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Pasco news briefs for Sept. 20

News and notes from Pasco County
The Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival will be Oct. 12 in Hibiscus Park. [AP]
The Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival will be Oct. 12 in Hibiscus Park. [AP]
Published Sep. 15, 2019
Updated Sep. 26, 2019


‘Big’ mentors needed for Pasco youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has scheduled orientation for those interested in becoming mentors. The orientations will provide prospective adult mentors with information on the children the organization serves, the requirements to become a “big,” volunteer commitments and expectations, how to handle cultural differences and the variety of programs offered through the organization. Big Brothers and Big Sisters can spend four to eight hours a month as a mentor. Upcoming sessions include:

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 24, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd. Another orientation will be offered at this location on Oct. 29.

• 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 5, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

No reservations needed. For information, contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at or (813) 997-6881.


Extension office gets incubator kitchen

The Pasco County Extension’s One Stop Shop will host the grand opening of its new community Incubator Kitchen at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at 15029 14th St.

The kitchen was made possible due to the donation of appliances from Welbilt, Inc. The facility is equipped for culinary and food safety education, as well as food preservation.

“The partnership of the Pasco Economic Development Council and Welbilt helped make this exciting concept a reality,” said Pasco County Extension director Dr. Whitney Elmore. “The Incubator Kitchen will serve local entrepreneurs through the Pasco EDC and residents alike with hands-on teaching in a well-equipped workspace.”

The One Stop Shop Incubator Kitchen offers a six-burner range with oven, reach-in refrigerator, reach-in freezer, ice machine, three-bay sink, work tables, storage shelving and more. The kitchen also will support the Pasco Extension’s safe food preservation programs for those with an interest in Florida’s cottage food industry.

The space will be available to the public for cooking, canning, packing, preserves, pickling, juicing and more for both personal and small business purposes.

For further information about the Incubator Kitchen, visit the website at or call (352) 518-0156.

Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly

The Dade City Youth Council and Dade City Garden Club will present the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 at Hibiscus Park at Seventh Street and Bougainvillea Avenue.

The festival is a celebration of the community’s commitment to make Dade City a monarch butterfly haven through collective efforts, helping pollinators, improving the environment and making Dade City a better place to live, work and play.

The event will feature environmental educators, informational booths, presentations, native plant sales, vendors and hands-on activities for children. A limited number of vendor spaces are available. For information, contact Lucy at or (352) 424-4972.

Benefit golf tourney needs sponsors

The annual Holes for Hope Golf Tournament to benefit Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center will be Oct. 7 at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. A shotgun start will be at 8:30 a.m.

Sponsors and teams are needed. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, purchasing a hole sign or signing up a foursome, contact Sunrise at (352) 521-3358 or


Organ donors, recipients honored

West Central Florida’s organ donor families and transplant recipients will come together for the inaugural “Remember and Rejoice” Interfaith Ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 28 at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, 8014 State Road 52.

The candlelight ceremony will include donor and recipient speakers, medical professionals and community spiritual leaders. There will be inspirational music and a special dedication to donors and their families, where donors’ names will be read aloud and white roses distributed.

The event is for donor families, living donors, transplant recipients, those waiting for a donor, medical professionals and first responders. No tickets or reservations are needed. For further information, email to or, or call (727) 819-5103.

CARES hosts aging, health programs

Community Aging and Retirement Services, Inc., will offer the following programs:

• Free certification course for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21, 23-25, at the CARES Rao Musunuru, MD, Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway. Participants will learn to instruct the wellness program that helps older adults manage their chronic health conditions and improve their quality of life. To qualify for the free certification, participants must agree to volunteer to teach at least two classes during the year under CARES license. Call (727) 815-2684.

• Aging Wisely Micro Presentations, informative 10-minute presentations, will be at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the CARES Rao Musunuru, MD, Activity Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway. Speakers include Elizabeth M. Mancini, an elder law attorney with Hudzeitz & Mancini, PA; Linda Fox, a certified financial planner with Fox Wealth Management Group; Lorie Felber, community outreach with Atria Senior Living; Sara Simkins, funeral director with Michels & Lundquist; and Natalia Atkanova with HPH Hospice. There is no cost to attend. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to (727) 863-6868.

Market, artisan day set at SunWest

A Coastal Chic Vintage Market and Artisan Day will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at SunWest Park, 17362 Old Dixie Highway.

The event is dedicated to unique nautical-style, ocean-themed decor, coastal designs and Florida-chic home decor. There will be artisan-made items, original art, painted furniture, upcycled and restored pieces, antiques and vintage collectibles. Food will be available.

Admission is free. For information email to or call (727) 674-1464.

Flotilla to offer safe boating course

The Hudson Flotilla 11-7 Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the Florida-mandated “About Boating Safely” class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the training facility at 9135 Denton Ave.

The cost is $40 for the first family member and $20 for each additional member. It includes the class, digital library and processing fee. Those who complete the class will receive the Florida Boating Safely Education Card.

The class is offered on the fourth Saturday of each month. Group rates are available, and private classes can be scheduled for groups of five or more. Advance registration is appreciated. To register for the class or for information, send email to or call (727) 697-8013.


Brewfest to benefit Hospice

A Fall Brewfest for Hospice will be on Oct. 5 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.

This is a craft beer festival benefiting Gulfside Hospice and will feature sampling of craft beer and wine, live music by Stonegrey, vendors, food trucks, games and more. New this year will be VIP tickets to include early admission, VIP snacks and event T-shirts. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for VIP ticketholders and 6 p.m. for general admission.

A number of breweries and wineries will offer samples, including 81 Bay Brewing Company, Afford-A-Brew, Big Storm Brewing Company, Hop State Brewing, JDub’s Brewing Company, Marker 48, Wiregrass Brewing Company and others. There will be food trucks on site.

VIP tickets are $50 each or $90 for two. General admission tickets are $25 each or $45 for two. Designated driver tickets are $15 and include soda and water.

All event attendees, including designated drivers, must be at least 21 years old. No infants, children, strollers or pets will be admitted. For further information, visit, email to or call (727) 845-5707.


Legislative Delegation hosts annual meeting

The Pasco County Legislative Delegation will host its annual public meeting from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, Performing Arts Center, 10230 Ridge Road.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow residents, elected officials, cities and local government, as well as other civic organizations, to address the delegation before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. Decisions on local legislation for the 2020 session will be made at the meeting, and all proposals for local bills are to be presented at the meeting.

Proposals are to be submitted to Rep. Amber Mariano’s office no later than noon Oct. 4 at 10730 U.S. 19 N, Suite 23, Port Richey, FL 34668. Those who would like to be placed on the printed agenda should also contact Mariano’s office by by noon Oct. 4, at or (727) 861-4806. After that date, those interested in speaking can complete a speaker’s form on the day of the meeting, and will be afforded time to speak in the order in which it was received. Speakers must bring or submit seven copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution.

For further information, contact Alexander Alt at (727) 861-4806.

Millpond Estates hosts fall bazaar

A fall bazaar will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Millpond Estates Clubhouse, 7729 Morningdale Drive.

Vendors will sell crafts and other items. Coffee, donuts, hot dogs, chips and soda will be available for purchase.

Sertoma ‘Wobble’ event planned for downtown

Gulf Shores Sertoma will host its fourth annual Wobble, a scavenger-type event, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 5 in downtown New Port Richey. All locations will be within walking distance of each other.

The event will start and end at Bourbon On Main (formerly Karl Reef). The cost is $20 per person. A T-shirt is included for those who purchase tickets by Sept. 20.

This year’s proceeds will help purchase a mobile hearing clinic for the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing screenings and services to children throughout the state. For information, call Lisa at (727) 364-8402.

Chef to present vegetarian dish

A cooking demonstration, Chef Warren Presents: Vegetarian Cooking, will be presented from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St.

Attendees will learn how to prepare delicious and healthy dishes without meat. It will be presented by Chef Warren Caterson, author of the Table for Two cookbooks.

There is no cost to attend. For information, call the library at (727) 853-1279.

Fine Arts Council to offer classes

The Pasco Fine Arts Council is accepting registrations for classes beginning the week of Oct. 1 at the center at 4145 Fairford Drive.

Among the classes available will be Beginning Polymer on Friday mornings and Printmaking and Pottery on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For details, stop by the center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, register online at or call (727) 845-7322.

City hosts 2019-20 concert series

The City of New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department will present its free 2019-20 concert series at Sims Park, 6431 Bank St., from October through April. All concerts are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Upcoming concerts include:

• Oct. 5, Turnstiles, a Billy Joel tribute.

• Nov. 9, Simply Tina, a Tina Turner tribute.

• Dec. 21, Gary West, a Johnny Cash tribute.

• Jan. 18, Southern Cross, a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute.

• Feb. 15, Caribbean Chillers, a Jimmy Buffet tribute.

• March 7, Phil Dirt and the Dozers, performing vintage rock and roll.

• April 25, Almost ABBA, an ABBA tribute.

All concerts will be outdoors and are free. Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets, as seating will be limited. Snacks will be available and area restaurants and pubs will be open. Also, while pets on leashes are welcome at the park, it is requested that pets are left at home for this event. For information, call (727) 841-4560.

Registration underway for plein air competition

The Pasco Fine Arts Council and Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park will host a “Paint Out at Starkey Park,” a plein air art competition, Dec. 5-8 at the park, 10500 Wilderness Drive. A welcoming reception will be Dec. 4, and the painting will be through Dec. 7. The exhibition and awards will be on Dec. 8.

All artists are welcome to compete for cash prizes in this open competition. There are a few campsites and cabins available for those wishing to have the full experience of “plein air” painting, but early reservations are recommended.

The deadline to enter is Nov. 8. For details and registration, visit, call (727) 845-7322 or stop by the Fine Arts Council at 4145 Fairford Drive.

‘Round up’ of sweet potatoes planned

The New Port Richey FarmNet will join with First United Methodist Church of New Port Richey to celebrate the fourth annual Sweet Potato Round-Up and Fall Farming Festival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 28 at the church, 5901 Indiana Ave.

The Round-Up will feature locally-grown, heirloom, organic sweet potatoes offered by FarmNet growers. Several varieties will be available for purchase, including Georgia jets, purple passions, Asian reds, beauregards and others. The event will have sweet potato recipes, samples of dishes, seasonal vegetable seeds and seedlings for fall gardens.

For information, contact Dell deChant at (727) 849-1626.


Regency Park plans benefit bazaar

Regency Park Association will host its annual bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 19, 10240 Regency Park Blvd.

Table rental is $20 per 10-foot table. All rental proceeds will benefit SOLVE of West Pasco, an organization that helps low-income families with children from birth to 6 years. Call Donna, (727) 863-0196.


Spook-A-Thon to open at the Concourse

A Spook-A-Thon Halloween event will kick off with the Spooky Train and Spooky Trail Sept. 27 and 28, and every Friday and Saturday in October, as well as Oct. 27, at the Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road. A Spooky Town and Spooky Fun event will be open the last weekend only.

Hours will be from 5 to 7:15 p.m. for the daylight train, which may be best for young or sensitive children. The Spooky Train and Spooky Trail will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The Grand Concourse Railroad Club has designed a miniature train ride that will wind past a spine-tingling morgue, the asylum and other creepy creations. Volunteer actors who previously created the popular Angelus Haunted Halloween will bring their terrifying talents to the event. The Spooky Trail haunted walking path through the woods will feature animated special effects, live actors and unexpected surprises.

On Oct. 25 and 26 only, the Spooky Town and Spooky Fun will be open from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

The cost is $6 each for entry to either Spooky Train or Spooky Trail, or $10 for both. Spooky Fun will also be $6 on Oct. 25-26, or $15 for all three. There is no charge to enter the adjacent Safety Town. Tickets will be available at the gate only. Credit cards will be accepted. Children 12 months and younger will be admitted free. Food concessions will be available by the West Pasco Sertoma Club.

For information, visit the Grand Concourse Railroad on Facebook, or call Bill at (727) 639-7639.


Church hosts golf tourney Sept. 28

Queen of Peace Church will host its eighth-annual Golf Tournament Sept. 28 at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club, 3535 Trophy Road. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the shotgun start is at noon. Following the tourney will be dinner, prizes and a silent auction.

The cost is $25 adults, $13 for children. This is a fundraiser for the church, with proceeds to benefit the community through outreach ministries.

For further information, sponsorships and team packages, call (727) 849-7521.


Pasco to break ground on ‘inclusive’ playground

Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is breaking ground on a universally inclusive playground at 10 a.m. Sept. 20 at Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road.

The nearly 7,000-square-foot facility is the first of its kind in Pasco County, and is designed to meet the needs of all children, including those with disabilities and mobility issues. In partnership with Pasco County, donations from the Lennar Foundation, the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel and AdventHealth Wesley Chapel helped make this vision a reality.

The playground is designed for users with physical, sensory, cognitive, emotional and developmental challenges, so all children can play side-by-side. The entire area will be surfaced with poured-in-place rubber, allowing users with all mobilities to access the playground. Wheelchair users will be able to enjoy features such as a merry-go-round, a rocking raft, a hand cycle and a spiral game.

The project is expected to be complete by mid-November. Learn more about it at


  1. A "for sale" sign beckons Friday along Sixth Avenue N in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg.
  2. Dale Massad appears in court for a motion hearing on his bond status on March 14 the at West Pasco Judicial Center in New Port Richey. Massad is charged with attempted murder after authorities said he shot at a Pasco County Sheriff's Office SWAT team.
  3. First Lady Casey DeSantis talks with students during the Hope for Healing a mental and substance abuse initiative held Roland Park K-8 School in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said state officials worked closely with DeSantis to craft the new rule. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
  4. 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]
  5. New Port Richey City Hall
  6. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
  7. The attendance zones for Northwest, Gulf Highlands and Fox Hollow elementary schools would shift under a proposed rezoning that also includes the closing of Hudson Elementary.
  8. Brian Davison is chief executive officer of Equialt, which bought this Safety Harbor home in a tax deed sale. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contends in a new lawsuit that EquiAlt is a Ponzi scheme, and Davison has diverted investor funds for his own lavish personal spending. Times (2015)
  9. Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille leads the Pasco-Hernando State College faculty union, which challenged the school's public comment rules.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)
  10. The fields are set for the April municipal elections in Pasco County. Times (2012)
  11. 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.
  12. 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.