Former New York City EMT Stephen Spelman is bringing the framed Ladder 18 fire truck artifact from 911 to the Zephyrhills Museum of Military History for its 911 Remembrance Event on Sept. 9. (Photo by Charmaine George)
BayCare Health’s proposed YMCA (two black outlines at center left) and medical office building (top rectangle close to BBD).

As reported by Kelly Gilroy on her outstanding “Pasco County Development and Growth Updates” Facebook page on Aug. 24 — after no updates since representatives from the YMCA first started attending local meetings a couple of years ago — BayCare Health Systems is having a pre-application meeting with Pasco County staff to propose  52,391-sq.-ft. YMCA and a 100,000-sq.-ft., two-story medical office building. The plan includes parking lots, a “New Drive” roadway and a curb-cut connection at the southwest corner of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and Eagleston Blvd., next to the new BayCare Wesley Chapel hospital. We’ll update this story once we have additional information.

Home Sense Opens Next To Bealls
BayCare Health’s proposed YMCA (two black outlines at center left) and medical office building (top rectangle close to BBD).

On Aug. 10, a new Homesense store opened in the Shoppes at New Tampa of Wesley Chapel, between the also-still-new Bealls Outlet and Flip Flop Shops stores in the plaza on BBD Blvd. south of S.R. 56.

Homesense — the off-price home store featuring high-quality furniture and accessories that is the newest retail banner of The TJX Companies, Inc. — now operates 50 stores in the U.S. TJX is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide. The company operates nearly 5,000 total stores in nine countries,  including 1,304 T.J. Maxx, 1,189 Marshalls, 901 HomeGoods, 81 Sierra, and now 50 Homesense stores.

I visited the new store the day it opened and it was packed with not only people, but as-advertised great prices on everything from couches to wall art to Halloween knickknacks (photo above). For more information, visit or call (813) 991-0249.

9/11 Remembrance In Zephyrhills 

On Saturday, September 9, at 8 a.m., the Zephyrhills Museum of Military History near the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (at 39444 South Ave.) will host a 911 Memorial Remembrance Day event.

Former New York City emergency medical technician Stephen Spelman, who arrived at World Trade Center in his vehicle as the North Tower was getting ready to fall on September 11, 2001, will be bringing the piece of the Ladder 18 fire truck that he had been given to the event.

Spelman had previously loaned the ladder truck artifact to the Tampa Premium Outlets Rotary Club for the mall’s 911 exhibit, but decided to bring it to the military museum for an event that also will feature guest speakers — Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn from the movie “12 Strong,” as well as Craig Gross, a Gold Star Family member whose son, Cpl. Frank Gross was killed in Afghanistan and Pasco County Commissioner Seth Weightman. 

“We’re also going to have a plane full of parachuters dropping in at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first plane hit the North Tower,” Spelman says. “My son is going to ring a bell in remembrance of that time.”    

Spelman received the piece of the ladder from a former fire captain friend of his who also was part of Motts Military Museum in Groveport, OH, where Spelman was scheduled to speak at a 911 event in 2017 when Hurricane Irma hit Florida, so he couldn’t make the trip. 

A few weeks later, Spelman received the piece of the ladder truck in his mailbox. 

“Ironically, I was about 30 yards from that (fire) truck when the North Tower collapsed,” he says. “I tried to find a place where this piece of history could properly be displayed and the Simon Premium Outlets management agreed to include it as part of the outlet mall’s 911 display.”

For more info, visit

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