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New Port Richey

Pasco Sheriff's Office Capt. Mike Ferrantelli captured the gold in Prague.

Ferrantelli did a bench press of 578.8 pounds (262.5 kilograms) to win the 2013 Masters Bench Press World Championship, held April 18-21 in the Czech Republic. He lifted 161/2 pounds more than the next closest finisher in his weight class.

"This was a chance to fulfill a lifetime dream to win a world championship," said Ferrantelli, 46, a captain with the sheriff's court services bureau who has held numerous weightlifting titles over the years.

"To stand on the No.1 podium, draped in the American flag, while they played our national anthem was unbelievable for me, it was very emotional for me," he added. "Sometimes you wait a lifetime for a moment like this. It was an honor for me to be chosen to represent the United States of America. I'm glad I was able to make our country proud."

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St. Leo

Gallagher honored by his alma mater

Pasco County Administrator John Gallagher, a 1969 graduate of Saint Leo University, received an honorary doctor of humane letters from his alma mater Saturday during the spring commencement.

Saint Leo conferred degrees on more than 1,100 new graduates over the course of three ceremonies. On Friday evening, bachelor's degrees were presented to 361 graduates from the Center for Online Learning at Saint Leo's main campus or other education centers. Nearly 420 students accepted their graduate degrees on Saturday morning in a range of masters' programs. Gallagher received his honorary degree Saturday afternoon, along with nearly 350 traditional undergraduates who studied at the Saint Leo campus.

Gallagher earned his bachelor's in political science at Saint Leo before launching a career that eventually took him into public administration. His 31-year tenure at Pasco's helm makes him the longest-serving county administrator in Florida. He plans to retire this year.

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Land O'Lakes

Applicants flock to principal posts

Two vacant Pasco County school principal jobs have drawn some keen interest among applicants, after some past openings brought in only scant numbers.

Pine View Elementary School in Land O'Lakes attracted 13 candidates for the post, which became available after Judy Cosh accepted the principal job at Gulf Highlands Elementary.

Among the group are two school leaders, including Nicole Reynolds, whose Shady Hills Elementary is closing for renovations. Fox Hollow Elementary principal Lisa Miller also applied, along with assistant principals Scott Atkins, Tracey Bruno, Megan Hermansen, Holly Oakes, Sharon Sacco, Dawn Scilex, Erika Tonello, Heather Wallen and Rebecca Younglove; as well as former Martin County principal Timothy Romano and Pinellas Preparatory Academy principal Joell Ramsdell.

Wiregrass Ranch High School got four resumes to replace Ray Bonti, who won a promotion to the district office earlier this spring. The candidates include current Wiregrass Ranch assistant principal Robyn White, River Ridge High assistant principal Steve Williams, Sunlake High assistant principal Marcy Maxwell and Romano, whose wife recently was offered the Hernando County superintendency.

The district expects to fill these and several other principal positions in the coming weeks as it prepares for the 2013-14 school year.

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Dade City

Center's closing won't affect doctor's practice

Dr. Michael Weiss, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist with Women's Health of Pasco, isn't going anywhere.

While Pasco Regional Medical Center announced plans last week to close its obstetrics unit on Sept. 1, Weiss will still provide obstetrics and gynecological care from his offices in Zephyrhills and Dade City.

He will continue to deliver babies at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, and he will have access to Spring Hill Regional Hospital, which has the only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Hernando and Pasco counties.

Weiss has delivered babies in east Pasco since July 2006. He specializes in family planning, infertility, pregnancy care and general gynecologic care.

In addition, he is trained in da Vinci Robotics and performs minimally invasive gynecology procedures, such as treatment for endometriosis, fibroid tumors and cysts, utilizing robotic technology.

For information call (352) 567-1411 or visit

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Dade City

Lutheran church will consecrate three deacons

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will host a special consecration service at 4 p.m. Sunday for three new deacons, Ed Borton, RuthAnne Baumiller and Teresa Waterman.

A reception will follow at Bertschy Hall. The church is at 37015 Orange Valley Lane, at Fort King Road and Clinton Avenue.

Please RSVP by calling (352) 567-8424 or email to

Regular worship services are held at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sundays as well as 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

For information, visit