The Laker

Material Information

The Laker
Uniform Title:
Laker (Land O'Lakes, Fla.)
Diane Kortus ( publisher )
Place of Publication:
Land O'Lakes, FL
Community News Publications, Inc.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 44 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Newspapers -- Land O'Lakes (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Pasco County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Florida -- Land O'Lakes ( fast )
Florida -- Pasco County ( fast )
Newspapers. ( fast )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )
Newspapers ( fast )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Pasco -- Land O'Lakes


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1982.
General Note:
Janet Gillis, publisher.
General Note:
"It's not Wednesday til you read The Laker."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright, Community News Publications. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
34749923 ( OCLC )
sn 96027394 ( LCCN )

UFDC Membership

Florida Digital Newspaper Library


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


CORNERSTONEPROS.COM813-990-0561 Service the Way it Oughta Be! $25 OFF SERVICE REPAIRA/C, Plumbing or Electrical $39.95 Service callMon-Fri 7am-5pm LK/LZ LK/LZ Same-Day Service Free 2nd Opinion* Free Estimates** 24/7 Emergency**Free estimates for new A/C, water heater, water treatment and electrical panel upgrade. *Free second opinion with written diagnosis from another company.CAC1816647 CFC1428982 EC0001103 Must present coupon. cannot be per visit. exp. 12/3117 Must present coupon. cannot be per visit. exp. 12/31/17 Auto Accident? Slip and Fall? FREE CONSULTATIONNo Fees Or Costs Unless You Win Walk-Ins 18920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Ste 101 Lutz, FL (Corner of Sunlake & Dale Mabry) HOLLIDAY KARATINOSLAW FIRM, P.L. I Will Aggressively Fight To Protect Your Legal RightsCall AttorneyJIM HOLLIDAY813-868-1887 3632 Land O Lakes Boulevard Land O Lakes, FL 34639 Award WinningBusiness Center Conference Rooms, Private Offices, Video Conferencing, Hourly Office Rentals, Virtual Phone Services EVENT ROOMdont wait! book your holiday parties now! COPPERSTONE EXECUTIVESUITES B INSIDE, PAGE 1B LAND O LAKES EDITION They hit the water to solve crimes, make rescuesA Pasco Sheriffs Office team has been trained to respond to emergency calls involving water rescues, and to search for evidence in lakes, rivers and other water bodies. The tactical units, called the Underwater Recovery/Swift Water Response Team, includes divers, rescue swimmers and deputies who pilot boats. We really can do anything that needs to be done on the water, said Lt. Jay Galassi, who oversees the Marine Unit. The 18-member team became nationally certified in November, after completing advanced swift water training through Dive Rescue International. The certification means the team is ready to serve in a wide range of scenarios, from safety and security, to special waterborne operations even in strong water currents. Officials say no mission is too large, whether its retrieving cars crashed in bodies of water, rescuing drowning victims, or looking for evidence or weapons underwater. The certification also allows it to assist in Federal Emergency Management Agency-related response efforts, on a local, regional and national level. We could deploy to Texas, we could deploy to South Florida, North Florida, whereverand then still have a team here that could effectively deal with issues in Pasco County, Galassi said. The Pasco Sheriffs Office began the task of creating and implementing a Swift Water Recovery Team in late 2016 for rescue and recovery operations in areas that frequently flood in the county. The team initially planned to include just four members who would respond to any swift water event in Pasco County. But, as the process of creating the team evolved, the Sheriffs Office obtained funding from private citizens allowing the agency to dedicate more than a dozen fully trained and equipped personnel to the team. The unit has been deployed for several high-profile occasions this year. For instance, they assisted during Hurricane Irma to provide aid to residents living in flood-prone areas, such as the Elfers community. They also recovered items and debris from the November plane crash of former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay. They also conducted underwater searches in Wesley Chapel in a recent missing persons case. The team held a training exercise on Dec. 4 at SunWest Park on Old Dixie Highway in Hudson, to practice and maintain its new waterborne skills. Team members tested three new 12-foot long INMAR inflatable/recovery boats purchased from private community donations. KEVIN WEISS FRED BELLET Wildcats win it all STORY, PAGE 14A. Pasco County commissioners want to know if residents enjoy their parks and libraries enough to pay higher taxes for quality of life services. Three community forums, in Hudson, Dade City and Land O Lakes, were held to get public input on the matter. Residents also have an opportunity to complete a 45question survey on how to pay for parks and libraries. A series of survey questions, for instance, ask if residents would be willing to pay monthly increases in property taxes of $6, $8 or $10 to pay for those amenities. About a dozen residents attended the forum at the Land O Lakes Recreation Center on Nov. 29. There were mixed reactions. Joel Jackson moved from Hillsborough County to Pasco about six years ago. I was a little bit shocked at how little in services there were, he said. By all means, if we need to spend more money, absolutely. But, a couple from Gulf Harbors, Mitch and Diane Kobernick, werent convinced. It seems were being nickeled and dimed to death on our taxes, said Diane Kobernick. At a workshop in October, Pasco County commissioners discussed one option to direct more tax dollars to parks and libraries. They could create a special tax district, Residents discuss funding options


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Call Now 813-948-6355OR SCHEDULE ONLINE PATRIOT UVUltra-Violet LightUV light kills germs, mold and allergens in the air. It also saves energy and reduces maintenance costs by keeping your central air system clean. PATRIOT UV Ultra-Violet Light UV lightkills ger ms mo ldandaller gen si n Indoor Air Quality A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Patriot IAQ products are donated to military veterans through the Warrior Events Non-Prot Organization WarriorEvents.netFINANCING AVAILABLENO CREDIT OR BAD CREDIT?WE HAVE OPTIONS FOR YOU! PATRIOT PCOWhole House Air PurierRevolutionary duct mounted PCO technology which uses a combination of Activated Carbon, UV light, and titanium dioxide to ght odors, germs, viruses, and mold without producing FIND MORE COUPONS GOOD TOWARDS A/C OR PLUMBING MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS In our ads in Section-B 813-948-6355 SCHEDULE YOUR FREE ESTIMATE THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BUY & NEVER ANY HIGH PRESSURE SALES. *Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer valid when purchasing a complete 15+ SEER Bryant comfort system. Cannot be applied to past purchases or estimates. See dealer for details. w/ Purchase of New A/C*MUST PRESENT COUPON AT TIME OF SERVICE LAKER081117 WE WANT YOU TO BE COOL THIS SUMMER! 3A SUBSCRIPTIONS: The Laker/Lutz News is a free newspaper distributed to 44,800 homes and businesses in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Mail subscriptions are sold to cover postage cost: $40/3 months, $80/6 months, $160/12 months. DELIVERY PROBLEMS:If you do not receive your paper, or want to stop home delivery, email Or, to stop delivery, go to, select About tab and complete Opt Out form. ADDITIONAL COPIES: A listing of boxes and business locations is on our home page at EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: Suggestions for stories and news coverage are welcome. Please send ideas to, or call our newsroom at 813-909-2800. ADVERTISING ERRORS: Publisher is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the space cost for the first insertion, or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. MEMBER: Central Pasco Chamber, Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber, Greater Zephyrhills Chamber, Greater Dade City Chamber, Florida Press Association, Free Community Papers of Florida, Southeast Advertising Publishers Association, Association of Free Community Newspapers, Independent Free Newspapers of America.Advertising and editorial content by Manatee Media Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without prior written permission from the publisher. The LAKER/ Lutz NEWS ADVERTISINGTERRI WILLIAMSONSenior Account Managertwilliamson@lakerlutznews.comCHERYL MICHELAccount Managercmichel@lakerlutznews.comRACHEL THOMPSONClassified & Directory Salesrthompson@lakerlutznews.comDESIGN ACCOUNTINGMATTHEW MISTRETTAArt Directormmistretta@lakerlutznews.comSTEFANIE BURLINGAMEGraphic Designersburlingame@lakerlutznews.comMARY EBERHARDmeberhard@lakerlutznews.comLOCATION: 3632 Land O' Lakes Blvd. Suite 102 Land O Lakes, FL 34639 MAIL: P O. Box 479 Lutz, FL 33548 PHONE/FAX: ph: 813.909.2800 fax: 813.909.2802 IT SUPPORT: STEVE MISTRETTA WEBSITE: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: EMAIL: sales@lakerlutznews.comPUBLISHER & OWNER: DIANE KORTUS, LUTZ, ODESSA, LAND O LAKES, WESLEY CHAPEL, NEW TAMPA, ZEPHYRHILLS, DADE CITY Serving Pasco since 1981 / Serving Lutz since 1964 KATHY STEELEStaff Writer ksteele@lakerlutznews.comB.C. MANIONEditor bcmanion@lakerlutznews.comKEVIN WEISSStaff Writer kweiss@lakerlutznews.comMARY RATHMANEditorial Assistantmrathman@lakerlutznews.comEDITORIALDISTRIBUTION: Florida Circ, LLC ANNE KIBBEAccount Managerakibbe@lakerlutznews.comCUSTOMER SERVICE CAROLYN O UR E Y T HEM O N U S E D O NT L OS E O UT O N H TIME I S R Ex Scam . David F Y NECESSAR ENT ACCEPT E ALK INS W Dr Dr .DavidF Scam HS A & F S A BENEFIT S R UNNIN G OU xce llence Inde WIL THE DOCTOR mard, O.D. E D mard,O.D. Independent Do inEye U T Y NECESSAR NO APPOINTMENT ACC E ALK INS W OU NOW Y L SEE equir m bersh ip not r octor of Optometr ry y e Care, LLC N COSTCO OPTICAL re re e d u tz, Florida 33559 ( 813) 279-7038 c Exce e and Cypr Gr NO APPOINTMOU NOW Y WILL SEE THE DOCTOR llence E PTED e ss D r LOC A in Eye AT T ED I N Me m r. Lu ( Excellen c Make a Home B e By CHERYL MICHELThe Laker/Lutz News Account Manager Attihfhlid WITH BELLA HOME MARKE T e autiful T instructionalclassesthatsheof W all at a f illage Plaza of V T A s you se t ou t i n searc h o f h o lid ay gifts, make sure Bella Home Market is on your list of stops. The shop, located in the Tr ropical Vi ff f U S 4 1 in Lutz, boasts a myriad of home dcor items, along with interesting gifts and jewelry ff fordable prices. Theres a full selection of Dixie Belle Chalk Paints, which Jennifer Wa agner the stores owner, showcases during ff fers Jennifer also of instructional classes that she of ff fers. ff fersherservicesasa talented interior decorator. She performs free in-home consultations to those whod like to enhance their homes interior or want help staging a residence for sale. Jennifers expertise stems from her mothers passion for home design, which inspired Jennifer at an early age. Now Jennifer shares this p assion with many other gift SoapRocks, sce Keys and kitch e available, too! And, of cour s less decorative p Market is best k wall han g in g s a options, including nted candles, Blessing e nware. Gift cards are s e, there are the countp ieces that Bella Home k nown for. From elegant a nd clocks to metal art e d bookends, theres e very style and budget. s ee what you can find to e this season. Happy B ella Home Market! M arket is located at L akes Blvd. in Lutz. For o n call 813-345-8038 or p her own daughter, Sophia, who helps manage the store. The pair work together to find one-of-a-kind merchandise. Pieces may be new or repurposed, obtained locally or from far away, but all are unique to Bella Home Market. An assortment of wine accessories, such as gift bags, aprons, and stoppers, make great hostess presents. There are gg and whale-shap e something for e Stop in and s delight someon e holidays from B Bella Home M 1532 Land O L more informati o visit www.bella San Antonio celebrates an old-fashioned ChristmasAbout 100 people turned out to Christmas in the Park, a holiday celebration hosted by the Founders Garden Club of San Antonio. The event, held Dec. 3 at San Antonio City Park, included the lighting of the Christmas cards and entertainment featuring the Huron Family. The family performed old hymns harmonizing their voices and playing instruments. Group members are Santiago Huron, the childrens father, and Ana, their mother, and children, Anita, Luke, Cilicia, Alexis, Olivia, Treasure, Paul, Santi, Jon-Michael, Peter, Samuel and Titus. The event also featured free refreshments and a drawing for gift baskets. RICHARD RILEY


SMART DRIVER COURSEThe AARP Smart Driver course is open to drivers age 50 and older. The certificate of completion is good for three years, if the drivers auto insurance gives a discount. The cost for the course is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. For class date at the Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, call Eugene Pool at (813) 909-8585.CHRISTMAS AT THE FARMOld McMickeys Farm, 9612 Crescent Drive in Odessa, will host a Christmas event Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be free photo opportunities, photos with Santa, a petting area for the North Ponies in reindeer gear, a barn maze, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, crafts in the elves workshop, a holiday scavenger hunt and more. Food, drinks and hot cocoa will be available for purchase. United States Marine Corps members will be collecting canned food donations for a local food bank. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids. For information, visit, or call (813) 9201948.COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONSThe Pasco Alliance of Community Associations will have a workshop Dec. 14 at 7 p.m., at Land O Lakes Heritage Park (formerly Land O Lakes Community Center), 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd. Members are requested to attend, to discuss and decide on the 2018 program schedule and more. Pizza, salad and a beverage will be provided. For information, call Wayne Mooney at (352) 467-9808.FLORIDA JAZZ EXPRESSThe Florida Jazz Express, a 17-piece band, will perform at Dockside Grille, 5015 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. The band plays an assortment of classic and modern big band music, for dancing and listening. Admission is free. For information, call Fred Novomestky at (516) 480-8587.PUPPET SHOWThe Shops at Wiregrass will host a free Son Trust & Co., puppet show Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 at 6:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. The group is a team of about 30 adults and students who share a message of hope using puppets, drama, video, effects and other creative elements. For information, visit BELLES MEETINGThe Red Belles, part of the Red Hat Society, of Lutz, will meet Dec. 15 at a members home for a holiday potluck lunch. The group will host visitors in January; details to be announced. New applicants can apply online at for discounted membership dues. For information, email Lynn Small at FOOD GIVEAWAYThe 23rd annual Farm Share Holiday Food Giveaway will take place Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Faith Baptist Church, 9230 Ridge Road in New Port Richey. The giveaway includes fresh food donated by Florida farmers, as well as meat and other items for a complete holiday meal. All suffering families can attend. For information, contact Greg Giordano, assistant Pasco County tax collector, at (727) 847-8179 or LIGHTINGThe Northdale Civic Association and the Carrollwood Area Business Association will host a Holiday Tree Lighting at Northdale Park, 15550 Spring Pine Drive in Carrollwood, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to place under the tree. The toys will be delivered to The Childrens Home Society of Florida for children in need. Admission is free. For information, visit & BUFFETCobb Grove 16 Theatres, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, will host an Awaken the Forces breakfast buffet and screening for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Dec. 15. The buffet, featuring a breakfast taco bar, pastries and more, will be from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the film will start at 8:30 a.m. The price of $30 includes both. To reserve your tickets, visit the Box Office or ADVENTUREThe Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., in Carrollwood, will host STEAM: Frostys Snow Adventure Dec. 16 at 10:30 a.m. Kids can participate in wintry wonderland experiments. The program is limited to 40 children. Registration is at the library. For information, call (813) 273-3652.SONS OF AMERICAN REVOLUTIONThe Tampa Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will meet Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., at the Golden Corral, 11801 N.56th St., in Temple Terrace. After the meeting, members will go to the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery at American Legion Post 5 on Kennedy Boulevard. For information, contact Bill Floyd at (813) 735-9705 or OF THE BANDSLand O Lakes Heritage Park (formerly Land O Lakes Community Center), 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd., will host the Battle of the Bands Dec. 16. There also will be a festival that will include food and shopping. The event is pet-friendly, and will benefit Pasco County Animal Services. For information, visit Just Country Farms Events on Facebook.SENSORY-FRIENDLY FILMCobb Grove 16 Theatres, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, will offer a sensory-friendly showing of the movie Ferdinand Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., for families with varying abilities. The auditorium will have brighter lights and the sound level turned down. The audience can sing and dance without disturbing others. The film date and program are subject to change. Tickets will be available in person only, the Wednesday prior to the broadcast. For information, call (813) 948-5444.SENIOR SINGLES DANCESCIPS, a 50-plus nonprofit Tampa Bay senior singles club, will host a Holiday Dance Social Dec. 16 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Colreavy Hall, 820 Jasmine Way in Clearwater. There will be live music by the Louis Bravo Band, door prizes, and beer, wine, soda, water and snacks available. The dress code is casual dressy; no shorts, T-shirts or jeans. Admission is $7. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For information, call (727) 544-3735, or visit SNOW QUEENThe Carrollwood Cultural Center will present Hans Christian Andersens tale The Snow Queen Dec. 17 at 2 p.m., and Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $7 for members, $8 for general admission, and $28 for a family four-pack. Children age 4 and younger are free. For information and tickets, call (813) 922-8167, or email GROUPThe Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a writing group, The Land O Lakes Scribblers, Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for anyone to practice writing skills with creative writing prompts. Local authors also can attend to share writing and receive encouragement. The group is for ages 16 and older. For information, call (813) 9291214.AMATEUR RADIO CLUBThe Zephyrhills Area Amateur Radio Club will meet Dec. 18 at St. Elizabeths Episcopal church, 5855 16th St. The business meeting will start at 6 p.m., followed by a coffee break and a 7 p.m. discussion or presentation program. The club also hosts breakfast at Village Inn, 5214 Gall Blvd., every Thursday at 8 a.m. For information, call Gerald Hewitt at (813) 780-1980.HELP BUILD A PICNIC TABLEThe Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer two woodworking classes for ages 16 and older to help volunteer teachers build a picnic table for the library. The workshops are Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will not be taking a project home, but can learn woodworking skills. A proper dress code, registration and signed liability waiver are required. To register, call (813) 929-1214.OILS OF THE BIBLEThe Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer Essential Oils of the Bible Dec. 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., for ages 16 and older. Participants can learn the basics of what essential oils are and how they were used in biblical times. There also will be oil samples. To register, call (813) 929-1214.BOOK DISCUSSIONThe Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host a book group Dec. 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., to discuss An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor. New members are welcome. For information, call (352) 567-3576.BREAKFAST WITH SANTAThe second annual Breakfast with Santa will take place Dec. 23 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Applebees, 28422 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, to benefit Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary. A prepaid ticket is required. Tickets are $7 per person and are on sale through Dec. 20 in Wesley Chapel at Soriano Insurance, 2044 Ashley Oaks Circle, Suite 102, (813) 909-0035; and, at RP&G Printing, 2664 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Suite 104, (813) 949-5700.NOMINATE A NEIGHBORIernas Hearing, Cooling & Plumbing is having a Neighbor in Need giveaway to replace a central A/C and heating systems, at no cost, to a deserving person or family in its service area. To nominate someone, you will need your full name, phone number, mailing address and email address; the nominees full name, phone number, email address, physical address, and mailing address if different from physical one; your relationship to the nominee; and, a summarization of 500 words or less why the nominee deserves the free system. Information can be emailed to or mailed to Iernas Heating & Cooling, Attn: Neighbor in Need, 18843 U.S. 41 N., Lutz, FL 33549. The deadline is Dec. 22. PERFECTION, FROM FIRST COURSE TO LASTSave timeorder delicious platters online this place orders at least 24 hours in advance. 4A Celebration of Lights The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park will host its annual Christmas Celebration of Lights Dec. 19 through Dec. 24, and again Dec. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features synchronized light and sound displays, nightly entertainment, refreshments and more. The cost is $5 for adults and $2 for kids age 3 to 12. Children age 2 and younger are free. For information, call the park office at (352) 628-5343. Stocking fundraiser Intrinsic Wellness Clinic will host a Stuff the Stocking fundraiser for Pasco Kids First Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Seven Oaks Clubhouse, 2910 Sports Core Circle in Wesley Chapel. Donate a new, fully stuffed stocking to a child that would otherwise not receive one. There also will be a visit with Santa, holiday activities, and refreshments. For information, call (813) 549-3551 or email Holidays Christmas musicalThe First United Methodist Church of Lutz, 960 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road, will host a Songs of the Season Christmas musical Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The program will feature a hand bell choir, adult choir and childrens choir, as well as several soloists. For information, call (813) 949-1751.Christmas CantataShepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 37015 Orange Valley Lane in Dade City, will host its choirs Christmas Cantata, I Hear the Prophet Callin, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. Guests can donate canned goods and nonperishable items to the food pantry. For information, visit partyCongregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road in Tampa, will host a Kol Ami Hanukkah Party Celebration Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. There will be Hanukkah foods, games, music, dancing, pine the gimel on the dreidel, poi spinning, hula-hooping and more. There also will be a workshop on juggling and twirling. Dinner will be served. Admission is free. For information, call (813) 962-6338.Birthday party for JesusGrace Lutheran Church, 3714 W. Linebaugh Ave., in Carrollwood, will host a celebration of Jesus birth Dec. 17 at 9:45 a.m. There will be a birthday party with cake, punch, stories, crafts and games for kids, and coffee and cake for the adults. Admission is free. For information, call (813) 961-8747, or visit


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So, here are some suggestions from Shawn Whited, division chief for Pasco Fire Rescue and Deputy Ron Buzzetto, of Pasco County Sheriffs Office crime prevention division, which seek to help you have a safe and merry season.STAYING SAFE AT HOMEDivision Chief Whited offers these pointers for staying safe at home: Inspect your electrical cords. Make sure theyre not frayed. Do not overload outlets with too many electrical cords. If using a living tree, be sure to keep it watered to prevent it from becoming a fire hazard. When baking, be sure to pay attention, and dont lose track of time. Youd be surprised at how many house fires we go to that started with something in the oven that somebody forgot, Whited said. If using a turkey fryer, be sure to measure the oil correctly and use the proper temperature. Also, be sure the turkey has been thawed before cooking. When using the fireplace, do not over pack it with materials, and make sure those materials fit in the fireplace. Do not burn wrapping papers, the embers can fly and can cause a fire. Also, the intensity of the heat from the wrapping paper could cause a chimney fire. Be sure to extinguish candles, to avoid a potential fire. If you like to place wrapped presents under the tree, be sure not to wrap any items that are harmful to your pets. For instance, chocolate is bad for dogs, but chances are your dog will sniff it out and get into it, if you wrap some and leave it under the tree. Deputy Buzzetto adds these tips for staying safe on the home front: Protect package deliveries. This is a prime time of year for porch piracy, Buzzetto said. Protect yourself by having those packages rerouted to your office, your neighbor or a family member if you wont be at home to receive it. Otherwise, get a post office box. Reduce home burglaries. Most break-ins typically happen during the day, when folks are at work, Buzzetto said. Some ways to reduce risks include using a home alarm system; keeping curtains and blinds drawn, to prevent would-be burglars from seeing your valuables; being sure your windows and doors are locked; making sure your vehicles doors are locked; joining a Neighborhood Watch, to help each other keep an eye out for suspicious characters. Dont open the door to strangers. Ask who it is through the door before deciding whether you want to answer it, Buzzetto said.STAYING SAFE WHILE SHOPPINGDeputy Buzzetto offers these reminders: Be mindful of your surroundings, day or night. Park in well-lit areas. Do not get out of your car if you feel unsafe. Be sure your car is locked. Carry only what you need. If youre carrying a purse, you run the risk of having your purse snatched. Do not place your purse in the trunk, while you are in plain view of others. Do not carry a multitude of credit cards. If one credit card is enough, just take that. Keep valuables in your car out of plain sight of potential criminals. If you feel uncomfortable walking back to your car, go back to the store and ask for an escort. Shop in pairs, if possible. You are less vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime. When returning to your car, have your key fob ready. It can activate your car horn, which can deter criminals. Also, a small horn or whistle are other ways to make noise and deter criminals.STAYING SAFE ON THE ROADBoth Whited and Buzzetto remind motorists to play it safe through defensive driving. If someone starts following, Buzzetto said, call 9-1-1 and drive to an area where there are lots of people. Criminals are less likely to engage when there are witnesses. If you have car trouble, try to get to a safe place off the road, Whited said. If its not possible to move your car to a safer location, get out of the car and move yourself to a safer location, Whited said. Do not text or use your phone while driving, Buzzetto said. Find a safe place. Pull over, he said. Be extra cautious on the road because there are more people out during the holidays, and this is the time of year when there are visitors in the area that are unfamiliar with area roads, Whited said. There are also returning snowbirds, and because of new construction, things dont look the same as they did when they left, Whited said. The bottom line, Buzzetto said, is to be sure to pay attention. This is crime of opportunity season here, with the holidays, he said. People are so consumed with their phone that they miss looking up, and looking around, Buzzetto said. Your personal safety is first and foremost. Property can be replaced. Purses can be replaced. Your personal safety has to be the priority.Have a very, merry safe holiday season


6A December 13, 2017 813-996-1211 4005 Land O Lakes Blvdon U.S. 41 in Land O Lakes Monday Night BUFFET$7.995pm-8:30pm IONS T DI CON L A DIC E M G IN T AT TA I EBIL N D AI TA E ITH C W D NOSE G A I D BEEN E V AV H O H W S T IEN T AT PA IED F I L A U Q S W O L L A : 2 T MEN MEND A P A A RT T W NE G IN T P E C C A I J ALMAR CA I D E M C A S T IEN T A PANA U JW N I E E R F O ALL T C A L G IT LE E S D U AN L F N ANA I U IJ MAR E M E S A RCH PU O T N I M E NAL S O TI T R O F N N T I O P LE A S U D E H C S O MA Y. LY A D I R O L L A DIC E LL Y AR : R U O 352 4064 813 528 www 7 4 4 2 263 5 ances Accepted Most Insur eakf h, Something f y Simple or Sav NEWREST TA AURANT vo o r y. fo o r E v eryone! Serving Lunc DinnerandBr fa ast (starting in January).Full Bar h olid a ay y happenings eakf Y orHamHolida T ke Home Full a T € Ta ak ly y Pr epared Tu u rkey ay y Meals. Order Today! € Serving Christmas Eve & New Ye ear's Ev e Br fa ast 9am-12pm F OU R COU R S E MEAL A N D B O TTLE O F C HAM P new years eve dinner special PA AGNE FOR 2 $65 ot Cake, h as Cheesecake, e Steak ee. Includes: € Choice of Appetizer cr ab cakes and more € Dinner Salad & Fresh Baked Bread € Choice of Entr Inc ludes Rib Ey Salmon with Dill Sauce or French Cut Pork Loin. € Choice of Dessert suc Car r ChocolateCake c all F or r eserva t ions 813-591-6139 All D ppy Hour 18450 US 41 and SUnSet online ordering a .FRANKY WWW W. Y-DS.C Ha V TE MEETING ROOM A PRIV VA A AV VA A y DayRd € LUtzt: C OMay Ever A ILABLE Neck & Back Pain ReliefTHE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAY MENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT THAT IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCE D FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT. Auto Accidents Treated Immediately € Accepting Florida Blue, United, Medicare, Medicaid and Cigna. DR. LESLIE HORNE2414 Raden Drive Land O Lakes, FL 34639 www.lolchiropractic.com813-948-2225The ChiroTrust Pledge TMTo the best of my ability, I agree to provide my patients convenient, affordable, and mainstream Chiropractic care. I will not use unnecessary long-term treatment plans and/or therapies.Ž $10 Off*MASSAGE THERAPY*UP TO 1 HOUR EXP. 12/31/17$35 FIRST VISIT($150 VALUE)INCLUDES EXAM, CONSULTATION, 2 XRAYS (IF NEEDED) & SPINAL ADJUSTMENT. EXP. 12/31/17Dr. Leslie Horne, Doctor of Chiropractic € Short-Term Care for Your Neck & Back Pain € Accepts M.D. Referrals € Affordable / Insurance Accepted € Be Seen Today. No Appointment Needed € Member of ChiroTrust( € Walk-Ins Welcome COURTESY OF AT&TArmy Master Sgt. George Vera and his daughter and father look at the pool at the veteran’s new home in Land O’ Lakes. Vera, a Purple Heart recipient, received a mortgage-free home during a Dec. 1 celebration in Land O’ Lakes.The Laker/Lutz News Staff ReportArmy Master Sgt. George Vera and his family have a new home in Land O’ Lakes — which they moved into in plenty of time for the holidays. The home, at 4858 Lago Vista Circle, was given mortgage-free to Vera by Building Homes for Heroes, a nonprofit organization that builds and modifies homes to give to wounded veterans and their families. Vera, his wife, Angela, and their 11-yearold daughter toured the home for the first time on Dec. 1, during a ceremony to welcome the family into the Land O’ Lakes community, according to a news release from AT&T. AT&T Veterans, a group affiliated with AT&T, helped organize the welcoming celebration for Vera and his family. Vera joined the military in 1995, and during his 20th year of service, his base came under attack from an improvised explosive device hidden in a vehicle driven by suicide bombers, the news release said. During his efforts to pull fellow wounded soldiers away from the enemy fire and secure their surroundings, Vera was shot. He suffered a spinal cord injury, partial loss of his vital organs and a traumatic brain injury. Because of his numerous injuries, Vera now is confined to a wheelchair. His home has been modified to fit his needs. More than 15 AT&T employees — from Tampa, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Melbourne and Stuart — were at the welcoming celebration for Vera and his family, the news release said. Dozens of community members were there, too. The AT&T volunteers set up nearly 200 American flags along the Vera family’s new street, decorated for the holidays inside the home and hosted a barbecue after the ceremony for everyone who attended, the release said. The AT&T employees are members of AT&T Veterans, an employee group that supports AT&T’s veteran employees as well as other veterans. In the news release, Sherry Simon, president of AT&T Veterans Florida/PR/VI, said members are proud to help with the homecoming ceremony for Vera and his family. “We are grateful to have this opportunity to honor Army Master Sgt. Vera for his service and sacrifice, present him and his beautiful family with a housewarming gift, and offer them a warm welcome to the Land O’Lakes community,” Simon said. Building Homes for Heroes has given homes and new opportunities to more than 100 families across the nation.Purple Heart veteran receives new home for the holidays


Lic: #CFC1428982 #CAC1816647 #EC0001103 BONDED & INSURED op4benefitso o TH T T AHEAL op 4 benefits o To T APPLIANCES LAST YEA R 3. No gritty scale keeps you r MAKES HOUSEHOLD CL 2. ter strai g refined wa Clean, YHE LY FA KEEPS Y 1. OUR F AMIL fhavinghealthywater: H Y HOME NEEDS H E f having healthy water: R S LONGER y lean and shin r faucets and tile squeaky c ASTER AND EASIER FA EANING F g ht from your faucet THY LT EAL T HY D R T E A L R INKING W TER T A W A ter and bottled wa leaning Reduced cost of c FOR ITSELF THRO S Y AY PA 4. P A icemakers and other hom e Scale deposits corrode th e nersto 8139 cor hygiene products supplies, UGH TIME ppliances e a dis h ters, ter hea e inside of wa 9 90-0561 o nepr h washers, m D E R U S N I & D E D N O B 9 8 2 4 1 C F C # : c i L 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 C E # 7 4 6 6 1 8 1 C A C # 2 8 7A a se of $50 or more. ad. PLU# 89365 R ES 12-24-17 O FF $50* *Any purchase of $30 or more. With this ad. PLU# 89364 EXPIRES 12-24-17$5 OFF $30**Any purch a With this EXPI R $10 O 21703V Vi illag Shopping C e Land O La k 813.5 7 g e Lakes e nter Drive k es, FL 34639 7 5.9738 Dade City 37925 Sky Ridge Cir. 813-782-7200Lutz 1930 Land O Lakes Blvd813-909-0485 Zephyrhills 36524 State Road 54 813-788-5461 Zephyrhills Furniture 36504 State Road 54 813-715-2895Store Hours: Monday Saturday from 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Volunteers Needed!To learn more, call 800-561-4883 or visit www.GHPPC.orgAll proceeds benefit Gulfside Hospice programs and services in Pasco County. Gulfside Hospice is looking for people with a passion for helping others and giving back to the community. Join our family of Thrift Shoppe volunteers. VIDACURA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL on scooters by EXCLUSIVEWARRANT Y5 YEARGet the freedom of mobility with a Pride Mobility Scooter from Best brand in the industry VidaCura offers models that fit everyone Best-in-class, 5-year warranty includes even the battery pack, FREE to VidaCura customers FLORIDA DELIVERY in 2 BUSINESS DAYS Call 844-YES-GOGO (844-937-4646) or visit*5 year warranty covers entire scooter except upholstery surfaces and plastic trim. Extended Warranty is provided by Living Well Stores, Inc. and not Pride Mobility or any other retailer. Copyright Living Well Stores, Inc. SM $749.00GoGo ES2 GoGo Elite Traveler$1059.00 www.bernierdental.comPLEASE CALL FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY!813-601-1122Evening and weekend appointments available.MOST INSURANCES ACCEPTED The patient and any other person responsible for payment has the right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for a payment for any other service, examination or treatment which is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for free, discounted fee, or the reduced fee, service, examination or treatment. 5420 Land O Lakes Blvd, Suite 103 813-601-1122 Let us give you something toSmileaboutCleaning, exam, consultation and all necessary x-raysADA D1110, D0210, D0150 $9900 *New patients only. Not valid with any other offers or insurance. Does not include periodontal therapy. Limited time only. *EXPIRES 12/31/17 COURTESY OF PASCO COUNTY Pasco County Public Transportation collects 8,000 pounds of food


W NE G IN TPECCHolistic Internal Medicine A ST IEN TA P iabetes iabetes W HeartDiseaseD Specializing In: HeartDiseaseD Medicine 352 4064 813 528 www 7 4 4 2 263 5 ances Accepted Most Insur 8A WWW.THEGREATCATCHSEAFOOD.COM $3.00 OFF$20 OR MOREMust present coupon. Not valid on daily deals or with other coupons. Exp 12/31/17.BOGO 1/2 OFFMON-FRI IN HOUSE OR TAKE-OUT 11AM-3PM1 per table. Excludes all you can eat, senior meals, and lobster. Exp 12/31/17. Specializing in New England Seafood, Ipswich Whole Belly Clams, Best Lobster Roll in Town, Lobster Bisque & Steak SPECIALSMONDAY: $6.99 Cheeseburger & Fries. Dine In or Take Out. THURSDAY: KIDS EAT FREE. 12 & under only. Valid w/adult entree purchase only. THURSDAY: 12oz Prime Rib w/2 sides $14.99. MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY: All You Can Eat Seafood Specials.5039 1st Street Zephyrhills 813-782-7770 HOURS:Sun-Tues 11-8 Sat 11-9 1930 Land O Lakes Blvd., Lutz, FL 33549 813-994-9797 HOURS:Mon-Thurs 11-9 Fri & Sat 11-10 Sun 11-8 Choose & use your own permanent container. Sticker it & put it at the curb on your recycling day. ALUMINUM CANS METAL FOOD CANS CLEAR, G REEN & BROWN GLASS BOTTLES & JARS PAPER CARDBOARD PLASTIC BOTTLES, JARS & SMALL CONTAINERS CODED 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 AND 7 For residents living in unincorporate d Pasco with curbside trash service For more info or a sticker call 727-856-4539www.pascocountyutilities.comDo your partRECYCLE! NO PLASTIC BAGS NO STYROFOAM RECYCLE ONLY THESE ITEMS: i c u d In nt t r o du uc ci in ng: McGuires Irrig a INSPECTIONS SERVICES a tion Services REPAIRS WE Inspection fee of $65. 0 Cannot be used with other offers. (exp. 12/31/17)VICES T I O N S E R AT 10% off Y S PE C IA L RY INTR O D UC T OR A LL IRRI GA EDOMOWFERTILIZEPULLWEEDS0 0 will be waived if you choose to schedule job. 813-996-7300 www w. .mcguireso T TA AKE YOUR WEEKEND AFFORDABLE AND COMPREH EWE DO IT ALL ANT TREA AERA MOW FERTILIZE AT TE PERIMET AT TMENT TRIM TREES AND S o utdoors.comS BACK E NSIVE IRRIGA PULL WEEDS T ER PEST CONTROL AT TION SER VICE S HRUBS ARBOR CARE ADULT SOFTBALL LEAGUE REGISTRATIONRegistration is ongoing for the Pasco County Parks & Recreation Departments 2018 Adult Softball Spring League. The cost to enter a team is $475, plus an additional $25 for a National Softball Association (NSA) sanctioning fee. The price includes an 11-game regular season, and a single elimination tournament. The season begins the week of Feb. 5. Coed games are played Monday evenings, while mens games are offered Tuesday through Thursday evenings. For information, call (813) 929-1229 or email A.J. Fernandez at UP THE NIGHT 5K RUNRegistration is ongoing for the 2018 Light Up the Night Tampa Bay 5K Run/1Mile Walk, slated for Jan. 19 at 4:30 p.m., at Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, 2727 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Cost for the 5K run is $30; the 1-mile race walk is $25. The race, sponsored by the Pasco County Sheriffs Office, seeks to bring awareness to the prevalence of human trafficking and educate the public of the warning signs of trafficked victims. All money raised will benefit the following agencies: Bridging Freedom, Healing Root Ministry, Justice Restoration Center West Florida Center for Trafficking Advocacy, Loving You Where You Are At, Redefining Refuge, and the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. The family friendly event also will include live music, a Kids Zone with bounce houses and face painting, horse-mounted Police Officers, food vendors, a helicopter landing, and a candlelight ceremony to conclude the event. For information, email the race director at SOCCER LEAGUE IN LAND O LAKESRegistration is ongoing for the Our Lady of the Rosary Church Sports 2018 Winter Soccer League. Youth and adult divisions are being offered. Games will be played on Saturdays from Jan. 6 to March 24, at the church at 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O Lakes. Voluntary practices also will be available. Cost to register one child from a family is $90; $80 each for two children; and $70 each for three or more children. Adult league costs $50 per player. For information, email Patrick Poland at KICKBALL LEAGUE SIGN-UPRegistration is ongoing for Idlewild Baptist Churchs Adult Coed Kickball league. The league, open to all adults in the community, runs from Jan. 16 to Feb. 27. Games are played on Tuesday nights. Cost is $30 per player. To register, visit For information, contact Amanda Carrow at (813) 264-8759 or GOLF GROUP PLAYS EACH WEDNESDAYThe Senior Sports golf group plays every Wednesday year-round, rotating at courses throughout Pasco and Hillsborough counties. For information, call Walt Bockmiller at (813) 527-8211. SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTSSPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS CHECKTHISOUT SEND SPORTS NEWS TO KWEISS@LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM The Speed Starz Track Club will host a speed, agility and quickness training camp Dec. 26 through Jan. 8. The camp, which seeks to maximize athletic potential, is for youth ages 4 to 18. Sprinters, middle and long distance runners, and field athletes are welcome. Training and conditioning sessions will be offered at two locations: Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel; and Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel. Speed Starz is a USA Track & Field member club. For information, contact B.B. Roberts at (352) 807-0397 or youth track camps offered in Wesley Chapel


$10,000 WesleyChapel i d Au Wesley Chapel i n an E li t e o J o u p e G r moc yChapel. sle e diW uA00 31 7. FL 33543 y Chapel, sle e We 0 Lajuana Blvd 250 W 813.60 7 INNER CIRCLE 9A Oil Changes are up to 5 quarts of oil and filter (most cars). Includes our 14 point inspection and a FREE Car Wash. You must present coupon at time of service. May not be combined with any other coupons or specials. $10 OFFNON-CONVENTIONAL OIL CHANGE 20306 Trout Creek Drive Tampa, FL 33647 813-973-0033 24124 SR 54 Lutz, FL 33559 813-949-7297 17501 N Palm Village Tampa, FL 33619 813-615-1333 (EXCLUDES ANY OIL CHANGE $19.99 OR LESS)Must have coupon present at time of purchase. This offer Expires 12/31/17. Good at the following locations only: New Tampa, Bruce B. Downs and Lutz. CHECK OUT OUR NEW REWARDS PROGRAM SAC EAST ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS Team Champion:Wiregrass Ranch High School (9-3; 4-2 district)Coach of the Year: Nick Carroll, ZephyrhillsOffensive Player of the Year:QB Charles Harrison, ZephyrhillsDefensive Player of the Year: DB Jordan Miner, Wiregrass RanchHonorable Mention:FB/LB Nathan Miller, Cypress Creek, sophomoreFIRST-TEAM OFFENSE:QB Charles Harrison, Zephyrhills, senior RB Elijah Thomas, Zephyrhills, senior RB Dexter Leverett, Wesley Chapel, senior WR Jaquan Sheppard, Zephyrhills, junior WR TrePavis Mobley, Zephyrhills, junior OL Cameron Tucker, Zephyrhills, senior OL Seth Petty, Wesley Chapel, junior OL Corbin Doers, Land O Lakes, junior OL Tyler Estep, Sunlake, senior OL Zach Williams, Pasco, senior TE Devaun Roberts, Wiregrass Ranch, senior UtilityCartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, juniorDEFENSE:DL Sterlin Williams, Zephyrhills, senior DL Matt Geiger, Land O Lakes, senior DL Chaz Neal, Wesley Chapel, senior DL KaSean Ridgel, Wiregrass Ranch, senior LB Dylan Ridolph, Wiregrass Ranch, sophomore LBAusten Wittish, Wesley Chapel, senior LB Adam Jarvis, Sunlake, senior LB Myron Bloom, Land O Lakes, junior DB Malik Melvin, Wesley Chapel, senior DB Dexter Leverett, Wesley Chapel, senior DB Jordan Miner, Wiregrass Ranch, senior P Hayden Willis, Wiregrass Ranch, junior K Daniel Chacon, Zephyrhills, juniorSECOND-TEAM OFFENSE:QB Grant Sessums, Wiregrass Ranch, junior RB Adrian Thomas, Wiregrass Ranch, senior RB Kyle Leivas, Land O Lakes, junior WR Darrion Robinson, Pasco, sophomore WR Cartrell Strong, Zephyrhills, junior OL Alex Sherman, Wiregrass Ranch, senior OL Justin Collier, Land O Lakes, senior OL Nkem Asomba, Wiregrass Ranch, senior OL Ethan Vest, Zephyrhills, junior OL John Alford, Zephyrhills, junior TE Tylor Winn, Land O Lakes, senior Utility Jordan Miner, Wiregrass Ranch, seniorDEFENSE:DL Xavier Arroyo, Land O Lakes, senior DL Samuel Bergeron, Zephyrhills, junior DL Miguel Hernandez, Wiregrass Ranch, sophomoreDL Matt Severson, Wesley Chapel, senior LB Nick Gaziano, Wiregrass Ranch, sophomore LB Zac Masci, Zephyrhills, senior LB Cameron Lee, Wiregrass Ranch, junior LB Cameron Smith, Pasco, senior DB Nate Howard, Land O Lakes, junior DB Daniel Biglow, Wiregrass Ranch, senior DB Kwesi Littlejohn, Wiregrass Ranch, senior P Daniel Chacon, Zephyrhills, junior K Fletcher Martin, Wiregrass Ranch, seniorThe Sunshine Athletic Conference AllConference football teams were recently announced for the 2017 season. Selections were made by high school coaches for both the East and West Division, reflecting Pasco Countys 14 public high schools. The following schools from our coverage area were represented in the East: Cypress Creek, Land O Lakes, Pasco, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills.MORE SPORTS, PAGE 14ASAC All-Conference football teams announced FILE


ACCESS HEALTH JOB FAIRAccess Health Care Physicians will host a job fair Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at its new Referral Management office, 10470 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill. The group is looking for referral coordinators with solid referrals experience in a medical office. Candidates must have strong computer/typing skills, a strong understanding of Medicare managed care, be detail-oriented, have excellent time management skills, as well as being able to work flexible hours and possible weekends. Qualified candidates must have a positive attitude, be a team player and provide excellent customer service. For information, call Gail Lasser at (352) 277-5304.BAYFRONT AND GULFSIDE HONOR VETERANSThirty-two veterans received an American flag pin and a thank-you at the Veterans Day Celebration Breakfast and Pinning Ceremony hosted by Bayfront Health Dade City and Gulfside Hospice. Each veteran in attendance was called by name and recognized for years of service in the various United States military branches. The guest speakers included Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez and Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley. A fallen soldier table served as a reminder of those veterans who gave their lives to serve our country. Veterans observed a moment of silence before the pinning to pay respect to those represented by the table. Military veterans and guests were encouraged to reach out to servicemen and servicewomen suffering from PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), or with other needs, by calling the Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255. This is the fourth year the two organizations have partnered for the event.BREAST-FEEDING CLASSSt. Josephs Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a breast-feeding class Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon, in Garden Classroom A. Topics will include latching and positioning, benefits of immediate skin-to-skin contact, newborn hunger signs, tips for returning to work, breast-feeding lifestyles, and when to call a health care provider or lactation consultant for help. The cost is $25, and covers the expectant mother and support person. To register, call (813) 443-2046.BIRTH CENTER TOURSSt. Josephs Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer expectant mothers and family, orientation programs and birth center tours at 1 p.m., on Dec. 17, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Admission is free. To register, call (813) 443-2046. JC Audiology & Hearing Aids SCHEDULE YOUR NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION TODAY!Stop in for a quick 5 minute tour no appointment necessary! 1519 DALE MABRY HIGHWAY, SUITE 105, LUTZ So many full page ads for hearing aids! CUT THROUGH THE CLUTTER WITH 1 PHONE CALL Come to THE Hearing Aid Expert!Dr. Judith L. Reese, Audiologist Independent, locally-owned business, providing the best services and fairest prices in the Tampa Bay region. PY T E ON L A A NTI E C W NE G IN TPECCBIO-ID E HORM O PE LLET THER AP A NAR : I M E S E E R F ST IEN TA P WD FEEL YOUNG AGAIN R O N M LEA R O A LL T C P THER AP OPTIMIZE YOUR HORMO N A N T I O P E A S R V E S E R R E O R PY Mayhelpwith: Mayhelpwith: N E LEVELS TO SLOW AGING AN D 352 4064 813 528 www 7 4 4 2 263 5 ances Accepted Most Insur Plan ellness e * W AS $18 W ADJUSTMENTS ASLO withW 10A Health & Wellness Baked Chicken, Stuffed Pepper & Tomato, Gyro, Briam, Mousaka, Dolmades, Spanakopita, Souvlaki, Large Greek Salad w/Potato SaladANY GREEKENTREE*Cannot be combined with other offers. One coupon per ticket/table. Expires 12/31/17. Dine In Take Out Drive Thru Catering KIDS EAT FREE ALL DAY MONDAYDine in only. One child per adult. Download these apps today!Order online or through the app. UberEATS will deliver! Order & pay through the app~ then pick it up! HOLIDAY SAVINGSWITH THE UBER EATS AND SLICE APPS! 21501 Village Lakes Center Land O Lakes, FL 34639(813) 949-7484 $2.00 OFF* Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started. FREE Nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges.**If medically appropriate and 18 years of age or older. FREE Participant workbook and materials. More than DOUBLES your chances of success! Programs cover all forms of tobacco. This program is sponsored by: Pre-registration required. To register please call: 813-929-1000 For more information, visit us at Is the in-person option of Tobacco Free Florida Quit Your Way services.Class ScheduleWednesday, December 20, 2017 | 5:00pm 7:00pm Regional Medical Center, Bayonet Point 14000 Fivay Road, HudsonThursday, December 21, 2017 | 5:00pm 7:00pm Florida Hospital Zephyrhills 38233 Daughtery Road, ZephyrhillsWednesday, January 10, 2018 | 5:30pm 7:30pmFlorida Hospital Wesley Chapel 2600 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Wesley ChapelThursday, January 18, 2018 | 1:00pm 3:00pmFlorida Hospital Zephyrhills 38233 Daughtery Road, ZephyrhillsWednesday, January 24, 2018 | 10:00am 12:00pmZephyrhills Library 5347 8th Street, Zephyrhills


TAI CHI FOR HEALTHThe Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host Bonnies Tai Chi Dec. 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The class focuses on bringing the physiological systems, from digestion, cardiovascular, respiration, immunity, and mental activity up to a higher level in a gentle and low-impact manner. Tai Chi can help with flexibility, core stability, improved balance, less fatigue and reduced stress, which in turn can help those suffering with issues such as fibromyalgia, Parkinsons disease, arthritis, joint replacement, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and breathing. The class is for adults. A signed liability waiver is required. For information, call (813) 929-1214.HOSPITAL RECEIVES A FOR PATIENT SAFETYThe Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, was one of 832 hospitals nationwide awarded an A for its commitment to keeping patients safe and meeting the highest safety standards in the United States from The Leapfrog Group. Developed under the guidance of a Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice a year. To see Medical Center of Trinitys full grade, and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, please visit SUPPORT GROUPSThe Pasco County Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers two types of support group meetings each month, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. NAMI Family Support Group, for family and friends of those with mental illness, meets the first and third Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group, for those living with mental illness, meets the second and fourth Friday of each month from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For information and other locations, call (727) 992-9653, or visit SNEAKERS PROGRAMSilver Sneakers Strength & Balance Classes take place every Wednesday at 9 a.m., and every Friday at 10:30 a.m., in The Groves Golf and Country Club Civic Center in Land O Lakes. The program is free for Silver Sneakers members and $5 for non-members, per session.These are low-impact classes for men and women designed to improve flexibility and balance, which can help prevent falls, broken hips and more. For more information, please contact Tom Marbell at (352) 409-2984 or CLUB SIGHT PROGRAMThe Zephyrhills Lions Club Sight Program will accept applications at 5827 Dean Dairy Road from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The program is open to all Pasco County residents in need of basic eye care. Applicants must bring the required documents which are found online at For information, call (813) 788-1444. CARDIOLOGIST RECOGNIZEDThe Pasco County School Board recognized Dr. Rao Musunuru, a practicing cardiologist and chairman of the board at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, and longtime American Heart Association volunteer, for his role in furthering CPR education in local high schools. Musunuru made a donation to the American Heart Association to ensure every high school in Pasco County has the appropriate CPR training materials to continue CPR education through at least the year 2020. The donation provided mannequins, replacement parts, AED simulators, teacher guides and other tools needed for proper hands-only CPR implementation. 11A Celeating 10 Years of Business! Thank your for your continued support.Celeating 10 Years of Business! THERAP LASER DEEP TISSUE INFLAMMA LASER THERAPY REL AT TION AS Fibr omyalgia Neur opathy Plantar Fascitis 813-996-9800 d O Lakes Blvd. #105 HIROPRACTIC CLINIC educed fee service, iscounted fee, or r esult of and p i tdf py d p y thti f g t t ght to r efuse to pay y ltf d cancel payment, or be d df PY atment that is performed as a r SOCIA LIEVES P AND A T TED WITH: Disc Herniation Rheumatoid Arthritis Compr ession Fractur e Bursitis Carpal T unnel FREE TMENT AT Call and Get your First GET BACK IN ACTION examination, within 72 hou ithi72h r p ib df The patient a eimbursed f TREA 5420 Lan VEN CH AV Y A Y eatment. or tr ee, di p t t urs of r di py f p py h i i ti t y p f tf th and any other person r g esponsible for payment has a rig y , es di t th d ti tf thf for payment for any other service, examination, or tr ea esponding to the advertisement for the fr TODA CRA Rotator Cuf Migraines ff f COURTESY OF REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER BAYONET POINT The Laker/Lutz News likes to keep our readers informed about available classes, seminars, lectures and events regarding health and wellness issues. Hospitals, doctors, individual practitioners and anyone related to the health care industry can submit information, at least two weeks in advance, to be considered for publication. Photos of events, recognitions and so on, also are welcome. Submissions should include who, what, where, when, cost, contact information, identifications for individuals in a photo (unless it is a large group), and a photo credit. This information should be emailed to


Proudly WelcomingMalieri Colon-Rivera, MD, FACOG Obstetrics and Gynecology of Trinity is pleased to welcome Dr. Colon-Rivera to our team of physicians. Our skilled and friendly team provides high quality, comprehensive and personalized medical care for women in all stages of life. Services include routine gynecological and pregnancy care, family planning and surgical procedures. Our physicians are especially skilled in the areas of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including those utilizing the daVinci robot. We are located on the campus of Medical Center of Trinity, just 15 minutes west of the Suncoast Expressway on State Road 54. Reut Bardach, MD, FACOG Jenny Buck, MD, FACOG Nay Hoche, MD Dr. Colon-Rivera earned her medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico. Active member of the Puerto Rico, Florida & American Medical Associations; American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology; American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I want my patients to know that I care for them, that Im part of their team and that their health & concerns are my priority. g enc y Plumbin g S ervic e 2 4/7 Eme r f teousstaf ofessionalandcour Pr F am ily O wne d an d O perate d s and 1 5 % Dis co un t f o r S e ni o r e e Estimates & 2nd Opi n r $35 F Full Servi c Plumbing Co m TERTREA TERS WA TERHEA WA COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL PLUMBING D AT AT AT AT TMENT & SEWER LINES PLUMBING RE P f y Mili t ar 5of n ions mpan c e ny y P TRA & FIL D RAIN CLEANING LT AT TION PA AIR 813 No task is too bi g or smal l e d # C F C 14 2 Opt Licensed, Bonded & Insur AN Y 33919287813235 l tiPlbiLL $35 28662 12/31/17 WITHAD V I C E V f 56236 .com LC 5 of 12A Donate A Boatsponsored by boat angel outreach centersSTOP CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN www.boatangel.com2-Night Free Vacation!or Car Today! 800 700 BOAT (2628) IN V YI T W NE G IN TPECC T T NEW VI TA ALIT VI TA A M A LL S E E C O T IN Y E T T MINS A L Y ST IEN TA P MINS W MINS O O L B R U O Y N A S L A MINER E H T T E AP G E H T T E G THER A G TE T A TI T E R O T M A E S T R D O A I IMMED S ID C A O MIN A D M A A VI OF T N AMOU T H G I R T AC V PY A M A TA VI OF T N AMOU T H G I R T G AMOU OF 352 4064 813 528 www 7 4 4 2 263 5 ances Accepted Most Insur COLLECTING FOR TOYS FOR TOTSDiscovery Point, 5203 Lutz Lake Fern Road in Lutz, will collect toys, for children age 8 and older, during December for the Toys for Tots program. Discovery Point Child Development Centers have partnered with the Toys for Tots Foundation for this holiday season. For information, email Kae Holloway at AND SCIENCEThe National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative are gearing up for this years Generation Nano: Superheroes Inspired by Science challenge. Sixth-grade through 12th-grade students can compete for scholarship money and a trip to Washington D.C., to attend the 2018 USA Science and Engineering Festival. There will be an honorarium for teachers involved with the winning teams. Students may compete as individuals or as members of a two-person to three-person team, to create a superhero using science, or tell their story in a short comic or video. The contest ends Jan. 8 at 11:59 p.m. To learn more, visit and search Gen Nano. For questions, email BOARD ELECTS NEW CHAIRSThe District School Board of Pasco County elected Cynthia Armstrong board chairman and Alison Crumbley board vice chairman. Armstrong represents District 3 on the board. She was first elected in 2010, and was re-elected without opposition in 2014. Armstrong has served as vice chairman and chairman of the board. She is a former science teacher and adjunct professor, and currently works in real estate. Armstrong earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Wake Forest University and her Masters Degree in Education from the University of South Florida. Crumbley represents District 4 on the board. She was elected in 2010 to fulfill the remaining two years of an unfulfilled term, and was re-elected without opposition in 2012 and 2016. This is her second stint as vice chairman; she served as chairman in 2014. Crumbley is a public relations/marketing director for a commercial real estate firm. She has previous experience managing an international advertising agency office and as an advertising account executive. Crumbley graduated from Gulf High School and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Florida.$1 MILLION DONATION FOR SCHOLARSHIPSTed and Avis Phillips, founders of Phillips and Jordan headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and owners of 4G Ranch in Pasco County, donated $1 million to Lincoln Memorial University to create an endowment fund for nursing scholarships. The Ted and Avis Phillips Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund will provide academic scholarships to assist nursing students at the LMU-Tampa Extending Learning Site. Recipients of the scholarships will be deemed Phillips Scholars, with first priority given to students from Pasco County. Secondary priority will be given to qualified students from Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Sumter or Hernando counties. Scholarships will be awarded for both part-time and full-time students on an annual basis. For information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, email DELIVER HOMEMADE GIFTSTwo Heritage Pines retirement community groups, Angels in the Pines, made hats, scarves and wooden toys for underprivileged students at Hudson Elementary School, whose families may not be able to afford such things. The retirees also deliver gifts to other schools in the Hudson and Shady Hills areas. Every class at Hudson Elementary visited the media center Dec. 8 to choose a toy and scarf/hat, and then the class sat together to open the gifts at the same time. More than 83 percent of the students at Hudson Elementary are considered low income. TAKE STOCK IN CHILDRENTake Stock in Children, a need-based scholarship program with the Pasco Education Foundation, announced its application period is now open to students currently in eighth grade attending Pasco County schools. An additional opportunity also is open for those with a severe disability or chronic illness for those in eighth to 10th grade. Eligibility requirements and applications are posted They can also be found on Applications must be submitted no later than Jan. 17. COURTESY OF PASCO EDUCATION FOUNDATION


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AlsoServingSunCityCenter,BushnellandWesleyChapel AlsoServingSunCityCenter,BushnellandZephyrhills OPENSATURDAY-1-855-SEE-BEST 2145CypressRidgeBlvd.(onSR56)WesleyChapel experience in cuts and color who brings over 30 years ,Welcome Flowered like to W formenwomenandchild fering a wide range of hair car ff Of $ O UT L IGHTS, S PECIAL AN I S H PA en. d r e services r SP ough 12/24/17 Prices valid thr New customers only (REG. $48) $41 starting at CUT AND BLOWOUT OR (REG. $148) $128 starting at HAIRCUT AND BLOWOUT COLOR RETOUCH, HIGHLIGHTS, CHOICE OF: CHRISTMAS COLOR SPECIAL7016 Land O' Lakes Boulevard 813-428-6412WE SPEAK ENGLISH AND SP for men, women, and childr 13A known as a municipal services taxing unit. Based on a set millage rate, the county would collect property taxes to fund those departments. Estimates range from a low of about $71 a year to a high of about $97 a year per household.Or calculated in another way, the cost to a family living in a house valued at $100,000 would range from about $5.92 a month to about $8.12 a month. No decision on the taxing district was made. Most county commissioners leaned toward putting the matter on a referendum in 2018. The results wouldnt be binding, but would give commissioners guidance in reaching a decision. They have authority to create a taxing district now, if they choose. Instead, they asked county staff members to report back after reaching out to the public for comments. At each forum, residents get information on the financial plight of parks and libraries, and scenarios on how to increase funding to each department. Those scenarios include the taxing district but also other options, including increases in funding from general revenue sources. The goal is to get as much input as possible, said Keith Wiley, acting director of the parks, recreation and natural resources department. In past years, parks and libraries had significant budget cuts as a result of the 2008 economic downturn. Neither has fully recovered, though some additional funding has been approved. Parks, for instance, received about $1.5 million to aid in deferred maintenance costs for 2018. Pasco County commissioners have been very supportive with a limited pot of money, said Cathy Pearson, assistant county administrator for public services. The financial picture for parks and libraries isnt rosy. The total in deferred maintenance is about $14 million. The parks annual budget is about $9 million. At the current rate of funding, were never going to catch up, Wiley said. The library spends about $13 per person annually for its services while the state average per person is about $26. Based on state library standards, Pasco needs about 170,000 square feet of additional library space, and another 40 employees. The next library slated for construction, at Starkey Ranch, would be in 2021. There are more budget stresses on the horizon. The countys overall budget could take a significant dip, if voters approve a $25,000 increase in homestead exemption in a November 2018 referendum. County officials estimate losing about $8 million in property tax revenues. Still, some residents, including the Kobernicks, arent prepared to take on a tax increase. The Gulf Harbor couple, and others in their community, already face an assessment based on the countys $1.2 million purchase of the former Gulf Harbor golf course. The property went into the countys Environmental Land Acquisitions and Management Program. The cost would be split between the county and about 1,700 Gulf Harbor residents. However, Diane Kobernick and Susan Levine have filed a lawsuit challenging the sale. Others, though, are open to a property tax that would give parks and libraries a dedicated funding source. Every year, those departments compete with other departments, including public safety, for general revenue funds, said Joan Clarke, president of the Land O Lakes Friends of the Library. And, they struggle each year to provide residents with services they need, she said. Even with all the growth in Pasco, she said, They still have no library in Wesley Chapel. To take the survey, visit or As part of the drill, they assembled the boats which involved inflating them and connecting motors and then they operated them on the water. They also practiced setting up whats called a highline, a rope that connects to the boat and is controlled by someone on land. The rope line helps stabilize the boat for rescue and recovery operations in high waters or strong currents. We just kind of keep current on getting the speed down of getting the boats out and getting them in the water. The water here is nice and clean, so we just run the boats out here and get the motors all cleaned up, Galassi said of training at SunWest Park. The boats, equipped with 25-horsepower Suzuki motors, are designed to hold steady control in all bodies of water, fighting against heavy winds and currents. They are being used instead of the larger, bulkier boats the team previously used, said Mitch Bollenbacher, a member of the team. These are easier to maneuver. They sit very still, Bollenbacher said. You can anchor the boat, and then a diver can dive off the back of it. The boats arent really affected by the wind or the current. They kind of maintain control in the water. Bollenbacher also said the boats can traverse tight-access areas, including lakes, canals and retention ponds where someone might discard a body, weapons or another type of criminal evidence. Its definitely something that we needed at the Sheriffs Office, said Bollenbacher, whos been with the agency more than four years. We can now definitely search an area and say, No, its not here. You can 100 percent say, Theres no one here, theres no object here, and we searched it, said Bollenbacher, who is a swimmer and a diver, and has been around the water since he was a teenager. To be considered for the special unit, deputies must pass a standard test for their water skills. Even with his skills, Bollenbacher said theres still trepidation in and around water, with the presence of alligators and other unknowns. Its Florida. Theres always a fear, he said. The team takes precautions to stay safe. The biggest thing is safety, double-check and use the right equipment for the right job, Bollenbacher said. By years end, the agency looks to also have its Underwater Recovery Team, or tactical dive team, certified as a specialized unit of the Division of Homeland Security. It would allow the Sheriffs Office to assist federal task forces in waterborne operations, including: antiterrorism and maritime dignitary protection, drug interdiction, underwater crime scene, special response team support, and maritime surveillance. The Perry Initiative held a one-day program at Medical Center of Trinity to give young women a hands-on experience in science, and to broaden their exposure to opportunities in the fields of orthopedic surgery and engineering. The event, which was last month and was co-sponsored by the Medical Center of Trinity, involved 40 young women selected to attend from 16 local high schools. The students had a chance to learn from prominent women surgeons, engineers and business women in the field of orthopedics. Women currently make up 7 percent of the surgeon and engineer workforce in the field of orthopedics, according to a news release from The Perry Initiative. The event was intended to help give participants exposure to potential careers options. The students had the chance to perform surgical simulations to correct scoliosis deformity, to fix a broken leg and to repair a rotator cuff, according to the news release. The day included lectures on engineering and orthopedics, the simulations and a question-and-answer session. Land O Lakes, Sunlake and Steinbrenner were among the participating high schools. Dr. Jennifer Cook, Orthopedic Surgery, was instrumental in bringing the program to the medical center. Alyssa Kovacs, a junior at Land O Lakes High School, was impressed by the one-day program. I thought the experience was great. It definitely changed my mind about what I want to do. I knew I wanted to be a doctor working in a hospital but, I didnt think I wanted to go into ortho surgery. I never really thought about ortho surgery until The Perry Initiative. I really dont know to explain it: It clicked something inside, the high school junior said, in an interview after completing the program. It was a great experience, and it definitely changes how you see things, Kovacs added. Erin Sinnott, a senior at Sunlake High School, also gave high marks to the program. It was amazing. I wasnt really expecting so much when I walked in, Sinnott said. At first they showed us what we were doing, then we broke off into small groups, and we got to do it all by ourselves, she said. The experience has inspired her to consider the possibility of becoming an orthopedics surgeon, she said. COURTESY OF MEDICAL CENTER OF TRINITY Young women get hands-on science experience Todays foster parents provide temporary care for children, but leave lifelong impressions on their lives. Be a Champion for a Tampa Bay Foster Child. Become a Foster Parent. (866) 233-0790 |


14A December 13, 2017 Your Neighborhood Sports Source Community Sports Community Sports By Kevin Weisskweiss@lakerlutznews.comThey reached their goal. Academy at the Lakes weathered chilly conditions and an undefeated opponent from Jacksonville to capture the school’s first-ever eight-man state football championship. An unwavering defensive performance — along with four combined touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jalen Brown and senior running back/linebacker Daniel Gonzalez — propelled the Wildcats to a 30-9 victory over the Old Plank Christian Academy Defenders in the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools (FCAPPS) state championship on Dec. 9, at Southeastern University in Lakeland. It was evident early, the Wildcats were the better team. Academy at the Lakes scored on its first offensive possession —a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brown to freshman Jordan Oladokun, less than 7 minutes into the first quarter. Brown added to the Wildcats lead late in the second quarter, diving into the end zone on a one-yard quarterback sneak — set up by his own 30-yard improvised run just a few plays earlier. The team’s second scoring drive marked the “turning point” of the game, Wildcats head coach Shawn Brown said. “I think things were kind of going back and forth, then (Jalen) made that big run,” he said. “It was 8-0, then he kind of made that big run. I think it changed the whole momentum at that point.” Old Plank had chances to narrow the gap, but was continuously plagued by its own mistakes in the form of penalties and turnovers, giving the Wildcats solid field position and extra offensive possessions. A prime example: with the clock winding down in the second quarter, Old Plank quarterback Daniel Bosque fumbled just short of the end zone as time expired, preserving the Wildcats 16-0 lead at the half. A costly turnover early in the second half made matters worse for the visiting Defenders, who entered the game 8-0. Old Plank’s John Kilpatrick fumbled a punt return at the 25yard line that was recovered by the Wildcats. The ensuing drive led to a 16-yard rushing touchdown by Gonzalez, just minutes into the third quarter. Old Plank’s undisciplined play became chippy at times; the team was flagged for multiple late hits and facemasks. The Wildcats didn’t let some heated moments affect them, however. “It could’ve gotten bad, and we could’ve lost our composure, and I think if we lose our composure, we lose that game,” Shawn Brown said. “We stayed true to what we do, kept the kids positive, and tried to walk away without losing their temper, and I think if we lose our temper, then we lose that game.” Up 22-0, the Wildcats held the Defenders scoreless into the fourth quarter, until 244pound fullback Quinton Sterling rushed two yards for a touchdown at the 9:22 mark. “I think our defense, inevitably, is what won us this game, no doubt,” Gonzalez said. “We got some really key interceptions and really key three-and-outs, and that’s what won us this game. It wasn’t just the offense this game; we came together as a team.” Gonzalez, named the game’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), for extra measure scored his second rushing touchdown of the night with less than 5 minutes left, all but sealing the win. The two schools last met during the 2016 regular season, where Old Plank defeated Academy at the Lakes in that matchup, 41-20. Even with the three-score margin, the state championship was closer than most Wildcats games this season; they won their first two playoff games by 48 and 40 points, respectively. “This is the best defensive team we’ve ever played this season,” Gonzalez said of Old Plank. “I’ve got to give them credit, but in the end we were the better team.” And, despite making monumental plays on offense and defense, Gonzalez credited younger teammates for the team’s historic victory. “It’s really interesting because the players that stepped up were all the young guys,” said Gonzalez, a senior team captain. “We got the corner, Jordan Oladokun. We got Jalen Brown. And, those were the two people that really stepped up on offense and defense. They stepped up on both sides of the ball, and that’s the coolest part. It was the young people that stepped up.” Brown, who took several big hits at quarterback, said the team never gave up. “When we got knocked down, we got back up,” the freshman quarterback said. “The game started off a little tough, but we pushed through it, and our momentum carried us to this good victory.” Gonzalez, who sported a ‘victory cigar’ after the game, was one of many players overwhelmed with excitement and joy in postgame festivities. “I can’t even describe the feeling right now. I got the MVP. I got it all right now. I wouldn’t want anything more,” he said. “This is the best way to end my year. This is the best way to end a football season.” He is one of the nine seniors on the roster and one of a handful who’ve been with the program since their freshman year. The other seniors are: Thomas Kramer, Joel Eason, Evan Lutz, Tanner Bianchi, Isaiah Smith, Zachary Moore, Jack Passero and Cooper Weber. Some, including Gonzalez, had never played organized football before joining the Wildcats program. “It’s awesome, because that’s my first true graduating class. They’ve come a long way,” said Shawn Brown, who’s in his fourth season as head coach. The 2017 campaign signaled a complete turnaround for the Wildcats football program. Academy at the Lakes went 2-8 in 2016, after finishing 4-7 and 3-5 the prior two seasons. The coach added: “To watch these kids as freshman, and some of them not knowing anything at all with football, to being like that doormat and getting pounded on. There are no words I’ve got to explain it. I’m speechless. I thought I’d have more to say. We reached our goal.” The football program’s last state title came in 2006, when Academy at the Lakes played in the six-man ranks. Academy at the Lakes athletic director Tom Haslam underscored the importance of the state title for the Land O’ Lakes private school. “It’s great for everybody across the board, not just sports, but it transcends everything,” Haslam said. “So much dedication and hard work goes into it, and other kids see that and other kids want to be a part of that, whether it’s football, basketball or chorus, or whatever. And, it’s just kind of contagious.” FRED BELLETAcademy at the Lakes No. 7 Daniel Gonzalez had no problem getting by Old Plank Defender. Gonzalez was the game’s most valuable player. The game is part of the 2017 Florida High School Football Playoff Brackets FCSA 8-Man tournament. Academy at the Lakes Wildcats 2017 roster(By jersey number) 1—Jordan Oladokun, freshman 2—Jalen Brown, freshman 3—Tioma Stepanets, junior 4—Isaiah Smith, senior 5—Jamaal Johnson, junior 7—Daniel Gonzalez, senior 8—Jack O’ Malley, senior 9—Caleb Yann, freshman 10—Thomas Kramer, senior 11—Cole Lallanilla, sophomore 12—Denzyl Downing, sophomore 13—Anthony Quintana, sophomore 15—Joel Eason, senior 17—Zachary Moore, senior 18—Elijah Freedman, sophomore 22—Dylan Price, junior 23—Jack Passero, senior 47—Tanner Bianchi, senior 48—Andrew Kilfoyl, freshman 52—Matthew Martin, sophomore 54—Cooper Weber, senior 55—Jordan Witt, sophomore 60—Evan Lutz, senior 98—Jacon Ayoub, freshman 99—Dwight Downing, freshmanInactives:8—Jack O’ Malley, senior 20—A.J. Panepinto, eighth grade 81—Terrell Woods, eighth grade 87—James Elverson, eighth grade COACHES: Shawn Brown, head coach/defensive coordinator  Kevin Barrett, assistant coach/offensive & defensive line  Ben Donatelli, assistant coach/ line coach  Kirk Downing, assistant coach/stats  Steve Hagenau, assistant coach/trainer  Landon Smith, assistant coach/offensive coordinator  Jesus Solar, assistant coach/quarterbacks  Henry Oladokun, assistant coach/defensive backs  Troy Williams, assistant coachManagers: A.J. Panepinto, Hunter PriceBall Boy/Girl:Payton Williams, Katie Erin McCormick Academy at the Lakes head football coach Shawn Brown gets a second drenching by his son and team quarterback, No. 2 Jalen Brown. Academy at the Lakes head football coach Shawn Brown holds both trophies that he and his team won after defeating Jacksonville’s Old Plank Defenders at Victory Field in Lakeland. Players, coaches and managers pose for a quick group shot after beating Old Plank. It’s the team’s first eight-man state title.Academy at the Lakes wins state football title


INSIDE: Directories, Classifieds, Games & More B CHRISTINE HOLTZMAN The 38th annual Lutz Arts & Crafts Show attracted large crowds, during its two-day run Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 at Keystone Prep High School in Odessa. The event featured more than 300 vendors, selling items ranging from photographs to shawls, metal and glass sculptures to gourmet sauces, local honey to kettle corn. There were plenty of home dcor items for sale, as well as holiday decorations and unique gift items. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for the GFWC Lutz Land O Lakes Womans Club, which uses the proceeds to support scholarships and myriad local community causes. Choices galore at Lutz Arts & Crafts Show H In ir FHInspira i t t rg c e tionPlace.or FHInspirat sp i a i i a e n rg o io g F r n o c e io nPla n o HI FH Ins p nsp pi a ir ra FHInspira HIn FH Ins sp nsp pi a ir ra t nP Pla or .o ce c e or o io a rg nP Pla e. n o org .o ce c c e or o tio io o p g


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December 13, 20173B The LAKER/ Lutz NEWSCROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS1. Coastal raptor 5. Nobleman 10. Gentle 14. Eye drop 15. Kind of group, in chemistry 16. Ashtabulas lake 17. Scars royal position in The Lion King (2 wds) 20. Egg cells 21. Smart ones 22. Stage item 23. Someone that persuades another 25. Pandowdy, e.g. 26. Blue hue 27. Symbol associated with Ireland 32. Ad headline 35. Christmas wish 36. Anguish 37. Interview with reporters and public figures 41. Rocky ___ 42. Least good 43. By yesterday! 44. Song holder 46. Fold, spindle or mutilate 48. ___ to Billie Joe 49. A poisonous plant 53. Trim 56. Hotel offering 58. Aint ___ Sweet 59. Failure to intervene 62. ___ vera 63. Ragged Dick author 64. Drove 65. Confined, with up 66. Grace word 67. Sundae topper, perhapsDOWN1. Character 2. The Canterbury Tales pilgrim 3. Lake nymph in Greek mythology 4. To ___ is human ... 5. Brewers need 6. Chieftain or prince 7. Reduced instruction set computer (acronym)8. ___ probandi 9. Nancy, in Nancy 10. A profession 11. Western blue flag, e.g. 12. In person 13. Big game 18. Smokers purchase 19. Base layer of paint 24. A Swiss army knife has lots of them 25. Clip 27. Taste, e.g. 28. Dagger handle 29. Admits, with up 30. ___-Cola 31. Castle part 32. ____ and span 33. Mi chiamano Mimi, e.g. 34. Island rings 35. After-dinner drink 38. Stockholm location 39. Pigeons home 40. Benjamin Disraeli, e.g. 45. The _____ Union 46. Measurement units 47. Call from the flock 49. Busy places 50. Basket material 51. Job 52. Japanese bamboo fencing 53. Become unhinged 54. Burrow 55. Soon, to a bard 56. Unload, as stock 57. Advocate 60. Bar bill 61. Even if, briefly TAIL WAGON STOPSPasco County Animal Services Tail Wagon will make a stop Dec. 14 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Pet Supplies Plus, 21703 Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive in Land O Lakes. For information, call (813) 575-9738. Also, adoptions are half-off for the month of December for cats and dogs at Pasco County Animal Services.VACCINATION CLINICPasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O Lakes, offers a vaccination clinic every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Services offered are $15 microchips, $8 for a one-year rabies vaccination and $13 for a three-year rabies vaccination. If interested in the three-year vaccine, bring previous rabies certificate (cannot be more than 30 days past expiration date). Animal Services encourages pet owners to bring their healthy, non-pregnant cats and dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. Pet owners who purchase the low-cost rabies vaccines, will also be required to get a county cat or dog license. The county license fee schedule can be found on the PCAS website. For information, call (813) 929-1212.PET LOSS SUPPORT GROUPGulfside Center for Hospice Care, 5760 Dean Dairy Road in Zephyrhills, will offer its Pet Loss Support Group Dec. 28 and Jan. 25, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., for anyone who has lost a beloved pet. For information or to RSVP, call (727) 845-5707. COURTESY OF CARTERS CANINE RESCUES Puppies need a home PET PAWS


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Businesses are invited to submit donations and gingerbread house entries on Dec. 9 and Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon, at Vitis Realty, at 37915 Heather Place in Dade City.Entry rules require a minimum $25 donation to Meals on Wheels; one gingerbread house entry per business; gingerbread houses must be mounted on 12-inch-by-12-inch or 18-inch-by-18-inch base; homemade or store-bought gingerbread kits are allowed; except for the base and hidden structural elements, such as toothpicks, popsicle sticks, etc., the entire visible display must be made of edible materials. Sponsorship levels are $25 to $99, for bronze; $100 to $499, for silver; and more than $500, for gold. Another contest, with no entry fees, also is being held for households. Rules are somewhat different from those required of businesses. Gift certificates will be awarded to the top three winners. For entry rules on households and businesses, visit Formore information, please email, or call The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce at (352) 567-3769.TOYS FOR TOTSPure Hair is collecting toys for Toys for Tots through Dec. 23, at its location, at 23608 State Road 54, in Lutz. Anyone who brings a donation will receive a complimentary deep conditioning treatment, worth $25. For information, call Pure Hair at (813) 909-2927. COLDWELL BANKER TOP REALTORSColdwell Banker F.I. Grey & Son Residential Inc., announced the following Top Realtors for the month of November. Top listing agent by units is Michele Christmas; by volume, is Kristy Thurber. Top selling agent by units is Carolyn Hill; by volume, is Kristy Thurber. Top producing agent by units and volume is Kristy Thurber.BUSINESS ADVICEThe Pasco Enterprise Network, or PEN, is a countywide partnership that offers free guidance, assistance and resources to help small businesses get started or to expand. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can connect with a network of professionals who can provide consultations, education and technical assistance in a variety of areas and subjects. The PEN website also offers quick access to the most requested business information and resources. For more information, please visit, or contact John Walsh, vice president of the Pasco Economic Development Council, at (813) 926-0827, ext. 223 or send an email to A toll-free number, (888) 607-2726, also is available.


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For information, contact the chamber at (813) 994-8534.SALON ON 7TH RIBBON CUTTINGThe Salon on 7th will have an open house and ribbon cutting on Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 13960 Seventh St., Suite 1, in Dade City. The ribbon cutting will be at 5 p.m. Chef Mark Goldstein will grill pork, Mexican rice and beans starting at 1 p.m., so bring your appetite. There will be prizes and drawings (must be present to win). Gift certificates also will be available. For information, call the salon at (352) 437-3907, or visit TAMPA LUNCHEONThe North Tampa Chamber of Commerce will have its December 2017 Momentum Thursday on Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Brookdale of Lutz, 414 E. Chapman Road, Lutz. The guest speaker will be Lee Harang of Galloway Johnson. For early-bird registration, RSVP online with credit card or to the chamber office at by 5 p.m., Dec. 13, at the discounted rate of $20 (whether you eat or not). After that date, the cost is $25 (whether you eat or not), payable at the door by cash, check or credit card. For information, call the chamber office at (813) 563-0180, or visit FOR BUSINESS OWNERSIf youre an entrepreneur and you need help with business issues, Pasco-Hernando Score has lots of potential ways to help. The organization has a website with information about workshops, ways to connect with a mentor and a library chock full of information on a wide array of topics. To find out more, please visit PascoHernando.Score.Org. NEW CENTURY 21 ASSOCIATESteven Whiteside is a new sales associate for Century 21 Professional Realty. He will specialize in residential and luxury property sales in the central Florida area, according to a news release from Century 21. Whiteside recently completed training and licensing through Real Estate Express and Century 21 University. Whitesides passion is meeting new people and helping others. He also loves architecture, music, staying active, traveling and advocating for his clients. For more information, please call Whiteside at (352) 398-2391, or email Fifty-four Allstate agency owners and financial specialists from the Tampa area recently came together to secure a $54,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands grant to benefit Metropolitan Ministries. The grant will support the nonprofit organizations mission to further its work providing food and services to homeless families in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. The agency owners and financial specialists each earned $1,000 for Metropolitan Ministries for coordinating a food drive during September and October at Allstate locations across the Tampa area. In September, Allstate volunteers also provided hands-on support in the nonprofits kitchen, cooking and serving food to community members. Metropolitan Ministries will use the $54,000 grant to further its work in the community. The participating Allstate volunteers were among thousands of agency owners and financial specialists around the country working to strengthen communities by volunteering their time to support the causes they care about most. The Helping Hands grants support organizations addressing domestic violence, youth empowerment, disaster preparedness, hunger and other causes, and are one example of The Allstate Foundations legacy of service and giving for communities and nonprofits across the U.S. Since The Allstate Foundation was founded in 1952, it has contributed over $400 million to support community nonprofits.Allstate volunteers earn $54,000 grant COURTESY OF ALLSTATE FOUNDATION Participating Allstate agency owners and financial specialists in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area included: Craig Arndt, Lutz; Michael Arndt, Lutz; Sebastian de Almenara, Odessa; Adrienne Fernandez, Lutz; Lisette Fernandez, Lutz; Juan Gonzalez, Odessa; Gary Gunter, Wesley Chapel; Joyce Gunter, Wesley Chapel; Amanda Holdshoe, Wesley Chapel; and, Steve Ward, Trinity. Also participating were owners and specialists from Brandon, Clearwater, Largo, Lithia, Palm Harbor, Plant City, Port Charlotte, St. Petersburg, Sun City Center, Tampa and Winter Haven. COURTESY OF DAVE FUSON Teeing up for the military Heartfelt appreciation FILE


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