF baseball team enters a weekend as the Bulls' feature sports attraction.Basketball ended last month, and spring football ended last Saturday, meaning would-be baseball fans no longer have reason t...
Updated: 3 hours ago