New fees needed to help protect patients during hurricanes?

Pasco County commissioners are discussing the possibility of imposing new fees to help protect patients in licensed health care facilities when hurricanes threaten or hit. Although Hurricane Irma was a less destructive storm than many feared as it blew through the Tampa Bay region, it revealed potential problems in protecting, evacuating and sheltering patients in licensed health care … [Read more...]

Local man reaches ‘Hall of Fame’ status with relief charity

When Mike Mira headed to the Noon Rotary Club Zephyrhills meeting nearly six years ago, he didn’t know it was going to change his life. But, when the Zephyrhills man heard the presentation from ShelterBoxUSA representatives, he knew he wanted to get involved. The presentation came about 18 months after the earthquake in Haiti, Mira said. ShelterBox, which is an international … [Read more...]

2017 had it all: A sinkhole, Hurricane Irma, wildfires and floods

But, it also was a year of significant growth, notable achievements and touching moments, too. It’s not often that Land O’ Lakes makes the international news, but it did just that in July when a massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Lake Padgett Estates. Then, just a few months later in September, the world’s attention turned to Florida as a potential category 5 Hurricane Irma appeared … [Read more...]

They hit the water to solve crimes, make rescues

A Pasco Sheriff’s Office team has been trained to respond to emergency calls involving water rescues, and to search for evidence in lakes, rivers and other water bodies. The tactical units, called the Underwater Recovery/Swift Water Response Team, includes divers, rescue swimmers and deputies who pilot boats. “We really can do anything that needs to be done on the water,” said Lt. Jay … [Read more...]

Thousands get emergency food assistance in Pasco

Thousands of residents from about 14 counties came to the Pasco County Fairgrounds to qualify for emergency assistance in replacing food lost during Hurricane Irma’s power outage. From Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, Pasco County deputies monitored an orderly progression of vehicles that stacked up in both directions along State Road 52, outside Dade City. Traffic moved slowly, but the … [Read more...]

Food relief site at Pasco fairgrounds

A federal emergency food relief program found a new location, and set new dates, to aid qualifying residents who lost food during Hurricane Irma. Applications will be taken Nov. 5 through Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City. Similar events have been staged in counties in the Tampa Bay area that have drawn tens of thousands of … [Read more...]

Federal aid available for Hurricane Irma victims

Federal emergency management teams are fanning out statewide to help Hurricane Irma victims register for financial assistance. In Pasco County, a team settled in at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library on Collier Parkway from Oct. 11 through Oct. 14. Area residents applying for assistance also could speak with representatives of the United States Small Business Administration and Pasco … [Read more...]

Pasco County seeks new location for food relief

Pasco County commissioners don’t want a replay of the overwhelming crowds and hours-long waits that hampered efforts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for residents seeking to qualify for disaster food relief following Hurricane Irma’s destruction. So, on Oct. 16, Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles prepared to send a letter to the Florida Department of Family and Children Services … [Read more...]

Creating an outdoor place to pray the rosary

When Gabe Vega was a little boy, he was not the slightest bit interested in joining the Cub Scouts. However, once he did it didn’t take long to overcome that initial resistance. And now, the 16-year-old can’t wait to earn the rank of Eagle Scout — the highest honor a member of the Boy Scouts of America can achieve. The completion of an Eagle project is one of the requirements … [Read more...]

Labor shortage delays debris removal

Those piles of Hurricane Irma debris could be sitting near homes for as long as a couple of months, Pasco County officials have said. That’s because there’s a shortage of work crews. Officials hope that residents will be patient, as the county struggles to pull together enough work crews. Pasco County Utilities, Solid Waste and Resources Recovery Department set the start of debris … [Read more...]