08/01/08 Public Safety
DADE CITY — A 56-year-old Lacoochee man died after being dragged and then run over by a pickup on Mosstown Road on Thursday night.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Eugene Austin Pickett died at Pasco Regional Hospital in Dade City, where he was taken after the accident.
Troopers are looking for the driver of a white truck who reportedly got into an argument with Pickett just before the accident. The white truck also has a blue driver's door....
DADE CITY — In its fourth appearance before the county's top staff planners, the Imagine charter school almost squeaked by — but couldn't.
After a two-hour debate Thursday, the proposal for a 36,000-square-foot, 480-student K-8 charter school in Land O'Lakes narrowly survived a 3-2 motion for denial before the Development Review Committee. But the committee kicked the final vote to its next meeting in three weeks....
07/19/08 Human Interest
LAND O'LAKES — One of Clearwater's largest churches has been unwittingly drawn into the two-month-old feud between nudists and swingers at Caliente Resorts.
Caliente nudist homeowners want the club to stick to family values, but its managers are pushing ahead in marketing to a younger crowd, including swinger groups that engage in what critics call wife-swapping sex parties. Caliente pulled its affiliation last week with the American Association for Nude Recreation, two months after the association began an investigation into sexually charged parties at the club....
WESLEY CHAPEL — Wolf's Den, the newest restaurant on the still fast-changing real estate of State Road 56, has a bright yellow "O" on its sign, and its coffee — often a measurement of a restaurateur's love for his or her vocation — is served thick, rich and in real mugs.
This is the joint that has taken the place of Bagel Bagel Cafe, that dark cave of heady soups and goopy melts that closed on New Year's Day....
LAND O'LAKES — Caliente Resort pulled its affiliation late Friday with the American Association for Nude Recreation, after an investigation into sexually charged parties at the club, the association said Monday.
Caliente's move came after the association sent a letter Friday to its 260 members reminding them of the kind of family values it expects its charter clubs to hold. ...
LAND O'LAKES — These are testing times for Suzie Arb.
Arb is the executive director of the Suncoast Harvest Food Bank, who took over the 17-year-old Land O'Lakes institution last December after stints at the American Diabetes Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Suncoast Harvest serves Pasco, Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties.
She's at the helm of an agency that was reeling this time last year from supplies and staff that seemed to be drying up just as the economic downturn was starting to bite....
Two months after a panel of outside consultants delivered a $115,000 critique of Pasco County's growth planning, the first wave of reform is shifting the way the county's development planners decide exemptions.
County attorneys at Thursday's Development Review Committee, which comprises Pasco's top staff planners, laid out eight conditions under which the committee can grant variances. The lawyers said meeting any — not all — of these conditions automatically gives applicants a right to the exemption. ...
LAND O'LAKES — The arepa arrives on a white plate as an ambassador for Venezuela.
It's a half-inch-thick corn cake, fried brown in giraffe patches, folded with Spanish white cheese, and served hot in what the brothers-in-law of Tia Mina proclaim the only Venezuelan restaurant in the Tampa Bay area.
Tia Mina is the latest Latin American venture in central Pasco County, and the restaurant's hallmark is food from the former Spanish colony on the northern coast of South America, where a European flair still dominates. ...
NEW PORT RICHEY — Calling it "blight," a neighbor of the proposed Suncoast Commercial Center northeast of State Road 54 and the future Ashley Glen Boulevard said Thursday that an incoming grocery store would threaten the area's environmental and business climate.
Suncoast Commercial Center is proposing a 66,000-square-foot grocery and shopping strip on 37 acres, just next to a proposed major employment center, the Ashley Glen office park. A sign at the site identifies the proposed grocery store as a Sweetbay. ...
WESLEY CHAPEL — A new elementary school is about to rise on Overpass Road, but it may not be the Overpass Road you know.
Overpass, a 1-mile stretch of road on the northern edge of Wesley Chapel, is a reminder of how the housing downturn has affected road building in Pasco County. Development money was supposed to pave the four-lane road all the way from Old Pasco Road to Zephyrhills, opening up a new east-west bypass for the region. ...
LAND O'LAKES — An attorney for 351 property owners at Caliente Resort & Spa has laid down a list of conditions for the nudist resort to repair its reputation or face a lawsuit.
Calling it a way to "open the door for dialogue" between the resort and its homeowners, Anne Hathorn, of the Clearwater firm of Becker & Poliakoff, said the resort must cut off ties with Web sites that promote the swinger lifestyle, tighten control on the use of Caliente's name in event advertisements and where the ads are distributed, and get Caliente reinstated in the American Association for Nude Recreation....
WESLEY CHAPEL — Development plans have been filed with Pasco County for a $31.5-million sports and entertainment complex, dominated by a three-rink ice hockey center, in Wesley Chapel.
A group of 13 business partners, including several with ties to the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey Association, is proposing that the ice sports venue, called SportsPlex USA, be accompanied by a 36-lane Brunswick Bowling center, a 40-foot rock climbing wall, a two-level laser tag zone, an 18-hole miniature golf course, two restaurants and a sports bar, an espresso cafe, and party and corporate meeting rooms....
LAND O'LAKES — The Imagine School has 424 students registered for the next school year and a waiting list of about 180, but it still can't get a green light for its building.
The county's top staff planners spent an hour Thursday debating the traffic concerns at the charter school's proposed 4-acre site at Morgan Road and U.S. 41 – but for the third time postponed a decision.
Imagine's location lies next to a CSX Corp. railroad and an often congested intersection....
The effort to widen the two-lane stretch of State Road 54 from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road, long beleaguered by population growth and shrinking road-building funds, got a reprieve Thursday when the county's top transportation planners voted to raise its position on a county list of priority projects from No. 26 to within the top 10.
Ted Schrader, a Pasco Metropolitan Planning Organization Board member who is also County Commission chairman, said it's time to leverage the project's fruition on the rising political star of state Rep. Will Weatherford, who happens to live in Seven Oaks, minutes away from SR 54....
WESLEY CHAPEL — Some names have changed and some plans were reworked, but the business of food and drink is still coasting steadily along in central Pasco.
From Odessa to Wesley Chapel, here are some new offerings among cafes, restaurants and bars soon to join the strip mall corridor along State Roads 54 and 56:
Beer lovers, pay attention.
The International Beer Garten plans to open in the fall at Northpointe, on the southeast corner of the Suncoast Parkway and SR 54....