Pasco County news briefs

News and notes from Pasco County
Published February 11


Tax office offers driver exams, weapon permits

Among the various services provided by the Pasco Tax Collector, the offices now offer two additional services — concealed weapons permit applications and renewals, and the road skills portion of driver's license examinations.

Individuals interested in applying for or renewing a concealed weapons permit can do so at two Pasco County Tax Collector offices: The East Pasco Government Center in Dade City and the Gulf Harbors location at 4720 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey. The offices are "one-stop shops" to help customers submit applications and renewals. Photographs and fingerprints are taken on site. Those applying for renewals will walk out of the office with the permit. The services are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. No appointments are needed.

Also, those wishing to take the road skills portion of the Florida driver's license examinations can do so at all five Tax Collector offices. For details on hours and locations, visit, or call (727) 847-8032, (813) 235-6076 or (352) 521-4338.

County offices close for development day

Pasco County government offices will be closed Feb. 18 for Staff Development Day. All county departments will be performing staff development activities focused on improving services for communities and neighbors. Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources offices, recreation complexes and community centers will be closed; parks and beaches will remain open from dawn to dusk.

Pasco County Animal Services' administration office, adoption center, intake/reclaim shelter and field services will be closed Feb. 19. An animal control officer will be available for emergencies only.

The Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility, West Pasco Class III, and the East Pasco Transfer Station will be open on Feb. 18. Also, Pasco County Public Transportation will be open and providing service on all fixed routes and para-transit. Phone lines will remain open; however, transportation administrative offices will be closed to walk-in customers on Feb. 18.

All county libraries will be closed on Feb. 22 for staff development. Library branches open on Feb. 18 include Hudson, Hugh Embry, Regency Park and Land O' Lakes.

Dade City/Brooksville

Vintage caravan to stop at Sertoma

The Tin Can Tourists, America's oldest trailer and motor coach club, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with events and rallies scheduled throughout the U.S. A Centennial Celebration Open House will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, on the Dade City/Brooksville county line.

The event will include a collection of vintage tow vehicles, luggage, camping items and more. There will be approximately 200 vintage trailers and coaches ranging in age from the 1920s to 1980s that will be available for touring during this one-day event. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the Sertoma Youth Ranch's cafe. There will also be musical entertainment.

There is a $5 parking fee. For information, call (941) 302-2415, email to or visit


Safe boating class offered

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Hudson Flotilla 11-7, will offer the state-mandated "About Boating Safely" class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23 at the auxiliary center, 9135 Denton Ave. Successful completion of the course earns the Florida Boating Safety Education Card.

The cost is $40 for the first family member (additional family members pay $20) and includes the class, digital library, and processing. Advance registration is requested. Call (727) 697-8013 or email to

Hospital hosts free CPR training

The Heart Institute at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will offer free community CPR demonstration training Feb. 23 at the Graduate Medical Education Building at the hospital, 14108 Glacier Drive. Classes will be held every hour from 9 a.m. to noon.

Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Call (727) 869-5498.

Smoking-cessation class offered

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and the Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center will offer a free "Tools to Quit" seminar from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 20 in the private dining room in the hospital's cafeteria, 14000 Fivay Road.

The program will provide smokers with tools needed to help quit tobacco, including how to prepare a plan that works for you, ways to deal with cravings, physical and emotional symptoms to expect, and how to cope with them. Four free weeks of patches, gum or lozenges will be provided, while supplies last.

The program is sponsored by Tobacco Free Florida. Space is limited and registration is required. Call (813) 1000 to register.


Woman's club hosts 'zany' fashion show

The Greater Federation of Women's Clubs Lutz-Land O' Lakes Woman's Club will host its annual Flea Fashion Show, themed "Anything Goes," at 11 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Lutz Community Center, 101 First Ave.

This unscripted comedy event will feature some lovely as well as zany outfits, modeled by club members. Fashions will be pulled together from donations to the club's upcoming "Big Flea Market," which will be March 1-2 at the Old Lutz School. There will be an auction to purchase the fashions, literally off the backs of the models.

The fashion show includes a buffet luncheon of sandwich platters, salad dishes, desserts and beverages.

Tickets are $7, with proceeds to benefit "Arts for All," which provides art supplies and art projects to special needs school children. For information or tickets, call Cheryl at (813) 382-4259.

Port Richey

Seniors can join free fitness program

The YMCA of the Suncoast and Galen Wilson Senior Center have partnered to offer a free 16-week senior fitness program that will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting March 4, at the senior center, 8600 Galen Wilson Blvd.

This Enhance Fitness program is geared toward older adults, 55 and older, and will include cardiovascular, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises, and foster strong social relationships between participants. Those with chronic conditions such as arthritis can participate; there will not be activities that will hurt. Participants can use chairs for support, if necessary, and increase the weight they use for strength training at their own pace.

There is no cost, but space is limited. To reserve a space, call the Galen Wilson Senior Center at (727) 834-3317.

Shady Hills

Storybook forest to come to life

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando counties is hosting the 10th annual Storybook Forest event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 2 at Crews Lake Wilderness Park, 18739 Crews Lake Drive. A ribbon cutting will precede the event at 10:30 a.m.

Storytellers will ignite visitors' imaginations as they bring children's stories to life. Visitors can meet and greet characters such as Daniel Tiger, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Emily Elizabeth, Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, Madeline, Elmo, Pete the Cat and others. Pasco and Hernando educators will offer interactive displays based on children's books, where children will learn about the story through hands-on activities and create a related make-and-take project at each display.

All ages are invited. Admission is free. There will be no onsite parking at Crews Lake Park during. Frequent shuttles will be offered, beginning at 10:45 a.m. at Crews Lake Middle School at 15144 Shady Hills Road. For information, contact Bev Doucet at (727) 233-8291 or Visit the website at

Wesley Chapel

Michiganites invited to gathering

Past and present residents and guests of Hillsdale and Branch counties, Michigan, are invited to the 41st get-together at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at Trinity Church, 33425 State Road 54. For details, call (813) 788-1298.

Summit to highlight mental health

Pasco-Hernando State College will host a "Life, Spirit and Wellness Holistic Health and Healing — Bridging Faith and Mental Health Communities Summit" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 at the PHSC Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch conference center, 2727 Mansfield Blvd.

Program coordinator Emery Ailes will be the moderator for the plenary panel discussion featuring Alice Hade; licensed psychologist Allison Haig; licensed clinical social worker Peter Lally; Imam Hassan Sultan, CEO of the Muslim Connection in Tampa; the Rev. Douglas Zipper of United Methodist Church of Shady Hills; PHSC student Ryan Morris; PHSC Board of Trustee member and Hernando County Commissioner John Mitten; Garrett Potts, professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of South Florida; and representatives from Humana Health Insurance.

There will be breakout sessions that focus on suicide and substance abuse awareness and prevention, and finding solutions to move forward and to heal after traumatic events.

There is no cost to attend. To preregister, visit On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 18. For information, call toll-free at 855-669-7472.

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