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Pasco County libraries will be open again on Mondays

This and more Pasco County news briefs.
Pasco County community news [TMCCARTY80 | Tara McCarty]
Published Oct. 14


Monday hours return at libraries

The Pasco County Library System has announced Monday hours will return to all library branches starting Oct. 21. The additional hours are part of the 2019-20 budget approved by the Pasco Board of County Commissioners, following a commitment to restore library services to pre-recession levels.

The South Holiday Branch will not only have Monday hours, but will add Thursday evening hours.

Centennial Park and New River library branches are closed for extensive renovations and are expected to open in the summer of 2020.

For further information, visit the website at

Thrip releases to control invasive plant

The Pasco County Extension Office is coordinating the release of host-specific thrips, which are tiny insects, to control Brazilian peppertree infestations on Pasco County environmental lands.

The species of thrips being used will feed only on Brazilian peppertree and has shown great effectiveness at controlling the invasive plant in laboratory studies. Scientists from the University of Florida in Fort Pierce are coordinating the release of the insects with biologists from the Pasco Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department.

Brazilian peppertree is a noxious plant that takes over native vegetation such as pine flatwoods and protective mangroves.

Potential benefits of Brazilian peppertree control with thrips includes: lower cost; less herbicide impact on non-target plants; protected mangroves can thrive along coastlines; and native vegetation will see less impact from the noxious weed.

For information about release dates and other details, call the Extension Office at (352) 518-0156 or email to

Animal Services suspends vaccines, microchip clinics

Pasco County Animal Services has temporarily suspended vaccine and microchip clinic services due to a veterinarian staffing shortage. This temporary interruption affects only the vaccine and microchip clinics. The veterinary team remains focused on the medical needs of the shelter and preparing pets for adoption and rescue.

Free rabies vaccinations will be offered to the first 50 clients when services resume Dec. 4.

To be among the 50 considered for the free vaccinations, email with your name and the number of pets you plan to bring. An Animal Services staff member will make contact to confirm eligibility for the free vaccinations.

Those bringing pets on Dec. 4 may be asked to complete a pet/owner information form in advance. Also, pet owners should bring a government-issued ID and previous rabies vaccination history for their pets. Pasco County residents will be required to purchase a county license for their pets.

Pasco County Animal Services is at 19640 Dogpatch Lane. To learn more about additional services, visit For more information about Pasco County Animal Services, visit

Drug ‘take back’ planned for Oct. 26

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention will participate in the 18th National Drug Enforcement Agency Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the following locations:

• Walmart, 8745 Little Road, New Port Richey.

• The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel (first floor of the parking garage, next to car detailing services).

Residents can stop by to dispose of unused and expired medications at either location. For further information on Take-Back Day, visit


Lighthouse for Blind hosts grand opening

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind has moved into its new facility at 9130 Ridge Road. The following events are planned to celebrate:

• The Lighthouse teen program will have a yard sale and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 19. This is an indoor sale, with proceeds to benefit the new program and furnish the new classroom.

• The Lighthouse Grand Opening celebration will be Oct. 24. Tours and socializing will be from 3 to 5 p.m., and again from 6 to 7 p.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Darlene Jones at (727) 815-0303 or

Artists can join 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.


Golf tourney to benefit at-risk Pasco teens

Kids Kicking High, a nonprofit organization serving economically disadvantaged students in West Pasco, will have a benefit golf tournament Oct. 27 at Crescent Oaks Golf Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd. Sponsors and teams are needed.

Tee-time will be at 1 p.m. There will be raffles, as well as contests for best ball, longest drive and closest to the pin. Dinner will be included.

The cost is $60 per golfer. Various sponsorships are available. For further details or to register, call Greg Phillips at (727) 226-5907.


  1. The Pasco County school district is considering an increase in substitute teacher pay to combat its low fill rate for the jobs.
    District officials say more competitive wages could help fill vacancies, which have been rising.
  2. JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    JoAnne Glenn next will be entered for the statewide honor.
  3. Port Richey City Hall [Times (2018)]
    The city will again submit a plan to the Pasco County Commission for federal funding to pay for its plan.
  4. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning briefly blocked a critic from his social media accounts. He has since restored access to the person but says he would rather they have a conversation, “like two grown adults.” [Times (2016)]
    Kurt Browning restored his online nemesis as a Twitter follower and Facebook friend after staffers told him that blocking people was a no-no.
  5. Pasco Commissioner Mike Moore is questioning why the county helps fund the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
    County Commissioner Mike Moore wonders what Pasco gets for its regional planning council dues. | C.T. Bowen
  6. Spectators peruse Beetles and buses at the 31st-annual Florida Bug Jam, held Nov. 9-10 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. Michele Miller
  7. Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired three dealerships from the Williams Automotive Group including Wesley Chapel Toyota near the Interstate 75 and State Road 54 interchange in Wesley Chapel. [Times (2007]
    Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda dealerships change hands
  8. Left: A burned Ford Taurus, found near Key Vista Nature Park, pictured in the Pasco County Sheriff's Office's forensics building. Right: 21-year-old Michael Psilakis, of Hudson, is accused of killing the unidentified man whose body was found in the car. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    Michael Psilakis, of Hudson, faces first-degree murder and other charges. The victim has not been identified.
  9. Odessa Elementary School in Pasco County has grown to 1,126 students in fall 2020. Pasco County school district
    At 1,126 students, Odessa is larger than 10 of the district’s 16 middle schools, too.
  10. Members of the VFW Post 8154 honor guard stand at attention during the Veterans Day Remembrance service held Nov. 11 at Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills. Michele Miller