Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-October 7, 2015

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Task forces tackle congestion issues; Disabled, but not discouraged; Local groups benefit from Guv’na cash grab

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-October 7, 2015

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    O C T O B E R 7 , 2 0 1 5

    B

    INSIDE,PAGE 2B

    By Michael Murillommurillo@lakerlutznews.com

    The candidates running for Lutz Guvnaspent months with their hands out.

    The person who raised the most moneywas declared the winner of the ceremonialtitle, so they were all focused on filling theircoffers throughout their campaigns.

    Over the Fourth of July weekend,Jennifer Rankin was declared the winnerand earned the Lutz Guvna sash. But, thereal winners were announced Oct. 1 atLearning Gate Community School, 16215Hanna Road in Lutz.

    After raising more than $18,000 over thecourse of the campaign, it was time to handthat money out to nearly 20 worthy organi-zations.

    The funds raised went to local groups,and last weeks event allowed each of themto pick up a check to help them with theirgoals.

    For the Lutz Patriots and Support theTroops, that means more care packagesgoing to soldiers overseas.

    For the Old Lutz School, it means contin-uing improvements, which includeremodeled bathrooms and a new, lightedflagpole.

    And, for the Lutz/Land O Lakes Womans

    Club, it means taking all of their money andhelping out other local groups.

    We always give it away, said Kay Taylor,president of the GFWC Lutz/Land O LakesWomans Club. This year the clubs Guvnamoney went to Boy Scout Troop 12 and theOld Lutz School. The club spends much ofthe year raising its own funds to help oth-ers.

    Being part of the Lutz Guvna race is spe-cial for the group and for Taylor, who was aprevious candidate herself.

    Its a feeling of community. Its a won-derful thing. Youre just thankful to be partof it, she said.

    The club runs its own Guvna candidateeach year, and even though KarenSue Molisdidnt win the title, she was all smiles at thedistribution ceremony and happy to havebeen involved in the fundraising process.

    It was really fun, she said. The cama-raderie was great.

    A portion of her funds will go to groupssuch as the Lutz Branch Library, the Old LutzSchool, and Canine Companions, which pro-vides assistance dogs to people in need.

    Attendees such as Bruce Hockensmith ofthe Lutz Patriots appreciate the funds theyreceived.

    Its been phenomenal, the support thatwe continue to get, he said.

    The Lutz Patriots works with Supportthe Troops, and the money will go towardpostage costs to send the care packagesacross the globe, which can run around $55

    Local groups benefit from Guvna cash grab

    See GUVNA, page13A

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    There is trouble on State Road 54 andState Road 56.

    Everyone can see the snarled traffic andcongestion on a daily basis, and it is clearthat it will only get worse with time.

    Were obviously in a growing communi-ty in Tampa Bay, said Jim Edwards,transportation manager for PascosMetropolitan Planning Organization. The

    dirt is turning in a lot of areas. We all seethat.

    Unprecedented growth along this corri-dor is turning pastures and open fields intobrick-and-mortar shops, offices, businessparks and houses.

    More is on the drawing board, or in theminds, of developers who see fiscal oppor-tunities just over the horizon.

    On Sept. 24, the MPO kicked off a seriesof public workshops with two separate vol-unteer task forces that will serve as advisory

    boards to the MPO. The focus is on improve-ments on State Road 54 and State Road 56corridor from U.S. 19 to Bruce B. DownsBoulevard.

    The recommendations from thesegroups will be the basis for updating theMobility 2040 Long Range TransportationPlan.

    Each task force is assigned to examinethe corridor in segments, with the East Task

    Disabled,but not discouragedBy Michael Murillommurillo@lakerlutznews.com

    When Monica Quimby was in college in2006, she wanted to get a degree in molecu-lar biology and to become a successfulathlete.

    Then a skiing accident left her paralyzedfrom the waist down. She was in the hospi-tal for nearly five months as she recoveredand tried to adjust to a newer, more difficultway of life.

    Many people would have adjusted theirgoals lower. Some might have given up alto-gether. Instead, Quimby got a degree inmolecular biology and became a successfulathlete.

    I think the biggest thing is that eventhough my physical form changed, my per-sonality didnt, said Quimby, now 29.

    The degree came first.After the accident, she missed only one

    semester at the University of NewHampshire, and she was published for dis-covering maternal ancestors of thestrawberry. Quimby received a Bachelors of

    Science in Molecular, Cellular andDevelopmental Biology and a MastersDegree in Higher Education.

    Now, she lives in Wesley Chapel, andshe teaches an online Anatomy andPhysiology course for Southern Maine

    Community College.Those things, in themselves, make for an

    impressive resume.But, theres much more to Quimbys

    story.She competed in her home states wheel-

    chair pageant and became Ms. WheelchairMaine in 2011. She went on to finish thirdrunner-up for Ms. Wheelchair USA.

    Still, something was missing.A natural athlete, she didnt want her dis-

    ability to prevent her from playing sports.She tried kayaking and cycling (using handpedals), but eventually found sledge hockey.

    Sledge hockey also known as sledhockey is hockey played on a sled, andrequires incredible balance and upper bodystrength. She tried it, and fell. And fell again,more than a dozen times in all. But, sheloved it. Soon, Quimby became a talenteddefender.

    And the former Ms. Wheelchair Maine,who once wore a tiara and a sash, discov-ered that she really liked hitting peoplewhile defending the ice.

    It feels so awesome. Its incredible, shesaid. Im the one thats smiling after I hityou.

    In just 18 months, Quimby has immersedherself in the game. She plays in local recre-ational leagues, as well as the Florida SledBandits, the states elite sledge hockey team.

    And if that was the extent of her athletic

    Task forces tackle congestion issues

    PHOTOS COURTESY OFMONICA QUIMBY

    After her skiing acci-dent, Monica Quimbygot a bachelors inbiology, a masters inteaching, and nowteaches an onlinecourse for SouthernMaine CommunityCollege.

    Quimby is an adjunct professor, an athletefor the USA Womens Sledge Hockey Teamand was Ms. Wheelchair Maine in 2011.

    See CONGESTION, page13A

    See DISABLED, page13A

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOAs candidates, KarenSue Molis, left, andGuvna Jennifer Rankin helped raise morethan $18,000 for area groups.

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