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  1. Pasco

Pasco County news briefs

News and notes from Pasco County

Pasco County


Tax office holds essay contest

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano announced his office is accepting entries in a month-long essay contest, which begins Feb. 1.

The contest is open to Pasco County high school students, including students that go to public, charter, private, parochial and home schools. The essay of 500 words or less should answer the question: Should property taxes be raised or lowered? What would be the impact of whichever decision you make?

Entries will be judged by a panel of directors from the Pasco County Tax Collector's Office. They will be reviewed on how well the student communicates his or her response to the question, as well as overall essay structure, appearance and readability.

Essays can be sent to Greg Giordano, Assistant Tax Collector, Pasco County Tax Collector's Office, P.O. Box 276, Dade City, FL 33526. Entries can be delivered to the New Port Richey office at 4730 U.S. 19 (sent in care of Greg Giordano); as well as by email at For information, call Giordano at (727) 847-8179.

Elections office accepting scholarship applications

Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley is accepting applications for the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections Scholarship. The association will award three $1,200 scholarships statewide to a political science/public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications major.

Applicants must have finished two years of junior college or undergraduate work, be enrolled or accepted as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida, have been a Florida resident for at least two years and demonstrate a financial need. Two letters of recommendation, one from a college or university last attended or graduated from, and one from a personal reference, should accompany the application. Applicants must be Florida registered voters.

Applications can be accessed online at and are due back to the supervisor's office by March 29.Further details are available on the website.

AARP offers driver safety class

The AARP Driver Safety Program class will be offered at several Pasco County locations during February. The course is open to drivers ages 50 and older who, upon completion, may receive a discount on their auto insurance premiums. The certificate is valid for three years. The cost for the course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. Space is limited; preregistration is required. For class times, contact and to register, contact Bev Cogdill at (813) 907-3908.

• Feb. 1 at Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O' Lakes.

• Feb. 8 at New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills.

• Feb. 15 at Zephyrhills Library, 5347 Eighth Ave., Zephyrhills.

• Feb. 18 at Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City.


Gala event to honor Dr. Musunuru

Community Aging and Retirement Services will honor Rao Musunuru, M.D., at its 2019 Celebrating Seniors annual event at 5 p.m. Feb. 1 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. The was resolved as Pasco County's "Dr. Rao Musunuru Day" by the Pasco County Commission in 2014.

Dr. Musunuru will be recognized as CARES' all-time top donor. Expenses for the event are being paid by the Musunuru family, and funds raised for the event will be used to serve the frail elderly in the community. This year will mark CARES 46th year advocating, providing programs and services for the needs of elders and caregivers in the community.

Sponsorships are still available and vary from $500 to $5,000, with individual tickets available for $50. For details, contact Jemith Rosa at (727) 862-9291, ext. 2026 or; or mail payment to CARES Administration Office, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson, FL 34667.

Land O' Lakes

Green Industry training set for landscapers

The UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service is offering Green Industry Best Management Practices training from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Land O' Lakes Heritage Park Community Center, 5401 Land O' Lakes Blvd.

The program is designed for landscape professionals who apply pesticides and fertilizers commercially. The cost for training and lunch is $30. The cost for Pasco County School Board and Pasco County Government employees is $15. All participants must have a photo ID and a pre‑paid ticket for admission. No refunds will be given.

Pre‑registration and pre‑payment are required by Jan. 25 and can be completed online at For information, call (352) 518-0156.

New Port Richey

Quilt show set for Feb. 2

The quilters of Leisure RV Resort will host the 14th annual Leisure Days Quilt Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 2 at 34533 Leisure Days Drive.

The show will include quilts created by individual quilters, wall hangings and specialty quilts from family treasures. Admission is $5. For information, call Helen at (813) 395-5706.

Arts center offers various workshops

The Pasco Fine Arts Center, 4145 Fairford Drive, is offering several workshops:

• A two-day Printmaking Workshop with artist Ernesto Blanco will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9 and 16. Participants learn to make print plates and print multi-color designs. Registration is required by Feb. 1

• A Children's Saturday Class, Making Prints from Fun Stuff, will be offered Feb. 19 to March 23 with artist Mary Hensel. Children explore various types of printmaking. Registration required by Feb. 9.

• A Plein Aire Workshop with Suzanne Natzke will be offered Feb. 13.

For further details on the workshops, call (727) 345-7322 or visit

Free dental services offered to the needy

Dr. Vincent Monticciolo, through Dentistry from the Heart, will host his 18th annual free dentistry day Feb. 8 at his practice, Monticciolo Family and Sedation Dentistry, 5139 Little Road. Patient registration is at 6 a.m., with an opening ceremony at 6:45 a.m.and the first patient seen at 7 a.m.

An estimated 450 individuals will receive free dental services, including a free cleaning, filling or extraction. People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Monticciolo will be joined by his staff, local dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and numerous other volunteers. There will be about 200 volunteers lending a hand at the event. Area businesses are donating food and drinks for the volunteers, and OneBlood of Trinity/New Port Richey will have a blood mobile unit for blood donations.

Dentistry from the Heart is a worldwide nonprofit organization, founded by Dr. Monticciolo, dedicated to providing free dental care to those in need.

Florida Humanities Council series to start

The City of New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department and the Cultural Affairs Committee received grant funding from the Florida Humanities Council to allow for a weekly speaker series from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 4 through 25, at the Recreation and Aquatic Center, 6630 Van Buren St. The free lecture topics include:

• Florida Foods, by Gary Mormino, a history professor at the University of South Florida who teaches a class in food history and is writing a book on Florida foodways. He will discuss the 10 foods that define Florida.

• Florida Love Stories, by Caren Neile, who teaches storytelling studies at Florida Atlantic University. She will share stories of great romances in Florida lore.

• Oh Florida!, by Craig Pittman, an award-winning author and journalist for the Tampa Bay Times. He will share how "America's Weirdest State" influences the rest of the country and will recount some of the wilder stories from Florida's history and culture.

• Old Florida, by Betty Jean Steinshauer, a fellow in the Florida Studies program at the University of South Florida, and author of The Florida Journeys. Her program will be a journey experiencing Florida through three women authors (in character and costume), including Harriet Beacher Stowe, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Marjory Stoneman.

There is no cost to attend. For information, call (727) 841-4560.

Shady Hills

Bring the dogs to this 5K event

San Francis Veterinary Hospital Acupuncture and Laser Center will host the second annual "Must Love Dogs 5K" on Feb. 10 at Crews Lake Park, 16739 Crews Lake Drive. Check in is at 8:30 a.m., and the run starts at 9 a.m.

This is a free event. Friendly, socialized dogs on leashes are welcome to come with their owners and run/walk through the park.

Donations will be accepted to benefit the Angel Fund. The San Francis Veterinary Hospital Angel Fund provides financial relief to those whose pets require medical care that causes the owners financial hardship.

Visit the event on Facebook at or call Lisa Campos at (727) 459-7331.


Golf tourney benefits two charities

The first Commander Jack "Sully" Sullivan Charity Golf Event will be Feb. 10 at Heritage Springs Golf and Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway.

The event is to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project and The Volunteer Way. Businesses are encouraged to donate prizes, gift cards or business coupons. Sponsorships are also available.

Individual players and teams also can sign up. The cost is $65 per golfer, which includes dinner; dinner only is $25.

For further details, contact Ken Lokey at (814) 937-7985 or, or Josette Doherty at (727) 741-4482.


Elite Soccer Skills Academy hosts tryouts

Elite Soccer Skills Academy will have tryouts for the ESSA Soccer Development Games Program for the 2019-20 season Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 at Samuel W. Pasco Athletic Complex, 39835 Chancey Road.

The program is for boys and girls ages 5 to 23. There is no cost for tryouts, but those attending must preregister as spaces are limited. To register or for further information, visit the website at

Spring Hill

Senior men's softball taking new players

The West Hernando Athletic Club for Seniors, a slow-pitch softball league for senior men, is starting up the second half of their season (the full season is September through April). New players are welcome.

Players must be at least 55 years old (during the season); the league includes a variety of ages, including men in their 80s.

Games are played at Veterans Memorial Park on Spring Hill Drive. The field has a lighted scoreboard, umpires and social events. During the summer there is open practice and pick-up games for league members.

The cost for the second half of the season is $40 per player. Those interested can call Charlie Parrott at (802) 355-8040 or Tom McCain at (352) 346-7878.

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.