Two companies are proposing assisted living centers at opposite ends of Pasco County.
Quad States Cos., based in Ridgeland, Miss., is proposing a 120-bed assisted living facility on Madison Street near State Road 54 in New Port Richey; and in Hudson, West Palm Beach-based Mainsail Healthcare Group is nearing approval for a facility to care for people with Alzheimer's disease.
Arrington Developers of Florida, the Land O'Lakes subsidiary of Quad States, last week sought permission from county planning officials to change the New Port Richey site's zoning from a multifamily designation....
09/17/14 Public Safety
LACOOCHEE — Whether mentoring at-risk kids or helping provide families with furniture and other necessities, Pasco County sheriff's Cpl. David Hink was a familiar face to residents of this impoverished, rural area north of Dade City.
For eight years, Hink served as "Officer Friendly," a term used to describe the Sheriff's Office program in which deputies work closely with children, residents and community groups to deter crime....
Pasco County officials so far are refusing to lend a hand to Greenlight Pinellas.
Asked Thursday to support the transit-expansion initiative, board members for Pasco's Metropolitan Planning Organization couldn't muster enough votes to back the plan.
The initiative would raise Pinellas' sales tax rate to 8 percent while removing the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority's property tax levy. Supporters say the measure will increase bus service and create a 24-mile light rail line from Clearwater to St. Petersburg....
Withlacoochee River Electric customers in Pasco, Hernando could see higher bills under proposed emissions standards09/11/14Energy
DADE CITY — Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative members could see higher energy bills under proposed emissions standards aimed at reducing carbon levels at coal-fired power plants.
The cooperative has already invested millions of dollars to lower carbon levels at a coal plant in Palatka that produces most of its electricity, but the stricter federal standards likely will force it to spend even more and pass those costs on to its 220,000 members, co-op officials say....
09/09/14 Local Government
DADE CITY — Pasco commissioners on Tuesday approved increasing the county's gas tax to 12 cents a gallon — highest in the Tampa Bay area.
The 5-cent-per-gallon hike puts Pasco's gasoline tax at the most allowed under state law and 5 cents higher than in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and 3 cents higher than in Hernando.
County commissioners, who didn't relish passing the increase, found themselves at a crossroads after a recent spate of new construction and years of budget cuts....
WESLEY CHAPEL — The company proposing a massive ice skating complex at Interstate 75 and State Road 56 in Pasco County says it will likely break ground in October once it receives building permits from the county.
Deborah Tamargo, a spokeswoman for Tampa-based Z Mitch LLC, said the company had hoped to start work on the four-rink complex this month but will miss that target because it's awaiting approval of a construction plan from planning and zoning officials....
The polling numbers in the countywide Pasco Commission primary races tell one story: Republicans Mike Moore and Mike Wells trounced the competition.
But to see just how lopsided their wins really were last week, check out the precinct results at Pasco Superintendent of Elections Brian Corley's web site, www.pascovotes.com....
TRINITY — A sprawling residential and commercial development on State Road 54 is more than a year from breaking ground, but the developer is releasing some details about the project, including a walkable courtyard rimmed by shops and restaurants.
Kitson & Partners, out of Palm Beach Gardens, said it envisions "a unique lifestyle destination" combining 800 homes with 980,000 square feet of commercial space. The 333-acre property, owned by the Mitchell ranching family, sits at the southwest corner of State Road 54 and Little Road....
08/27/14 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — Congressman Gus Bilirakis said he wanted to hear from veterans about possible locations for a new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Pasco County.
But when about 100 veterans gathered for a town hall meeting Wednesday night at the West Pasco Government Center, the Palm Harbor Republican got an earful, including complaints about long wait times at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa....
Chris Gregg cruised to an easy win over Jim Mathieu in Tuesday's Republican primary for House District 36 in west Pasco County.
Gregg held a comfortable lead early on and never let go. With almost all precinct totals in, he held a 58.5 percent lead to Mathieu's 41.5 percent, making him his party's nominee in the November general election against incumbent Democratic state Rep. Amanda Murphy....
LAND O'LAKES — Motorists who take Shady Hills Road should get ready to allow for extra time starting Wednesday as work crews begin a six-month reconstruction of the road.
Workers will detour cars along a 3-mile stretch of Shady Hills between Softwind Lane and State Road 52, though only a mile of Shady Hills Road will be affected by the project.
Cars traveling south on Shady Hills will be detoured onto Softwind Lane, then directed to Hudson Avenue and Hays Road, which leads to SR 52....
08/24/14 Human Interest
Dave Armstrong couldn't resist eliciting roars of approval from the 40 children lined up outside the new Boys & Girls Club at Stanley Park.
"Are you guys excited?" he shouted.
"Yeah," came the deafening reply.
"Are you really excited?"
With that, Armstrong, executive director of Pasco County Boys & Girls Clubs, flung open the front door of the community center that has been under construction since last summer across the street from Lacoochee Elementary School. For far longer, it's been viewed by county and community leaders as a long-overdue asset for this impoverished, rural corner of northeast Pasco....
08/23/14 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has scheduled a town hall meeting for Wednesday to seek veterans' input on potential sites for a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Pasco County.
"Although the final decision on the location remains in the hands of the VA, I feel it is my duty to solicit opinions from veterans and their families within our communities," said Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor....
Pasco County Commission candidate Ken Littlefield this week rolled out a mailer featuring a smiling photograph and glowing quotes from Tax Collector Mike Fasano.
"It's not an endorsement. He just said some nice things about me," Littlefield, 70, said of the mailer that shows the two men smiling and standing side by side.
Littlefield said he sent 13,000 of the ads to west Pasco voters....
08/21/14 Human Interest
The Rev. Dan Campbell didn't need much reassurance to know that his Methodist congregation made the right decision to minister to the poor.
He couldn't ignore the evidence: homeless people sleeping in cars, in doorways of businesses, even outside the church.
"The need was so great," he said.
His dwindling congregation was moved as well, which is why members voted seven years ago to close the church and reopen as the Joining Hands Community Mission. The group now operates as Metropolitan Ministries Pasco, having joined the huge Metropolitan Ministries charitable network based in Tampa....