WESLEY CHAPEL — In an appointment with an allergist, hairdresser Star Ryan got the bad news: The hair products she used at work were irritating her eyes, throat and lungs. Her line of work was exacerbating her allergies.
Then she did her research.
That's when Ryan, 62, owner of Star's Organic Spa, learned that the ammonia in products at salons is the same ammonia used in bombs and pesticides. It can cause respiratory problems and has been linked to cancer, she said....
Spotlight | Natural Seal
WESLEY CHAPEL — When bandages in an awkward spot on Dan Opp's hand couldn't seal, the cut underneath it wouldn't heal. When a MRSA infection developed in it and was so serious he had to have surgery, his wife was certain:
"There was nothing we could have done better," said Kerriann Greenhalgh. "Nothing could have prevented it."
Unless, of course, she invented something....
ZEPHYRHILLS — The ninth annual Sister Stroll 2.0 breast cancer walk is from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., on the hospital's walking trail. Features food and swag, plus a car show and entertainment. The cost is $15 per person in advance and $20 per person at the event. All proceeds benefit the Simpson Breast Health Center at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. To register or for information, visit FHZeph.org and click "events," or call toll free, 1-877-534-3108....
Spotlight | JL Video Inc.
TRINITY — On a football field as a sophomore in high school, Jordan Lung tore his right meniscus.
"I loved football so much I played (on it for) half my sophomore year," said Lung, 25. "My junior year, I tore my left meniscus right before our very first game."
Lung, who once had considered playing college football, accepted that his plans would have to change. His coach had an idea:...
09/18/14 Human Interest
LAND O'LAKES — In a text message last year, Jerry Brewster asked John Benedetto to meet to plan the first Land O'Lakes High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction.
Monday seems best, Brewster wrote. Is that an option?
Benedetto, the legendary Land O'Lakes football coach, wrote back.
I'll make it work.
Brewster will never erase those texts, he said. Benedetto died in his sleep five days after the meeting....
Spotlight | Hillbilly Farms
DADE CITY — Rhoda and Ken Mazerolle moved from Maine to Florida to retire. But when the opportunity arose to open a business, the longtime entrepreneurs couldn't resist.
Hillbilly Farms started as a produce stand in 2011 and is now a store and a cafe, named after what people called the Mazerolles when they moved south — "northern hillbillies," said Rhoda Mazerolle, 60. She and Ken, 80, also own a trucking company. Their daughter, Rasha Lowe, 41, oversees daily operations at Hillbilly Farms....
LAND O' LAKES — Players are sought for a 60 and over slow pitch softball league. Players can register and be drafted at 8 a.m. Sept. 12, 19 and 26 on Field 10 at the Collier Park Recreation Center Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway. Games begin Oct. 3rd. For information, call Walt Bockmiller at (813) 527-8211.
TENNIS: A tennis league for male and female players of all ability levels is forming now. Competitions will be in and beyond Pasco County. For information, call Walt Bockmiller at (813) 527-8211....
LUTZ — For a decade, Deb Fry managed military contracts at U.S. Central Command on MacDill Airforce Base.
Then the war ended.
"When the troops pulled out, contracts started disappearing," said Fry, 58.
She left MacDill in 2011, took some time off and then picked a new place to work: at parties. The onetime defense contractor is now a TapSnap franchisee.
"Some people call (TapSnap) a futuristic photo booth," said Fry. "There are no walls, no ceilings, no black curtains."...
08/28/14 Human Interest
DADE CITY — While his laundry spun in a dryer at the Restored Hope resource center, a 47-year-old homeless man sipped coffee from a plastic foam cup and told his story.
James, who did not want to give his last name, designs roof and floor trusses for a living. But the labor pool is small, he said, and he has traveled for 12 years, from one short-term job to another. Recently, while out of work, he stayed with a friend, but she booted him out after a disagreement. He said he is estranged from family and wouldn't want to burden relatives by asking for help anyway....
Spotlight RN Cancer Guides
WESLEY CHAPEL — Susan Scherer and Angelique Neumann know cancer. Scherer is an oncology nurse, and Neumann is a cancer survivor.
Their experiences sparked a question: How can we get people (who have cancer) through the hardest time of their lives?
The pair opened RN Cancer Guides in 2013 to be the answer.
The firm matches people who have cancer with "cancer guides" — oncology-certified nurses who help clients and their families "navigate all the emotional, medical and financial barriers to treatment," Scherer, 46 said. "Our job is to 'bubble wrap' our patients."...
HUDSON — Fifteen years ago, Regis Lima borrowed $500 from the man who taught him tae kwon do to move from Brazil to Florida to teach martial arts.
He eventually opened RL Martial Arts and on Saturday — despite the doubts his friends had when he left home — he celebrates the business' 10th anniversary.
Lima had visited Florida for martial arts tournaments and called it paradise. His friends called him crazy....
Spotlight | R&E Avenue
LAND O'LAKES — After the birth of her second son, Jasmine Atiyeh shopped for jewelry that would remind her of her boys.
"Everything I saw wasn't my taste," she said.
Instead, she made her own: a hand-stamped necklace with her sons' names on it. When she wore it, she got compliments. Then she got requests from friends willing to pay her to make more. So she turned the self-taught talent into a business: R&E Avenue, named for her sons, Roman, 4, and Ezra, 6....
HOLIDAY — A local youth volleyball league seeks adults willing to volunteer as coaches for boys and girls ages 8 to 15.
The league is designed to teach fair play and sportsmanship, to develop fundamental volleyball skills and to promote a fun, healthy lifestyle. All coaches must pass background checks.
Evaluation day is Sept. 6 and practices start Sept. 17 at the J. Ben Harrill Recreation Complex, 2830 Gulf Trace Blvd., Holiday. For information, email Ingrid at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (727) 942-7439....
PORT RICHEY — In the studio at Standing Art Tattoos and Art Gallery, owner Adam Natonio usually covers arms, legs and backs in ink for profit. Next week, he'll do it for charity.
From Aug. 4 to 9, Natonio will donate all the proceeds from big cat-themed tattoos to Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary in Tampa designed to provide a permanent home to exotic cats, educate the public about them, end their abuse and avoid their extinction, according to its mission statement....
In the showroom at the Object Shop, a beast stands on a platform in the corner, its intricate armor covering red flesh and its sharp horns threatening all who stare. But don't let that scare you. The beast is only 4 inches tall.
Grant Posner, who owns the Object Shop with Brian Zuckerman, created it there, using a 3-D image of the beast — which is a video game character — and a state-of-the-art 3-D printer....