C.T. Bowen - Pasco County Reporter

Pasco County Reporter

I landed in Pasco County over 30 years ago from upstate New York and never left. I joined the Times in 1998 after 11 years at the Tampa Tribune and, over the past three decades, I've authored stories, columns and editorials about the people, places and politics here. My wife Mary Beth and I live in Land O' Lakes and are parents of two grown sons.

  1. A wrong-way driver headed south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Pasco County caused a crash that resulted in the death of a 45-year-old motorcyclist, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.  Over a three-year period ending in 2018, the county averaged 97 traffic fatalities annually. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  2. The developers of Avalon Park West in Wesley Chapel are planning a $736 million downtown core to accompany nearly 2,700 residences and 355,000 square feet of commercial and office space in a walkable neighborhood. . As part of the deal, Pasco County will consider kicking  in a $33 million 30-year incentive, mostly a tax rebate to help with infrastructure costs.
  3. Pasco County commissioners introduced an ordinance Tuesday governing upkeep of empty property after residents complained about the condition of the Links Golf Club in Hudson, which closed in June 2019.
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  5. Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff conduct regular seagrass monitoring to assess the health and diversity of seagrass meadows within the St. Martins Marsh and Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserves north of Tampa Bay. A state legislator wants to extend the aquatic preserve to all of Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.

Charlie Shoemaker for The Pew Charitable Trusts
  6. The Hayman-Fuentes Farm Land Trust is seeking to rezone its ranch on State Road 54, Lutz, into an employment center.
  7. The Sierra Club is suing federal environmental regulators to try to block the extension of Ridge Road in Pasco County through a nature preserve.
  8. Pasco County plans to eliminate the late fees for overdue books. The change is effective Feb. 10, 2020.
  9. Hutch Brock, former Dade City mayor and an advocate of the Penny for Pasco initiative to raise money for public projects, died Jan. 26, 2020, at the age of 54.
  10. Chris Billings, an assistant state attorney based in Pasco County, withdrew his candidacy for a county judge seat this week. Earlier this month, an attorney for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported in an internal memo that Billings made inappropriate comments to her during a phone call last month.
  11. Tom Murray of Willow Brook Court stands at the fence surrounding the sink-hole riddled drainage area in the Lakeside Woodlands neighborhood in Hudson.
  12. Construction continues on the new Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County located in Wesley Chapel. The center will feature a 98,000 square foot sports center with eight bio-cushioned hardwood courts that can be utilized for basketball, volleyball, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, wrestling, soccer, futsal, cheerleading and dance.
  13. AdventHealth's central Pasco emergency room at t 16625 State Road 54 is shown here. The hospital chain recently purchased 18 acres on State Road 52 at the northern entrance of the Mirada development west of Dade City.
  14. The fields are set for the April municipal elections in Pasco County. Times (2012)
  15. Rooker Properties of Atlanta plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of industrial and office space at what is now county-owned  land on Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Pictured is Rooker's Spartan Ridge Logistics Center, a 273,000-square-foot, Class-A industrial building in Spartanburg, S.C. It was constructed in 2018 and the company said the buildings planned for the Pasco County site will closely resemble this.
  16. This home in Colonial Hills neighborhood in west Pasco has been vacant for 10 years, neighbors said. A new Pasco County ordinance would require the owners of vacant and rental residences to register their properties with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
  17. Times
The family of Dania Vizzi of Odessa, is suing Pasco County over a disputed skeet-shooting range in Darby. Vizzi, above, is an Olympic hopeful and won a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan-American Games.
  18. A neighbor has given up her legal challenge to a planned solar farm on Blanton Road near Dade City.
  19. Home builder Taylor Morrison and Forestar USA Real Estate Group, a subsidiary of D.R. Horton, have acquired nearly 700 acres of the planned River Landing development between Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills.
  20. Pasco County seal in commission chamber.
  21. Ridge Road in Pasco County currently ends at Moon Lake Road.
  22. The agrihood area in Arden, a development in Palm Beach County that includes a 5-acre farm and event barn. Lennar, one of the builders in Arden, is proposing an agrihood in its Angeline development in Land O' Lakes.
  23. Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley is asking the County Commission to adopt new rules to govern campaigning in Pasco elections.
  24. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Pasco County are partnering to build two street hockey rinks at county parks in Holiday and Wesley Chapel. Here, Jason Garrison plays street hockey with youth from the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club in the plaza area of the Amalie Arena.