East Pasco municipalities declare local states of emergency

Responding to concerns about coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) , the City of Zephyrhills passed a resolution declaring a local state of emergency — taking steps to implement protocols suggested by state and federal agencies. The measure allows Zephyrhills flexibility to act quickly, if needed. However, its primary purpose is to allow the city to seek future reimbursement for costs … [Read more...]

Local businesses getting hit with COVID-19 impacts

Drive around the region and the impacts of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are obvious. Grocery store parking lots are full — with people lining up before the stores open to get their hands on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other scarce items. There’s less traffic on the road because many people are working remotely, and that number may climb if ‘stay at home’ mandates are … [Read more...]

Paynes Prairie: An awe-inspiring place for nature lovers

Sometimes, you have to go inland to see “The Real Florida.” To see the “Real Florida” at its very best, visit Paynes Prairie, stretching 2 miles on both sides of U.S. 441 in Micanopy, a hamlet south of Gainesville. The 50-square-mile prairie is protected within Paynes Prairie State Preserve. Even speeding past to a Gator game, or heading north for vacation, you’ll know it’s something … [Read more...]

Hospital visitation limited, elective surgeries canceled

Hospitals across the region are limiting visitors and canceling elective surgeries, as they ramp up preparations to treat increasing cases of people infected by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). As of 11 a.m. on March 23, The Florida Department of Health reported 1,096 confirmed cases of Florida residents and 75 cases of non-Florida residents, for a total of 1,171. Of those, 73 involved … [Read more...]

Floridians choose Trump, Biden in preference primary

Floridians went to the polls in the midst of a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — causing some disruptions, and requiring poll workers and election officials to take special precautions. Lester and Bettie Coupland, both 84, wore surgical masks to their polling place at Pasco County’s Precinct 3, at Pasco-Hernando State College in Dade City. Both favored Bernie Sanders. Bettie … [Read more...]

Public schools to go back in session — remotely

Florida students in kindergarten through 12th grades will remain off school campuses until at least April 15 because of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While students will remain off campus, they will receive some type of online or remote instruction beginning at the end of March, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Superintendent Kurt Browning provided a March 22 … [Read more...]

The Porch of Peace

Come now, pull up a chair, on the porch of peace. Stay and rock awhile, let your worries cease. We'll tell a few stories, maybe a joke or two. It’s good to be together when the day is through. Feel the gentle breeze as it blows from east to the west. It carries away the heat and your cares, It makes you feel at rest. We’ll watch the sun go down, see the sky turning … [Read more...]

Threat of COVID-19 disrupts rhythms of daily life

Health and economic threats loom large in light of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), but there have been great costs, as well, on a personal level. Life as we knew it, just a few weeks ago, has been turned upside down. Recommendations to limit gatherings to 10 people are killing plans for personal celebrations — such as weddings, graduations and retirements, as well as birthday and … [Read more...]

Project provides inclusion for those with sight impairments

The mission of the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind (LVIB) is to educate, empower and employ people who are sight impaired and blind. The organization provides residents of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties with no-cost vision rehabilitation, and opportunities to maintain and increase independence. Recently, LVIB hosted a groundbreaking for its new Sensory Garden and … [Read more...]

Woman’s club forming in Wesley Chapel

When Marie Ambrosino moved to Wesley Chapel last year, she wanted to join a woman’s club for her surrounding community. After all, she had been involved with GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) organizations for nearly four decades — most recently with the GFWC Woman’s Club of West Broward in South Florida. With the help of social media, word-of-mouth and some other GFWC … [Read more...]