TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Monday, May 25, 2015

Laura Kinsler

Tribune Staff

Pasco property values increase

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— Property values in Pasco County grew by nearly $1 billion in 2014, according to preliminary tax estimates released Friday by Appraiser Mike Wells.

Pasco commissioner files amended 2013 financial report

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— Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano filed an amended 2013 financial disclosure report to the Florida Commission on Ethics after the ...

Trash talking: Land O’ Lakes family says businesses ignore recycling rules

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— They say good fences make good neighbors. But even 10 feet of solid steel couldn’t end the feud between two long-established businesses in Land O’...

Pasco commission OKs $261,500 more in consultant costs

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— Pasco commissioners reluctantly agreed to spend another $261,500 to extend the contract of the Washington, D.C., consulting firm assist...

County agrees on S.R. 56 loan letter

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— Pasco commissioners agreed this week to submit a letter of interest to the Stat...

Pasco GOP Chairman Jim Mathieu resigns

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NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco GOP Chairman Jim Mathieu abruptly resigned his position — just a week before the party’s annual Reagan Dinner fundraiser.

Pasco office park finds success, plans expansion in 2016

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LUTZ — Compark 75 owner Larry Morgan rolled the dice two years ago when he built the first speculative office buildings in Pasco County since the recession. Now his

NAACP chapter works on conflicts

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— State and regional leaders for the NAACP were in Dade City on Thursday to try to resolve conflicts among the leaders of the Pasco County chapter, but their efforts were fo...

Pasco firefighters’ contract talks stall

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— Pasco firefighters declared an impasse in their

Fasano, Pasco’s tax collector, works as consultant for Florida Hospital Tampa Bay

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NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano, champion of “little guys and gals,” has maintained a lucrative consulting contract with Florida Hospital Tampa Bay since being appointed to h...

Pasco ponders how to spend $250M

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— Pasco County commissioners have a lot of expensive decisions to make over the next year as the county attempts to implement the first phase of the $250 million facilities ...

Leaders talk trash at workshop

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— Pasco County’s solid waste director told commissioners this week the best way to improve the county’s garbage collection service and extend the life of the w...

Interest in new Pasco ice skating complex sky high

- Florida’s newest, biggest ice complex has a name: Florida Hospital Center Ice. The $20 million skating complex now under construction at the Interstate 75-State Road 56 interchange is slated to open this fall.

Pasco’s first charter advisory committee meeting gets off to rocky start

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LAND O’ LAKES — Pasco County’s first charter advisory committee meeting had barely got off the ground Monday before Commission Chairman Ted Schrader was threatening to have people removed from the ro...

Parks director for Pasco County to step down

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— Longtime Pasco Parks Director Rick Buckman is stepping down from his management position just as county commissioners approved restructuring the department to c...

Pasco NAACP leader faces calls for removal

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Three board members of the Pasco County chapter of the NAACP have petitioned the national organization to remove longtime president Nathaniel Sims.

Fast-growing Big Storm brewery living up to its name

- Three years after opening Pasco’s only craft beer brewery, founders Mike Bishop and Clay Yarn are tripling the size of their Odessa brewery and making a major move into Pinellas County.

Pasco County to apply for road loan for S.R. 56 extension

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— Pasco commissioners will apply for a state loan to help developers pay for the cost of constructing four lanes on the

Legg skipping Reagan Day Dinner because GOP club shut down

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TRINITY — State Sen. John Legg is returning his tickets for Pasco County’s upcoming Reagan Day Dinner after party leaders

Pasco charter panel set to go to work

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— Some members of the county’s new Charter Advisory Committee have pretty strong opinions about county government. Others say they’re completely ope...

Tarpon Springs police chief recalls fallen officer at Pasco ceremony

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DADE CITY — Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert Kochen has attended more law enforcement memorial services over the years, but never with the sense of grief and heartbreak that gave such relevance to Friday’...

Pasco 911 communications center remains without a director

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— On paper, she seemed like the perfect candidate to turn around Pasco County’s troubled 911 Communications Center.

Pasco quadruple murder trial won’t be held this year

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NEW PORT RICHEY — The death penalty trial against quadruple murder suspect Adam Matos won’t take place this year.

Wiregrass developer plans more shops, luxury apartments

- The developer of The Shops at Wiregrass is moving forward with plans for a second phase just east of the mall that would include more retail and luxury apartments.

Pasco offers $2M for Summertree utility

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Pasco County commissioners have offered to buy the troubled Summertree water and sewer system from Utilities Inc. for $2 million.

Homes sweet homes rising on the Starkey Ranch

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Starkey Ranch is officially open for business, and homebuilders already are taking reservations for the first lots in the 5,050-home community.

Pasco approves new restrictions on where sex offenders can live

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NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County commissioners unanimously approved a new ordinance increasing restrictions on where sex offenders can live.

Pasco commissioners deny more money for SunWest Park

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NEW PORT RICHEY — Even Commissioner Jack Mariano has lost track of how many times he tried and failed to convince his fellow board members to spend more money at the soon-to-be-opened SunWest Park in northwest Pas...

Pasco officials consider recycling changes as contract expires

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— Big changes could be coming to Pasco County’s recycling program later this year, including discontinuing the county’s long-standing blue bag program al...

Wetlands could force parts of Ridge Road to be elevated

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— If Pasco County wants a permit for the controversial Ridge Road Extension, it will likely have to spend an extra $25 million to elevate portions of the highway to av...

New app to put many county services at your fingertips

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— Pasco County will launch a new mobile application this summer that puts many county government services in the palm of your hand.

Pasco’s economic development leader resigns

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Pasco Economic Development Council’s top executive is stepping down after five years leading the organization.

Pasco insurance agent resigns from county’s charter government board

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NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County’s charter advisory board won’t hold its first meeting until nex...

Pasco firefighters’ union offered a new deal

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— Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker made a new offer to the county’s firefighters’ union in an effort to resolve a lingering wage dispute, but the...

County to pay DEP fine for violation at SunWest Park

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— Pasco County will pay a $4,670 fine to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a minor violation during construction of the new SunWest Park in Aripeka.

State loan could fund S.R. 56 expansion

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State Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold said a state revolving loan program could front the money for the 7-mile State Road 56 extension to be built as a four

Controversial Dade City motocross compound approved

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Pasco commissioners approved a new permit for motocross star Chad Reed’s personal training compound east of Dade City, but only after the rider agreed to reduce the...

Developers drop request on 90-foot sign for Pasco outlet mall

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WESLEY CHAPEL — When they broke ground last year on a massive new outlet mall, developers called the Cypress Creek...

Fasano: Landowners getting a tax break

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— Tax Collector Mike Fasano has accused the county’s long-time property appraiser of allowing wealthy landowners to avoid paying property taxes by granting impr...

Library creates county’s first ‘makerspace’

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All winter long, Helen McDaniel had been peeking in the windows of the old computer lab at the Land O’ Lakes Library, watching it transform into the cou...

Pasco County’s homeless count down by 75%

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— Pasco County’s homeless epidemic, which had reached crisis levels<...

Tensions in Pasco over 911 services ease

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— Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco has buried the hatchet with County Administrator Michele Baker, reaffirming that the two are

Florida Medical Clinic building $24M facility

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The medical campus at Wiregrass Ranch just keeps growing.

Pasco commissioners free up money for parks

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— Pasco commissioners will use $2.5 million that was set aside as a cash incentive for T. Rowe Price for county parks projects in central Pasco.

Wesley Chapel Mercedes dealership racing toward opening

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— Construction crews are working around the clock on the finishing details before Wednesday’s opening of AutoNation’s new $17 million Mercedes-Benz of Wesl...

Pasco commissioners won’t fight $1.5M claims bill

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— Pasco commissioners have agreed not to fight a $1.5 million claims bill filed on behalf of the family of a Tampa police officer who was killed when his motorcycle wa...