It was about 9 p.m. Aug. 3, and Jim Balay was in the Bahamas tending to his water sports business when he got a text from his air-conditioning guy back in the States.
David Koerner had pulled by SpinNations Skating Center to check on the roller rink and found the parking lot under water — again.
"Can you get a look inside the building, send a picture?" Balay wanted to know....
TAMPA — Fifteen-year-old Regan Black came to the awards ceremony prepared with words written on a lined slip of paper. Then she promptly went off script as she addressed the finalists for the Sydney Has a Sister Scholarship.
"I don't know where this is going," her mother said with a grin as Regan launched into a scattered diatribe of fragmented sentences that ended with the lilting thought that "The sun will come out tomorrow."...
LAND O'LAKES — It was about two weeks before the start of school, and Connerton Elementary kindergarten teacher Tricia Sherburne was already at it.
"Who's sitting crisscross applesauce?" she asked the passel of youngsters gathered on a colorful carpet in a room filled with numbers and letters of the alphabet and books such as My School's a Zoo and The Night Before Kindergarten and Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar....
NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco-Hernando State College Performing Arts 2015-16 season will kick off with a little Elvis and wrap up with a James Taylor tribute band, with nods to Frankie Valli, Billy Joel and other rock legends also on tap.
While individual tickets do not go on sale until Oct. 13, those wanting the best seats for multiple shows are encouraged to purchase season tickets now. The schedule is as follows:...
ZEPHYRHILLS — Some know it as the home of "pure water." For others, it's a destination for skydivers from around the world.
But there's more to Zephyrhills than that. As cookie-cutter developments crop up here and there, the sleepy little city that originally was deemed Abbott Station by founder Harold B. Jeffries has gained a reputation for sustaining its hometown feel.
"You know everybody; everybody knows you," said City Manager Steve Spina, who has called Zephyrhills home since moving from New York about 40 years ago....
Students entering kindergarten for the first time must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1. Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start/Early Start programs are available to students who will not make the deadline.
Check with your school for hours and days to register.
Students entering a Florida school for the first time at any grade level will be asked to present the following items upon registration:...
It was the first day of summer camp for Jaden Faulhaber, a freckle-faced 11-year-old sporting a perpetual grin as he was wrapping up the last leg of a geocaching scavenger hunt under the wooded canopy at the Concourse Nature Center at Safety Town. • "I thought it would be boring because it's science, but it's fun — it's an adventure," Jaden said before lead instructor Josh McCart asked the youngsters to look up from their handheld GPS devices for a "teachable moment" involving a crusty red lichen he had discovered growing on the bark of a flatland pine....
07/02/15 Music & Concerts
A whiff of fresh paint hung in the air as Cristine Rhodes doled out rhythm sticks to the outstretched hands of children who had arrived with their parents to give her free class a shot.
"We're going to go on a musical adventure," Rhodes promised before gently prodding the children to move to the beat they were making.
Traeh Carrington, 8, of Hudson was itching to get at it. His younger brother, Asher, 7, took a tempered stance, warming as they moved from rhythm sticks to drums to the wonderment of interpretive dance....
NEW PORT RICHEY — Construction or not, the show must go on.
And so, as tradition would have it, New Port Richey kicks off its annual preamble to the nation's birthday celebration with the 18th Annual KIAfest Main Street Blast downtown this weekend.
It's a blast from the past in a local kind of way, with the celebration returning to the historic downtown due to the ongoing renovations at Sims Park....
PORT RICHEY — It has been 150 years since Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver news that the Civil War was over and that slaves were free, though it was a rather tardy announcement.
The date was June 19, 1865 — 2½ years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, two months after Lincoln's assassination April 14, 1865, and about a month after the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Florida by Brig. Gen. Edward McCook,...
Life, like the water cycle, sometimes takes a person full circle — a thought not lost on Jean Knight in the moments before she greeted a new group of students for the last time at Cross Bar Ranch.
After 37 years of teaching in Pasco, most of it as an instructor at three environmental education centers, Knight is retiring.
"I started with Pine View Middle, and I'm ending with Pine View Middle," she said Monday as a yellow bus rumbled up 6 miles of dirt road, bringing a day of adventure, knowledge and, perhaps, inspiration for budding scientists and environmentalists....
NEW PORT RICHEY — As fresh markets go, Tasty Tuesdays is a delightfully homespun offering held in the courtyard outside the New Port Richey Public Library.
Typically, seven or eight local growers lay out their seasonal harvest, along with a handful of vendors peddling honey, fresh eggs, orchids, organic baked goods and coffee; a couple of master gardeners offering advice on how to do it yourself....
David Guadarrama didn't start high school thinking about what was coming next. College definitely wasn't in the picture. "I didn't really take education seriously before," he said. "In my freshman year I was struggling to get a 3.0 (grade point average). This year, during my last semester I had a 4.5."
Fueled by scholarships, some financial aid, a hefty push from a college prep program and his own resources, Guadarrama is set to graduate with honors in a class of 282 at Pasco High. To top it off, he has figured out what comes next — the University of South Florida, with thoughts of a career in the science or medical field....
Neck and neck is a road most traveled for Jake and John Wahl, 17, a somewhat reserved yet affable set of identical twins who are gracious about fielding the typical questions that people ask them.
• Who was born first? John, by 15 seconds.
• How do people tell you apart? There are subtle differences, but the color-coded sneakers help.
• Do you ever swap identities? They've been known to pull a fast one — maybe on a teacher passing back tests so they can be the first to see each other's score....
Students in the Wheel enrichment program at Richey Elementary wrapped up months of hard work with a presentation of Fairy Tale Follies on May 14 in the school theater. The play, featuring 40 characters, was written by teacher Sclena Brantley and adapted by students for their stage. Brantley noted that students in other facets of the after-school program also pitched, working with teachers and parents to sew costumes and create props and sets for the show. Cooking students also contributed by preparing and serving healthy snacks made with vegetables from the school garden....