Pasco News Briefs | News

Homes planned for low-income veterans, disabled

The Pasco County Housing Authority has announced it will build 77 units of new construction rental housing for very low- and low-income homeless veterans and their families and for non-elderly disabled and their families. Some 40 units will be for homeless veterans.

Thirty-seven units will be for non-elderly disabled who are transitioning out of institutional or other segregated settings, at serious risk of institutionalization, currently experiencing homelessness, previously experienced homelessness and currently a client in permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing project or those at risk of experiencing homelessness.

The project site is a 9.8-acre site centrally located in New Port Richey. It will be built as townhouses with 34 one-bedroom units; 33 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom units.

HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals in Pasco, Hernando earn accreditation

TRINITY — HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital, HCA Florida Trinity Hospital and HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital have together earned a three-year accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer for their integrated network cancer program. The program was created by the three hospitals after each individually held ASC CoC accreditation for many years and saw the need to provide a coordinated approach to cancer care for patients in Pasco County, Hernando County and surrounding communities.

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

“We are excited to be working with the oncology experts at HCA Healthcare’s Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute on the first of what we are hoping are several regional approaches to expand the expertise, resources and support we can provide to the cancer patients and cancer survivors we are privileged to serve,” said Dr. Ravi Chari, president of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division.

Sheriff’s Office honors K-9 Titan on retirement

K-9 Titan is a 7-year-old German shepherd who was dual certified as a patrol and explosive detection K-9.

Titan served the citizens of Pasco County since December 2015. The funds to purchase, train and equip K-9 Titan were donated by Wesley Chapel Nissan, and he’s named after the Nissan Titan truck.

Titan will enjoy his retirement relaxing at home with his partner, Lt. Ferguson, and his family, which is one of his favorite activities. Pasco Sheriff’s Charities K-9 Association ensures K-9 Titan will continue to receive medical care for the rest of his life, at no cost to his human partner, as a thank you for his service to Pasco County.

988 = New number for suicide, crisis hotline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now known as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, providing 24/7, free and confidential support to people in crisis or emotional distress. The change occurred on July 16, though 800-273-TALK is still available.

Anyone in the United States can text or call 988 to reach trained counselors who can help them cope with a mental health emergency and direct them to additional resources for mental health and substance use treatment.

Note that this number will not connect the caller to Pasco County Sheriff’s Office personnel.

Pasco County, WIC recognize World Breastfeeding Week

PASCO COUNTY — The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2022 this week through Aug. 7. This year’s theme is Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.

A celebration for Black Breastfeeding Week will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.

Every Tuesday a no-cost Mom & Baby Breastfeeding Support Group is held at the Regency Branch Library from 6-7:30 p.m.

WIC also offers free breastfeeding classes at WIC clinics throughout Pasco County. For an appointment or more information on the breastfeeding class or infant feeding call 813-364-5818.

Pasco County schools’ free and reduced-price meal application available

Pasco County Schools is accepting applications for free and reduced-price meals for the 2022-2023 school year. The National School Lunch Act states that households who are below the federal income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch benefits.

Households must complete a new application each school year. Families can visit for a link to the online application, frequently asked questions, income eligibility guidelines, cafeteria menus and more.

Additionally, all students will be served breakfast at no charge at 54 elementary, middle, and high schools in Pasco County.

For additional information, contact Pasco County Schools, Attention: Food & Nutrition Services, 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, or call 813-794-2522.

Chicken Salad Chick grows in Wesley Chapel

WESLEY CHAPEL – Chicken Salad Chick has opened its newest restaurant in Wesley Chapel, which will feature a drive-thru and patio dining. The location at 25038 Wesley Chapel Blvd. marks Chicken Salad Chick’s 31st restaurant in the Sunshine State.

The new Wesley Chapel restaurant will be owned and operated by multi-unit franchise owners Tammy and Brad Cochran of Tampa Bay CSC.

Tax collector to host MDA ‘Boot Drive’

Tax Collector Mike Fasano’s five offices will feature Pasco Fire Rescue’s Annual “Boot Drive” as the charitable organization for the month of August. All proceeds from this promotional effort will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which is a key organization supported by Pasco Fire Rescue/ Pasco Firefighters Charities.

Donations (filling the boot) can be made at any of the five tax collector locations in Pasco County.

District approves rolled-back millage rate

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board has voted to decrease property taxes by adopting a proposed rolled-back millage rate of 0.2260 mill for the fiscal year 2023 budget.

The 2023 millage rate is 10.8% lower than the current fiscal year millage rate of 0.2535 mill, a savings to taxpayers of approximately $15.5 million. For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption, the district tax would be $22.60 a year, or about $1.88 per month.

The total fiscal year 2023 proposed budget for the district is $212.9 million and includes $91.8 million for Cooperative Funding Initiatives and district grants.

The district will hold a tentative budget hearing on Sept. 6 at 5:01 p.m. at the Tampa Service Office, 7601 U.S. Hwy. 301.

The governing board will vote on the final budget on Sept. 20.

WREC awards over $1.3 million in scholarships

DADE CITY – Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative is proud to announce this year’s college scholarship recipients.

For 2022, the Cooperative awarded 110 scholarships worth $12,000 each. Since 1997 WREC has awarded 2,304 scholarships valued at $17.2 million to graduating high school seniors throughout the Cooperative’s service area.

Fitzpatrick becomes a certified county commissioner

Pasco County Commissioner Christina Fitzpatrick received the Certified County Commissioner designation from the Institute for County Government at an award ceremony held at the Florida Association of Counties Annual Conference and Educational Exhibition in Orange County on June 30.

The CCC designation signifies the completion of an educational program designed by ICG to offer commissioners resources and teach them skills relevant to their duties and responsibilities as an elected official.

The CCC educational program, a voluntary program, consists of 45 hours of coursework that covers a variety of topics, such as ethics and Sunshine Law, county government roles and responsibilities, county government structure and authority, financial management, growth management, negotiation skills, economic development, and effective communication.

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